Trade Resources Trade Tips Lights & Lighting Manufacturers in China: A Complete Guide

Lights & Lighting Manufacturers in China: A Complete Guide

The global lighting industry is becoming increasingly diverse with the rise of LED technology and the gradual fall of incandescent lighting.

Part of the steep rise in LED demand is due to the automotive industry, with the global automotive LED market expected to worth a staggering $57 billion in 2025.

But whilst Chinese lighting manufacturers have certainly benefitted from the increase in demand for lighting within the car industry, they do not depend on it.

In fact, the overall lighting industry in China has been showing an incredible 22.42% year-on-year growth, which outstrips many of its other well-known industries including textiles. Which illustrates that, by diversifying their specialisms, China has become a leading source of lighting products. 

Therefore, now is a great time to get involved in the Chinese lighting industry by sourcing your lights from Chinese suppliers. But where do you start? And how do you find the best suppliers to work with in China?

Decide on the Type of Lighting Product

The first decision you have to make, long before you start your research on Chinese manufacturers, is what type of lighting product you want to go for.

LEDs are progressively becoming the standard choice for entrepreneurs thanks to their reduced energy usage and favorable longevity compared to their incandescent counterparts.

Last year, LEDs accounted for 70% of China’s overall lighting market sales. This reflects an overall growing global trend for LEDs, which has seen this new style of light increasing its global market share from 5% to more than 40% over the last 6 years.

Therefore, it’s highly likely that you will be looking to work with a Chinese manufacturer on LED-based lighting products.

However, you may have different requirements such as ultraviolet lights, fluorescent lights, or infrared lights. These should present no problem, since you’ll have no issues finding a Chinese supplier that provides the type of lighting product you’re looking for.

Why You Should Work with Chinese Manufacturers

Many of you will be looked at the minimum order quantities and be wondering if I can skip the manufacturing process and work with Chinese wholesalers instead to get more products in  smaller quantities.

This isn’t a good idea. Particularly if you’re a buyer from Europe, The United States of America or Australia.

As the buyer, you are legally required to make sure that the products you import are compliant with the regulations in your home country (such as these requirements for EU countries).

If you import non-compliant products it counts as breaking the law and you could find yourself in serious trouble with your local authorities, not to mention you’ll also have your purchased products confiscated by border officials, losing all of your money. 

So how does that relate to Chinese wholesalers of lighting products?

Basically speaking, it relates to their main markets of operation, in other words, Chinese wholesalers tend to trade lighting products made for domestic purposes.

Since compliance to much stricter western technical regulations requires a lot of investment, wholesalers tend to sell products intended for use within China. Therefore, the products they stock are not compliant with US, EU or Australian regulations.

As the importer, you take full responsibility for what you bring into your home country. Therefore, do not take the risk of working with Chinese wholesalers and work directly with manufactures who develop products that are are 100% compliant in your home market.

Begin the Research of Chinese Lighting Manufacturers

Once you’ve decided which type of lighting product you are wanting to find, you must then make a start on your research.

Firstly, you will have probably already noticed that most reputable Chinese lighting suppliers residing in the so-called “electronics belt” of Guangdong province.

The cities of Zhongshan and Shenzhen have particular expertises in lighting. However, there are many great suppliers who don’t base themselves in this region, so don’t rule a supplier out solely based on their location.

One of the best ways to meet Chinese lighting manufacturers is online.

There are several methods you could use to approach them. The recommended option is to use specialist online B2B e-commerce platforms such as, who use their expertise to match global buyers with Chinese suppliers.

But of course that isn’t the only place you can find Chinese lighting suppliers, you can use social media sites such as LinkedIn to post sourcing requests within specialist groups. You could also use Facebook to a similar effect too.

Meet Your Chinese Suppliers Face-to-Face If Possible

Just like with any business relationship, it helps to cement a good bond between both parties if you can meet face-to-face before agreeing to work with each other.

Since China is a far-flung destination for many global buyers, it’s sometimes a good idea to try and meet several suppliers at the same time to lower costs. One of the best ways to achieve this outcome is by attending a trade show.

Probably the best Chinese trade show to attend with regards to lighting products is the Guangzhou International Lighting Exhibition, which draws in hundreds of thousands of buyers from all over the world, all aiming to meet with Chinese lighting product suppliers.

Taking place in Guangzhou, this is a great way for buyers to meet several different suppliers within the “electronics belt” simultaneously.

Secondly, if initial meetings go well, you can arrange to visit their factories whilst you are over there to ensure the assembly lines and quality control are of a standard that you’re happy with.

If you can’t attend in person, you can still arrange face-to-face virtual meetings with key suppliers using Smart Expo technology.

This ground-breaking innovation allows you, as the buyer, to video chat with key suppliers and arrange high quality free samples without actually attending the show yourself. 

What to Look for in Your Chosen Chinese Lighting Manufacturer?

Since lighting products are quite technical, you need to have several criteria in mind when choosing a Chinese manufacturer to work with.


Components refer to the little individual parts that make up your lighting product. From the microchips that operate the light, to LED casings, the quality of your components define the overall quality of your product.

Whilst Chinese lighting manufacturers assemble their products, most of them do not create the components themselves. They purchase their components from other Chinese suppliers, or in some cases from abroad.

Therefore, before you work with anyone at all, you need to decide what quality level of components you want in your products, that way you can narrow down your list of possible suppliers much faster based on which components they use.

Also look for product guarantees which will help you in the case of failure of a product. If a product is guaranteed for 3-5 years then it’s likely to made of premium-grade components.


As previously mentioned, compliance is extremely important in the lighting industry. Without compliant products you could face serious consequences, such as confiscated items, and in the worst case scenario, a prison sentence.

Therefore, it is crucial you check, and re-check, each potential Chinese supplier’s compliance to international standards.

Compliance standards are different in every country, so it’s important that you do your own research on what’s required. But some of the more widely used certifications are listed below:


As a  proportion of Chinese lighting manufacturers only work to domestic certifications, this should help you narrow down your list even more.

Quality Management System (QMS)

Chinese lighting products are made on an assembly line in bulk, which is partially why the minimum order quantities are so high.

But it also means that quality control and quality management systems (QMSs) need to in place to make sure that you don’t receive a batch of faulty lighting.

When looking for your chosen Chinese lighting manufacturer, make sure that they have an internally recognized QMS such as ISO 9001. The latest version of this certification is ISO 9001:2015, but ISO 9001:2008 will suffice.

These management systems ensure components are accurately tested before assembly, and guarantees that your lighting products will go through rigorous testing before leaving the factory.

This is crucial in the lighting industry because so many possible faults are undetectable to the naked eye.

Audited Suppliers

Closely linked to a quality management system is the necessity for your preferred supplier to be a fully audited supplier.

What does this mean?

It means that the company you are working with has all of the necessary documentation to provide the product to your country. There’s no point having a Chinese manufacturer that has passed all of your other criteria, only to find out they don’t even have an export license to your country!

Audited suppliers have all of their documentation reviewed by independent bodies such as SGS, their factories are inspected for quality and working conditions, and pictures are taken of all the crucial aspects of each factory.

This gives you peace of mind as the buyer that you won’t run into any administration snags in getting your lighting products from China to your home country, and that the processes within the factory are of an international quality.

Decide Which Manufacturing Method to Use (OEM vs ODM)

Once you have thoroughly vetted your list of preferred Chinese lighting suppliers and you only have a few left, it’s time to order some products.

But before you do, you need to take the time to think about which manufacturing method to use.

You can either opt for Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM) or Original Design Manufacturing (ODM).

With OEM, you provide the designs and the specifications and you essentially just outsource the manufacturing of your existing product idea.

Whereas ODM gives you the opportunity to purchase products that the original manufacturer has researched, designed and produced themselves.

These products are also usually manufactured in a way that they can be customized post-production. For instance, there’s usually space to add your own brand’s logo so that you can make the product your own.

Given the complexity of the lighting industry and its strict regulation, it may be wise to opt for an ODM product that is already built to your specifications and already has a track record of selling within your own territory.

This will greatly reduce your time-to-market and help you get ahead of competitors who are still working their way through the design phase.

Lighting Manufacturers in China

Whilst there are hundreds, if not thousands, of potential Chinese manufacturers you could decide to work with, it is useful to point you in the direction of reputable suppliers who can help you with your products.

One such supplier is Golon Manufacturing Co., Ltd., who are based in Shenzhen, the lighting capital of China.

They offer a wide range of outdoor and indoor lighting products including: LED sport lights, LED street lights, and industrial LED lights (including canopy lights).

What’s more, they are fully-audited, have one the highest ISO 9001 accreditations in the world (QSR), and they offer both OEM and ODM products.

Or if you are targeting more of the domestic interior market, why not check out Zhongshan Guangtong Lighting Technology Co., Ltd. Based in the famous light-making city of Zhongshan, they also have ISO 9001 in place, and export their products to over 20 countries.

Their specialisms lay within LED bulbs, LED panel lights and LED down lights which are available on both an OEM and ODM basis.

You can view a list of thousands of reliable Chinese lighting manufacturers here.


So there you have it, a complete guide to sourcing lights and lighting products from Chinese manufacturers.

Whilst this market is heavily regulated internationally, lighting products present unique business opportunities for those of you willing to put the necessary work in to develop a market-leading product.

Remember to start by carrying out through research online before ideally making face-to-face visits to ensure you’re happy with the factory.

Spend the most time making sure your chosen Chinese supplier has all of the necessary documentation, quality management systems, and compliance certifications. Finally, do a check to make sure they use components that you’re happy with.

Once you’ve got all of those items in place, you are in a great position to start your journey with your new Chinese-manufactured lighting product!

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Topics: Lighting