New Fagerhult wares designed for sound, vision, and sustainability

Aug. 30, 2022
Various brands now paying particular attention to materials and wellbeing. More connectivity is coming. Meanwhile, management changes are afoot at two of its companies.

As Swedish LED lighting group Fagerhult prepares to boost its IoT connectivity, it continues to develop new products with novel design features. Three of its companies added a total of four new luminaires with a sustainability twist, some also with acoustics in mind.

CEO Bodil Sonesson alluded to the new products when presenting second-quarter results last week on a webcall with analysts. Three Fagerhult companies — iGuzzini, Designplan Lighting, and Eagle Lighting — quietly launched luminaires over the last 6 months, but Fagerhult is just now telling the wider world, she said.

“Sustainability is a guiding star for us in all of our new product development,” Sonesson told analysts. “This has a very wide impact on both materials, how we design for modularity, the recyclability of the solutions, and the packaging.”

Fagerhult’s design approach also addresses light quality and, in some instances, sound dampening.

For example, the new Light Shed family of ceiling luminaires and pendants from Recanati-based iGuzzini uses a mix of ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) plastic made from 40% recycled material and PMMA plastic [Plexiglas branded poly(methyl methacrylate)], which Sonesson described as 100% recyclable. The designer product also includes acoustic material that “absorbs noise and diffuses sound,” Sonesson said, describing the overall intention as aimed at “increased wellbeing in the workplace.”

Sound-absorbing fabric also appears in the new Silencio Arin luminaire for offices and schools from Melbourne, Australia–based Eagle Lighting. To meet sustainability goals, Silencio includes a 60% carbon neutral body and 60% recycled material, Sonesson said.

In the transportation sector, Fagerhult’s Sutton, England–based Designplan Lighting introduced the Stromma luminaire, designed with a removable “gear tray” (the electronics plate) that can be easily replaced with an upgraded version, Sonesson said. She noted that Fagerhult’s transportation sector wins have included the recently opened Elizabeth Line railway — also known as Crossrail — which runs some 70 miles across London both above and below ground.

Back at iGuzzini, the company also added several lamps in iconic Italian design style but deploying materials with more sustainability in mind.

Sonesson said all four new product groups “have a common theme of sustainability, design, and good lighting quality, developed with very different customer groups in mind.”

She also emphasized the importance of IoT connectivity within Fagerhult’s innovation strategy. To that end, as LEDs Magazine has been reporting, the Habo-based company has created a new corporate post of chief technology officer. After a long process, Fagerhult has hired that person, who is set to begin on Thursday. The company is holding a Capital Markets Day on Wednesday, when it is expected to formally announce the individual.

Meanwhile, in a different sort of executive change, the company has shaken up management at Eagle and at Whitecroft in Ashton-under-Lyne, England. The two companies, along with Ankara, Turkey–based Arlight, form the Professional operations, the only one of four Fagerhult business divisions to have experienced a second-quarter decline in sales. Professional focuses on indoor lighting in local markets. The sales numbers tumbled to 245.7 million Swedish Krona from SEK 264.7 million in the same quarter a year earlier.

Although some of the hit reflected the weak Turkish lira, chief financial officer Michael Wood credited Turkey’s Arlight with a solid performance. He blamed poor management at Eagle and Whitecroft for much of the difficulties, dating back to hires over the last year that did not work out. Interim leaders are now currently in charge.

“We are taking our time to recruit exactly the right individual to lead those businesses in the future,” Wood said, noting that the Professional division “continued to be below expectations, and this is not satisfactory.” He also noted that Professional has had difficulty recovering inflated supply costs.

Fagerhult’s three other divisions are the design oriented Collection division, with iGuzzini (including Montreal-based Sistemalux); ateljé Lyktan, iGuzzini, LED Linear and WE-EF; Premium, which focuses on European customers and bespoke solutions via the Fagerhult and LTS brands; and Infrastructure, aimed at robust environments and including Designplan, i-Valo, and Veko.

MARK HALPER  is a contributing editor for LEDs Magazine, and an energy, technology, and business journalist ([email protected]).

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About the Author

Mark Halper | Contributing Editor, LEDs Magazine, and Business/Energy/Technology Journalist

Mark Halper is a freelance business, technology, and science journalist who covers everything from media moguls to subatomic particles. Halper has written from locations around the world for TIME Magazine, Fortune, Forbes, the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Guardian, CBS, Wired, and many others. A US citizen living in Britain, he cut his journalism teeth cutting and pasting copy for an English-language daily newspaper in Mexico City. Halper has a BA in history from Cornell University.