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MLS to Integrate Forest Lighting into LEDVANCE

Nov. 21, 2018
The news this week that MLS, the Chinese electronics giant that owns LEDVANCE and Forest Lighting, will be integrating Forest Lighting’s U.S. operations into LEDVANCE is one more indicator of just how fast the lighting market is changing these days.
Over the past five years, Forest Lighting was a very visible presence on the electrical scene. COO Jian Ni and Doug Baillie, an electrical industry veteran who helped Forest make connections in the U.S. marketplace, were regular attendees at NAED and NEMRA conferences. At the LightFair trade show, Forest Lighting’s giant company banners near the entrances of the exhibit halls greeted attendees. The company also advertised aggressively in electrical magazines and industry websites.

When MLS and a Chinese consortium led by IDG Capital acquired LEDVANCE and the Sylvania business unit from Osram in early 2017, many industry observers wondered how long MLS would operate Forest Lighting and LEDVANCE/Sylvania as distinct brands in the United States. While not all of the branding decisions have been finalized, according to the letter from Jian Ni to Forest Lighting customers and distributors, it would seem unlikely that the Forest Lighting brand will have the same prominence it has had over the past few years.

By all reports, Forest Lighting was growing fast. The company invested heavily in marketing and reportedly was gaining shelf space at many distributors and signing key reps in many markets. While it's usually tough to differentiate many of the new LED brands that have come into the electrical wholesaling industry over the past few years, Forest Lighting always stuck out as a company doing the right things right to establish a presence in the electrical wholesaling industry.

 We wish Jian Ni and the rest of the Forest Lighting team well in their new ventures, whether they be at MLS or elsewhere in the lighting or electrical industries, and wish Doug Baillie a happy return back into retirement.