D&WC: Please give a detailed
description of your company and its history.
Lisa Hobart, Marketing Manager: Lutron began in 1961, when our founder, Joel Spira, invented the first solid-state dimmer (the rotary knob dimmer that still is found in many homes). Since that time, our company has continued to innovate, creating dimming products and systems for residential and commercial applications worldwide.
While our world headquarters are located in Coopersburg, PA, we have numerous sales and service offices throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. Offices in London, Berlin, Paris, Madrid, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore support our global projects.
Over the past decade, we have applied our lighting control expertise to the most powerful light source, the sun. Our emphasis is on electronic controllable shading systems, which provide users with easy access to the right amount of sunlight for any task or activity. We can easily link our shading systems and dimming systems together to provide an optimal total light control system for any home, classroom, office, restaurant or even convention center.
D&WC: Who are your customers? What parts of the country do you service?
Hobart: Lutron is a global company that serves customers worldwide. Our products are used in homes, offices, educational facilities, museums, restaurants and more.
We work with architects, interior designers, lighting designers, window treatment designers and many other professionals to get our products specified and sold. In short, our customers are any people and professionals who need to control the natural and electric light in a space.
D&WC: How has your segment
of the industry changed since you first began?
Hobart: Lutron started developing window treatment products in the 1990s when our founder recognized that we were not truly controlling the light in a space if we were just controlling the electric lights. Through more than a decade of innovation and development, we arrived at Lutronís newest and most exciting window treatment technology, Sivoia QED (Quiet Electronic Drive).
Sivioia QED is an ultra-quiet electronic drive that provides precise movement, elegant controls, simple installation and easy integration with lighting control systems. Lutron makes Sivoia QED roller shades, Roman shades and drapery track systems.
This system has been tremendously well received by our customers, who are finding that it provides them with a totally new solution to natural light control. Because of the precision and built-in intelligence of Sivoia QED, we are seeing the system incorporated into many daylighting projects. More and more architects, designers and end-customers want to incorporate as much sunlight as possible into their projects for enhanced productivity and reduced electric lighting requirements. Of course, these designs also must plan for the changing sun angles and intensity that could create problems if not handled. Our customers have found that the Sivoia QED system, especially when it is linked to a Lutron lighting control system, is ideally suited to these projects.
D&WC: Where do you see yourself and your company five years from now? Are there additional areas in the industry that you would like to get involved in?
Hobart: Five years from now, Lutron will still be driving quality and innovation in the industry. We will continue to integrate smart technology and respond to the growing demand for convenient and simple control of electric and natural light.
In the years to come, we predict that the demand for the control of electric and natural light will become inextricably linked and we strive to be on the forefront of that industry development.
D&WC: What are some of the key factors involved in your growth and success?
Hobart: Our growth is very tied to Lutronís commitment to our fundamental five principles: take care of the customer, take care of the company, take care of the people, innovate with a high standard of quality and deliver value to the customer.
Our philosophy has always been to develop products that expand markets, creating new opportunities for our channel partners and new solutions for our end customers.
D&WC: What are your strengths in the marketplace?
Hobart: Our ability to provide a single-source solution for both electric and natural light differentiates us in the marketplace and provides a value-added solution. Additionally, the Sivoia QED drive technology provides many benefits that are not otherwise available.
Another strength is our commitment to customer support, which includes our 24/7 technical support hotline, access to field service anywhere in the world and design assistance tools such as our Shade Configuration Tool software.
D&WC: What trends and cycles do you see occurring in the industry? How is your business addressing them?
Hobart: As we enter 2005, more and more homeowners are choosing to create functional, livable spaces in which to spend time with family and friends. As this ďnestingĒ trend matures, homeowners are demanding design solutions that will increase their comfort and safety while providing personal control and energy savings.
Controllable shading systems meet many of these nesting desires. They enhance comfort by reducing glare, they improve safety and security by providing privacy without obstructing outside views, they can be operated via remote control and create energy savings in reduced heating and air conditioning bills. As a testament to their appeal, the window treatment industry has seen rapid growth in the popularity of controllable shading systems, such as Lutronís Sivoia QED roller shades, Roman shades and draperies in the past year.
Lutron Electronics continues to address the demands of a growing domestic market by developing technologies that fit a variety of applications in size and installation while becoming more and more cost-effective. We strive to create absolute lighting control convenience by placing personal and integrated control in the palm of the homeownerís hand. We continue to develop our fabric offerings to include more colors, more weaves and more compositions, enabling customers to display their personal styles inside and out.
D&WC: Do you offer any products other than window coverings?
Hobart: Today, Lutron offers more than 11,000 different products for all aspects of lighting control including commercial and residential dimming systems, switching systems, energy management systems and manual and motorized shading solutions.
Lutronís products can be found at all levels, from the boardroom to the largest stadiums, and offer the widest selection of choices to the owner in terms of functionality, budget, ease-of-use and aesthetics.
D&WC: Do you educate your customers?
Hobart: Lutron provides extensive education and technical support for our customers. At Lutronís Lighting Control Institute, ongoing product and service training is available for all of the channels we serve including specifiers, dealers, distributors and installers.
We also have a state-of-the-art Experience Center in Plantation, FL, where customers can enjoy total light control in a realistic home setting. In addition, we constantly schedule product road shows, bringing our training programs and instructors to our customersí doorsteps. Worldwide access to product and where-to-buy information is also located on our Web site.
Lutron Electronics Co., Inc.
7200 Suter Rd.
Coopersburg, PA 18036
fax: (610) 282-6437