Tariffs Impact Lighting Costs

May 31, 2019 in Luminaires

We have been hearing from contractors that many fixture manufacturers, including Acuity Brands, Hubbell Lighting and Eaton, are being forced to raise prices because of the recent tariff increase on Chinese goods.  

The tariff on lighting components and fixtures was 10%.  However, on May 10th the tariff was raised to 25%.  The 15% tariff increase is too much for manufacturers to absorb so they, and ECs, consider this a Force Majeure event (unforeseeable circumstances that prevent someone from fulfilling a contract).  By invoking Force Majeure they are voiding previous pricing and are issuing new quotes showing the cost increases.  

This doesn’t mean that all fixture prices are going to increase by 15%.  The amount of Chinese made components varies by manufacturer and fixture line.  More Chinese components will mean a higher cost increase.  To us this means that until the tariff and trade situation with China settles down lighting designers would do well to keep their clients informed of the varying impact on fixture costs and therefore fixture budgets.