8 Feb 2005
Eco-Products(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 02,2005)
Saving The Planet
"Since incorporation in 1987, we started out making energy-saving lamps when they were only commonly used in industrial projects," recalls Super Trend Lighting Ltd executive secretary Anissa Tang.
As ecological products became more common and popular, Super Trend found willing buyers in Europe, South America, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. These include big names such as NEC and Carrefour.
More finely-tuned product designs saw happier consumers. "While energy-saving lamps are welcomed by most householders, they do want lower prices. Consumer pressure has also seen prevailing designs evolve into smaller sizes and more compact shapes," says Tang.
"Made from lead-free glass and lead-free solder from Europe and Asia, our energy-saving lamps boast service lives of 8,000-10,000 hours. They also meet international standards including CE, GS, IMC, UL, CUL, FCC, PSE, Australian, Energy Stars, EU and the Eco Label," assures Tang.
With three factories in Shenzhen, Shantou and Ningbo on the Chinese mainland - totalling some 40,000 square metres - Super Trend produces up to two million energy-saving lamps monthly. The company requires a minimum order of 3,000 lamps per model, and delivery takes 60-90 days.
Meanwhile, 20-year-old Yuk Fat Co Ltd made its ecological debut with solar garden lighting just a year ago, following the lead of customers for its automobile accessories and lighting products.
"Made from ABS from Taiwan and using LEDs from the mainland, our first solar light series features 15 styles that have received encouraging responses from buyers in Europe and the US," says sales manager Thomas Lui.
Among Yuk Fat's collection are classic prototypes that resemble European-style street lamps, cool and modern designs in ball shapes, timeless fire-torch inspirations and glittering, coloured LED lights for UV umbrellas - perfect as outdoor decorations for sidewalk café.
"We will also venture into solar chargers and create more outdoor lighting models that suit the taste of the Japan and Australia markets," discloses Lui.
Yuk Fat's 200,000-square-foot factory in Dongguan produces 60,000 solar lights monthly. The minimum order is 3,000 pieces per model, and delivery is 25-30 days after order confirmation.
Not left behind, 1988-incorporated Ten Forward Ltd exports its solar and dynamo radio flashlight products to importers, mail order houses and department stores in the US, Germany, France, the UK, Japan and Australia.
"A strong engineering team enables us to innovate original designs, which we then patent," enthuses engineering manager Nigel Lee. "And all our products comply with CE, FCC, UL and LVD standards."
Lee notes that over the years the firm's dynamo rechargeable flashlight has evolved and now has more functions and a more appealing design. The latest model is TF38, enhanced by a radio, a siren, an LCD alarm clock and a reading lamp.
"Dynamo products work on the hand-crank theory," explains Lee. "For example, following a three-minute constant winding, the LED light in our Dynamo Rechargeable Camping Lantern with AM/FM Radio (TF33) lights up for up to an hour. Alternatively, the radio works for 20-45 minutes."
Using IC components and rechargeable batteries from Japan, Singapore, Germany, Taiwan and the mainland, Ten Forward's 70,000-square-foot factory in Shenzhen produces an average of 40,000-50,000 pieces monthly. The minimum order quantity is 2,000 pieces per model, for delivery in 40-45 days.
Specialising in analogue products is Mingle Instrument Ltd. The firm launched a line of environmentally friendly hand-crank torches in 2002 under its own EverLight brand. A second-generation series offers improved functions and performances.
"We have a 5-in-1 hand-cranked LED flashlight with mobile phone charger, power indicator, emergency blinker and FM radio (Model FR305)," says assistant marketing manager Karrie Lam. "Then there is the new handshake torch that works without batteries or accumulators - simply shake the torch for 30 seconds to generate 5-8 minutes of light."
Lam explains that with the shaking motion, a magnet and a metal coil inside the torch generate electricity that is stored in a capacitor to power the LED torch.
"The newest model is the F326, which is designed with a rubber casing to ensure a firm grip and is 30-metre waterproof and saltwater resistant," says Lam.
The US and Europe are major markets for the 1987-incorporated company. In 2002, an office and warehouse were set up in Germany to provide comprehensive services to customers there.
Mingle Instrument requires a minimum order of 1,000 pieces per model and delivery takes 30-45 days after order confirmation.
"Our 21,000-square-metre production plant in Shenzhen manufactures six million torches monthly. A new factory, also in Shenzhen but with an area four times bigger than our current one, will soon come into operation," Lam says.
With such a profusion of energy-saving ideas from Hong Kong companies, the energy world's sources look to have a brighter future.
WRITTEN BY WINNIE HUI