LEDs offer lighting designers unparalleled flexibility and a completely variable light output both in terms of light intesity and colour. “LED technology has been around much longer than people think but, because the lighting market tends to be quite conservative and moves very slowly, those involved right from the beginning enjoy a huge competitive advantage,” says Commercial and Marketing Director Gianluca Salciccia. “Many companies within the lighting sector were slow off the mark but we, although we were new to the sector, have worked with LEDs since the beginning.” That beginning was roughly 30 years ago when the company was established by Angelo Vendrame.
To begin with, the company supplied aluminium components to manufacturers of lamps and luminaires. However, this soon changed when Angelo Vendrame first came into contact with LED technology. “He was immediately convinced by the potential of LED lights and decided to focus on the development of his own range of LED products,” says Mr. Salciccia. “With this head start, the company grew quickly and the current structure began to take shape.”
Thanks to the versatility of LED lights, Linea Light operates in very diverse markets covering the needs of both the professional and home lighting sectors. “The Linea Light brand covers decorative lighting solutions aimed at the home market,” says Mr. Salciccia. “We have an extensive range of downlights, pendant lamps, wall lamps, floor lamps, standard lamps, ceiling lights, table lights and lighting systems to suit any interior space.”
Lighting is widely used by architects and interior designers to define a space and create a mood to suit the purpose it is used for. With its interior lighting ranges, Linea Light gives them a well-equipped toolbox with which to work. Its lights feature modern designs made using sleek, modern materials such as glass and aluminium. Many of the designs have been singled out for prestigious awards including the Red Dot design award and the iF design prize.
“This year, we were very proud to be awarded the Compasso d’Oro design prize for light designs from our designer collection MA [&] DE, which stands for material and design,” notes Mr. Salciccia. “The Compasso d’Oro is the most prestigious industrial design prize in Italy and is conferred to products which combine form and function particularly well.”
Both the Linea Light and MA [&] DE brands are aimed at the decorative home market but its main brand, i-Lèd, addresses the professional market with its collections for both indoor and outdoor lighting solutions. “i-Lèd can be described as our core business as it brings together all of the technical advances for which we are known both at home and abroad,” says Mr. Salciccia. “The products united under the i-Lèd brand allow us to bid for prestigious public and private projects worldwide and are used to light museums, hotels, shopping centers, commercial premises and exterior spaces around the world.”
i-Lèd can be described as our core business as it brings together all of the technical advances for which we are known both at home and abroad. Gianluca SalcicciaCommercial and Marketing Director
Finally, Linea Light designs and markets lighting solutions under a third brand, Eral, which is aimed at the industrial sector with additional features to meet the specific needs of industrial clients. The common thread running through all of the company’s product ranges is their basis on in-house technological research and production.
“We produce everything here in Italy at three production plants in the Veneto region,” says Mr. Salciccia. “We also have a subsidiary company which produces the electronics for our lights.” This is one of the big differences between LED lighting technology and conventional lighting. “LED lights have a much greater electronic component than conventional lights,” explains Mr. Salciccia. “We invested heavily in this area right from the start as LED lights and technology go hand-in-hand if the full potential of this light source is to be exploited.”
Another priority for the company that was identified at an early stage was international expansion. “Winning customers in international competition has been fundamental to hitting our growth targets,” confirms Mr. Salciccia. “We expect to post record sales of more than 200 million EUR for 2018 of which exports accounted for 70%. Our most important export markets are the USA and the Middle East, both of which are growing strongly.”
Linea Light first started capitalizing on its strengths in international markets in the early noughties with the opening of a subsidiary in France. Gradually, a network of subsidiary companies was built up throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North America.
“In China and America, we have set up hubs with their own production capacity to make products tailored to the local market,” says Mr. Salciccia. “It is important for us to be close to our markets so that we can respond quickly to our customers’ needs. Our of a total global workforce of 1,000, half are employed in our international subsidiaries.”
The company’s aim for the future is to consolidate its presence in the Italian market and to focus even more strongly on international growth. “We have recently strengthened our presence in key markets in the Middle East, particularly with regard to winning contracts for major projects,” notes Mr. Salciccia. “We typically work for clients who are themselves globally active. They want to work with a partner who can accompany them wherever in the world they have a presence.”
This is most commonly the case in the hospitality sector, particularly with major hotel chains. “We are known for our ability to offer a complete solution with lighting for all areas of the hotel, from the bedrooms to the kitchens and even including underwater lighting for the swimming pool,” explains Mr. Salciccia. “The ability to source all of their lighting needs from a single supplier is a major bonus for them.”
In a market that is now awash with LED lighting, Linea Light must now compete with an ever growing number of other suppliers. “Our advantage is not just the breadth of our product range but also its quality,” insists Mr. Salciccia. “We are chosen to supply lighting for projects such as the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris or the Dubai Opera House and the Presidential Palace in Oman because we offer a high quality product that is tailored to their specific needs.”
More than a fifth of turnover comes from the production of customized lighting solutions for specific projects. “In a relatively fragmented industry in which there are few players with a comparable depth in their product range, we occupy a unique position,” says Mr. Salciccia. “It means that when we decide to hold an invitation-only dinner at the same time as the PLDC lighting design trade fair, as we did in Paris last year, we can count on the presence of the top 100 lighting designers in the world to help us shine a light on the future of LED lighting.”