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Industry News
Get A Grip On Lighting - Ellis Yan Part 3: 3.5 Billion CFLs
September 14, 2020

Ellis Yan is back to finish telling the story of his career, starting back in 1979 as the Chinese government begins to emphasize quality of life for its citizens Ellis was in school to become an accountant and working in a computer lab (this was in the punch-card era of computing, just in case you thought Ellis was ever behind the cutting edge). He tells the story of how he met his wife, made friends with a man called Big Buddha and how he and his brother started a company in 1986, making MR16s when they were still 4 dollars per unit. He explains how he managed to make the right moves in the right places and the right times – selling unpatented, manually-blown spiral CFLs from a factory that took up every piece of land he could buy in Shanghai to Home Depot in the months after California suffered historic blackouts.

Once we caught up to the present we talked about the future of lighting – purpose-built luminaires, becoming more than just a source of light, and more.

He also shares his thoughts about working with family, offers anecdotes about his father’s odd way of offering advice, and some insight into Chinese politics.

Listen to the podcast.

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