Engineered Lighting Products, designing and developing specification grade lighting fixtures, commemorates 30 years of manufacturing specialty luminaires. It was a simple curve, sketched by Ralph W. Swarens on a paper napkin at his favorite coffee shop back in 1985, that shaped the beginnings of this revolutionary little lighting company.
Engineered Lighting Products (ELP) celebrates 30 years of designing and manufacturing specialty lighting to enhance architectural spaces. ELP was established in 1985 to utilize new technology for developing more effective and efficient luminaires. Swarens, the founding president of ELP, used his intimate, multilevel understanding of the lighting industry, to create a responsive manufacturing company to produce quality lighting fixtures in the U.S.
Designing and manufacturing luminaires was a natural progression for Swarens. He utilized his illumination engineering and business degree from Oregon State University working in all phases of the lighting industry as a representative, designer and consultant since 1961. In 1976, he started his own lighting consulting firm which ultimately served as the foundation to launch Engineered Lighting Products nine years later with his wife and daughter.
Swarens had a passion for solving lighting problems from new and creative angles. After 24 years his philosophy held that “lighting should enhance the architecture and mood of the space without being obtrusive by design or adding visual glare.” His conception of “The Perfect Reflector Curve” did exactly that. He patented the idea and utilized his extensive knowledge of new lighting technologies to produce the first recessed, linear, compact fluorescent wall washer.
After two years of product and manufacturing development ELP shipped its first products in 1987. ELP was open for business offering two fixtures for sale utilizing compact fluorescent lamps. Today, the catalog includes more than 32 families of fixtures with more than 1,200 models and numerous options. Energy conscious since its inception, the majority of their product utilize LED and fluorescent lamping.
ELP was originally marketed as “The Wall Washer Specialists” because of its extensive offering of more than 700 styles of wall washers, but in 2000 it changed its marketing focus to much more than walls. In addition to the vast range of wall washers, the company’s unique Hole In The Wall and Hole In The Ceiling cast GRG (Glassfiber Reinforced Gypsum) fixtures have won acclaimed recognition across the country. In 2002, the Hole In The Ceiling won Lightfair International’s “Best New Down Light” category. These patented, cast products integrate into the structure and become part of the wall or ceiling, without any visible metal in the normal viewing angles. Once installed, they appear to be a custom-built drywall light niche.
Other widely used products to light large areas are high-performance cove lights and exterior low-level flood lights. However, the fixtures achieving the most international success are the indirect Video Conferencing 2 by 2 luminaires. ELP’s Video Conference fixtures are specified and sold worldwide by ELP and two other renowned U.S. manufacturers.
As solid state lighting emerged, ELP incorporated LEDs into its most popular products. Since “high performance” is the company mantra, new LED designs had to outperform their fluorescent counterparts to make the cut and join the product line. The indirect optical design used in asymmetric units allows maximum fixture lumens without the light loss of diffusing lenses.
The “Perfect Reflector Curve” is still the philosophy behind most current ELP designs. Specializing in unobtrusive fixtures with reflectors that optimize the lamp source to inconspicuously illuminate environments without glare, and provide the appropriate quality and quantity of light for the task.
Today’s lighting designs from ELP incorporating LED lamp sources confirms the power and performance of “the curve.” Last November, ELP’s AK Series LED wall washer was accepted for the 2014 IES Progress Report. Products in this prestigious report are recognized as having a “unique and significant advancement to the art and science of lighting” by the IES judging committee.
According to the Department of Energy (DOE) website, “Solid-state lighting (SSL) technology has the potential to reduce U.S. lighting energy usage by nearly one-half and contribute significantly to our nation’s climate change solutions.” ELP is committed to be part of those solutions. There from the start and at the helm since Swarens’ passing, Lauri Maines and Toni Swarens have continued to strive for unique lighting solutions. Over the years, ELP has been granted several U.S. patents for innovative fixture designs that provide superior answers for today’s lighting challenges. The future is bright for this boutique lighting manufacturer as they continue to utilize new technology for developing more effective and efficient luminaires.