Latif Jamani is president of Calgary Lighting Products.
What’s the history of Calgary Lighting Products? When did it start? Who started the company? How many people are employed?
Jamani: Calgary Lighting Products has been around since 1972 and my father purchased it in 2001. I joined the company and took over in 2006. We’ve grown from being a residential-oriented lamp supplier to a commercial lighting distributor with full building LED retrofit capability.
We service businesses in Southern Alberta, including hospitality, commercial property management, residential property management and industrial facilities.
What are some of the major commercial and residential properties you’ve provided lighting solutions for over the years?
Jamani: Over the last 19 years, we’ve created and developed in-house expertise and great manufacturer relationships, which has allowed us to earn the trust of some of Calgary’s most high-profile sites and properties.
We’re proud to have worked on various locations across the city, from large square footage sites like the Calgary Zoo and Spruce Meadows, to AAA highrise office towers in downtown Calgary, as well as the city’s tallest residential structures like the Riverfront condominium complex in Eau Claire.
What sets your company apart from your competitors?
Jamani: This is my favourite type of question because I get to brag.
I will start with my team, who are very passionate about the industry and their customers.
Second, because we only do lighting and are lighting experts, our depth of knowledge really adds a lot of value to all of our customers. This results in more effective solutions that are great value for the money spent, and will stand the test of time. We take a very holistic view with our customers, which takes into account initial costs and installation, paired against long-term maintenance and longevity of the systems. This only comes with having our hand burned a couple of times, as well as intuitive expertise and long-term experience.
We try our best to provide great customer service and proof of that is our annual summer barbecue where we host more than 350 customers, where they get to visit our site, learn what’s new and mingle with each other.
The demand for what we provide is quite strong. Lighting can solve many of the challenges that different spaces encounter – from safety, operational costs to aesthetic beauty. Lighting has the ability to make a space feel awesome.
How big of a market has LED retrofits become and why?
Jamani: An interesting point to note is that by 2020, 80 per cent of Canadian buildings will have converted to LED. In a commercial setting, it’s not as easy as swapping bulbs in and out. The solution is more complex and there are more factors to consider. Building owners are already aware that operation and energy costs are increasing, so it makes sense for them to consider converting their lighting systems now.
By customer demand, we provide a full, turnkey service, which allows property owners to save money by lowering energy costs by 50 to 80 per cent.
LEDs are also much better sources of light, increasing not only the quality of your lighting but also the safety and security of your building. Compared to standard lighting, LEDs also require zero maintenance, allowing property managers to better use their time and resources.
What have you done in terms of environmentally-friendly initiatives?
Jamani: In 2009, we initiated a lamp recycling program for our customers. We were the first company to introduce lamp and ballast recycling in Calgary. At the time, they were only going to landfills. Today we’ve recycled more than 10 million feet of fluorescent tubes.
We also offer a free energy audit to commercial property managers to get a sense of 1) the low-hanging fruit of what they can save energy on, and 2) how easy they can change that with the right partner.
– Mario Toneguzzi for Calgary’s Business