Shine on, shine the light on me - Lighting Design NZ
Shine on, shine the light on me

Shine on, shine the light on me

New Zealand-designed lighting solutions for indoors and out.

Words by Justin Foote

Here in New Zealand, we’re very proud of our ‘number 8 wire’ approach to getting things done. As a result, New Zealand is a nation built on the backs of small-to-medium business owners. In fact, according to Statistics New Zealand, there are approximately 530,000 small businesses in New Zealand—representing 97 per cent of all firms. These businesses contribute more than a quarter of New Zealand’s gross domestic product and account for 28 per cent of employment.

In World Bank business regulations rankings, New Zealand ranks number one out of 190 countries for ease of doing business, as well as ranking first in ease of starting a business. One such ‘home grown’ business is Eurotech Lighting, established in 1966 by two grass-roots Kiwis, David and Raewyn Chevin. The business has since passed hands onto the next generation and is now run by their daughter and son-in-law; Justine and Chris Hickie, keeping the company 100 per cent Kiwi owned and ensuring that all profits are kept on shore.

“My parents started the business from a shed on the back of my grandparents’ property with a loan equivalent to $2000 in today’s money,” says Justine. “At that time they were designing, manufacturing and assembling one-off light fittings by hand. They gained national recognition after they designed a sputnik-shaped light fitting for an exhibition and from that gained awareness, landed a commission from DB Breweries to fit out their chain of DB Hotels.

“The rest, as they say is history… Fifty-five years later and we’re still designing our own lighting products and they are all still hand-assembled. Though the manufacturing is now done offshore, we oversee all assembly and locally verify products as they arrive to ensure that the company’s strict quality standards are upheld.”

New to the Eurotech Lighting stable is Venius, an oversized decorative ceiling ‘button’, which has been designed to replace a single, pendant-style fixture.

Eurotech Lighting: second-generation family business

Justine says she and husband Chris bought the business off her parents as they both fervently believed it should remain a family-run business once her parents retired. Her digital and technology background has had a nice cross-over with the business, as much of the lighting today is LED-based, which is heavily technology reliant.

“With our longevity in the marketplace and former manufacturing experience, we know the Kiwi sensibility and the business climate intimately. As a result, we’re constantly evolving and improving our offering as well as adding new products every year. All products are Eurotech Lighting brands and designed for New Zealand’s unique environment.

“There are currently 1200 individual product variants within our range and we’ve just released our 2021 Collection, which has new offerings for both exterior and interior applications. We are mostly known for our residential collections but we also produce a number of products for the commercial market.”

A big part of the company’s range is exterior products, which Justine says brings with it a whole different context in terms of sustainability.

“We are very conscious of the materials we manufacture from, particularly in the way they perform in the harsh conditions we have here. That’s why the majority of our products are made from polycarbonate—because it doesn’t deteriorate and corrode like other materials in New Zealand’s conditions. The exterior market has also recently seen an increased demand for higher weather specification fittings with replaceable lamps, which helps increase the lifespan of the fixture. Unfortunately, ‘spent’ LEDs go into landfill at the end of their life, so we’re working on developing a longer-life product to help there, too.”

Regardless of where it is situated, Justine believes that lighting should be used to create atmosphere within a space and that the secret to a great lighting scheme is to understand how the space will be used and making sure your lighting design complements features and is adaptable based on the needs of the space.

“We work alongside electrical contractors and retailers, as consultants, as well as electricians to ensure that the clients receive the best possible outcome from their lighting application.”

Updated for the 2021 Collection is Spend, the popular linear pendant now comes in a striking plywood timber finish.

Eurotech Lighting: 2021 Collection

“From a trend perspective, the 2021 Collection showcases a lot of black and natural materials,” says Justine. “From a design perspective, you’ll see a lot of sharp edges and linear shapes. We’ve updated some of our most popular products and introduced new product ranges, as well, which we believe will prove just as popular.

“For interior applications, there’s Venius; an oversized decorative ceiling ‘button’, which has been designed to replace a single, pendant-style fixture with a product that offers a high level of functionality as well as aesthetics. Venius presents a modern, simple look and is available in two styles and sizes and multiple colourways.

“Also for interiors, we have expanded our very popular Spend linear pendant range by introducing a wooden pendant into the range. This particular model capitalises on the natural material look that is on trend at the moment. The design is sleek and suited to a minimalist interior scheme.

“Moving outside, our Cube product is one of our newest exterior fixtures. Made from UV-protected polycarbonate, it is an extremely durable cost effective solution, especially in coastal environments. The design is very sharp and what I really like about this product is that we have designed it to also come with an ‘eyelid’ cover for a contemporary design look and feel, or as a more functional light with the non-eyelid version, enabling design consistency throughout different areas.

Mali is an all-purpose, weather-proof step light with a built-in sensor and is suitable for interior and exterior applications. The major benefit of this is that you can create design consistency across your entire home. Mali is also very useful in places such as bathrooms, where a lot of this indirect style of lighting is used. In addition, we have added a lux detector to work alongside the sensor, which activates the lights at night when you come within three metres—thus only using power when you need it. An added advantage of the built-in sensor is that you don’t have to add an additional external sensor, reducing installation costs and maintaining a sleek aesthetic.

“Another of our innovative exterior lighting solutions is our Elita bollard. Made from die-cast aluminium and powder coated with a marine-grade coating, Elita is very durable and offers additional protection from New Zealand’s very hash conditions. We have also designed this fitting with a replaceable lamp to extend its lifespan. Another feature of this product is that we have created 230v and 12v fittings. The benefit of this is that with a 12v fitting you are not required to dig a six-foot-deep trench for cabling, significantly reducing the installation costs of the bollard.”

The Eurotech Lighting 2021 Collection is available now through a nationwide network of distributors, as well as throughout the Pacific. Eurotech’s west-Auckland showroom is open to the public but does not do direct sales. Justine says homeowners can specify a particular lighting solution—using its product code—and giving that to their interior or lighting designer.

Learn more about the latest interior and exterior lighting solutions available for your next project.

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