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.
If you haven’t had a chance to read the amazing story of how the boating community came together recently to solve the mystery of our stolen boat, check it out here. We caught up with Lumitec company President, John Kujawa, for his thoughts after the recovery and who the real heros were.
What separates Lumitec from the others within the marine lighting industry? Understanding what LED technology is capable of, and then pushing beyond that. Company president, john Kujawa compares the differences in thinking to the differences in power between a Ferrari and a lawnmower. When Kujawa, founded Lumitec in 2007, he did so because he saw what was possible with LED technology. Where others saw an alternative to a lightbulb (lawnmower) he saw much more- brilliant source for illumination (the Ferrari). And what continues to separate Lumitec is the never ceasing pursuit of innovation. It is inside Lumitec’s Research & Development headquarters that longevity, stability, and beautiful brilliance are put to the test every day, in the pursuit of making something even better.
Lumitec was founded with a simple idea in mind. Rather than follow the extreme environment lighting industry, Lumitec would drive it forward. And yet, less than a year after the company was founded, it seemed as though the new startup was never going to have a chance. Due to rising gas prices and a global recession, the marine industry, one of Lumitec’s main markets, was dealt a massive blow. In 2008 and 2009, hundreds of dealers were forced out of business as new boat sales decreased by almost 80%. Rather than shrink in fear or give up, the company’s founder and CEO John Kujawa had a clear message: charge on.
While competitors were trying to cut costs at every turn and began shelving product innovations, Kujawa led the company in an immense product development push. Rather than cut spending, the business used its funds to aggressively research and adapt to customer needs. Lumitec adopted a “product first” mindset, meaning that it worked, and continues to work, toward creating products that go beyond merely what the customer wants.
Kujawa often brings up the Henry Ford quote, “If I’d asked customers what they wanted they would have said ‘faster horses.’” While competitors were working on merely providing the customer with what they described, Lumitec sought to create innovative and technologically superior products.
Today, that same mindset of “product first” still applies. The company has a strong and well-staffed engineering team that is encouraged to experiment and explore, to play around with ideas they may have. In order to give Lumitec’s engineers the tools they need to bring their ideas to life, the facility is equipped with a state of the art prototype lab, a CNC machining center, laser cutter, a 3D printer and many more useful tools to allow for innovation and creativity. This team of engineers goes above and beyond to not only meet customer needs, but to fully understand what the lighting is going to be used for. In one instance, a Lumitec engineer rode with a sanitation driver on his shift in order to fully understand what the lighting needs would be.
This type of creative research is all due to Kujawa’s leadership. Last year, Lumitec’s founder was recognized by Florida Governor Rick Scott for his contributions to the community with the “Governor’s Business Ambassador” award. And the governor isn’t the only one to recognize Kujawa’s vision for his company makes for a sound investment. Its customers often give Lumitec high praise, and the company has seen its market share grow. In under ten years, it has risen to become the industry standard for innovation and quality.
The boat industry rebuilt itself, and Lumitec grew with it. It now works with over 200 boat builders worldwide and is relied upon by the United States Coast Guard and Special Forces. Lumitec owns and operates two vessels which serve as testing labs for its products. In everything it does, Lumitec ensures the products it creates are constantly pushing the industry forward.
Having been born in the midst of difficult times, the company is now charging on, stronger than ever, with John Kujawa standing firmly at the helm. To read more about Lumitec’s history or contact a member of the team, visit lumiteclighting.com today!
Governor Scott Awards Lumitec with Governor’s Business Ambassador Award
On November 10, 2015 Governor Rick Scott recognized John Kujawa, Founder and President of Lumitec Lighting with the Governor’s Business Ambassador Award.
The Governor’s Business Ambassador Award is given to individuals and businesses in recognition for their dedicated work in creating jobs and opportunities for families in Florida. The governor praised John Kujawa’s dedication and innovation applied to retooling Florida’s economy.
“Florida businesses have added almost one million new jobs in less than five years and the job creators we are recognizing today are helping Florida’s economy grow.” said Governor Rick Scott. “I am honored to recognize Lumitec for their work creating jobs and look forward to their future success here in Florida.
John Kujawa, Founder and President of Lumitec Lighting, said, “Lumitec strives to deliver products of exceptional value to our great customers, and Florida has provided us with the supportive location we need to grow. On behalf of the whole Lumitec team, I am thankful to Governor Scott for recognizing our exciting success today.”
Lumitec is a product development company that is focused on the development and manufacturing of LED lighting. The company was founded in 2007 and their products are manufactured in the USA. Lumitec employs 40 Floridians, including nearly a dozen engineers, and is one of the fastest growing manufacturing companies in the U.S.
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.