Pro-Lite acquires SphereOptics GmbH

The combined company is aiming to be the leading provider of light-measurement equipment and optical instrumentation to the European market.

British photonics and light measurement equipment distributor Pro-Lite Technology Ltd has acquired a majority shareholding in German company SphereOptics GmbH (Uhldingen, Germany).

With the acquisition of SphereOptics, which took effect on April 1, 2011, Pro-Lite says it will apply its technical leadership to help grow its light measurement business in the German, German-speaking and Eastern European markets.

Pro-Lite is a supplier of specialist equipment and services with a technical focus several areas of photonics, namely instruments for measuring light and the optical properties of materials; lasers and related equipment; opto-mechanics and positioning equipment; and optics & optical materials.

Formed in 2002, Pro-Lite distributes light-measurement products made by Labsphere, Radiant Imaging, Ocean Optics and Konica Minolta in the UK and Ireland.

SphereOptics serves the German, German-speaking and Eastern European markets with light measurement, NIR spectroscopic and hyperspectral instrumentation as well as diffuse reflectance materials and optical standards. Formed in 2003, SphereOptics GmbH distributes products made by Labsphere, Radiant Imaging, ASD and Headwall Photonics.

SphereOptics GmbH was originally the German sister company of US-based SphereOptics LLC, which was acquired by fellow US company Labsphere in 2010. This resulted in SphereOptics GmbH distributing integrating-sphere and light-measurement products of the combined Labsphere/SphereOptics.

Pro-Lite and SphereOptics share a common focus in serving the lighting, LED, display and automotive markets with innovative photometric, spectroradiometric and goniophotometric test equipment for luminaires, solid-state lighting (SSL), lamps, displays and LEDs. The combined company’s mission is to become the premiere company providing light measurement and optical instrumentation to the European market.

Pro-Lite made significant investments in its infrastructure in 2010. The company doubled the size of its premises at the Cranfield University Innovation Centre (near Milton Keynes, UK) and invested over £100,000 ($160,000, €115,000) in a photometric test & demonstration laboratory. The dark-room facility is equipped with 25-cm and 1-m Labsphere integrating-sphere spectroradiometer systems, a luminaire goniophotometer system and imaging photometer from Radiant Imaging, a range of luminance and illuminance photometers and colorimeters from Konica Minolta and several irradiance spectroradiometers from Ocean Optics.

Pro-Lite also provides a rental service for the hire of photometers that are used to measure the brightness and color of displays and all manner of light sources (lamps, luminaires, LEDs etc). Pro-Lite’s photometric measurement and equipment hire services will now be available to customers of SphereOptics in Germany, as well as in German-speaking and Eastern European countries.

Pro-Lite director Robert Yeo said: “the acquisition of SphereOptics presents an exciting opportunity to bring Pro-Lite’s technical leadership in light measurement to the German and Eastern European markets. There are strong synergies between our two companies which we will exploit to better serve our customers working with LEDs, displays and lighting”.

SphereOptics’ Christina Boehme will continue to serve as General Manager and minority shareholder under Pro-Lite’s ownership. Christina said: “SphereOptics is pleased to be working with Pro-Lite. We serve similar markets with the same light measurement products from Labsphere and Radiant Imaging. Pro-Lite’s technical leadership will support the growth of the SphereOptics business in Germany and Eastern Europe”.

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