10 April 2006
Torches(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 04,2006)
A torch has a place in every home and in the toolbox of every maintenance worker - and Hong Kong responds to this demand with an enormous range promising to please one and all.
For example, with more than 40 years in the business, John Mfg Ltd has made an international name for itself as a high-quality manufacturer of electronic and electrical products.
Lighting products are the firm's focus, with items ranging from cold cathode fluorescent lanterns, rechargeable lanterns and security lights to waterproof lanterns and tool kit lanterns.
A new product that is selling well is the firm's Dynamo LED Light, a hand-cranked rechargeable emergency torch. "When the electricity fails, there is no concern about the batteries being flat," says sales manager Susan Chan. "This convenient light source sells for about US$7 each FOB Hong Kong."
Chan says that, responding to consumer demand, the firm is focusing more on outdoor and emergency lighting. "Other interesting developments and growth areas include multifunction lighting that includes radio, cassette player, digital clock and hand-cranking features, with LED lighting sources."
An ISO 9001- and ISO 9002-certified company, John Mfg can produce more than 1.2 million pieces monthly at its two factories in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland, which altogether occupy 900,000 square feet and employ 3,000 workers.
About 95% of the firm's products carry the Johnlite brand name, with the remainder OEM/ODM orders. Exports go worldwide, and the two biggest markets are the US and Europe. Chan says that the minimum order is 1,000 pieces for delivery 30-40 days after order confirmation.
Established in 1953, Sonca Products Ltd lays claim to being one of the world's largest portable lighting product manufacturers. Its battery-operated OEM and ODM flashlights and lanterns, as well as products under its own Sonca brand, are exported to more than 120 countries.
One popular model is an eight-inch, contour-shaped Power Select Light that runs on any type of battery. "This is a universal light, so a person can use two AA, 2C or 2D batteries. This makes the light very useful for emergency purposes," says marketing manager Melinda Yiu. A six-inch model operates on either two AAA or two AA batteries.
In general, FOB Hong Kong unit prices range from US$1 for a key chain flashlight to US$15 for a top-of-the-line aluminium LED flashlight.
Sonca offers the full spectrum of LED, xenon, krypton and halogen lighting systems in minimum order quantities of 1,000 pieces for delivery 45 days after order confirmation. Production reaches 180,000 torches per day at manufacturing plants in Shenzhen that have 20 assembly lines and employ more than 4,000 workers.
For hands-free work outdoors, Just (HK) Ltd's headlamp, with an adjustable nylon strap, features a parabolic projector lens and 1W LED that projects light up to 100 metres. The FOB Hong Kong unit price for this model is about US$6.50.
"The advantage of the lens is that it can focus light into a narrow beam that can penetrate fog or rain much better than a normal reflector lamp," explains managing director Kung Chi Hung.
This model also has an IC chip that allows the user to dim or brighten the light. "It can be operated with 100%, 50% or 10% power," says Kung, "to facilitate long distance searching or reading close-up."
The lighting, electronic product and giftware company, which was established in 1994, manufactures 100,000 OEM and ODM medium- to high-end products per month at its factory in Guangdong Province on the mainland. Lighting related items, priced from US$2.50-6.50 FOB Hong Kong, account for about 50% of production.
Minimum order is 3,000 pieces, with exports mainly destined for the US, the UK, Japan, Germany and France. Delivery time after order confirmation is 30 days.
Kung says that Just (HK) is a design leader that won recognition three times in the Hong Kong Governor's Design Awards in the 1990s, when it also received a German Plus Design Award.
Rechargeable LED torches are the stars at Quantum Lighting Products Ltd, and the company has 15 cyber-style aluminium models on offer at FOB Hong Kong unit prices of US$18-25.
"Our recharging system is similar to that of a mobile phone. Simply plug in the connector and it charges in 3-4 hours," says sales executive Betty Tsui. "Each model can be ordered in three sizes and in 1W or 3W LED ratings."
These torches are water resistant, have design circuitry that protects against short circuits, feature high and low beams and are available in black, silver and titanium finishes.
Established in 2003, the OEM/ODM company produces some 75 different LED torches at prices ranging from US$5-40. The minimum order requirement is 1,200 pieces, and delivery time after order confirmation is 45 days to markets in the US, Europe and Japan.
With such a variety of torches to choose from, Hong Kong manufacturers are certainly illuminating business opportunities.
WRITTEN BY ANDREA PAWLYNA
Quantum Lighting Products Ltd