The ERCO philosophy of ‘Light not Luminaires’ has seen the European business span three generations of the one family
What does your company supply?
ERCO specialises in producing hardware and software for architectural lighting. First and foremost, we see ourselves as selling light, not luminaires. That’s why we call ourselves: ERCO, the Light Factory.
What’s the history of your company (how did it start)?
Founded in 1934 is now a 3rd generation family business, we began as a domestic luminaire and component producer. Following the war, ERCO grew rapidly to become the largest producer of spring-balance luminaires in Europe. By the mid 1960’s ERCO was being shaped by the second generation, Klaus Jurgen Maack. This era saw a paradigm shift at ERCO with the realisation of Maack’s ’Light not Luminaires’ philosophy and collaboration with Otl Aicher on a global ERCO corporate identity.
Where do you distribute?
ERCO has sales offices and channel partners available in all the metropolitan centres of the world. The ERCO approach is to have a global presence with local focus. ERCO solutions are available to meet the technical requirements of all regions in the world including; Europe, UK & Australia, Asia & Middle East, USA & Japan.
Describe your customers?
Essentially everyone concerned with helping to make good architecture even better through the right light. Primarily, ERCO sees itself as a consultant to the consultant, including; lighting designers, architects, interior designers, electrical engineers & end users.
What sets your company apart?
ERCO’s ’Light not Luminaires’ philosophy is present everywhere within the company still to this day, and it sets us apart in an industry that is essentially product and technology focussed. This ’Light not Luminaires’ philosophy provides an underlying culture of functional minimalism that is present in all the ways we express ourselves; the way we suggest our product be used, our showroom and trade fair designs, our technical innovations and optical systems, the graphic design and corporate identity of our print and digital platforms, and of course the products themselves.
Who should we speak to when specifying?
In most cases your preferred lighting specialist can point you in the right direction. Additionally, you can contact the ERCO studio in Sydney, Melbourne or across Asia Pacific for assistance and the contact details of our local channel partner.
What are your client’s priorities at the moment?
There is generally a lot of confusion in the market about the suitability of LED and the expected compromise between energy efficiency, light quality and luminaire cost. Much of our work recently is demonstrating how ERCO LED technology allows a solution where energy efficiency, light quality and solution cost can all be achieved.
What is good design to you?
Functional minimalism applies here too. The ERCO ’Light not Luminaires’ philosophy leads to the development of lighting tools satisfying the requirements of Richard Kelly’s Language of Light, whereby vertical illumination and glare free accent lighting play a major role.
What does the future hold?
Certainly digital lighting is here to stay. Perhaps, the greatest challenge now is to interface these new possibilities with the cultural requirements of the user – the ability to ’tune the light’.