1970s: The Start

Founded in 1976 in Greater Cincinnati by entrepreneur, Robert Ready, LSI Industries began as a lighting supplier to the petroleum industry. As Americans began adapting to the self-service model of refueling their vehicles, Mr. Ready noticed that many of the gas stations in those early years were either poorly lit, or completely unlit – impacting their owners’ ability to operate safely at night and grow their businesses. With a vision, a small shop and a plan, Mr. Ready set out to change all of that. In the the process, he created a one of the most respected and recognized lighting companies in America.

1980s: The Early Years

Throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s, LSI experienced significant growth. To inject additional capital into the business, the company was taken public and began trading on the NASDAQ national market in 1985 under the ticker symbol LYTS. It was during the 1980s that LSI expanded its business to include a variety of landscaping, commercial and industrial indoor lighting solutions, as well as pole manufacturing. During this period, the company also began manufacturing graphics and signage solutions. It was a novel business concept, and it allowed the company to differentiate itself in the marketplace and deliver additional value to its customers.

1990s: Expansion

Throughout the 1990s, LSI continued to grow exponentially, both organically and through acquisitions. It was during this decade that the company revolutionized the petroleum industry when it introduced its first Scottsdale canopy fixture. The Scottsdale quickly became the gold standard within the petroleum industry, as well as LSI’s best selling lighting product at the time. The decade also saw LSI begin to manufacture drive-thru menu boards and offer retail lighting and graphics solutions on a large scale.

2000s: Collaboration

The new century ushered in a number of important changes at LSI. During this time period, the company consolidated all of its business units and began offering comprehensive project management services to customers all across America. The biggest change, however, took place early in the decade when LSI moved away from bulb and lamp technology and began manufacturing high-performance, highly energy-efficient LED lighting solutions. In addition, the company began producing many of its own LED circuit boards and offering an array of wireless lighting control solutions when it bought ADL Technologies in 2009.

2010s: Continued growth

LSI stayed on its path of development and expansion in the lighting industry by acquiring Atlas Lighting Products in 2017. The following year LSI named James A. Clark as President and CEO and refocused on its vertical market strategy. LSI earned $100 million in new business from one of America’s leading QSR chains. The project included manufacturing, program management and post-sales support in a major win for LSI. During this period LSI reduced debt from $40 million to zero positioning it for future growth.

2020s: Fast Forward

Despite the headwinds associated with the COVID-19 pandemic LSI continued to move in the direction of long-term growth. The company acquired JSI Store Fixtures in 2021 adding to its offerings in the grocery, convenience store and retail markets. LSI launched 40+ new or enhanced lighting products in 2021 and has continued that innovation pace each year since. A leader in outdoor sports lighting LSI became the official lighting partner of the USA Pickleball Association. Following its vertical market approach LSI reached $497 million in revenue in 2023 and introduced its Fast Forward plan for continued growth. The Fast Forward plan includes a robust product development process, elevating the Professional Services business and driving sustainability efforts through eco-friendly ideas.