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Light The Way Above And Below The Boat

Light The Way Above And Below The Boat

Based in Helensvale on Queensland’s Gold Coast, Aqualuma has been in the lighting business since 2005, quickly establishing itself as a leader in the marine LED lighting market.

The company’s success in this sphere has led to it exporting its products for motor yachts, superyachts, sportsfishers, and marinas to 56 countries around the world; and in 2019, launching the GEN 5 range of underwater lights.

During the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) 11 years ago, however, Aqualuma’s co-founding directors, brothers Carl and Grant Amor, saw the need to expand the company’s reach and focus, as sales for luxury goods such as boats sank. “When the GFC hit, nobody was buying boats,” Carl Amor said. “They certainly didn’t need lights for the boats they weren’t buying. So, we looked at what else we could do, how we could move forward with another product.”

In 2011, the Amors saw the potential of moving forward producing high bay lights for warehouses, factories and other industrial and commercial operations, and spent 18 months developing their first light in this area. Carl said it was initially a challenge to get the word out that Aqualuma was more than just a marine lighting company. “Name-change was one of the things that was brought up. But when we got KPMG to do a study on Aqualuma, they came back to us and said, ‘Don’t change your name. You’ve got a fantastic name around the world, and changing the name would be a mistake.’ So one of the challenges was convincing people that Aqualuma doesn’t just focus on underwater lighting anymore,” Carl said.

However, this challenge was overcome soon enough. Carl said the company’s wealth of experience in the marine lighting sector gave Aqualuma an edge over its competitors, and eased the difficulties of moving into producing Australian-made LED high bay lighting solutions. “We were coming from building lights for the world’s harshest environment,” Carl explained. “We have kept that mentality going as a high bays manufacturer; our lights are water-proof, dust-proof and corrosion- proof. They can be hung outside, or even hung next to a saltwater environment.”

For Aqualuma, success in the commercial and industrial LED market meant aspiring to be the best in the field from the very beginning. With now nine years in the commercial lighting market, Aqualuma now exports to Europe, New Zealand, Canada, the US, Taiwan and Hong Kong. The company is also top-listed in the Design Light Consortium (DLC) in the US.

According to Carl, staying competitive as an Australian manufacturer is a challenge that Aqualuma is well equipped for. A slim, lean company, with 19 staff in total, all Aqualuma’s design work is carried out in- house. Most of its manufacturing processes are carried out at its Helensvale site, with some components subcontracted to other Australian companies. Its die-casting work, for instance, is carried out by Melbourne-based company, and plastic components in Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast.

Carl said maintaining flexibility, diversity and quality in its product range was key to Aqualuma’s success. “One of the things we have had to do is make sure we are the best, because we can’t be the cheapest,” he said. “It’s about quality. We offer free lighting plans to anybody who wants to put our lights into their facility. We do the lighting plan, we give recommendations, and we try to use the minimum number of lights for each facility to minimise power consumption. We also have a wide range of products, from movement sensor lights to aisle optics, petrol station lights and food-grade lights for food preparation areas.”

www.aqualuma.com

 

Published in the Jan-Mar 2020 edition.

 

 

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