|Founded||29 March 1928|
|Founder||Sir Jules Thorn|
|Headquarters||London , United Kingdom|
|Products||Professional luminaires and controls|
|Revenue||€869 million EUR (£728.3 million GBP) (2012)|
Number of employees
|7,814 (Zumtobel Group)|
Thorn Lighting Ltd, a subsidiary of the Austrian company Zumtobel Group, is a global supplier of both outdoor and indoor luminaires and integrated controls.
A light fixture, light fitting, or luminaire is an electrical device that contains an electric lamp that provides illumination. All light fixtures have a fixture body and one or more lamps. The lamps may be in sockets for easy replacement—or, in the case of some LED fixtures, hard-wired in place.
Thorn was founded when Sir Jules Thorn started The Electric Lamp Service Company Ltd, in 1928, dealing in incandescent filament lamps. In 1936, renamed Thorn Electrical Industries Ltd, the company was floated on the London Stock Exchange. Continuous post-war expansion followed and the organisation seized a variety of lighting, engineering and consumer electronics businesses, merging with EMI in 1979 to create Thorn EMI, which itself demerged in the mid-1990s.
Sir Jules Thorn was the founder of Thorn Electrical Industries, one of the United Kingdom's largest electrical businesses.
An incandescent light bulb, incandescent lamp or incandescent light globe is an electric light with a wire filament heated to such a high temperature that it glows with visible light (incandescence). The filament is protected from oxidation with a glass or fused quartz bulb that is filled with inert gas or a vacuum. In a halogen lamp, filament evaporation is slowed by a chemical process that redeposits metal vapor onto the filament, thereby extending its life.
Thorn Electrical Industries Limited was an electrical engineering business. It was listed on the London Stock Exchange but it merged with EMI Group to form Thorn EMI in 1979. It demerged again in 1996 and became a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index but was acquired by Nomura Group just two years later.
In 1994, following a leveraged management buy-out, Thorn Lighting Ltd floated on the London Stock Exchange as TLG plc (the Thorn Lighting Group) until it was acquired by Wassall plc four years later. In 2000, Wassall plc was purchased in order to merge TLG with the luminaire business of the Zumtobel Group, an acquisition financed with the assistance of private equity firm KKR who subsequently reduced its position. Thorn is now fully owned by the Zumtobel Group.
Private equity typically refers to investment funds, generally organized as limited partnerships, that buy and restructure companies that are not publicly traded.
KKR & Co. Inc. is a global investment firm that manages multiple alternative asset classes, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate, credit, and, through its strategic partners, hedge funds. The firm has completed more than 280 private equity investments in portfolio companies with approximately $545 billion of total enterprise value as of June 30, 2017. As of September 30, 2017, Assets Under Management (“AUM”) and Fee Paying Assets Under Management (“FPAUM”) were $153 billion and $114 billion, respectively.
The Thorn brand started life as the Electric Lamp Service Company Limited, established by Sir Jules Thorn on 29 March 1928, importing incandescent filament lamps and radio valves from the continent. Faced with increased import duties,introduced to aid British manufacturing, Jules Thorn bought his first lighting factory, the Atlas Lamp Works Ltd in Edmonton, north London in 1932. In 1936 the company went public as Thorn Electrical Industries.
Edmonton is an area of the London Borough of Enfield, England, 8.4 miles (13.5 km) north-north-east of Charing Cross. The area is home to the city's largest Turkish community.
The lamp businesses prospered until 1939 when production was geared to military needs. When war broke out a second lamp site, run by the Vale Royal Electric Lamp Company, was bought in nearby Tottenham - in case Edmonton was bombed.
Tottenham is a district of north London, England, in the London Borough of Haringey. It is 5.9 miles (9.5 km) north-north-east of Charing Cross.
When the war ended, Jules Thorn continued expansion through investing in new plants, partnerships and acquisitions, including the opening of an incandescent lamp operation in Merthyr Tydfil,South Wales in 1947; a technology transfer with Sylvania Electric Products Inc. to mass-produce tubular fluorescent lamps in Enfield, north London and taking over 51% of Ekco-Ensign Electric (Ekco) in 1950, which added a further incandescent lamp factory – in Preston, Lancashire.
Merthyr Tydfil is a large town in Wales, with a population of about 63,546, situated approximately 23 miles (37 km) north of Cardiff. At one time the largest town in Wales, Merthyr Tydfil is today its fifth largest urban area by population. Situated in the historic county of Glamorgan, it is the main town in Merthyr Tydfil County Borough and is administered by Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council. Both the town and the county borough are often referred to as simply 'Merthyr'.
Sylvania Electric Products was a U.S. manufacturer of diverse electrical equipment, including at various times radio transceivers, vacuum tubes, semiconductors, and mainframe computers such as MOBIDIC. They were one of the companies involved in the development of the COBOL programming language.
A fluorescent lamp, or fluorescent tube, is a low-pressure mercury-vapor gas-discharge lamp that uses fluorescence to produce visible light. An electric current in the gas excites mercury vapor, which produces short-wave ultraviolet light that then causes a phosphor coating on the inside of the lamp to glow. A fluorescent lamp converts electrical energy into useful light much more efficiently than incandescent lamps. The typical luminous efficacy of fluorescent lighting systems is 50–100 lumens per watt, several times the efficacy of incandescent bulbs with comparable light output.
In 1951, Thorn took over Smart & Brown (Engineers) Ltd's luminaire factory at Spennymoor,near Durham. In the mid-1950s specialist incandescent lamp factories were opened in Buckie, Scotland and in Wimbledon, London (the Omega Electric Lamp Works Ltd).
Between 1952 and 1964 Thorn established additional overseas connections, including a controlling interest in an Italian lamp manufacturer (SIVI Illuminazione SpA) and plants in Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, followed by agencies in the Middle East and Hong Kong, the latter with Jardine Pacific.
In September 1959 a new London-based HQ was opened. Thorn House, designed by Sir Basil Spence, was at the time England's tallest office block.
In 1964, driven by the need to compete more effectively in world markets, Thorn merged its lighting interests with those of Associated Electrical Industries (AEI)to form British Lighting Industries Ltd, taking a controlling 65% share (the remaining 35% being acquired three years later). AEI Lamp and Lighting brought to the BLI group three significant lighting interests: The British Thompson-Houston Co Ltd (BTH) which owned major factories, especially at Leicester in the East Midlands of England (producing discharge lamps) and in Hereford, near the Welsh border (making luminaires), and sold lamps under the ‘Mazda’ brand; the Metropolitan-Vickers Electric Co Ltd (MV) which drew supplies from the BTH factories, selling them under the 'Metrovick' brand; and the Edison Swan Electric Co. Ltd (Ediswan), which had recently transferred its factory at Ponders End and ‘Royal Ediswan’ brand over to BTH.
Within a year of its formation BLI reorganised - consolidating laboratories, factories, and selling functions - to operate under just three main brands: Atlas, Mazda and Ekco (the remaining 49% interest in Ekco-Ensign being secured in 1966). Once complete, in 1969, the BLI name was changed to Thorn Lighting Ltd and subsequently the Ekco and Atlas brand names were replaced by the Thorn name.
Substantial export growth followed, quickly earning a Queen's Award for Export Achievement, in 1968, and five years later Romford Export Centre opened, stocking over 10,000 items.
Indeed, by 1976 over 50% of sales were from outside the United Kingdom. 1979 saw Thorn acquire Gebr Kaiser GmbH & Co. Leuchten K.G, a West German manufacturer of lighting fittings, and two years later close the Tottenham lamp factory.
In 1987 the purchase of the Jarnkonst group of Nordic light fitting companies and closure of the Buckie lamp factory signalled a new drive by parent Thorn EMI to trade an export and ‘colonies’ mentality for a multi-cultural, international outlook, one that took account of the forthcoming Single European Act. Gaining critical mass in lighting fixtures – defined as 10% market share in any one county – was identified as a priority.
In 1988 Thorn EMI bought the French group Holophane to gain access to its luminaire subsidiary, Europhane. The Jardine relationship in Asia was developed into an 18-year joint-venture, and the lighting brands of Sydney-based Howard Smith were acquired.
On 14 November 1990, Thorn announced that it had agreed to sell its principal light source interests to GE of the US. Under the agreement, GE acquired the lamp plants at Enfield, Leicesterand Wimbledon, as well as Thorn's 51% in SIVI Illuminazione in Italy and 100% holding in Gluhlampenfabrik Jahn, a small specialist manufacturer in Germany. Thorn subsequently closed its Merthyr Tydfil lamp factory, consolidated its UK distribution centres and sold its South African business. In 1991, Thorn won Management Today's Business in Europe Award.
Using Hong Kong as a platform, the company entered Macau, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea and Japan, while additional offices and agents were established in Eastern Europe. In 1992, placing staff in Jardine offices throughout mainland China secured more projects(at £35m Chek Lap Kok airport became, and remains today, Thorn's largest ever contract) and laid the groundwork for local manufacturing. The Guangzhou fluorescent fittings factory opened in 1996 and Tianjin followed a year later, making road and tunnel luminaires. That same year, an interest in Thorn India was established. European activities centred on the purchase of Jakobsson in Denmark.
On-going consolidation in the late 1990s saw the closure of the Hereford factory and luminaire production transfer from the Kaiser Leuchten factory to other sites.
The new millennium marked a new beginning as the Zumtobel Group invested heavily in Thorn, particularly in technological innovation, and consolidating the former regionally structured production operations of Zumtobel and Thorn into a single worldwide supply chain. It also sought organic growth in clearly defined regions and market sectors.[ citation needed ]
In 2006, the Zumtobel Group sold Thorn's airfield ground lighting activities (Thorn AFL) to the Swedish airport specialist Safegate,and two years later merged two former luminaire production facilities to form a new plant at Wetherill Park, New South Wales, near Sydney.
In 2009, Thorn invested in a new factory, laboratory and training and exhibition complex (the Thorn Academy of Light) in Spennymoor.The Distribution Centre at the former site nearby was retained. The plant was named UK Factory of the Year for 2009. This year also saw Thorn and Hess AG of Germany enter into a long-term sales partnership for outdoor lighting products. Initially, activity centred on Germany, where Hess’ subsidiary, Vulkan, marketed Thorn's range, but further agreements were reached in 2011, extending Thorn rights to Hess products in France, East and Southeast Europe, and the UK and Ireland.
|1948||Become the first British lighting company to mass-produce fluorescent tubes. One of the first installations of Atlas fluorescent lamps was in the Westminster City Library, London, opened in July.|
|1952||Chief Chemist Dr Peter Ranby developed a new range of phosphors which led to the introduction of the White “3500K” lamp with a colour appearance midway between daylight and warm white.|
|1954||Introduced its flagship product, the Atlas Popular Pack – the first mass-produced fitting to be sold complete with its tube as a single package.|
|1955||Launched the Alpha One lantern, the first hermetically sealed and injection moulded optical system for road lighting. Designer: Richard Stevens.|
|1957||Introduced a new form of entertainment at Woburn Abbey, the Atlas Aurama system. This advanced Son et Lumiere show was controlled by electronic dimming.|
|1962||Introduced the VASI (visual approach slope indicator), developed in conjunction with the Royal Aircraft Establishment, to aid aircraft landing.|
|1963||Developed the electroluminescent Image Retaining Panel for X-ray screens and radar scanning.|
|1964||Introduced Q-File, the electronic lighting control system, designed in conjunction with the BBC, to improve theatre and TV lighting.|
|1965||Mass-produced Flashcubes for photography, developed in association with Sylvania and Kodak.|
|1967||Launched the first twin-filament tungsten halogen car headlamp, allowing drivers to use either full beam or dipped lights (given an AA National Motoring Award for road safety) and manufactured high pressure sodium lamps. Supplied lighting for Britain's new motorways, a section of the M4 near Heathrow with 140 W SLI/H lamps in Alpha 6 lanterns.|
|1970||Developed Magicube X with Kodak, a photographic flash cube not requiring a battery and the CSI (compact source iodide) lamp for floodlighting, outside filming and studio work.|
|1972||Became the first lighting company to win the Queen's Award to Industry for Technical Innovation (developing halogen lamps). Also the first manufacturer to offer a complete integrated lighting, heating and ventilation system with the introduction of ‘Arena’ – a new concept in commercial architecture.|
|1976||Introduced the 70 W high pressure sodium lamp.|
|1981||Launched two major improvements in fluorescent lighting: an energy saving replacement for the ordinary light bulb (the 2D compact fluorescent lamp) and the high frequency electronic ballast (exhibited at Hanover Fair, Germany).|
|1984||Developed the Haloheat cooker hob with halogen heat lamps.|
|1987||Manufactured a range of low wattage single ended metal halide and dichroic tungsten halogen lamps and fittings.|
|1988||Developed the C-VAS lighting management system for offices.|
|1989||The Aria spotlight and Modulight fluorescent win Die gute Industrieform design awards at the Hannover Fair, Germany.|
|1991||Launched Sensa, the first independent, intelligent lighting management fitting for offices.|
|2000||The Sensa 2 intelligent luminaire was voted a Millennium Product by the Design Council.|
|2006||Introduced the Orus low-level road lantern, which won an NICEIC award for best electrical product innovation.|
|2010||The StyLED road lantern won a “Label del’Observeur du design 11” award given by the French Agency for the Promotion of Industrial Creation (APIC) and the new PopPack was voted Innovative Lighting Product of the Year by Electrical Times. Thorn, together with Cambridge Display Technology and Durham University, won a Technology & Innovation Award, for addressing fundamental issues over the performance and production of light emitting polymers.|
An electric light is a device that produces visible light from electric current. It is the most common form of artificial lighting and is essential to modern society, providing interior lighting for buildings and exterior light for evening and nighttime activities. In technical usage, a replaceable component that produces light from electricity is called a lamp. Lamps are commonly called light bulbs; for example, the incandescent light bulb. Lamps usually have a base made of ceramic, metal, glass or plastic, which secures the lamp in the socket of a light fixture. The electrical connection to the socket may be made with a screw-thread base, two metal pins, two metal caps or a bayonet cap.
Koninklijke Philips N.V. is a Dutch multinational technology company headquartered in Amsterdam, one of the largest electronics companies in the world, currently focused in the area of healthcare and lighting. It was founded in Eindhoven in 1891 by Gerard Philips and his father Frederik, with their first products being light bulbs. It was once one of the largest electronic conglomerates in the world and currently employs around 74,000 people across 100 countries. The company gained its royal honorary title in 1998 and dropped the "Electronics" in its name in 2013.
A halogen lamp, also known as a tungsten halogen, quartz-halogen or quartz iodine lamp, is an incandescent lamp consisting of a tungsten filament sealed into a compact transparent envelope that is filled with a mixture of an inert gas and a small amount of a halogen such as iodine or bromine. The combination of the halogen gas and the tungsten filament produces a halogen cycle chemical reaction which redeposits evaporated tungsten to the filament, increasing its life and maintaining the clarity of the envelope. For this to happen, a halogen lamp must be operated at a higher envelope temperature than a standard vacuum incandescent lamp of similar power and operating life; this also produces light with higher luminous efficacy and color temperature. The small size of halogen lamps permits their use in compact optical systems for projectors and illumination. The small glass envelope may be enclosed in a much larger outer glass bulb for a bigger package; the outer jacket will be at a much lower and safer temperature, and it also protects the hot bulb from harmful contamination and makes the bulb mechanically more similar to a conventional lamp that it might replace.
Artificial lighting technology began to be developed tens of thousands of years ago, and continues to be refined in the present day.
Sir Joseph Wilson Swan FRS was an English physicist, chemist, and inventor. He is known as an independent early developer of a successful incandescent light bulb, and is the person responsible for developing and supplying the first incandescent lights used to illuminate homes and public buildings, including the Savoy Theatre, London, in 1881.
The Zumtobel Group headquartered in Dornbirn, Austria, is a manufacturer of professional indoor and outdoor lighting, lighting management systems and lighting components as well as LED and OLED technology. The Zumtobel Group includes the subsidiaries of Zumtobel, Thorn, Tridonic, acdc and Reiss.
British Thomson-Houston (BTH) was a British engineering and heavy industrial company, based at Rugby, Warwickshire, England and founded as a subsidiary of the General Electric Company (GE) of Schenectady, New York, USA. They were known primarily for their electrical systems and steam turbines. BTH was taken into British ownership and amalgamated with the similar Metropolitan-Vickers company in 1928 to form Associated Electrical Industries (AEI), but the two brand identities were maintained until 1960. The holding company, Associated Electrical Industries (AEI), later merged with GEC, the remnants of which exist today as Marconi Corporation.
A sodium-vapor lamp is a gas-discharge lamp that uses sodium in an excited state to produce light at a characteristic wavelength near 589 nm.
A compact fluorescent lamp (CFL), also called compact fluorescent light, energy-saving light, and compact fluorescent tube, is a fluorescent lamp designed to replace an incandescent light bulb; some types fit into light fixtures designed for incandescent bulbs. The lamps use a tube which is curved or folded to fit into the space of an incandescent bulb, and a compact electronic ballast in the base of the lamp.
An emergency light is a battery-backed lighting device that switches on automatically when a building experiences a power outage. Emergency lights are standard in new commercial and high occupancy residential buildings, such as college dormitories, apartments, and hotels. Most building codes require that they be installed in older buildings as well.
Tungsram is one of Hungary's largest, oldest, and internationally most prestigious firms, known for light bulbs and electronics. Established in Újpest in 1896, it initially produced telephones, wires and switchboards. The name "Tungsram" is a portmanteau of "tungsten" and "wolfram".
Crompton Parkinson was a British electrical manufacturing company. It was formed in 1927 by the merger of Crompton & Co. with F & A. Parkinson Ltd. The brand is now part of Brook Crompton.
EKCO was a British electronics company producing radio and television sets from 1924 until 1960. Expanding into plastic production for its own use, Ekco Plastics produced both radio cases and later domestic plastic products; the plastics company became Lin Pac Mouldings Ltd.
Havells Sylvania and formerly SLI, is an international designer and manufacturer of lighting products, trading as Sylvania. It has plants throughout Europe, Asia, North Africa and Central and South America, and is one of the few lighting companies that produces both lamps and lighting fixtures. It is owned by Shanghai Feilo Acoustics Ltd., having previously been owned by the Indian electrical company Havells.
United States Lighting Energy Policy is moving towards increased efficiency in order to lower green house gas emissions and energy use. Lighting efficiency improvements in the United States can be seen through different standards and acts. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 laid out changes in lighting legislation for the United States. This set up performance standards and the phase out of incandescent lighting in order to require the use of more efficient fluorescent lighting. EISA 2007 is an effort to increase lighting efficiency by 25-30%. Opposition to EISA 2007 is demonstrated by the Better Use of Light Bulbs Act and the Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act. The efforts to increase lighting efficiency are also demonstrated by the Energy Star program and the increase efficiency goals by 2011 and 2013.
Established in 1963, Anchor Electricals Pvt. Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Panasonic Corporation. Panasonic acquired Anchor, the 50-year-old Indian family-owned electrical equipment brand, in 2007. The company produces low-voltage electrical switches and accessories, switchgear and protection devices, wires & cables, lamps & luminaires and fans. It also sells home automation products from Panasonic.
The Edison and Swan Electric Light Company Limited was a manufacturer of incandescent lamp bulbs and other electrical goods. It was formed in 1883 with the name Edison & Swan United Electric Light Company with the merger of the Swan United Electric Company and the Edison Electric Light Company.