Glamox’s Visionary Voyage: A Conversation with Group CEO Astrid Simonsen Joos

by | Sep 19, 2023 | News

Glamox's Visionary Voyage

In the evolving landscape of lighting solutions, Glamox stands tall as a beacon of innovation and adaptability. As we transition into an era where lighting plays a critical role not only in illuminating spaces but in enhancing the quality of life, Glamox seeks to redefine the boundaries of what lighting solutions can achieve. designing lighting (dl) and EdisonReport editor Randy Reid sat down with Astrid Simonsen Joos, Group CEO of Glamox, to explore the company’s journey and its vision for the future.

Founded in 1947, Glamox has been at the forefront of lighting innovation. Their business is split into two sections, Professional Building Solutions which is approximately 75% of their revenue, and Marine, Offshore &Wind (MOW) which is the remaining 25%.   

Astrid noted the vast opportunities in the renovation market in Europe and the potential in the MOW sectors. The company foresees significant investment in the offshore wind market in the coming decade and aims to capitalize on this by offering comprehensive lighting solutions.

Astrid passionately shared Glamox’s recent endeavors into human-centric lighting, a journey they’ve embarked on with field expert Dr. Shelly Jamesthrough a European tour. This initiative underscores Glamox’s commitment to not just saving energy but to unlocking the vast potential of lighting to improve people’s lives. “It’s about the extra dimension of light, showcasing its impact on individuals and communities,” Astrid said, as she explained Glamox’s revolutionary strides in this domain.

Astrid noted that both of Glamox’s customer-facing divisions are thriving concurrently, with a notable 39% growth in their MOW division  in the second quarter. The human-centric lighting approach, Astrid noted, transcends business divisions, offering adaptable light recipes that cater to various environments, from schools to naval vessels.

The dialogue also ventured into the global economic landscape and its impact on the lighting industry. Despite the turbulence brought about by high inflation and price hikes, Glamox sees opportunities amidst the challenges. The surge in renovation activities, particularly in non-residential sectors, spells a promising horizon for the company.

As they navigate the complexities of the current supply chain and market dynamics, Glamox remains committed to maintaining profitable growth, working closely with their customers to offer the best solutions. A significant part of their success, Astrid revealed, stems from their ability to adapt and evolve, incorporating elements that facilitate a quicker return on investment, partially due to rising energy prices globally.

When asked about their manufacturing footprint, Astrid shared that Glamox operates 11 factories across various regions, including Europe, Canada, and a small facility in China. Despite the potential labor cost benefits of a larger operation in China, Glamox values quality and sustainability, attributes ingrained in their European facilities. “We are focused on environmental product declarations, knowing where and who manufactures our products. Being closer to our customers, reducing shipping times and enhancing the quality of deliverables remains our priority,” Astrid affirmed.

Astrid emphasized the importance of lighting designers in understanding technical products and customer needs. She also highlighted the evolving role of lighting designers, some of whom she considers evangelists who connect with customers and comprehend their concerns and needs.

The conversation transitioned to her time at Signify and the concept of lighting as a service, which, as an industry-wide concept, faced setbacks in the past. Despite previous failures, Astrid perceives potential in this model, viewing it as a viable option in the progressive digitalization of lighting, a sentiment stemming from her experience in the software industry. She stressed the necessity for transformation not only among lighting suppliers but also within the ecosystem to facilitate a market for these services.

Later in the conversation, she shared her reasons for moving from Signify to Glamox, citing the potential she saw in Glamox and her desire to be closer to her home market and leverage her experience to propel the company forward.

It became abundantly clear that under Astrid’s leadership, Glamox is steering towards a future that is not only brighter but smarter, healthier, and more sustainable. The company’s progressive stance on human-centric lighting, wireless lighting solutions, and lighting for offshore wind, coupled with their adaptive business strategies, mark them as pioneers in an industry on the brink of a revolutionary transformation. It is indeed a journey of light that promises to illuminate lives in more ways than one, reshaping our perception of what lighting can achieve in the modern world.