6 Sept 2004
Lighting(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 09,2004)
Hardware, Gardening & DIY Products
Health & Body Care Products
A six-light pendant in chrome finish from Mair Product Co features flexible arms
While a good lamp certainly brightens a room, buyers say the aesthetics are just as important as the lumens. In response, Hong Kong manufacturers offer an attractive range of bright fittings that people continue to take a shine to.
Wai Lung Lighting Mfg Ltd, for example, makes chandeliers and lamps for the ceiling, tabletop, floor and wall - many incorporating high quality glass and sporting metallic finishes.
"Our combination of specialised machinery, skilled personnel and stringent quality control ensures our products conform to the highest standards," comments marketing officer Judy Kan.
"We can form the glass used with our fittings into a multitude of shapes without any cracks - something that only a few companies can do. We also produce a wide range of finishes, including various colours, metallic and different types of gilding."
Established in 1980, the company mainly produces on an OEM basis, but also has two own brands: W.L. Lighting for lamps and EPOCH for light bulbs. "Minimalist designs for modern households are presently in vogue," Kan says.
Wai Lung's main markets are Saudi Arabia and Thailand, and it has a client network throughout the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Japan. There are plans to expand sales to the EU and the US.
A monthly capacity of 30,000-50,000 lamps is produced at a 40,000-square-foot, 350-worker factory in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland. Minimum order is one TEU for delivery in 30-45 days.
Wai Lung is ISO 9001-certified, and complies with region-specific requirements such as SASO (the Middle East) and CE (Europe).
Another firm, Mair Product Co, adopts a different approach to lighting aesthetics by manufacturing spotlights providing regular white light illumination and multicoloured prism light effects.
Business manager Calvin Lo explains his patented spotlight with transparent compact glass shield works by reflecting about 90% of the light from the spotlight forward and the rest backward through glass that has been specially coated by a "vacuum plating" process to create the multicoloured effects.
The spotlights come in a range of red, blue, yellow and green colours. "Our main markets are Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and we hope to further widen our product range before making a concerted effort to crack the US market," says Lo.
Given the specialised nature of these multicoloured spotlights, Lo says manufacturing costs are 30-40% higher than for regular spotlights. Minimum orders start at 500 units, although exceptions can be made for new clients.
Production is based in Zhongshan on the Chinese mainland, where Mair has a 15,000-square-foot facility with two production lines manned by 100 workers. Production capacity is about 15 TEUs of goods per month, with lead times of 30-40 days.
A company that has opted for Scandinavian chic for two of its flagship products for the coming year - a halogen desk lamp and an energy-saving desk lamp - is Four Seas Industrial Co Ltd.
"These models have what we call the 'cyber Soho' look, and they are equally at home in offices or domestic settings," says managing director John Leung. "We contracted a Danish designer with a brief to create products suitable for multiple environments."
Established in 1970, Four Seas also produces novelty party lighting to complement its range of domestic lights. The firm can produce up to 100,000 units per month from its 350,000-square-foot factory in Dongguan on the mainland.
The workforce varies from 450-500, and Four Seas can turn around orders in 35-45 days. The bulk of production is earmarked for Europe and the US, and the company has sales channels in the Philippines, Thailand and Japan. Four Seas earned ISO 9001 certification in July 2002, which Leung says has proved useful when pitching to large retailers.
Looking to combine style with durability, Welbo Metal Fty Ltd offers a range of galvanised lanterns in two finishes: physical vapour deposition (PVD) and transparent powder coating.
PVD has a lifetime of more than 1,200 years when subjected to a salt spray test. "PVD is quite a rare technique in this industry, and is very high-end," notes director Bong Lau. "We installed a totally new production system and new machinery to achieve this standard."
The company makes three main styles of lanterns - square, bell and hexagonal, which can be either wall, pendent or post mounted - in a range of colours.
"We target distributors, retailers and importers in the US, Canada and Australia, and plan to start sales to Europe soon," says Lau.
FOB Hong Kong prices range from US$4-15 each for aluminium lanterns with the transparent powder coating finish, to US$6-40 each for brass lanterns with either a powder coating or PVD finish. Minimum orders start from 500 pieces, based on structure design and engineering.
Welbo manufactures at a 70,000-square-metre facility in Dongguan. The firm has 500 workers at its main lighting factory and a further 400 at the plating plant. Orders are typically filled within 60 days, although repeat orders can be completed in 30 days.
These manufacturers of eye-catching lighting designs are typical of the quality and range available from Hong Kong and provide a flash of inspiration for buyers everywhere.
WRITTEN BY EDWARD CHUNG
Capital Profit Industrial Ltd
Flat B, 3/F
Wing Fu Ind Bldg
15-17 Tai Yip St
Kwun Tong, Kowloon
Four Seas Industrial Co Ltd
Unit 4308, Tower II
223 Hing Fong Rd
Kwai Fong, New Territories
Mair Product Co
Lai Sun Yuen Long Centre
27 Wang Yip East St
Yuen Long, New Territories
Wai Lung Lighting Mfg Ltd
6/F, Blk 1
Yau Tong Ind Bldg
2 Shung Shun St
Yau Tong, Kowloon
Welbo Metal Fty Ltd
Unit 02, 5/F, Flat A
Profit Ind Bldg
Kwai Fung St
Kwai Chung, New Territories