Lumitec Lighting customers and partners talk about their satisfaction regarding the LED products both aesthetically and while in use in extreme marine environments. We hear from Shallow Sport Boats, EdgeWater Power Boats, and Intrepid Powerboats.
In today’s global economy, the United States is importing an unprecedented number of products which have been manufactured overseas. Furthermore, much of the design of those products has also moved overseas. While these scenarios may equate to some success in volume and profits, overall it has been damaging for U.S. consumers and the U.S. economy. When production moves overseas, so do jobs, producing a ripple effect on local economies when residents, some now unemployed, have less to spend on goods and services. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find a manufacturer who hasn’t abandoned America for the sultry temptation of foreign climes.
One company that hasn’t succumbed to the siren call to farm out everything overseas, is Lumitec, an LED lighting manufacturer, based in boat-friendly Delray Beach, Florida. Lumitec products are designed, tested, and assembled at the Delray Beach facility, and many of their vital components—LEDs, circuit boards, glass, housings, wiring, hardware, adhesives,— are supplied by U.S. companies. Lumitec is very cautious about sourcing outside of the USA because they recognize not only the disadvantages of sending work overseas, but also the advantages of keeping it at home.
For some companies, sourcing overseas might lead to lower costs, but the drawbacks often outweigh the apparent savings. Quality control, for example, is an aspect that would suffer. Monitoring quality thousands of miles away in factories in countries with different laws, standards and different expectations is often troublesome and the end result is typically dissatisfaction from the customer. Very often one of the sacrifices to get to that lower cost is quality, as short cuts from suppliers and sub-suppliers are fairly common. They don’t get uncovered until they are caught, very often by the customer, when it’s too late.
Customer service also takes a hit when companies do not have real control over the design, production cycles and processes. With issues in customer service and product quality, the brand suffers and business is lost. As for the supply chain, outsourcing is vulnerable to higher shipping costs, large minimum buys, customs delays, production delays, trade taxes and high inventories that can directly affect the availability of products and generate unforeseen costs (the hidden cost of sourcing overseas). Finally, sending work overseas further erodes an already struggling U.S. economy.
In contrast, there are numerous advantages to keeping manufacturing in the U.S. A more tightly controlled supply chain is not nearly as vulnerable to the pitfalls of overseas sourcing. American manufacturing is well known for its superior quality in design and manufacture. In addition, since facilities are local, customer service is typically superior and issues can be resolved quickly. Relationships with customers are excellent as a result. Perhaps most important is that the jobs stay in the U.S., and when domestic suppliers are used, the U.S. economy further benefits.
Lumitec has enjoyed the advantages of staying in the U.S. For example, a recent collaboration with Hydrasports Custom, a boat manufacturer, led to innovations and solutions otherwise impossible had Lumitec sent its design and manufacturing overseas. Hydrasports need a headlight that could be seamlessly integrated into the bow of their 4200 Siesta and 5300 Suenos models. After just a few weeks of design, prototyping, testing, and in-house custom machining,
Lumitec presented the finished product to Hydrasports, who were extremely pleased with Lumitec’s innovation: the unique design is profoundly useful for docking, running in channels, or entering harbors at night. In the future, Lumitec will use the knowledge gained in the collaboration to develop similarly useful products for the broader market. This innovation and collaboration succeeded because Lumitec designs and manufactures all under one roof in the U.S., and not scattered across the globe.
Lumitec’s reputation for quality and innovation has made it one of the fastest growing manufacturers in the U.S. It directly employs forty-six people in Delray Beach, and supports the employment of countless other Americans through its practice of buying components for its products from U.S. companies. Over two-hundred boat manufacturers, including Intrepid Powerboats, Viking Yachts, and Boston Whaler, use Lumitec as a lighting supplier, attesting to the high quality of Lumitec’s products.
For innovative lights designed, tested, and assembled in the U.S. by a company that supports American business and creates American jobs, look to Lumitec. We are online at lumiteclighting.com.
Professional boaters know accessories and their wiring can be a true blessing or an absolute nightmare. A blessing when it is simple and easy to connect and works the way you thought it would. A nightmare when you are stuck in a hull trying to make several connections to and from various parts of a system, then it doesn’t work and you have to go back in. No matter what you do, boat accessories and their wiring will also be exposed to damaging elements including salt air, moisture, vibration, electrical noise, wind, sunlight, and chemicals throughout their life cycle.
“The salt air alone is enough to corrode and render most wire connections inoperable,” said Hank Johnson in Louisiana Sportsman. “Boat bilges can be contaminated with fuel, grease and other chemicals that will eat away at your wires. It is extremely important that you purchase quality marine switches, wire, terminals and all other superior components for your accessory system.”
One way to mitigate the degrading effects of the elements is to have fewer things that could go wrong. Keep things simple and reduce the amount of accessories and wiring needed. Lumitec Lighting has eliminated the need for external controllers with simple wiring for their lights. In many cases you can retain the original wiring system and control colors, dimming, and other functionality such as strobing effects with a simple toggle switch. This is made possible by their proven Timed Toggle Protocol (TTP) technology. TTP enabled lights make it possible to provide sophisticated lighting features without the need for additional external control modules. Using this one-of-a-kind innovation, you can sidestep the entire process of rewiring by using Lumitec lights with TTP. TTP uses simple brief off/on toggle of your switch to control your lights.
Many boat lighting solutions come with bulky control modules that are expensive, takes up precious space, could be highly confusing to wire, and can require more wiring and connections, and are thus expensive to install. Lumitec’s TTP allows for an easy to install option, with simply the two power wires, making it easy to use and integrate with the boat’s existing wiring system.
“TTP is Lumitec’s innovative solution for offering the end user the ability to dim lights, change colors, or invoke other cool features using a standard two wire hook up,” said John Kujawa, President of Lumitec. “Installation is just like any other marine light: red to red and black to black. Any normal on/off switch can be used to control the light.”
Lumitec has grown from a small start up in 2007 to a market leading international LED lighting manufacturer because of its dedication to meeting high performance and reliability demands with innovative solutions. Their products are now found on many of the finest boats and yachts in the world because of this dedication to performance, attention to aesthetics, and ease of use.
“The dimming of a Lumitec TTP enabled light is pretty easy,” Kujawa said. “The light is turned on and it ramps intensity over the course of about three seconds. If nothing else is done, that peak intensity will be held until the light is turned off. If the user wishes for a less intense light, they can dim the output by interrupting that ramp. You can turn the light off and immediately back on and the light intensity will be held wherever it was interrupted by the brief off/on toggle.
“Color change is also really easy. The user simply turns the light off and on, quickly. Each quick, off/on toggle cycles the light to its next available color.”
Because the lights require nothing more than a simple two wire hookup and require no external control boxes to support the changes, TTP enabled lights can be easily retrofitted into an older system without rewiring. New boat manufacturers can streamline the lighting installation process by saving on both supply cost and installer time while also conserving space onboard. With fewer parts to deal with, there is less risk of component failure while still providing extensive functionality.
While many manufacturers continue to use large control boxes for their lighting solutions, or are attempting to integrate complicated Bluetooth or WiFi technology into lighting control, TTP offers a beautifully simple solution immediately capable of integrating into new or older systems with no learning curve. More than 200 boat manufacturing clients that include, Intrepid Powerboats, Contender, Grady White, Edge Water Power Boats, Viking Yachts, and Boston Whaler to name a few, are using Lumitec lights with TTP technology.
Lumitec’s TTP technology changes the boat lighting game with a quick, easy solution that will fit into even the tightest of spaces without additional equipment or expensive rewiring endeavors. With fewer components and wires to connect, there are less opportunities for incorrect connections and their associated frustrations and damage from the elements, resulting in a more reliable but simply elegant solution. Lumitec’s pursuit of innovation is constantly pushing the boundaries of LED lighting technology, right here in the USA at their development lab at Delray Beach, Florida.
If you’d like to see more of how Lumitec is changing the LED lighting game, visit lumiteclighting.com.
Can innovation occur without market motivation? Yes, if companies allow their employees to experiment without fear of repercussions for failed explorations. Soren Kaplan, of USC’s Center for Effective Organization describes most market-driven corporate visions:
“Become the number one provider of blah, blah, blah. These generic, broad-based goals might rev up sales teams, but they do little to spark ingenuity.“
In other words, when sales is the sole emphasis of a company, engineering and design are left behind, leading to a lack of innovation.
To encourage ingenuity, companies must create a culture of innovation from the top down. In the best-case scenario, the bulk of activity – planning, sales, engineering, manufacturing – all take place in one building. To maximize sharing of ideas, the top person, the president or CEO, must be accessible to the new hire on the assembly line. Engineers and sales people should be able to interact freely with each other to suggest improvements. Machinists should be able to confer with the R&D team regarding better ways to fabricate parts. Further, the company should encourage future-thinking experimentation by designers.
Lumitec, a leading international LED lighting manufacturer, fits this description. Named to INC Magazine’s “500 Fastest Growing Companies” in 2012 and their INC 5000 list for the last 4 consecutive years, Lumitec credits its culture of innovation for its success. As with any successful company, the impetus starts at the top.“
John Kujawa, Lumitec’s president, is the spark behind Lumitec’s achievements. An avid boater and engineer, Kujawa has a natural knack for tinkering and improving things. He understands that most innovation does not come from following a certain segment of the market, but from looking at a product and finding a way to improve it. The market will respond to innovation. Mick McDonald, Lumitec’s Marketing Manager, describes Kujawa as “… an engineer at heart who lives and breathes the mechanics of everything. This, paired with his avid love for boating, created the perfect storm for him to see a niche in the market at the advent of LED technology going mainstream.” This forward thinking approach has made Lumitec the one of the fastest-growing manufacturing companies in the U.S. and a supplier of LED lighting to over 200 boat manufacturers, including Intrepid Powerboats, Viking Yachts, and Boston Whaler.
Kujawa’s propensity for innovation and improvement is evident in Lumitec’s iconoclastic corporate culture. Pairing the brightest engineers with a state of the art manufacturing facility in Florida, Kujawa provides his engineers with the space and freedom to experiment with new ideas. Called “play,” this experimentation often results in ideas that never make it to market. To Kujawa, a few failed experiments are not just expected, but necessary for the development of new technology.
Kujawa has opted for an “open structure” form of internal organization. Because all of the important activities are under one roof in an open-door system, assemblers can freely speak to designers to work out problems or suggest improvements. Likewise, salespeople have no qualms about sharing ideas with the people in Production. This crossing of lines in the hierarchy can naturally lead to creating a community of cooperative imagination. No doors are closed to employee interaction. In fact, a central conference room, called the Mosh Pit, is glass walled so that everyone can see what is going on. This unique room, combined with open workspaces instead of offices and enclosed cubicles, accelerates idea sharing and collaboration and leads to innovation that otherwise might not have occurred. Customers who visit the facility are pleased to find that the design team is in close communication with every department involved in the manufacturing process.
Furthermore, the company plans meetings outside of the workplace – fresh environments like beaches, go-kart tracks, and even pinball competitions – where self-critiquing takes place and everyone can offer ideas about how to improve the company and its products. The “Team Lumitec” atmosphere of communication is further promoted by Kujawa, who regularly eats lunch in the lunch area alongside his employees.
With a president at the helm who is always open to ideas and suggestions and a design team that is encouraged to innovate, it’s no wonder that Lumitec is the leader in LED technology for marine applications. While Lumitec’s products are not always the cheapest, they are widely accepted as class-leading for their advanced features, higher outputs, remarkable reliability, and ease of installation.
Want to know more about Lumitec’s lighting solutions and how their innovation can dramatically improve your lighting needs? Visit online at lumiteclighting.com.
Quality is everything. When boaters are in extreme environments, lighting is of the utmost importance. When boat owners are looking for products that are both high quality and function in these environments, they turn to Lumitec.
With our R&D facility and manufacturing located in Florida, we take great pride in manufacturing all our LED lighting for our partners and having those parts there when they need them the most.
We were able to speak to the owners of several boat manufacturers at IBEX. They shared the “why” behind the choice to install Lumitec LED lights in their products. Lumitec is very proud to partner with only the best. Come inside to see what our partners think separates us from the rest.