October 31, 2014, IBI Magazine: Seeing the Light: Lumitec
The lighting sector has become one of the most competitive spaces in the boatbuilding sector, with several dozen LED manufacturers and distributors vying for limited market share. The LED business is extremely price-sensitive, but also driven by the latest developments in technology.
“We’re seeing a constant flood of competitors entering the market,” says John Kujawa, president of Florida-based Lumitec. “Fortunately for us, the evaluation criteria for our products is rising extraordinarily fast as customers become more sophisticated. The newcomers need to be able to leapfrog incumbents who are moving very quickly, and that’s no small feat.”
Lumitec, which launched in 2007 when LED technology was relatively new, has worked hard to stay ahead of the curve. Kujawa, who graduated with an engineering degree from Stanford University, wanted to bring a high-tech focus to marine lighting through the emerging LED sector. Unlike many competitors, Kujawa decided to focus his product line specifically on the recreational marine sector before branching out into the maritime and military markets.
“The LED space in the marine industry is growing quite rapidly,” says Kujawa. “As one of the very early pioneers, we’ve been very fortunate to have been well positioned to capitalize on this market growth. We’ve consistently been successful at gaining considerably more share than we lose each year.”
The company had a strong 2013 according to Kujawa, with sales up in the mid-double digits. So far, 2014 is tracking about the same way. “We’re seeing growth across the board,” he says. “In retail space, there is some shifting as customers move to different channels. Among boatbuilders, we’re seeing additional sales with their adoption of new product lines or technologies.”
Lumitec recently launched a true 1,000-lumen deck light called the CapreraLT. It is designed for boat or yacht owners looking for the “greatest dollars-per-lumen value,” says Kujawa.
“Our strategy is based on innovation and we’re seeing an increased thirst for the types of solutions we’re bringing to the market,” he says.