Castros, a lighting design company based north of Portugal, celebrated its 100th anniversary on May 2nd, 2021. As part of a company guided by the values of quality, sustainability, and innovation, these lighting professionals have extensive expertise in integrating light sources with control to create unique and customized lighting projects. Castros has long utilized cutting-edge lighting technologies to provide original solutions to public urban spaces, hospitals, schools, hotels, and any other place where “a touch of light” can make a difference.
Castros was established in 1921 by António Araújo e Castro. The company has come a long way over the years, with Maria Aurora de Castro, Antonio Jorge Castro and sons, transitioning from a fireworks company to a festive ornamentations business, and eventually to the impressive lighting design company we see today. Throughout its history, Castros has always been a pioneer for innovative lighting solutions.
In 1987, Castros became the first company in Portugal to use energy-saving light bulbs for its activities which allowed for a 50% reduction in energy consumption. The 80s were marked by the introduction of neon in Castros lighting structures. Characterized by a well-defined shape and a variety of colors, utilizing neon gave rise to more flexibility and original visual effects.
Castros prioritizes quality designs that will most benefit their customers. “We are always looking for more technologically advanced solutions that allow a financial return to the customer through energy savings” explains Jorge Castro. In 2004, Castros began using LEDs, allowing for an 80% reduction in energy consumption compared to minilamps. Their projects are energy efficient and high quality, but they also make a lasting impact on public spaces. The company created its first floor-standing volume artworks in London in 2004. Since then, Castros has illuminated several main arteries in London, including Regent Street, South Molten Street, Oxford, Bond Street. In addition, Castros has executed stunning designs in France, Luxemburg, Belgium, Angola, Ivory Coast, Mali, and the United Arab Emirates, to name a few.
In 2005 and 2006, Castros won the 1st prize at the International Christmas Illuminations Competition in Thionville, France. Also in 2006, they took home the design innovation award at the LED – Light Exhibition Design Event in Milan, Italy. These successes opened doors to high-demand markets such as the Middle East, leading the company to settle in Dubai in 2011, where 20% of its total production now takes place.
Within the last decade, Castros has become a certified entity for research development and innovation. It has achieved a success rate of 100% in project funding and has had high societal impact. Among its greatest achievements, Castros has developed textile systems for light and color effects, advanced composites for urban spaces, as well as light-emitting films, wires, and fibers.
During the past 100 years, Castros has shown resilience, overcoming the obstacles of economic austerity and scarce raw materials caused by the World War and the Great Depression. Amidst all of these challenges, Castros has continued to innovate and inspire. Their most recent goal has been to help mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic by developing devices for air and surface disinfection.