Emergency lighting is an expression of responsibility towards people, objects and the environment

The true quality of an emergency lighting system becomes apparent not only in an emergency. Design, creative integration options and technical quality criteria, such as energy efficiency and maintenance comfort, play an important role as well (PresseBox) (Dornbirn, ) The international Zumtobel premium brand, a subsidiary of the Zumtobel Group domiciled in Dornbirn, Austria, with a turnover of more than EUR 1.2 billion (2010/2011), provides integral lighting solutions involving high-quality luminaires and lighting management systems in numerous areas of application of professional interior lighting. Zumtobel's products combine excellent design and trend-setting technology in a harmonious way, triggering innovative impulses, with a focus on the brand's philosophy to create worlds of experience with light.

The ONLITE product range is proof of Zumtobel's extensive expertise in the sphere of emergency lighting, which is an integral component of each lighting solution.

Stefan Volkamer, a free-lancing journalist covering the subjects of lighting, architecture and design, conducted an interview with ONLITE Product Manager Bernhard Klocker, addressing the question of how much importance is attached to this product area by Zumtobel.

Stefan Volkamer (SV):
Mr Klocker, Zumtobel offers a comprehensive product portfolio under the ONLITE brand name, including a variety of emergency and escape sign luminaires. How important are these products within the Zumtobel brand?

Bernhard Klocker (BK):
Let me answer your question by giving several explanations. The potential turnover is considerable, since about 15-20 percent of the lighting budget are typically allocated to emergency lighting. Zumtobel has been able to increase its turnover with emergency lighting systems by as much as 150% since 2006. This impressive development is not only proof of the high innovative and practical quality of our ONLITE products, but also shows that investors, architects and designers acknowledge our extensive expertise in this field. By implementing emergency lighting as an integral component of every lighting solution, we also meet the core claim of the Zumtobel brand: to create maximum value for our customers by providing integral solutions.

SV:
Does that mean that ONLITE has already reached its turnover potential today?

BK:
No, certainly not. In the medium term, our aim is to enhance ONLITE even further, making it an essential mainstay of the Zumtobel brand. We are convinced that in the foreseeable future ONLITE will become one of the strongest product brands in the field of emergency lighting.

SV:
And how do you plan to achieve this aim?

BK:
We will refine the ONLITE brand strategy that has been successfully pursued for years even further by continuously adjusting main areas such as development and distribution to the structural changes of the market. The focus of ONLITE will continue to be on state-of-the-art technology, design and environmental aspects, without restrictions. These three aspects will remain the pillars of this ongoing story of success.

SV:
Let's talk about the claim of providing "state-ofthe- art technology". Often, this means nothing but the use of LEDs as sources of light. Is this Zumtobel's point of view as well?

BK:
Our interpretation of this claim is much more comprehensive. Of course, LED technology plays an important role also in the ONLITE portfolio, since all ONLITE emergency luminaires are fitted with advanced LED modules. But to us, technology means much more. It means using innovative materials, highly advanced optics and high-precision light distribution systems, as well as dealing with questions of installation, fixing and maintenance. However, technology and creation of value also means to us to support our customers in terms of supplying systems, design details and services offered for commissioning and maintenance. As you can see, the integral approach is deeply rooted in all of Zumtobel's application areas.

SV:
And the aspect of design?

BK:
Design is an essential aspect in our luminaire development. In the field of emergency lighting we collaborate with renowned architects and designers, such as Matteo Thun or EOOS. It is very important to us that our luminaires can be integrated into a variety of buildings with varying spatial and structural conditions, without being dominating in terms of design. They must fulfil their task to a T in emergencies, while being highly unobtrusive during day-to-day operation.

In anticipation of your next question: environmental aspects do play an ever-increasing role with respect to ONLITE, and also with regard to the entire Zumtobel Group, as becomes apparent from the fact that the LED-based group turnover has exceeded EUR 100 million in the previous business year. It is a matter of fact that the energy efficiency of LEDs cannot be outcompeted. However, the idea of sustainability has been firmly established in all areas and products of Zumtobel as well. In order to quantify and implement our sustainability goals, we use the integral ecobalance approach, where the luminaires' energy balance is measured and analysed during their entire service life: from raw material procurement and manufacturing via transport through to operation and disposal. The ecobalance results are then displayed in an environmental certificate for each individual luminaire and used for product improvement. You might say that each individual luminaire has its own balance, which also applies to the entire ONLITE range.

SV:
Which areas of application are covered by the ONLITE range?

BK:
Basically, we cover all areas of professional emergency lighting. However, it is important to know that, in addition to the special ONLITE range, each Zumtobel luminaire is also optionally available as an emergency luminaire. Thus, there is no better way to integrate emergency luminaires into the general lighting system. The ONLITE portfolio includes a total of ten different product lines, among them the RESCLITE LED emergency luminaire range comprising eight professional luminaires of high aesthetic appeal for escape route or anti-panic lighting. Within the escape sign luminaire portfolio you can choose between nine different product ranges: from small and delicate luminaires to extremely large ones for airports or extra-large halls with recognition ranges of up to 90 metres. All luminaires are characterised by minimum energy consumption, both in normal operation and during emergency operation. Moreover, we also supply luminaires for harsh environmental conditions. All luminaire ranges and design versions are available for all types of supply: for individual battery, group battery or central battery systems. In other words: we cover pretty much any conceivable application area of emergency lighting in conformity with relevant standards.

SV:
Is the development of new luminaires planned as well?

BK:
Not only planned. In collaboration with EOOS, we are currently working on the development of three new product ranges.

SV:
One last question: You just said "in conformity with relevant standards". I can imagine that international manufacturers have to deal with a huge number of standards, provisions and regulations...

BK:
That's right. But for Zumtobel it is a matter of course to be represented in national standardisation bodies to keep up to date at all times. Over the years, our knowledge of standards has greatly increased, which is also reflected in the standards brochures on the topic of emergency lighting, which have even become standard reference sources for electricians and lighting designers in a number of countries. In buildings for commercial use, emergency lighting plays an essential role, for light enhances security and creates trust. It is the task of an emergency lighting system to make sure everybody can leave the building safely in an emergency. For this purpose it is important that luminaires and control systems comply with all current technical specifications and standards. However, as I said before, standards are a complex matter, and sometimes it seems difficult to keep an overview of the situation. We provide answers to this question and many more in collaboration with TÜV Rheinland by organising various information events, also in Germany, where our customers are given the opportunity to attend practical presentations and learn all important details on the current situation concerning standards, technical requirements and options provided by modern emergency lighting systems. Since September, our standards tour has made stopovers in Berlin, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Hanover and Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Dortmund and Bremen as well as Lemgo, Cologne, Nuremberg and Landshut- a total of twelvecities in about six weeks, telling people everything they need to know about emergency lighting.

SV:
A long tour.

BK:
Yes, and highly appreciated by our numerous customers.

SV:
Mr Klocker, thank you for this interesting interview, and I wish you a lot of success also in the future.

Kontakt

Zumtobel Lighting GmbH
Schweizer Straße 30
A-6850 Dornbirn
Nadja Frank
Marketing Communication
PR Manager
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