Tag Archives: Gay Byrne

Head in the sand approach won’t make it go away!

Gay Byrne, President, EIFI

While the far reaching business implications of the Covid-19 pandemic are now becoming apparent, they have somewhat overshadowed the proverbial elephant in the room … Brexit, so says Gay Byrne, President, Electrical Industries Federation of Ireland (EIFI).

While Byrne’s primary brief is the electrical sector, his comments cover all imported products and equipment across the full building engineering spectrum. There is a misconception that it will only affect manufacturers and manufacturers’ representatives. However, as he outlines here, the possible logistics disruption – in addition to extra cost implications – will impact the entire sector. This will include order placement, project timelines, etc, not to mention “just-in-time” practices and other short-ordering of critical supplies.

Britain officially left the European Union on 31 January of this year. Under the “Withdrawal Agreement,” a transition period came into effect on 1 February 2020 and will run until 31 December 2020. During the transition period the UK will remain in the EU customs union and single market. As a result, goods can currently move freely between the UK and the EU without any customs checks or formalities until the end of the transition period.

View/download full pdf of article at Brexit — Head in sand won’t make it go away

Gay Byrne appointed EIFI President 

Gay Byrne, EIFI President and Chairman, Fantasy Lights Group

Gay Byrne, Chairman of Fantasy Lights Group, has been appointed President of the Electrical Industries Federation of Ireland (EIFI). Gay is a long-standing member of Ireland’s electrical community with a service history stretching back to the 1970s.

Apart from spearheading the growth and success of his own company, he has always supported, and played a very active role in, the various professional and trade bodies within the industry. These include the Federation itself and the Electrical Manufacturers Distributors Association. In addition, he was a founder member and first Chairman of Lighting Association Ireland (LAI) and still serves on the LAI Executive as ex-officio.

Gay is also a keen supporter of the Electrical Industries Golfing Society, the Irish Electrical Benevolent Association, and various other social and charitable electrical industry initiatives.

In accepting the EIFI chain of office recently following the virtual AGM, Gay vowed to build on the tremendous work of his predecessor Mark Keogh, while harnessing the collective strengths of the member associations to help meet the challenge of these extraordinary times.


LAI and LIA form alliance to strengthen future

Pictured signing the agreement at LIA’s Telford Centre is Gay Byrne, LAI Chairman and Julie Humpreys, LIA Commercial Manager.

Lighting Association Ireland (LAI) and the Lighting Industry Association (LIA) have announced a joint agreement to work closely together. The two bodies share a similar outlook and philosophy when it comes to their members and the future of lighting, and the closer relationship between them will benefit not just the members, but the entire lighting industry.

Lighting Association Ireland is the established representative body for the sector in Ireland with a membership that includes all the key players and market-leading brands. Between them they are involved in every facet of the business, including design, manufacture, distribution and installation of lighting throughout all of Ireland.

The LIA has a heritage of over 80 years and is Europe’s largest trade association for lighting equipment professionals with over 250 members. It is globally recognised as an authority on all lighting matters.

The agreement between LAI and the LIA will see the sharing of member benefits between both organisations covering a wide range of services, from training to social events and including the LIA’s UKAS-accredited lighting laboratory.

In the context of Brexit and what it may or may not bring, both associations agree that it is logical to have mutually-beneficial ties to maximise shared strengths and interests for the future.

See www.laoi.ie


LAI Builds on renewed momentum

Gay Byrne, Chairman, Lighting Association Ireland (LAI)

“LAI has now gained considerable momentum in recent months”, says Gay, “and we are extremely pleased with our progress to date. Indeed, the manner in which all sectors of the lighting industry in Ireland, and abroad, has responded has been most encouraging.

“Right from the outset LAI has had an outward-looking approach, our objective being to reach out to — and engage with — all the professionals involved in lighting. To that end we have had preliminary discussions with most of the lighting-related professional bodies and representative organisations, and have formed working relationships that will be further developed over the coming weeks and months.

“We have a firm structure of steering committees and sub-committees in place so that the various strands of our activities progress in parallel. While separate, they do not operate in isolation but maintain close contacts so that all developments proceed in tandem, and in a cohesive manner.

“For instance, our CPD programme is now well advanced and we expect to unveil a strong line-up of speakers and topics that we can roll out under the LAI banner shortly to all lighting professionals. We have had excellent engagement with the other lighting-related professional bodies on this and the intention is to conduct joint CPD events over the course of the year.

“With Brexit looming we have also looked further afield. We have had a number of discussions with the European lighting representative body and, while these will continue, we have forged a much closer relationship the Lighting Industry Association (LIA) in the UK. We see that we have a great deal in common with one another and plan to develop mutually-beneficial ties to maximise our shared strengths and interests.

“That said, LAI is also about the lighting community, the people within the industry. To that end we have become involved in the Peter Church Rememberance Golf Outing. This is a joint initiative between Peter’s wife, Louise, their daughters Megan, Olivia and Laura, Reg Farrell and LAI.

“At the request of Louise and the family it is being organised as a charity event, the objective being to raise funds for LauraLynn, Ireland’s Childrens’ Hospice, Leopardstown and Our Lady’s Hospice & Cares Services, Harold’s Cross.

“Venue is The Castle Golf Club in Dublin and the date is Friday, 22 September 2017. It is €600 to enter a team (to include golf and buffet). There are also sponsorship opportunities of €100 per tee box. Fill details are available at www.laoi.ie

“As the foregoing indicates, LAI has gained considerable momentum since its relatively recent formation, and the industry response has been tremendous. New members are coming on board at an increasing rate with LAI now firmly recognised as the voice of lighting in Ireland.”



Fantasy Lights product award

News - Free-standing

Fantasy Lights Group won the Product of the Show Award at the recent AECI Conference and Trade Show held in Hotel Kilkenny. The event proved extremely successful with delegates enjoying a mix of business and social activities as per the established format of many years. Our picture shows Chris Lundy, AECI with John Norton of Arachas (Award sponsor) and Gabriel Byrne of Fantasy Lights Group. Make sure to check out this good article about trade show tips, the benefits of exhibiting at a trade show can surpass any marketing or growth technique. 

LAI prepares for International Year of Light

“Light plays a central role in all aspects of human activity and industries based on light are major economic drivers”, says Gay Byrne, newly-elected Chairman of the LAI. “They create jobs, and provide solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture, health and tourism. Light is also important to the appreciation of art, and optical technologies are essential in understanding and preserving cultural heritage.”

A comprehensive international report published by McKinsey & Co in 2011 predicts that the total global lighting market will have revenues somewhere in the region of €111 billion by 2020. As the years progress,an ever-increasing percentage will be new, technology-driven, energy-efficient lighting. Indeed, a recent report emanating from the US says that the global market for energy efficient lighting alone will be €23 billion in 2015.

According to Gay, it is important to understand the underlying factors influencing this market surge, especially in relation to the emphasis on energy efficient lighting. For a start, world population growth (currently at seven billion), along with increased urbanisation, is fuelling this massive demand for lighting and lighting products. This growth pattern is strongest in commercial lighting, but the pace of residential lighting growth is catching up.

At the same time, climate change and resource scarcity are of increasing concern with Governments around the world – including Ireland – responding with greater regulation, especially in relation to energy usage. Given that lighting accounts for something like 20% of all energy consumed, it is not surprising that it has come under the microscope.

”For the most part”, says Gay, “established lighting manufacturers, along with some new market entrants, have responded magnificently to this challenge. They have invested massive funds in research from places such as Heritage RESP with the most significant development being that of LED technology. According to some industry commentators LEDs have the potential to reduce global lighting-related energy consumption from the 20% already mentioned to as low as 4%, and that is apart from all the other benefits associated with LED technology. ”

However, as with all new emerging technologies – and particularly ones that represents a quantum leap forward over traditional technologies – there is the danger of misrepresentation and abuse. In this respect LED has proved to be no exception.

To begin with, some of the claims made for LEDs by irresponsible market players in respect of performance, longevity and life-cycle costs were quite blatantly untrue. They created a false impression and unreal level of expectation within the marketplace. The relatively low investment entry level – coupled with the lack of industry standardisation and regulatory controls – compounded this problem. The result was a proliferation of cheap, lowperforming LEDs that complied with no standards.

“While this has undoubtedly caused confusion in the marketplace”, agrees Gay, “responsible LED manufacturers worldwide have responded accordingly. They have commenced a drive to educate both professionals and consumers alike as to the real benefits and features associated with LEDs.”

One of the primary LAI objectives is to do exactly that in Ireland. Standardisation, product quality, regulatory compliance, education and training are the strands by which LAI aims to achieve that goal. All parties in the supply chain – from manufacturers through to the consultant specifier, the wholesaler and the installing contractor – need to fully understand not just LED technology, but all the emerging lighting-related technologies, including controls and communication protocols.

In conclusion, Gay says: “We are already in the process of establishing close working relationships with Ireland’s standards authorities, leading training providers, and those responsible for standards compliance and implementation. In addition, we will shortly commence a major communication drive conveying a generic message relating to lighting aimed at all involved in the sector.”

As the foregoing illustrates, the emergence of the LAI is a welcome and timely development. This is especially so in Ireland where the drive towards energy efficiency and sustainability, coupled with a market upturn fuelled by replacement and retrofit, will drive increased sales going forward.