A Day in the Life of Hubbell Lighting

This is not your father’s Hubbell Lighting.

The day was wide open and I had access to every person that I wanted to speak with. Obviously most were prepared for my visit, but as I walked the building with my handlers, I had the freedom to speak to any employee about any subject—and I did just that.  

Lighting Solutions Center

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EdisonReport had a conflict and was unable to attend the grand opening of the renovated LSC in January.  However, we were invited to attend a few training sessions during our visit.  Their instruction is informative and fast-paced. During my morning education, the topics ranged from Demand Response to something called “Partial-off” dimming to Source vs. Sync controls. The training was quite detailed as they discussed the importance of knowing which device actually powers dimming, the driver or the control.  These are subjects that we don’t normally think about, but we should.

Your humble editor had last visited the LSC in 2009 and it has been recently remodeled to serve as the centerpiece of Hubbell’s commitment to train, educate and develop solutions as lighting technology continues to evolve. In the 25,000 sq ft center everything is state-of-the-art and features five unique hands-on, interactive multi-media lighting solutions labs.  The labs help one see all of the important issues occurring in our industry:  circadian rhythms, color tuning, PoE, IoT, even horticulture applications. When one walks in the door, the live-plant wall almost jumps out—a real WOW event. Words don’t do it justice,

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Another wall compared the mounting height of legacy products and then offered equivalent LED solutions. They turned this very useful tool into a counter mat for Electrical Distributors.

After the CEU accredited training event, Hubbell sends a Letter of Certification that can automatically be uploaded to Linked In and they probably have the best bag of attendee goodies of any lighting company. 


Because of their dominance in electrical products Hubbell stands to gain big if PoE takes off, as demand will surge for cable, cable trays, and accessories. PoE takes the Ethernet closer to the luminaire for both power and data and eliminates the hardware challenges of data exchange. Everything is easier when using Category cable and PoE allows for greater opportunity for controls.  

As the market for connected lighting matures, there’s an opportunity for Hubbell to leverage the breadth of its solutions across all its business units – Lighting, Power Systems, Commercial & Industrial, and Construction & Energy – and visitors to its website will soon be able to search for products and solutions across the entire company. This will dramatically improve the user experience on its websites and customers will be able to move seamlessly across Hubbell’s entire portfolio to quickly find solutions to their challenges.    

With Hubbell’s huge datacom footprint, PoE is a natural. Hubbell Lighting’s forthcoming PoE product, PowerHUBB, features a clever play on words with their stock symbol. 

Building Controls

Hubbell Lighting strives to be one of the easiest lighting manufacturers to do business with and their luminaires are designed to work with proprietary controls and off-the-shelf controls from companies such as Lutron, Daintree and Limelight . It makes business sense for Hubbell’s products to be compatible with so many IoT systems.

Many smart controls in the market offer software running on an application server (i.e. gateway), but what happens if that server goes down?  Hubbell focuses on smart products that have the intelligence built into the luminaire.  Each device is capable of operating autonomously or as part of a large network, due to Hubbell’s Distributed Network Architecture or DNA. This approach results in fewer dependencies and greater system reliability. Consequently, this frees up valuable bandwidth for IoT-related applications, since a server is not constantly telling the devices what to do.  This “edge-based” strategy may be slightly more expensive, but promises to offer much more reliability and peace of mind.

The Channel

Hubbell is focused on being customer-centric in all aspects of the business. A cross functional team is involved with understanding its customer’s needs and concerns. The core of its product development strategy is this customer and a market centered approach. With an eye on the marketplace, Hubbell offers up solutions across the entire spectrum, including key markets like automotive, commercial, education, healthcare, hospitality, industrial and residential.

One of Hubbell’s primary strengths is its agency networks.  EdisonReport headlines over the last three years include the addition of PG enlighten in Chicago, Prudential in Southern California, Lighting Systems in Northern California and Lighting Associates in Atlanta.  Those four agencies have added additional people on the street in very key markets.  

As with all the major manufacturers, the channel is obviously critical to its success. To that end Hubbell is laser-focused on creating a best-in-class customer experience across the entire channel. Hubbell recognizes the importance of continuously investing in new product and examples of this were on display at LIGHTFAIR. The booth featured the latest innovations in controls technology, unique color strategies and distinctive luminaire designs.


There are many ways that Hubbell Lighting is winning, and I think Marketing is one of their strategic tools.  Your humble editor had lunch with several of their marketing team and we discussed everything from Hubspot and landing pages, to buyer personas, to calls for action.  EdisonReport has always, and continues to be, quite critical at the lack of sophisticated marketing in our industry, but Hubbell is excluded from that criticism.   I am now privy to, but unable to share, some of their marketing plans, brand and channel strategy and they are quite bold.


Given the breadth of Hubbell’s product offering, it is clear that a large net is cast for M&A opportunities. The recent iDevices acquisition, a story first broken by the EdisonReport, was conducted by Hubbell’s Corporate Growth & Innovation team. We didn’t go in depth on the acquisition but it’s safe to say that Hubbell views this investment as an opportunity to make its entire portfolio of products smarter as it goes forward, which will generate new revenues and differentiate their products. There is genuine excitement about evaluating the breadth of the product line and their ability to add additional “smartness” to their products.


Hubbell Lighting is locked in on customer relationships, improving its operational efficiency and bringing new products to market. The training and development programs are tangible proof it has a plan in place to make this goal a reality. They have transitioned from an electrical lighting company to an electronic lighting company that is pursuing growth in targeted markets and segments that are aligned with its strategies. Stay tuned for news from Hubbell as they elevate their game.


My formal conversations were with the following associates:

  • Tom Benton, VP Brand Management, Marketing and Outdoor Lighting
  • Chris Bailey, VP of Lighting Controls, Hubbell Control Solutions
  • Paul Lewis, VP of Marketing for Outdoor Lighting
  • Mike Armstrong, VP of Marketing
  • Martin Werr, Director of New Product Innovation
  • Rae Gillespie, Engineering Test Laboratory Manager
  • Phillip McCarthy, Testing Manager
  • Rebecca McCall, Director of the Lighting Solutions Center
  • Rhonda Rogers, Director, Marketing Communications
  • Jill Mungovan, Director, Marketing Communications
  • Michael McCullough, Director of Public Relations