Today, Acuity Brands announced that it has agreed to acquire Arize horticultural lighting products from Current Lighting Solutions, LLC, while maintaining a distribution partnership with Texas-based Hort Americas for sales and support of Arize products in North America.
“By adding these high-powered, greenhouse-focused luminaires to our horticulture lighting portfolio, Acuity Brands will be positioned to greatly expand our product offering to the fast-growing controlled environment agriculture market, while taking advantage of our lighting and controls expertise to help growers increase productivity while decreasing energy consumption,” said Tony Gineris, vice president and general manager, industrial and outdoor, Acuity Brands Lighting and Lighting Controls.
Current carrying on with C&I
LEDs Magazine received reader inquiries several months back regarding whether a sale of Current’s CEA portfolio was imminent. When asked at the time, Current representatives declined to confirm an acquisition was already underway or to identify interested parties.
On condition of anonymity, in August a Current representative indicated that continued investment in horticulture would not be part of the company’s long-term strategy, offering this statement: “We will continue to support customers like Hort Americas; however, horticulture will not be a strategic focus for us moving forward. Our focus will be on continued efforts to merge the GE Current, a Daintree company and Hubbell Lighting businesses, systems, and portfolios, offering first-in-class service to our customers with a laser focus in the C&I, roadway, distribution, and specialty channel across luminaires and controls.”
Current’s spokesperson noted that the later summer months represented a new indoor growing season for North American businesses, marking a critical time “to continue to support Hort Americas and all of our customers” while third-party interest in the Arize products was under consideration.
Market hibernates and germinates
Although big names such as ams Osram and Signify have identified the horticultural business as “soft” over the course of several quarterly reports, Canada-based Sollum Technologies has reported several recent horticultural luminaire and controls systems wins.
Meanwhile, Acuity’s acquisition of Arize solutions echoes Signify’s purchase of Fluence when ams Osram decided to exit the finished CEA lighting product sector. Sweden-based Fagerhult Group also recently hit pause on its under-the-radar horticultural lighting business as a result of low profits. Still, Signify had an established market for its Philips-branded grow lights, whereas Acuity is fairly new to the CEA sector, debuting its Verjure brand of full-spectrum horticultural luminaires in early 2022.
The transaction between Current and Acuity is expected to close in January 2024.
CARRIE MEADOWS is editor-in-chief of LEDs Magazine, with 20-plus years’ experience in business-to-business publishing across technology markets including solid-state technology manufacturing, fiberoptic communications, machine vision, lasers and photonics, and LEDs and lighting.