It would be more than a mild understatement to say that 2020 was an unusual year.
The title of this article isn’t a study of how recent global events have affected our bovine friends, but rather this is a reflection of the impact on UK commercial LED lighting designer and manufacturer, Carbon8Lighting.
For Carbon8, 2020 started with tremendous optimism with the orderbooks looking very healthy and numerous large projects due.
One project, that had germinated in 2019 was Carbon8’s unique ‘Moo’d Light’. Starting as an enquiry from a client for a project to light a cattle shed with red and white lighting, Carbon8 designed a high bay fitting that could operate as a normal white light or red light output fitting. The reason that the client was asking for the two lighting circuits was because of the effect on the mood of the cows if disturbed during rest/sleep time.
The specific wavelength of red light chosen for the fitting has been tested in a number of global experiments and trials and is proven to not disturb the cattle at night when they are resting. Cows are particularly sensitive to disturbances during rest time and can become easily stressed. The increased stress can include reduced milk yields and other health problems. By working under the red lights during the hours of darkness the cattle remain resting.
The combined white/red light Moo’d Light fitting saves money on the cost of light fittings and on the ease and cost of installation. A number of installations took place during 2020 so at least the Carbon8 team could feel good in the knowledge that they had made some happier cows, and farmers!
Overall 2020 was still a very successful year for Carbon8Lighting with the launch of a number of new products and the completion of some landmark projects.
Although the core business for Carbon8Lighting has been based around the companies highly successful Discus range of high performance LED high bay and floodlight fittings, Carbon8 has also offered a limited range of street light fittings.
As part of the 2020 product road map, and partly driven by the increase in export business that Carbon8 is enjoying, the business planned the expansion of its street light fitting portfolio to offer a more comprehensive range of street light fittings that compliment the others. Some of these new street light products are now available, including a market leading ultra-efficient fully integrated solar street light that is ideal for seasonal applications where it would be prohibitively costly to install cabling and connection to grid power.
Three new streetlight products that were due to be launched by Carbon8 in 2020 will now be introduced this year. At this point in time Carbon8Lighting is hoping to plan the launches to be focused on trade exhibitions starting in May, but of course this depends on the easing of restrictions in good time.
As a result of all the uncertainties that were bestowed upon businesses 2020 many of the expected projects that Carbon8 was expecting were pushed back. However, there were many projects that still went ahead and on more than one occasion customers actually brought forward projects to take advantage of easier access during quieter times.
2021 has started with many questions and uncertainties, but Simon Miles, Sales Director voices cautious optimism about Carbon8’s position. ‘We managed to meet or exceed all of our sales targets in 2020, despite all of the unforeseen challenge that we incurred. Of course we had no trade exhibitions, the primary place where we launch products and generate opportunities but we are lucky to have a dynamic and very hard working team who worked relentlessly to seek out every opportunity they could. With Covid 19 vaccinations being rolled out, and looking back at what we achieved in 2020, I believe that Carbon8 will continue to expand and we have set our sales targets to reflect this optimism that is shared by all of the Carbon8 Team.’
Carbon8 starts the year already working on a number of interesting projects that will require bespoke fittings and engineering ingenuity to overcomer specific challenges and the team hopes to share some of these with Electrical Engineering later in the year