Australian LED lighting manufacturer Aqualuma is no stranger in moving quickly to meet the market and seize opportunities.

This privately owned business, based on the Gold Coast has its heritage in the glamorous world of designing and manufacturing efficient underwater lighting for luxury motor yachts and cruisers. Whilst a desirable product, underwater lighting became very much a luxury rather than a necessity for owners of motor yachts in 2007-08 as the global financial crisis (GFC) hit, and the market contracted globally at a remarkable pace.

Dusting themselves off very quickly, Aqualuma’s owners recognised an opportunity in the less volatile market of commercial lighting to build on their expertise and relationships with LED chip and optics manufacturers. Commercial highbay lighting products in the market at that time were of questionable quality – inefficient and environmentally unfriendly.

The Aqualuma team spent a considerable time in the R&D lab, designing and testing to develop a world-leading LED highbay light. The result was a new LED high-bay luminaire that achieved high levels of energy efficiency while also proving environmentally friendly in that they were both recyclable and upgradable as technology improved. A warranty of seven years helped to overcome any scepticism the market held for the new technology

The current Aqualuma range of premium LED high-bay lights ranges from 90w to 250w and includes a number of variants and optical options, ideally suited to manufacturers, engineering companies, logistics centres, freight companies, warehouses, storage faculties, vehicle showrooms, big-box retail stores and outdoor use. There is a pipeline of new products due to come out of the R&D centre later this year, targeting a number of new sectors in mining and food preparation/handling.

The company is proudly Australian and prides itself on manufacturing the entire range from its purpose-built facility on the Gold Coast using local labour and sourcing 90% of its components from local suppliers. The company’s heritage in the marine sector shows through in the quality of the Aqualuma product, with an aluminium marine-grade heat sink and body cast in Victoria, and plastics from a local supplier in Queensland. The Aqualuma range is a premium product with world-leading energy efficiency, optical capability and the ability to be controlled by sophisticated software. Typical clients are blue chip companies with an eye on whole-of-life costing, payback and minimal maintenance costs.

The market for LED commercial lighting has been flooded over the past few years with imported product, inevitably driving quality down. Aqualuma has been nimble to adapt to rapidly changing market conditions and access new clients, responding to the challenge from imports by launching a new product: the ‘Lite-bay’, which complements its existing premium quality LED Highbay lights. The Lite-bay aims to compete with imported LED High-bay lights, with competitive pricing and superior performance.

The Lite-bay is a premium-quality product, with 130w output, IP66 water ingress rating, and a marine-grade epoxy powder-coated aluminium housing and heat sink. The Lite-bay is a straightforward luminaire, designed for the business that needs a simple lighting solution to either replace existing metal halide lighting or to fit out new premises without complex controls or optics. It uses many components and casting from the existing range of High-bay luminaires, ensuring that the unit is still of the highest quality and will outlast any of the competition.

Owing to its superior energy efficiency and reliability, the Aqualuma range is ideally suited to the demanding requirements of manufacturing, engineering and storage and warehouse facilities, where minimising running costs and maintenance are key. The Lite-bay is 130w and generally replaces an existing 400w metal halide commercial light. Its efficiency is a class leading 127 lumens/watt and it is water ingress rated to IP66, meaning that it can be used externally and hosed off for washing if required. Typically, energy savings of over 75% will be realised, making for quick payback. Across New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia there are energy rebates available making the changeover even more affordable and in some cases, making it cash-flow positive from day one when coupled to one of Aqualuma’s range of financing options.

Aqualuma carries out all its R&D, testing and manufacturing from its new purpose-built facility at Helensvale. The owners are still actively involved in the business and it is usual to see them involved on-site working on clients’ projects. Aqualuma has remained the world leader in underwater marine lighting and has continued to innovate over the past 10 years to stay ahead of the competition and increase options for clients; it even markets a video camera that can film the fish that the lights attract and display it on on-board display screens.

The Aqualuma range for both marine and industrial/commercial is available across all states via a team of national distributors and direct sales. The company exports its products across the globe, and has received numerous awards for innovation and marketing – most recently winning the Premier’s Export Award for a second time in 2016.