5 Oct 2005
Lighting(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 10,2005)
The Scribble Wire pendant lamp from RHJ Int'l Ltd is a typical example. According to managing director Richard Lam, this handmade lamp made of lengths of twisted and bent aluminium wire packed into the shape of a ball is selling like hot cakes.
The ISO 9001-certified company also has pendant lamps in several hundred contemporary styles, made with materials that range from glass and plastic beads to wicker and acrylic. Unit prices range from US$3-20 FOB Yantian on the mainland.
Pendant lamps account for 80% of the OEM/ODM company's monthly output of 50,000 lighting products. Other items include lampshades made of silk, cotton and paper or beaded styles, as well as table and floor lamps. Among the materials used are metal, polyresin, wood and ceramics.
Minimum order is one TEU, with shipments normally sent out 40 days after order confirmation to markets in Europe, Japan and the US. "Delivery depends on the size of the order," notes Lam, who says the 21-year-old firm plans to expand its product range to include electric chandeliers. "We are always developing new items," he claims.
Meanwhile, delicate rice paper lanterns are prized additions in any trendy home - and Ching Che Enterprises Co Ltd has specialised in these traditional Asian products since commencing business in 1992.
The firm makes traditional square, rectangular and round ceiling, table and floor lanterns using rice paper imported from Taiwan and Japan.
Strong, foldable and resistant to tearing, the rice paper is moulded into a variety of shapes using metal wire or bamboo frames. The paper can also be treated to become fire-retardant, and is UL and CE-approved.
In recent years, Ching Che has gone beyond basic shapes to produce artistic, twisted shapes that evoke movement, says director David Chan, adding, "We want to create different looks." However, lanterns in basic white still sell best - although the company offers a choice of more than 30 colours.
Ching Che manufactures both electric- and battery-operated lanterns at unit prices ranging from US$0.50-4.00 FOB Hong Kong. The battery-powered models have an LED and operate on three AAA batteries. "We introduced battery-powered lanterns two years ago, and they've since become very popular," Chan says.
The mainly OEM firm produces about 100,000 paper lanterns per month and exports to Europe, the US and Canada. Minimum order is 5,000 pieces, and delivery time after order confirmation is 30-45 days.
On the other hand, top fluorescent lighting specialist Luen Yick Electrical Mfg Co Ltd manufactures 100,000 lighting fixtures and 150,000 electrical accessories per month at its 188,000-square-foot factory in Huizhou on the Chinese mainland. The company's energy-saving fluorescent lights are used to light cabinets, shelves, shop displays, pictures and mirrors.
European styling and materials such as brass, stainless steel, plastic, glass and aluminium add contemporary flair to products that feature medium- to high-end prices and quality. Minimum order is 500 pieces and delivery time is 45-50 days after order confirmation.
A market leader in its field, the 37-year-old firm maintains an 80-member R&D department that turns out about 10-12 innovative products per year. One of the newest is a T2 fixture that features a 7mm diameter bulb. "It's a very slim bulb," says managing director Joe Kan, "and the fixture is useful in a limited space." Another product he mentions is a sensor-activated light for closets/wardrobes.
Luen Yick's R&D team is also busily working on recyclable requirements for the US and Europe, which come into effect next year. "We have to reduce the mercury content of the bulb," Kan explains, adding that the ISO 9001-certified firm exports to Europe, North America, Australia, Turkey and the Chinese mainland.
Eye-catching European-style designs give added panache to low-voltage halogen lamps from Jones Worldwide Co.
"We're trying to make lamps in more natural shapes such as trees and flowers," says manager Ken Chan. "We use a combination of crystal and metals such as aluminium, stainless steel and regular steel to achieve each design."
Exports mainly target the EU and Eastern Europe, with 30 days required for delivery after order confirmation. Minimum order is 50 pieces per model within a total order of one TEU.
Low voltage lamps represent about 60% of the OEM/ODM company's monthly production of 20,000 pieces, while decorative spotlights for indoor residential purposes account for the remainder.
Smaller chandeliers stand out as Jones Worldwide's best-selling items overall, selling for US$30 or US$50 each respectively for a five-bulb or 16-bulb model FOB Zhongshan on the mainland.
"A chandelier is usually something that everyone wants in their home," says Chan, "and frequently the bigger the house the bigger the chandelier." He reveals that the FOB unit price of a 48-bulb chandelier is about US$300.
Whether the need is simple or lavish, Hong Kong's versatile lighting manufacturers have the capability to meet any challenge.
WRITTEN BY ANDREA PAWLYNA
Capital Profit Industrial Ltd
China Hong Kong Lighting Ltd
Crestand Co Ltd