1 April 2003
Lighting(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 04,2003)
Contemporary angled desk lamps from K Plus K Electrical Mfy Co Ltd feature a silver-grey finish and an extra-long arm
In the realm of home accessories, indoor lighting is the most flexible and mood-enhancing of all fixtures and fittings, capable of changing the ambience of a room at the flick of a switch or the turn of a button. Spoiling consumers for choice, Hong Kong manufacturers agree that nothing beats the classic look when it comes to selecting styles that fit neatly into any home.
Echoing that sentiment is lighting and decorative products company Xantec Lighting Ltd, which produces a full range of fixture, portable and outdoor lighting. The output from the company's 1,200-worker, 20,000-square-metre factory in Zhongshan, Guangdong Province on the Chinese mainland can fill 120 FEUs a month.
"Customers like the classic look, but demand is now for price-conscious materials," says sales and marketing manager Vivian Chang. "The trend is for polyresin, as tooling costs are cheaper than for metal, and product development time is shorter." She says Xantec sources its polyresin and aluminium on the mainland.
The company's product prices reflect its variety of designs. "Prices range from around US$3 for a simple shade lamp to more than US$60 for one of our hotel-type chandeliers," says Chang.
Canada and the US take some 60% of Xantec's business and other markets include South Africa and the Middle East. "We are also looking closely at the European market," Chang notes. She says the minimum order is 500 pieces for delivery about 30 days after confirmation.
Another Hong Kong company keen on classics is lighting, crystal and metal-plated gifts producer G & M Co Ltd. "We expanded into lighting five years ago in response to customer requests for European-style lamps," explains managing director Willis Lee.
Xantec Lighting Ltd adds a funky vintage edge to this selection of table lamps from its extensive catalogue
The move was farsighted as G & M now supplies more than 70% of its lights to the demanding European market. "We produce a range of more than 50 crystal and metal lighting styles," adds Lee. "Good crystal is a favourite and customers are still attracted to classic styles. Crystal lamps in 14 karat and 18 karat plating are our most popular, while our table lamps are particularly popular because of their flexibility - they also make great gifts."
To keep abreast of emerging European trends, G & M has a designer in Germany and is now moving towards establishing its own brand. "We are also looking at more modern lighting to fit changing lifestyles," says Lee.
Production takes place at a factory in Foshan, which sources iron and stainless steel from Japan, zinc alloy from Australia, and crystal, glass and porcelain from the mainland. The company has no minimum order requirement and delivery time is 30 days.
While indoor lighting is highly popular, the market is crowded, says Ken Ip, director of Pumy Industrial Ltd. As such, Pumy took a strategic decision to specialise in garden and festive lighting, which keeps the 11-year-old company's 800 workers busy all year round at its 230,000-square-foot factory in Panyu on the mainland.
Supported by magazine advertising and the Internet, Pumy's products are selling very well in the US and Europe, which account for 45% and 35% respectively of its lighting business.
Ip says there is growing demand for garden lighting from its customers, which include the UK homecare giant, B&Q. "Our popular garden lights come in a variety of materials, including metal, plastic, natural rock and polyresin," Ip says. "Polyresin is popular as it is cheaper and easier to maintain, while lights in natural rock are a favourite, although the cost is higher. Also, a current trend, especially in the US and Europe, is for lighting designs in animal shapes."
The company is also looking at the domestic mainland market. "A number of our customers have established operations on the mainland and are looking for suppliers," says Ip. "We are also ready to start our own brand as our department store clients have requested this." Pumy's minimum order is 500 pieces and delivery is 45 days after confirmation.
A manufacturer of lighting fixtures, transformers, electronic products and novelty items, E & K (HK) Ltd also focuses on the US and European markets, with the US accounting for 60% of its business.
Some 900 workers at the company's 300,000-square-foot factory in Dongguan on the mainland produce 500 lighting choices, including table, floor, ceiling, clip-on, halogen desk, wall and track lights, as well as imaginative novelty lamps.
Sales manager Eric Chung reiterates that classic lighting styles have kept their appeal but notes a trend in occasion lighting. "People in Europe and the US are looking for special, unique lighting, such as home disco lights, which are now very popular," he says.
The company has a range of flashing, rotating and strobe lights to suit any party size or mood. Fashionable colours are equally festive. "Shiny colours, red, purple and striped effects are popular," adds Chung.
The company offers a one-stop-shop service from design to standards compliance testing and most of its products come with TUV, UL, cUL, ETL, cETL and CE approvals or safety standards. It can undertake large orders and has a minimum order requirement of 1,000 pieces. Delivery time is 35 days.
WRITTEN BY SANDRA JENNER
K Plus K Electrical Mfy Co Ltd
Unit 2, 12/F, Blk B
New Trade Plaza
6 On Ping St
Sha Tin, New Territories
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Xantec Lighting Ltd
Unit D, 19/F
Capital Trade Centre
62 Tsun Yip St, Kwun Tong
Kowloon, Hong Kong
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