For professionals specialized in sourcing furniture and home decor accessories, things can get pretty complicated when asked to source for lighting.
Once upon a time, when internet was considered a novelty, furniture and accessories wholesalers would be asked by their customers “to add in some lighting too” for a particular order. Those who didn’t have a stable supplier would in turn ask the main vendor of that order for help (who could have been a supplier of sofa, tables, chairs, you name it..).
This was the most convenient way to get those “add-on” orders when the internet was not as popular and capable, the downsides were obvious: miscommunication of requirement and specifications, difficulties in performing quality controls and, of course, the increase in costs of the order due to markups.
This is might still be the case for some, especially for restaurants or other project orders, in which a small batch of lightings are needed. To make things more “complicated”, customers would usually demand that the lightings must go well in style and colors with the furniture.
To start with, sourcing guys relatively new in the lighting sector could definitely look around several large-scale exhibitions in Greater China dedicated to the lighting supplies.
My first recommendation would certainly be Hong Kong International Lighting Fair , with editions in both April and October each year. Almost all sorts of lighting supplies could be found at the fair. The exhibitors come from different countries and regions in the world. But, this goes without saying, if for example one is looking for lighting fixtures for household only, he or she might need to go through a lot of irrelevant exhibits first, as the fair has a relatively large percentage of booths showing light sources and commercial lighting equipment. Also, it’s worth to mention that there are quite a percentage of traders that are not direct factories.
Second one worth visiting is the Guangzhou International Lighting Fair each June Again this fair also showcases various supplies in the lighting industry, yet with more exhibitors from mainland China by proportion.
The third show is China (Guzhen) International Lighting Fair, which is hosted each October in “the town of Lighting”. The only drawback would probably be the lack of diversity in exhibits, and again the very low percentage of household lighting fixtures on display.
There is of course the mighty Canton Fair each April and October as well (in Guangzhou, China), with halls dedicated to the lighting sector as well.
With the advancement of the Internet, professional buyers looking for lighting could actually make use of certain B2B or even B2C websites. B2B websites would be more flexible and reliable in a sense of course. Nowadays there are B2B platforms that allow professional buyers or retailers to be in direct contact with factories, reducing the chances of miscommunication, and at the same time reducing cost and effort.