6 March 2008
Illuminating Ideas(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 03,2008)
|John Mfg Ltd's cordless rechargeable ultra-bright halogen lantern is perfect for outdoor or emergency use|
Hong Kong manufacturers are keen to ensure their lighting products are modern, functional, stylish and environmentally friendly
Variety is the spice of life at Crestand Co Ltd, which offers a range of indoor lighting options that sell mainly to importers, DIY stores and department stores in Europe and Australia.
"We have table lamps, floor lamps, ceiling lights, spotlights and pendants made from metal, glass, wood or plastic," says Director Tackson Tsun. "Their FOB Hong Kong unit prices range from just a few US dollars to more than US$100."
Mr Tsun points out that offering such a broad range of products is not simple. "We have to be very strong in product development and quality control, and draw on our advanced technological and engineering know-how," he stresses.
Innovating products in line with global demand for energy-saving designs tends to lead the way at Crestand, and the firm's latest table and desk lamp series form perfect examples.
"These contemporary lamps, coming with adjustable and multi-directional arms or heads, are not only decorative but also energy-saving," Mr Tsun states. "They include a fluorescent table lamp that is big enough to suit an office environment, as well as a smaller LED desk lamp that is just the right size for reading at home."
Among the vast range of lighting products and accessories offered by veteran John Mfg Ltd, spotlights, multifunction torches and emergency lights are staples.
Sales manager Susan Chan says the company has always thrived on new and original designs ever since its establishment in 1965. "Our product development team creates at least one new item each month," she asserts. "In the past few years, our major direction has been the development of multifunction products and lighting designs that meet the call for saving energy and reducing pollution."
She says that the firm's approach is exemplified by one of its latest designs that is already well received in such major markets as the US and Canada.
"This battery-operated spotlight, model 2926, is equipped with a 1W Luxeon LED that is super-bright but which consumes very little energy," Ms Chan describes. "The unit also incorporates functional features including an emergency blinker, a tube lamp, a whistle and a compass, all of which make it perfect for outdoor activities."
Besides providing OEM and ODM services, John Mfg also offers creations under a number of its own brands. "Johnlite is our well-recognised corporate brand, and we have a few more that identify different product lines," says Ms Chan. "Johnco is for premiums, Kingbright for rechargeable emergency lights, and Parly Tools for toolbox lanterns."
Ms Chan notes that high quality, prompt delivery and patented designs have won applause for John Mfg from a broad, well-established customer base. "Most recently," she adds, "we have gained more business in relatively new markets such as the Middle East and South America, where our business is growing fast."
Elsewhere, the metal table lamps and floor-standing lamps produced by Charter Hero Enterprises Ltd are finding their way to destinations in Europe, Japan, and North and South America.
Targeting the low-end to the mid-market segment, prices for the firm's table lamps average US$6-7 per piece FOB Hong Kong. Floor-standing lamps, meanwhile, average US$12-13 per piece.
"In addition to manufacturing according to customers' specifications and helping them to develop their ideas, we offer tailor-made designs," says Charter Hero Director Francis Lau. "We also have our own in-house collections."
He reveals that European buyers prefer simple and understated designs, while buyers in North America seek fancy or intricate products with more colour and detail. "This suits us as we have products that will appeal to both ends," says Mr Lau.
For Europe, for example, he points to a chrome-plated table and floor lamp series with a sleek and modern silhouette that is complemented by a plate-shaped shade and an energy-saving PL lamp.
"With environmental concerns becoming more important in the consumer market, we are designing items that incorporate energy-efficient technologies such as the LED," notes Mr Lau.
Design is also the niche of another manufacturer, Bioland Technology Ltd, which ships its table lamp and floor lamp series to the US, Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
Sales Supervisor Carmen Lee says that it is important to design and offer different styles to suit the preferences of customers from different parts of the world.
"Our US buyers, for example, find our Wild-Life Lamp series very appealing. They are polyresin lamps that depict animals and nature quite vividly," she advises. "On the other hand, our European customers prefer designs with a more luxurious look, while buyers from the Middle East and Asia tend to go for classic designs."
According to Ms Lee, the firm's Designer Art Bronze Table Lamp series is among hot picks for its continental European buyers. The range features bronze-coated table lamps with vase-style bases, enhanced with hollow-carved artistic floral motifs or clouds and lotus blossoms.
"This design reveals our craftsmanship," she states. "Every lamp base is handcrafted from wood by our skilled workers and so each one is unique."
Besides manufacturing for branded customers, Bioland Technology also sells to exporters and retailers under its own Cupid brand.
Hong Kong manufacturers of lighting products are clearly focused on a bright future and ready to switch their talents to producing in accordance with world demand.
TEXT BY WINNIE HUI
Year Established: 1998
Year Established: 1997
Ching Che Enterprises Co Ltd
Year Established: 1985
Year Established: 1988
Year Established: 1965
Year Established: 1995