Business / Companies

Partnership shines a light on world first

By Xu Junqian ( Updated: 2015-10-29 17:50

China's leading lighting manufacturer Opple is partnering with Dutch research and development company Seaborough to launch the world's first interchangeable LED light tubes, the parties said in Shanghai on Thursday.

Seaborough, an Amsterdam-headquartered company, is responsible for technology development while Opple will be in charge of product development and distribution.

Founded in 1996 in China's industrial hub in Guangdong province, Opple now encompasses Asia's largest lighting manufacturing site and China's biggest distribution network. Last year it consolidated $630 million in global sales, with the majority from the domestic market.

The partnership with Seaborough signals a significant step by Opple to "not only be present in the lighting market of Europe and the United States, but also build a credible name there", as Jeroen Janssen, Opple's European managing director put it.

It is estimated there are 12 billion lighting sockets worldwide, with one to two billion tubes being retrofitted every year. LED tubes incorporating the new technology, patented as One TLed Technology, are expected to use at least 50 percent less electricity than fluorescent ones, without causing extra waste by having to change sockets that are incompatible with traditional LED tubes.

European and American countries will be the major targeted markets, where infrastructure has been completed and the cost of changing sockets will be high. Products with the new technology will be manufactured in China and hit the market early next year.

"This is a Chinese technology product that helps solve an environmental problem in the US and Europe," said Paul Van Doorn, CEO of Seaborough.

The collaboration agreement was reached during the state visit of Dutch King Willem-Alexander to China from Sunday until Thursday.

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