Positive on Portables
By Andrea Lillo
Several lighting fixture manufacturers delved into the portable category at the January shows, looking to add on a natural extension to business. In addition, the new HGTV line of portables, in the decorating channel's five design styles, launched at E.L.K. Lighting.
For fixed lighting company Hudson Valley Lighting, the new line is "a valuable category to bring in incremental business to a lighting showroom," said Kellee Hollenback, national sales manager, Littman Brands. "It's a whole different market for us," she added. And a new opportunity: "Only 20 percent of portables are sold in lighting showrooms." The company debuted 40 designs in the new portable line, which use eco-paper shades. Crystal items included the styles Delano, with a streamlined obelisk shaped base, and Roslyn, of a simplified circle. Other products include Aston, which has a silhouette reminiscent of the modernist Bauhaus design of the 1930s.
Known for its art glass, Viz Glass Inc. launched its first group of 50 portable styles under its new brand D'Fine Lighting. "We try to do innovative things in the market," said Wayne Helfland, vice president of sales, and the new group made sense. "Light is so important to art glass."
The new HGTV line was featured at E.L.K. Grouped into HGTV's five design styles -- Water's Edge, Caravan, Block Party, Classic and Modern Organics -- which coordinate with HGTV's other licensed collections. And the new portables are priced right, said Brad Smith, CEO. "We didn't want a $500 lamp -- that's not "Design on a Dime,"" the HGTV show that redesigns a room for less than $1,000. Most items in the line will retail for $59 to $79. And because each product has packaging that is color coded to its design sensibility, it's easy for the consumer to coordinate a room with other HGTV licensed lines, he said.