150 years of marine lighting history

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150 years of technology progress in maritime lighting
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Glamox provides a glimpse into its past as the maritime lighting specialist celebrates a century and a half of illuminating marine environments.

What started out as a business dealing in construction and combustible materials is today a well-known brand for marine lighting and a successful company within the Glamox group. The company started up in Bremen where it still has a factory today. This is where the steel parts for the luminaires are now produced. In 1990, a factory in Teterow, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania was acquired, where the luminaires are now assembled. In total, the two factories and the Glamox Aqua Signal sales organisation employ 237 people.

“Maintaining some of our production in Germany is something we’re very proud of. It’s an important part of our identity,” says Markus Barner, Managing Director of Glamox Aqua Signal in Bremen.

The company was originally called Ahlemann & Schlatter after its founders. Around 1870, they established their own production plant for petroleum navigation lights and kerosene lamps. Throughout the years the company has manufactured many things, but lighting has remained a core product. Today, Glamox Aqua Signal supplies marine lighting to all types of vessels worldwide. The core markets are commercial shipping, cruise boats, ferries and recreational boats.

“We are proud to see our products go to shipyards in Asia, America and Europe. But it’s also very exciting when we are chosen by customers close to home. A good example of this is the shipbuilding company MV WERFTEN, to which we supply lighting for their complete range of marine vessels,” adds Markus Barner.

Adaptation and innovation

Glamox Aqua Signal has suffered hardship over the years, but has managed to survive due to a remarkable capability to adapt to the customers’ needs and requirements. Breaking new ground with new products has been an important part of this. In 1975, the company was the first to launch a lantern made only from polycarbonate, which complied with IMO regulations. In 1984, the company developed electronic monitoring systems for navigation lanterns based on microchips. As early as 2000, Glamox Aqua Signal launched its first LED products.

Today, the majority of Glamox Aqua Signal’s customers request LED lighting. Although the company still offers lighting with conventional light sources, all new products that have been launched in the last 10 years have been LED products.

Safety is a key issue for marine products. Navigation lights, search lights and strobe lighting are all products that contribute to the safety onboard a vessel. This is why offering high quality products that comply with international and local regulations, has always been essential to Glamox Aqua Signal.

In 1995, Aqua Signal was bought by the Norwegian industrial group, Glamox. In Glamox, the products carrying the Aqua Signal brand are presented as part of an extensive portfolio of marine products. Markus Barner is confident that both the Aqua Signal brand and the company will prosper in the future. “After 150 years in business, looking ahead is still the most important key to success,” he says.

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