"We Love to Shine!"

Interview with Sofie Dahlberg, Managing Director of LTS Licht & Leuchten GmbH

LTS Lighting
Nowadays, lighting solutions are often integrated into the central building services / © Thomas Haberland. radiant hotel photography. Hotel "die Wälderin" in Mellau, Austria

For nearly 40 years, LTS Licht & Leuchten GmbH has been known for its innovative and energy-efficient lighting solutions, which are used in the retail, hospitality, and office sectors. In recent years, the company has made clear sustainability gains in both its manufacturing processes and its product range, and is committed to consistently pursuing this path in the future. Managing Director Sofie Dahlberg discussed the current developments with Wirtschaftsforum.

Wirtschaftsforum: Mrs. Dahlberg, for three years now, you have been committed as the managing director at LTS Licht & Leuchten GmbH. What has changed in the company during this time?

Sofie Dahlberg: When I was appointed managing director of LTS Licht & Leuchten by the Fagerhult Group in 2021, the various companies in the group still operated very independently in the market. After a comprehensive strategic change, we now appear strengthened in four business areas with a total of twelve subsidiaries in the market, where each subsidiary continues to pursue its own industry focus.

Sofie Dahlberg, Managing Director of LTS Licht & Leuchten GmbH
Sofie Dahlberg, Managing Director of LTS Licht & Leuchten GmbH

Wirtschaftsforum: What strengths can LTS Licht & Leuchten GmbH bring to the table here?

Sofie Dahlberg: Primarily, of course, our grown product expertise, which is fed from an almost four decades long company history. At the same time, we have in recent years once again increasingly focused on our core task: the development and manufacture of reflectors and other optical systems at our location at Lake Constance.

LTS Autohaus Showroom
Pleasant lighting significantly contributes to an aesthetic appearance / © Henrik Schipper. Porsche Center, Bergisch Gladbach.
LTS Object Furnishing
LTS continues to rely heavily on modern product innovations / © Henrik Schipper. Bunte & Klein GmbH, Leverkusen

Wirtschaftsforum: Will this commitment to manufacturing in Germany be sustainable in the future, given the increasingly strong competition from East Asian countries?

Sofie Dahlberg: Naturally, many manufacturers from China and other countries with similar wage structures are now able to compete with very high-quality products in the market. However, a central belief of LTS Licht & Leuchten as well as the Fagerhult Group is our unwavering commitment to product excellence, which we have also incorporated into our general value system: We want to provide our customers with the best lighting solutions possible at the highest level of technology, and at the same time continually push the boundaries of what is feasible. In recent years, it has also become abundantly clear the enormous advantage of having short distances and accordingly robust value chains. On top of the purely economic significance of local manufacturing, there are opportunities for customer-specific product customization as well as extensive benefits in terms of sustainability.

Wirtschaftsforum: A topic that must be particularly important to you as a lighting manufacturer.

Sofie Dahlberg: Of course, especially in terms of energy efficiency, we have made enormous progress in the last few decades: The switch from traditional incandescent bulbs to halogen lights more than 20 years ago already allowed for noticeable savings; the introduction of LED then represented a similarly significant increase in efficiency – and there are also clear differences in energy consumption and light quality between first generation LEDs and today's models. With the substantial rise in energy prices over the last two years, the potential for savings has become very attractive for economic reasons alone.

LTS Energy Efficiency
Significant increases in energy efficiency have been recorded over the last 20 years / © Kuvio Oy. Aula at the Vihtavuori School Center, Finland.

Wirtschaftsforum: What internal sustainability goals are currently the focus of your attention?

Sofie Dahlberg: Our company pursues a very broad commitment in this context: Thus, we have created whitepapers detailing how much energy can be saved with our lighting solutions. On this basis, we also provide our customers with corresponding tools, such as the efficiency calculator, on our website. Furthermore, we have set science-based goals for systematically reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, the implementation of which is audited by independent third parties. By 2040, we aim to operate completely climate-neutral.

Wirtschaftsforum: The construction industry is currently experiencing a significant market correction – does this also affect LTS as a specialist in lighting solutions?

Sofie Dahlberg: An important advantage of our products is that they are suitable not only for new buildings but also especially for use in existing structures. Many shopping centers, retail spaces, hotels, office buildings, and clinics are several decades old – this naturally also applies to the lighting elements installed there. Replacing them with the latest lighting solutions as part of a manageable renovation process promises significant benefits in many respects: from higher comfort due to more pleasant light to a significant reduction in energy consumption. The topic of connectivity also plays an increasingly important role in the everyday management of buildings: Individual lights are not just standalone units but must also function and be controllable as part of an integrated building technology system. All of this can be reliably provided by our products.

Wirtschaftsforum: Which innovations are currently the focus of your attention?

Sofie Dahlberg: With our Timba product family, we were recently able to bring the first spotlight in the retail segment to the market, whose housing is made entirely of wood instead of aluminum. The raw material used comes from ash trees that grow here in the region and are felled and processed by local partners. From this, we now produce an aesthetically appealing and ecologically sustainable lighting family in three different versions.

Wirtschaftsforum: How will LTS Licht und Leuchten GmbH develop as a company in the coming years?

Sofie Dahlberg: As part of the strategy that the Fagerhult Group wants to focus on in the next few years, we want to place an even greater focus on people – in our company as well as with our customers and partners. In this context, we want to break down the internal processes towards more flexible, more project-based structures, from which we expect an even higher level of dynamism. At the same time, the topic of diversity has always played an important role for LTS. Thus, we have been working very trustingly with people with disabilities for many decades, to whom we want to open up important professional and life perspectives. We naturally want to continue to make consistent use of the diverse experiences of people with various biographies and different backgrounds.