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LUX-TSI testing center expands with £430k investment

10 Jan 2013

UK facility will enhance its photonics and lighting testing services thanks to new finance.

LUX-TSI, a UK firm that specializes in testing of photonics, energy-efficient lighting and consumer products, is set for expansion after agreeing a new £430,000 finance package.

The company, which has state-of-the-art laboratories at Birmingham Science Park Aston and its headquarters at the Sony UK Technology Centre in Bridgend, has been awarded a £158,000 grant by the Welsh Government.

Coupled with a £150,000 loan from Finance Wales, and another £125,000 loaned from Asset Advantage and Henry Howard Finance, the center will be able to buy new equipment for testing of solid-state lighting (SSL) products, and create several new jobs in the process.

Gareth Jones, the chief executive at LUX-TSI, said: “We experienced very strong growth in 2012 and have significantly strengthened our partnership with Underwriters’ Laboratories (UL), offering testing and certification services for LED lighting and other products.”

“Growth projections for this year are even stronger, [and] we expect turnover to rise by over 200 per cent this year.”

Working capital
With demand said to be continually rising as UK firms seek to certify lighting and photonics products for global markets, the new finance will also support LUX-TSI as it expands into new areas.

“The £430,000 of additional working capital we now have will help significantly with expanding the facilities and the variety and amount of work we can undertake at our Bridgend headquarters and Birmingham Science Park laboratories,” Jones added.

He told optics.org: “The investment will be to expand our sales and marketing activities to take advantage of growth potential associated with SSL and the setting up of a European center of excellence in South Wales for energy performance, photometry and electrical safety testing of energy-efficient lighting and consumer electronic products.”

That will include the purchase of a UL/LSI Type-C goniometer that is fully LM79 compliant for accurate SSL lamp, module and luminaire metrology, and setting up a Yokogawa energy performance measurement suite. “Six new additional staff have been recruited and two new staff are planned in 2013,” Jones said.

Impressive growth
Ann Casey, an investment executive at Finance Wales’ technology venture investments team, added: “With all new lighting products requiring accreditation, [LUX-TSI’s] current growth levels are impressive. Our investment will underpin LUX’s expansion, providing the working capital it needs to increase its capacity in line with demand, as well as to develop services for new markets.”

One of a small number of the UK Accreditation Service’s (UKAS) approved lighting product testing companies (to ISO17025 standard), LUX-TSI is also approved to carry out photometric testing of lighting and signage products under the BSI (British Standards Institution) guidelines for automotive and roadside applications.

On top of that, it has a strategic agreement with the UK’s National Physical Laboratory to provide software and training services for lighting and laser safety applications, and recently won the Institute of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) “Measurement in Action” award.

While LUX-TSI has a strong focus on testing of energy-efficient lighting products, its team in Birmingham also delivers training programs for the industry thanks to European Regional Development Funding (ERDF).

LUX-TSI is part of the “Ultra Efficient Lighting Product Development Centre”, a £770,000 ERDF-funded project at Birmingham. SMEs with prototype and early-stage designs for low-carbon lighting can use a multitude of testing equipment at the facility to support their research and development efforts.

That includes measuring light and color and defining complex optical structures, with specialist tests such as thermography, reflectometry and high-speed imaging all available.

Synopsys, Optical Solutions GroupAUREA TECHNOLOGYSACHER LASERTECHNIK GMBHSensofarScitec Instruments LtdAlluxaCobolt AB
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