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    Light Your World Blog

    Lumec: Looking Back on 50 Years of Outdoor Lighting Innovation

    July 05, 2022
    Lumec 50th anniversary
    In 1972, two, forward-thinking lighting specialists, Gerald Lamontagne and Paul Amyot, transformed outdoor lighting with style and originality. Breaking away from predictable cobra heads, the duo envisioned a luminaire based on classic lantern designs with a modern twist – high-performance optical technology. And so, in a small commercial property in Saint-Michel in Montreal, Quebec, Lumec was born.
    We couldn’t be prouder to celebrate our brand’s 50th anniversary (Signify, Philips Lighting at the time, acquired Lumec in 2007). Francois L’Ecuyer, Head of Research & Development (R&D) for Lumec, reflects on how our outdoor lighting brand evolved and flourished through half a century to reach this tremendous milestone. Scroll to read more!
    François lecuyer
    You’ve worked with Lumec for 30 years. What makes Lumec a game changer for outdoor lighting?
    Our ability to adapt and evolve. The last three-plus decades has not been without its challenges; however, over the course of that time, we’ve never lost sight of what matters most – our customers. Putting the customer first is what’s allowed us to continue to innovate in line with their needs and become a recognized, leading brand in sustainable, decorative outdoor solutions and roadway lighting applications.
    How has the Lumec brand evolved throughout the years?
    We’re a long way from that small shop in 1972. In 1978, Lumec bought a foundry in Saint-Antoine-des-Laurentides and in 1993 we moved to our current facility in Boisbriand. The brand went international in the late 80s – expanding into the United States – and by the 90s, it had gone global.
    Sustainability has always been at the core of this Signify brand. In fact, Lumec was among the first outdoor lighting brands to participate in the Dark-Sky initiative, a program to limit disruptive light pollution and its negative impact on wildlife, human health and climate change. The legacy continues today, as we strive to unlock the extraordinary potential of light for Brighter Lives and a Better World.
    This wouldn’t be possible without our technological advancements. For instance, we were also among the first lighting brands to integrate powder paint into our manufacturing processes. It allowed us to offer better quality products with longer lifespans to our customers.
    The introduction of LED technology was, of course, a big turning point, too. In 2005, the R&D team bought its first LEDs and started to build a luminaire prototype. By 2007, we’d launched our first LED luminaire called Léonis. Interestingly enough, we had taken a platform approach to LEDs, implementing microprisms within each luminaire that we could direct to create different light distributions. We called it LifeLED. LifeLED helped us minimize the investment required to go to market, enabling Lumec to debut a robust LED lighting portfolio.
    Led lumec
    How is R&D engrained in Lumec’s history?
    We continue to evolve our design process, to deliver solutions that are not only visually appealing but also ensure they maximize performance. Thirty years ago, team members were drawing with pencils, a compass and paper. Models were created from cardboard and Styrofoam. Now, we use 3D software and modeling to simulate our fixtures. Our engineers, designers, technicians and specialists innovate to adapt to the needs of our customers. These employees live all over the world, from Europe to the Americas, and our global interactions help us develop our high-quality lighting products. From visual comfort to connected solutions, we make luminaires that are easy to maintain and offer longer lifespans to enhance the liveability of your outdoor spaces for years to come.
    Tell me about your favorite projects.
    When I joined Lumec, I designed a custom, decorative luminaire for the small town of Ste-Adele in the Laurentians. Today, I live in that small town, and I see that luminaire all the time. It’s still standing tall and lighting the area after more than 30 years! It’s a full circle moment. Whenever I see them, it reminds me of the start of my career.
    Lumec outdoor luminaries
    I’m also very proud of the Léonis luminaire, our first LED luminaire. When it launched, the design was very special and unique. And it’s withstood the test of time since we still offer it today! We were pioneers. Even then, our brand was conscious about sustainability. These luminaires are made of aluminum and are 94% recyclable at the end of their lifecycle. As time has passed, we’ve only expanded upon our sustainability targets and our solutions, especially when connected, are enabling cities to be smarter and more livable. Customers can enhance the visual appeal of their street lighting and support pedestrian and driver safety while being environmentally responsible.
    Leonis street luminares
    Another innovation I’m proud of is the Helios cobra head. I, along with a few members of our team, had the pleasure of staying in Belgium to work on this design. It diversified our portfolio into roadway lighting at a time when we were only known for urban lighting – that’s evolution! 
    Heilos roadway luminares
    How can Lumec continue to evolve and be successful?
    Closely collaborating with and listening to our customers. Our R&D success comes from their feedback during the innovation process. It enables us to understand their challenges and how we can help address their needs.
    Here's to 50 more years!
    In an upcoming blog post, we’ll speak with Jana Rostron, Customer Segment Manager for our Public Sector, about how we’re learning from this tremendous legacy to deliver more for our customers in the future.
    Learn more about our Lumec brand and outdoor urban, roadway and tunnel lighting solutions here.


    Post tags

    Outdoor lighting, LED lighting, Lumec, 50th anniversary, LED cobra head luminaire, first LED luminaire, Léonis cobra head, Helios, industrial design, design, sustainability, dark-sky initiative, LED technology, LifeLED, roadway lighting

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