1 April 1997
Hong Kong Household 4/97 - Editorial
UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT
THE market for ceiling lamps is increasingly competitive but Hong Kong companies are maintaining their strength by offering quality products and European designs at competitive prices. Crestand Co Ltd has developed a range of European-style lighting with natural aluminium finishes, echoing styles from the 1950s and 1960s. "We have developed a full range of ceiling and pendant lights in this style, and table lamps. They are particularly popular in dining rooms and restaurants," says Tackson Tsun, director. "The trend is also for materials to be a little more natural, such as wood and glass." The company develops about 20 new styles a year. "We are very strong in terms of R&D," says Tsun. Traditional finishes, such as polished brass, are also used.
Crestand makes spotlights for the low to medium end of the market. "The half-size reflector bulbs give a contemporary look but are much cheaper than halogen," says Tsun. Up to 70% of its production is sold to Europe. "For Europe quality is very important, including safety standards. All our products comply with the EN60598 standards."
The company's 120,000-square-foot factory in Guangdong employs 600 workers and produces 250,000 pieces per month, using steel and polymers from Japan and European electrical parts. The minimum order is one TEU and 45-60 days are required for delivery. Prices range from US$4.50 to US$9 FOB Hong Kong apiece.
C.G. Lighting Ltd focuses on quality and style. It produces a range of European-style halogen lighting fixtures for home use, targeted at the European market. "We have a French designer who designs our products in France," says Pierre Gabison, managing director. "We have positioned ourselves in the market where people want something different." C.G. Lighting offers safety, quality design and service , says Gabison. All of its products conform to European EN 60598 standards.
DIY stores and specialist lighting shops are the major customers for these lights, which come in a range of combinations, such as a halogen track light in black and chrome with a 1.8-metre track, three ceiling connectors, 60W safety insulated transformer and three 20W dichotic lamps. "They can be used in any room of a house," says Gabison. Prices range from US$25 to US$45 FOB Hong Kong per unit. The fixtures are made at its 65,000-square-foot factory in Shenzhen, where it employs 600 workers. Minimum orders of 1,000 pieces are accepted and a 60-day delivery time is required.
Four Seas Ind Co Ltd has been making lamps since 1972 and halogen lamps since 1980. It manufactures a range of halogen track lamps with 2-5 state-of-the-art designed lamp heads with plastic satin rings, priced between US$23 and US$27 FOB Hong Kong. All have TUV, GS and CE-Mark approval. Black and chrome is its most popular colour combination, says director John Leung.
Four Seas designs and makes ceiling, floor and desk lamps at its three factories in Guangdong, employing 600 people. OEM accounts for about 25% of the company's production. Its own designs are marketed under the Wellux brand name. "This product line is selling worldwide, in the middle to high end of the market," Leung says. Four Seas accepts minimum orders of 1,000 pieces and requires 35-40 days for delivery.
Asian Rise (Lighting) Ltd makes a range of European-style rise and fall ceiling lights for halogen and standard bulbs, with 1-3 lamp heads. The lights come with a range of metal fittings, in black, brass, chrome or satin, with weighted pendants to adjust the position of the lights. "We mainly sell our products to the high and middle end of the market, in particular to Germany and elsewhere in Europe," says Florence Lam, the company's marketing manager.
Its low-voltage 12V halogen model, called Ballet, has blue art-deco glass lampshades, 35W bulbs with E14 sockets and a CE/GS/EMC-approved transformer. This is priced at between US$15 and US$28 apiece FOB Hong Kong depending on the number of lamps. The non-halogen 230V Yo-Yo model has frosted yellow glass shades and JC fittings for 40W bulbs. This sells for US$9 to US$22 per piece FOB Hong Kong. Both models have CE and GS approval.
The company also makes a range of spotlights and cabinet ceiling lights, as well as halogen desk and floor lamps. "We welcome customers' own designs," says Lam.
Asian Rise's lamps are made at its 50,000-square-foot factory in Shunde, China, where it employs 200 workers. It accepts minimum orders of one TEU and requires 45 days for delivery after order confirmation.
Housely Ind Ltd specialises in decorative ceiling fans that are particularly popular in Germany and elsewhere in Europe. The fans come with different lighting systems, including tulip lights, schoolhouse and mushroom lights and one, three or four spotlights. Styles also vary for the blades, such as rattan finish, or white wood. "We have a European designer based in Hong Kong working on new designs," says Stanley Tse, sales and administration manager.
These light fans tend to be used in sitting rooms and dining rooms, for decoration and ventilation, says Tse. "The fans have a reversible function. In summer they can blow air to cool a room and in winter circulate warm air," he says. "They all meet the CE, GS and EMC safety requirements for Europe." Prices range from US$24 to US$28 apiece, FOB Hong Kong. The company is looking to expand sales in the Middle East.
Housely, which also makes household fans and heaters, has a 450,000-square-foot factory in Dongguan, employing 1,500 workers. It has invested heavily in its own tooling facilities to enable it to make 300,000 light fans per month. "We have also invested a lot to meet European testing requirements," says Tse. Minimum orders of 1,000 pieces are accepted and 45 days should be allowed for delivery.
Written by Katherine Forestier
HONG Kong companies are making desk and table lamps in a vast range of styles, from handmade traditional Chinese porcelain to a post-modern halogen desk lamp cone.
John Mfg Ltd has been making lamps since 1966 and has established a solid reputation for its Johnlite brand. It manufactures a range of desk and table lamps, including multi-purpose bedside lamps with alarm, digital clock with AM/FM radio, and fluorescent energy saving table lamps, priced at between US$7.20 and US$10 each FOB Hong Kong. "We sell over 100 different lighting items," says Thomas Mak, senior marketing manager.
"Every year we design 10 to 12 new models, some for the US market, some for Europe and some for Japan and East Asia," Mak says. The multifunction lamps sell particularly well in the US and Japan and the halogen lamps in Europe. About 20% of its production is for OEM customers. Its products have CE, GS or UL safety approval for the European and US markets.
The company has a 150,000-square-foot factory in Guangdong, which has ISO 9002 approval and employs 1,600 workers. The company accepts minimum orders of 1,000-2,000 pieces and requires 30 days for delivery.
Deancoins Int'l Co Ltd makes desk lamps in styles that are modern, practical and economical, says project manager Peter Chang. Its products range from a modern table lamp with simple black metal base and cloth shades in bright primary colours to 35W and 50W halogen lamps in blue and black. Its halogen lamps also come in more traditional finishes, such as brushed brass.
"Most lamps have GS or CE approval," Chang says. "Most buyers from overseas are coming to buy cheap European-style lamps for quantity sales." Europe is the firm's major market. "Our customers are basically importers or central buying offices for department stores," adds Chang. Some customers provide their own designs.
Production of its desk lamps, as well as floor lamps and spotlights, is based in Dongguan, China, where the company has a 250,000-square-foot factory and employs 1,200 workers. It accepts minimum orders of one TEU and requires a delivery time of 35-45 days. Prices range from US$4 to US$16 apiece FOB Hong Kong.
Sheen Long Ind Ltd is another major manufacturer of halogen desk lamps, employing more than 1,200 workers at its factory in Panyu, China. "We are very concerned about quality," says Ken Lam, marketing manager. "Most of our products have CE approval and we are going for ISO 9001 approval for the factory this year."
Europe, in particular Germany, is the company's major market. "Our lights are used for both commercial and residential purposes," Lam says. They include a 50W halogen desk lamp in white and grey, a 35W halogen table lamp in metallic maroon with chrome arm, and a low-voltage halogen desk lamp with a spring balanced arm and a 35W and 50W switch. Prices range from US$4 to US$10 apiece FOB Hong Kong. Sheen Long accepts minimum orders of one TEU and requires 30 days for delivery.
Home Decor Co's factory in Shantou, China, specialises in hand-cut porcelain lamps, with cloth or handmade silk shades. These are particularly suitable for living rooms and bedrooms, export manager Fanny Fan says. "All are hand decorated," she says. Bases come in a range of shapes, such as a ball and wine jar. "We have developed some new decorations, such as the hand-painted blue plum blossom pattern. We also make plain porcelain lamps," Fan explains. In addition, the company accepts orders for customers' own designs.
Home Decor targets the middle to higher range of the market, with sales particularly strong in Europe where its products are sold in department and lighting stores. Its lamps have UL and CE approval. Prices are US$15 for its hand- cut latticed porcelain wine jar-shaped lamp with handmade silk shade and US$10 for the smaller hand-painted base with a cloth shade. Minimum orders of one TEU are accepted and 60 days should be allowed for delivery.
B G Lighting Co Ltd specialises in traditional crystal table lamps. "Our lamps are suitable for home and hotel use," says Crystal Yuen, assistant trading officer. "We have different crystal products for different levels of the market." B G's lamps sell well in China, Hong Kong, elsewhere in Asia, the US and Germany. Its Swarovski A-grade table lamp, with a gold-plated brass frame and purple and clear Swarovski A-grade crystal beads, sells for HK$310 FOB Hong Kong each.
The beads for these products are imported from Austria, while the lamps are made at its factory in Jiangmen, China. A workforce of up to 100 produces 500 pieces per month. The company accepts minimum orders worth US$10,000 and requires 3-4 weeks for delivery. It also makes lamps to customers' individual designs.
Smartwell Technology Ltd makes low-cost halogen and energy saving desk lamps based on popular designs at its factory in Zhejiang, China, which employs 100 workers and produces 150,000 pieces per month. "We aim for the South American market, to countries like Brazil and Uruguay," says manager Charlie Lam. Southeast Asia and Europe are its other markets. "We are now developing our own models to obtain greater market share," Lam says.
Smartwell's 9W fluorescent energy saving lamps are made mainly of plastic and include a desk lamp with flexible head, a foldable desk lamp and a desk lamp with curved corners. Prices range from US$3 to US$6 apiece FOB Hong Kong. Minimum orders of 3,000 per model are accepted and 30-45 days should be allowed for delivery.
Written by Katherine Forestier
MORE LIGHT FOR LESS POWER
Energy Saving Lamps
WITH the global accent on fuel efficiency, energy saving lamps are becoming increasingly popular. Hong Kong makers offer a range of energy saving fluorescent lamps, all of which consume considerably less energy than conventional lamps and last many times longer.
Models are available in various shapes, sizes and wattage. Some suppliers offer lamp parts, such as tubes and bases, individually.
Primex Ind Ltd, set up in 1984, markets its products under the brand name Ecolite. According to marketing manager Arthur Hossain, about 75% of output is marketed under the company's brand name and the rest is OEM. "Our brand is very popular especially in Europe and South America," Hossain says. "People know the Philips brand in the high end of the market and they know Ecolite in the low end of the market."
The company's factory in Guangzhou, China, employs about 300 workers and average monthly output is about one million energy saving lamps. Integrated circuits, capacitors, transistors, diodes and tubes are imported from Germany, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
Minimum order is 1,000 lamps per model for the Ecolite brand and 5,000 units per model for OEM orders. Prices range from US$3.50 to US$4.50 FOB Hong Kong each and delivery of one 40-foot container takes about 15 days after order confirmation.
Hossain says competition in the sector is increasing, but the company is confident about the quality of its products. "We offer an unconditional guarantee on our products for 10,000 hours and we have all the necessary approvals to sell in our markets," he says.
The company introduced two models in February, the Classic and Candlex, and Hossain expects them to sell well. "We are planning to increase output by 50% this year. The units have a different design and we expect between 10% and 12% rise in sales."
The firm also plans to introduce its products to the North American market, according to Hossain. The major markets are Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Spain, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Columbia and Chile.
According to Yim Kin-kuo, director at Super Trend Lighting Ltd, 60% of output is marketed under the firm's Luxtek brand name and the rest is OEM.
Established in 1986, the company has a factory in Shenzhen, China, employing 200 workers, and a plant in Ningbo, China, employing 500. Output is 200,000 units at the Shenzhen factory and 150,000 at the Ningbo plant.
According to Yim, the company plans to increase output by between 20% and 30% this year, because demand is increasing. Its main markets are Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Portugal, Sweden, Norway, the UK, Poland, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic, where it exports through agents. Yim says the firm also has agents in the US, South Korea, Brazil, Columbia and Chile.
The company also plans to make deeper inroads into markets in South America and eastern Europe.
Transistors come from the US and Italy, capacitors from Japan and South Korea, and diodes from France.
There is no minimum order for lamps under the in-house brand, that for OEM is 5,000 pieces. Prices range from US$3.50 to US$5.50 FOB Hong Kong per lamp and delivery is about 45 days after order confirmation.
Everbright Lighting Ltd, established in 1991, makes energy saving lamps for industrial use and for domestic use, and production is divided equally between the two categories. Lamps are bubble packed.
The company has two factories in Jiangxi, China, making 10 million glass tubes per year at capacity, and two more factories in Shenzhen, China, where lamp assembly is done. Annual capacity in its Shenzhen facilities is two million units. The factories in Shenzhen employ 550 workers and those in Jiangxi, 900, according to general manager MY Wu.
Capacitors and transistors are obtained from agents in Hong Kong, but are made mainly in Japan and South Korea.
"We plan to increase [lamp] output by 50% and to enter the US market," says Wu. "On February 10, we got UL [Underwriters Laboratories] approval which will enable us to export to the US. We also plan to expand into energy saving battery chargers that are used in mobile telephones."
Major markets include Germany, the UK and Spain. Wu says 60% of the firm's exports are to Germany. "We are planning to enter the Netherlands market," Wu says.
Minimum order is 5,000 units of assorted lamp models. Average price is about US$3.50 FOB Hong Kong per piece and delivery is between 30 and 45 days after order confirmation.
Kai Jun Da HK Electronics Co, established in 1988, makes lamps for 110/130V and 220/240V. The company's factory in Shenzhen, China, employs about 150 people and average monthly output is about 300,000 units, according to officer James Cheung.
Capacitors are obtained from Japan. "Most other components [come] from Taiwan, and the E27 base [screw-in/bayonet-fixing base of the lamp bulbs] from Germany," Cheung says.
Minimum order is about 5,000 assorted lamp models. "However, we are flexible on the minimum order requirement," Cheung says. Lamp prices range from US$3.90 to US$5.50 FOB Hong Kong per piece and delivery is about 15 days after order confirmation.
About 60% of the company's output is marketed under its KJD brand name, and the rest is OEM. "We can design a new model within two weeks," Cheung says.
"We are planning to increase our output and develop our distribution." Major markets are Sweden, Norway and Switzerland.
Luen Yick Electrical Mfg Co Ltd makes three-pin plugs for the Middle East market, as well as other products such as adaptors, sockets, bulbs and electrical accessories, according to assistant manager Ricky Kan.
The company, established in 1968, has a factory in Guangdong, China, employing about 150 workers.
It obtains raw materials such as plastic from Japan, Taiwan and Italy.
Minimum order is 1,000 energy saving lamps per model and delivery is between 40 and 60 days after order confirmation. Prices range from US$3 to US$5 per piece.
"This year we plan to introduce more models and to explore more markets because demand is rising," Kan says. The firm exports mainly to Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, the UK and US.
Written by Austin Lobo
THE range of lights available is wide Ä from purely decorative and novel to party/fairy lights and garden lights. From decorative lights to spice up a particular occasion, or a special light to charm a corner of a home or office, Hong Kong's well-established suppliers have thought of everything.
With Europe being the main market, makers stress that lights are made to EU safety standards. The minimum order requirement tends to be one TEU.
Aiming specifically at the party market is Decoriental Mfg Co Ltd (DMC). The company produces two million sets of decorative lights per year, including fairy lights, garden lights and party lights. Bulb-diffusing covers are available in different shapes including stars, Christmas tree shapes and Santa and snowman figurine shapes.
Waterproof outdoor candlelights are available at US$9.95 FOB Hong Kong for lights on a five-metre cable, a 10-metre extension cord and a 12V adaptor. An eight-star light chain costs the same.
DMC guarantees delivery in 45-60 days. The minimum order should be one TEU. A production sample for a buyer's design takes 2-3 months to make, including moulding.
"We have many European clients," managing director Calvin Lau says, adding that DMC has gained safety certification for all western European countries.
Offering decorative lighting of a completely different kind is Kumade (HK) Ltd, which is marketing Osqar, an endearing chunky metal figure whose head is a small, low voltage, halogen lamp. Polished brass joints enable the figure to be positioned in a sitting or standing pose. Osqar's "hands" are small reflective disks that enable the light to be angled.
Osqar was designed by Spanish artist Ygnacio Baranga. Two versions are available, one with Osqar's limbs in silver colour and the other with a gold-colour finish.
The unit price is US$59 FOB Hong Kong and the minimum order is 100 pieces.
R.E. Dietz Co Ltd makes a range of oil lamps and candleholder lamps, the cheaper versions of which are popular in Africa. The company also makes AC and battery-operated lanterns.
The company, established about 150 years ago, makes lamps in a traditional design from brass, bronze or enamel-plated tin. They range in price from about US$1.20 for a candlelight holder to US$3.90 for a bronze-plated oil lamp.
"Our cheaper versions are sold in Africa, but clients in Europe and the United States also place big orders for decorative uses," marketing services manager Vivien Mak Wai-yee says.
The minimum order size is 80 dozen. A confirmed order should arrive in 40 days.
Nostalgia is a driving force for Arts N Lite Studio (HK) Ltd, which markets a range of Tiffany lamps. The company specialises in stained-glass work and gift items such as jewellery boxes as well as a full range of table lamps and standing lamps.
"We have about five or six competitors for our stained-glass work, but we find that our clients tend to re-order from us Ä we have a stable market overseas," manager Benny Chan says.
A small Tiffany lamp with brass base sells for HK$180 FOB Hong Kong. The minimum order size is 50 pieces per item with the minimum overall order value set at US$20,000. The company's major markets are Japan, Germany and the US.
Topfair Ind Ltd makes polystone decorative lamps. Featuring figurines, the lamps are especially popular in Japan, although there is also steady business from Canada, the US and Europe.
The minimum order size is 3,000 pieces. A confirmed order should arrive in 30-60 days. For buyers' designs a production sample can be prepared inside one month.
Merchandiser Denise Fok says, "Most of our business is OEM. All our lamps are specially made. Every lamp is hand painted." The lamps sell for about US$8.60 FOB Hong Kong each.
Hor Kuang Flashlight Bulb Fty Ltd produces a range of purely decorative lights inside plastic blossoms. A typical order would be 18 tulips, three spare bulbs and a two-metre cord with transformer.
Prices vary according to the size of order, with the minimum order being one TEU. "Our main markets are in Scandinavia, Germany and the Netherlands," executive director William Hui says, adding that the products are certified for sale in Europe.
He says more than 80% of the company's client base has been placing orders for more than five years and some have been clients since Hor Kuang was established in 1957.
The usual delivery time is 30 days after order confirmation. Should clients wish to submit their own design, a production sample can be prepared in 90 days, including tooling.
Quality is one of the company's watchwords. It is operating under the requirements for ISO 9002 and it should gain certification in the near future.
Written by Emma Boyde
Automatic Sensor Lights
SECURITY lights for use outdoors and in the house, and night-lights for baby care are available from Hong Kong suppliers. Designs suit various uses, including models for the hard-of-hearing that flash when a phone rings. Buyers' designs are readily accepted.
Foundation Ind (Far East) Ltd is a major supplier of security lights. "If you're a lighting supplier you can't survive if you don't make it in China, so all our competitors are manufacturing in the same place," manager MD Lo says.
"But our price is very competitive and we have good quality control," he says, adding that all lighting products have been tested for approval in the company's main markets and they all come with a year's guarantee.
A 500W halogen light with infrared motion detector in a dye-cast aluminium casing sells for US$8.30 FOB Hong Kong.
The minimum order is one TEU, which usually means a minimum of about 4,000 pieces, although smaller orders can be negotiated.
A confirmed order should arrive in 60 days. OEM orders are welcome. A sample for a client's design modification can be prepared in 60 days, including tooling.
Pitching at younger users is Powerline (HK) Ltd, which makes a range of automatic night-lights specifically for use in a child's bedroom.
A photocell version activates the light at dusk and it automatically turns off at dawn. A babysitting version comes on when the baby starts crying. For hard-of-hearing adults, a phone-call version activates a light to help those with a hearing aid who can hear a phone conversation, but may not catch the ring of a modern phone.
All Button Lights can be wall mounted or placed on a desk. They all run off batteries and some have AC adaptors. Prices vary according to the size of order, but a basic Streamlite featuring fluorescent tubes sells for about US$4.90 FOB Hong Kong, and the basic Powerlite costs about US$1.68.
"We can accept OEM orders and can make design alterations, as long as the client wants something similar to our existing product range," general manager Ellis Li says. All products have CE Mark approval. The minimum order is 5,000 pieces per colour. A confirmed order should arrive in 30-45 days.
Abol Electronic Products Ltd makes sensor lights for security purposes, as well as for people who might have difficulty finding a conventional light switch. The Sound Sensor Light is being marketed for use outdoors in a hallway, on a staircase, in attics, wardrobes and the garage. The light can be activated from a distance of up to 20 feet by a hand clap.
The light uses four C-size batteries (not included) and a photoelectric eye ensures the light is only activated at night time. Further economy on battery time is ensured by the automatic shut off, which activates after 15-25 seconds. If a good quality alkaline battery is used, the Sound Sensor Light should come on 1,000 times. A long-life bulb is included.
The Sound Sensor Light sells for US$1.90 FOB Hong Kong and is proving popular as a promotional product, particularly in Japan. "Our quality is quite good," manager Cheryl Pong says. Company logos can be printed on either the packaging or the product, usually by silk-screen.
A PIR (passive infra-red) Motion Detector Light, part of Abol's home security series, is selling well in Europe at its unit price of about US$5.50 FOB Hong Kong. It includes a passive infra-red sensor which detects motion at a distance of up to 7.5 metres in a 90-degree radius. Its automatic shut-off means this light can also double as a night-light. It is powered by four C-size batteries or a DC6V/500mA adaptor (not included).
The minimum order is 500 pieces. A confirmed order should arrive in 45 days. A sample can be prepared in 50 days as long as all materials are available.
"We find our clients come back to us because we can guarantee good quality, on-time delivery and good after-sales service, should any problem exist with the goods," Pong says.
Cosm Electronics Ltd makes a range of electronic and speciality lighting products. Two kinds of night-light are available for use in children's bedrooms. The PIR Sensor Night Light features a children's cartoon character on the plastic bulb shade and plugs directly into the wall.
Thereafter, the child-friendly aspects give way to a no-nonsense night-light with an infra-red sensor to detect motion. It shuts off automatically after one minute (there is also an on/off switch). The light operates at a distance of up to nine metres, so it can be used to light a staircase, porch or wardrobe once the toddler has grown.The PIR Sensor Light sells for US$4.80 FOB Hong Kong.
A standard children's night-light, which also comes with a choice of cheerful cartoon characters, but turns on automatically when dark and off when light, sells for US$2. The minimum order is 3,000 pieces per item. A confirmed order takes between 75 and 120 days.
"We find promotional items make up about 20% of our business," marketing director Cher Tse says.
Power View Ind Ltd also provides sound- or motion-activated sensor lamps. The Active Sound Lamp is marketed for use in the basement, garage, attic or staircase of a house. It can be operated from four C-size batteries or from a normal AC adaptor. The light is activated by the sound of clapping up to four metres away, but a built-in light detector prevents it coming on in daytime. The Active Sound Lamp costs US$2.50 FOB Hong Kong.
The PIR Sensor Lamp sells for US$4.40 and has a detection coverage of up to six metres in a 60- to 90-degree radius. Once the person has left the detection area, the light switches off after 20 seconds.
"Usually we design our products ourselves, although we do ask for suggestions from our established customers," director MK Chan says.
Hand samples for buyers' design modifications take about a month to make. The minimum order size is 1,000 pieces per model. A confirmed order should arrive in 35-45 days.
Written by Emma Boyde
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