Business

Big Ass Fans changes its name, but not that part

Big Ass CEO Carey Smith, right, spoke with team leader Jared Shields along the company's new Big Ass High Bay LED light fixture assembly line in Lexington. The new division was launched early this month.
Big Ass CEO Carey Smith, right, spoke with team leader Jared Shields along the company's new Big Ass High Bay LED light fixture assembly line in Lexington. The new division was launched early this month. Photo courtesy of Big Ass Solutions

Big Ass Fans has changed its name. No, not that part.

The Lexington company, known for its high-volume, low-speed fans for industrial, agricultural and residential use, has added a lighting division and is now known as Big Ass Solutions.

The new company includes Big Ass Fans and Big Ass Light.

Big Ass CEO Carey Smith said the company heard from its customers that lighting is a major concern.

About 18 months ago, Smith said, "We decided we were going to pursue that."

The company added staff to develop the product and has started a 25-person shift to produce the lighting products. Earlier this month, the company introduced its Big Ass High Bay LED, a light fixture designed for industrial and commercial spaces.

Because the lighting production "is going very well," Smith said, a second shift is planned.

Smith called the lighting "the most efficient and best-made light that is available for the market."

"We are talking to our customers all the time in the United States and 125 foreign countries," Smith said. "A lot of what we do and can foresee doing involves solutions and working on or solving various problems."

Hence Big Ass Solutions, a long-term name for an expanding product base. Will there be further expansion?

"Oh, I'm sure there will be," Smith said. "A big part of what we do is product development and research."

Founded in 1999, the privately held company says it has consistently seen growth rates at or above 30 percent and has increased its work force by an average of 36 percent annually from 2009 to 2013. The company said it ended last year with 481 employees.

Big Ass Fans' donkey-themed mural, which plays on its name, remains on the company's former office at Winchester Road and Delaware Avenue. In 2003, then-Councilman David Stevens put the company in the spotlight when he objected to the mural, calling it "uncouth behavior and not desirable in a civilized society."

The company has often poked good-natured fun at those who scoff at its slightly naughty name. In 2012, it produced an online video in which it recounted feedback the company had received from those who objected to the name.

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