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How to make smart technology affordable

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STARLIGHT is an affiliated company of MIH Group, which has activities in energy-efficient lighting solutions and heating and air-conditioning systems. It was founded in 1994 as a distributor of lighting products in France and surrounding countries.

 “15 years ago, we started with air-conditioning and heating,” says CEO Richard Mazigh. “We have a patent to connect the outside part and the inside part without a professional. We sell air-conditioning at a very good price, which does not need a professional fitter. For this reason, we must fight against the lobby of the professionals. In September we shall go to the European Court of Justice to change the law in France, and the chances are good that we win. Our system is approved by the biggest laboratories in Europe and they all say that it is the most ecological one on the market. ”

The novel air-conditioning system is marketed by STARLIGHT under the brand name Airton. Available in DIY stores, it is easy and quick to install and – thanks to its innovative, patented ReadyClim hermetically sealed connection system – perfectly safe. In combination with an unbeatable price, this has made Airton a major player in the French air conditioning market.

MIH Group focuses on the B2B market and mainly sells through the Internet, to customers across France and increasingly abroad, too. “We have many years of experience in distribution and have many talented people developing new strategies for the Internet,” states Mr. Mazigh. Yet STARLIGHT is not only constantly expanding its product range to develop complementary markets and developing new, web-based distribution strategies; the company is also pioneering new developments such as the smart home.

“We are currently working on smart home tech for 30 to 50 EUR instead of a few thousand EUR to make it accessible to everyone; we also offer smart AC solutions to reduce your energy bill,” explains Mr. Mazigh. “We are constantly developing our air-conditioning to make it more efficient and smarter to enable people to save both money and natural resources. I want my children to live on a better planet. We sell Airton because we sincerely want to give everyone an opportunity to have hot and cold air in their house. We want to make a difference and believe it is now or never.”

Based in Nice, STARLIGHT has a sales unit in Paris for lighting and sells air-conditioners online in Monaco. It operates an after-sales service in Tunisia and manufacturing and sourcing businesses in China.  Research and development is conducted in Israel. The group employs 46 people and turns over 24 million EUR. “Our goal for 2020 is to achieve sales between 31 and 33 million EUR,” says Mr. Mazigh. The company’s current cash cow is LED lighting Systems.

We want to make a difference and believe it is now or never. Richard MazighCEO
Starlight CEO Richard Mazigh

“But I believe more in air-conditioners and smart home automation projects because they are the future and we want to be part of it,” states Mr. Mazigh. “In four or five years’ time, you will get back to your smart green home and the air-conditioning and the lighting will turn on automatically. This is the way I see the future and this is what I am fighting for.”

STARLIGHT is, for instance, developing a new lighting system that automatically adapts to the user by becoming brighter when someone enters a room. “Applications, technologies, everything is about a click right now,” explains Mr. Mazigh. “We believe in zero clicks, everything should work automatically: the air-conditioning should go on 20 minutes before you arrive at home so it is already cold when you get in. You shouldn’t need any keys anymore; with a smart doorknob we are developing right now, you have the key in your smartphone. The biggest development we already have is the brain of your smart house, which will cost between 50 to 100 EUR and allow you to connect your entire home.”

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