30 Oct 2008
Bright Topics(HKTDC Lighting, Vol 01,2008)
Everyone loves a party, and that means lots of fun, food and frolics. At the same time, the very best parties can be even brighter and more cheerful with the addition of lighting from Hong Kong manufacturers such as Maxley Enterprise (HK) Ltd.
"Our Hong Kong office has been accepting orders since 2007, but our factory on the Chinese mainland has actually been in the illumination products sector since 1996," informs Marketing Executive Nico Wong.
"The original products were very basic, comprising simple chains of bulbs to adorn Christmas trees or to be placed around a window," she adds. "We also did straightforward net and icicle or rope lights that are used to decorate tall buildings."
Today, the industry has changed. "Once, it was enough if lights flashed on and off," says Ms Wong. "Now, there is a lot more sophistication. For example, a 'snowing' feature is popular, as are lights that allow the speed of the 'snowfall' to be regulated."
With many lighting models being used in the home, safety is an obvious concern. "Before we accept any orders from a new territory or country, we take a very close look at the relevant safety regulations," Ms Wong assures. "Obviously, we do this on a global basis if we have a completely new product. However, given that submitting lights for certification tests is a costly exercise, the market potential has to be weighed beforehand."
In general, products supplied by Maxley are RoHS- compliant and may be certified to BS, ED, GS/TUV, KEMA, NF, SAA and UL standards depending on the destination.
The company produces dedicated lighting products for Christmas, St Valentine's Day and Halloween. "Of course, we can produce to order as well and all the customer needs to do is to submit the design requirements and we will do the rest," Ms Wong advises.
Nonetheless, most of Maxley's best-selling lighting products are ODM. "As for the motifs, clients do send us artwork for us to produce. We can also make gift boxes of lights," she adds.
"Our main lines are curtain lights, icicle lights and net lights. We also do belt lights for outdoor use, with cables that are especially treated to handle adverse weather conditions and fully waterproof tested to European standards," Ms Wong says.
Motif lights from Maxley come in a variety of series. "We have animals, butterflies, trees, and people on bikes, and all are proving very popular," Ms Wong says. "The flexibility in shape is due to the emergence of the LED, which is also brilliant and very attractive."
The firm's LEDs are made under contract. "We have patented designs to protect our interests and stop copying," Ms Wong says. "This is also a reason why our prices are in the medium-to-high range, because we offer exclusive arrangements."
Maxley also seeks to provide lighting products at competitive prices, but without compromise. "We totally rely on quality, timely deliveries and providing the market with new products each season," Ms Wong claims.
"Also, we always take care to develop good relations with clients as we find this a crucial factor for continuing business."
For the future, Maxley intends to create new display functions that do more than simply change shape and colour. "To go beyond the competition in the lighting market we have our own R&D department," Ms Wong reveals. "We use foreign and local product designers to come up with creative and innovative products."
Major markets are the UK, France and Germany. "All of these markets have similar safety and certification requirements as part of the EU," says Ms Wong. "Our lighting products also sell well elsewhere in Europe, North America, Australia and Japan."
The company has thus far not implemented plans to enter the US market. "Economic conditions are variable there, and the timing may not be quite right for us," Ms Wong feels. "UL certification is also expensive to obtain. But, if a suitable window of opportunity opens we will be ready to move."
Maxley Enterprise (HK) Ltd and international buyers of cheerful lighting systems certainly appear to have a bright future.
TEXT BY TONY HENDERSON