R&D, patents and diversification: staying productive during lockdown
Phil Ion, MD of CORE Lighting, on what the business has been up to behind the scenes in lockdown.
Like many in the events industry, CORE Lighting has been significantly affected by the current lockdown in the UK and around the globe.
It’s tempting to have a pessimistic view of the months ahead, with large gatherings looking increasingly unlikely in 2020 and many businesses facing an uphill struggle to resume normal service.
But, no matter the long term impact of the coronavirus pandemic, at the moment we’ve made the decision to remain positive, productive and proactive as a business and as a lighting manufacturer.
Step one was about taking stock – looking at our existing systems and processes and finding ways to refine and streamline the customer experience and how we work internally. For those who don’t know, CORE Lighting is a UK-based developer and manufacturer of a range of battery-powered LED lights, ranging from the compact TablePoint to 20,000 lumen floodlights. Our lights can be controlled wirelessly via DMX and through an app, which we also developed in-house.
Step two of our lockdown has been expanding and diversifying our lighting range. R&D is a major part of our business and we’re constantly looking at ways to increase the flexibility, durability and ease of use of our lights.
As the COVID-19 shutdown has given us a break from the hectic day-to-day tasks of new sales and maintenance, we’re taking the opportunity to take a look at several key products and widen their range and capabilities.
Without getting into too many specifics at this early stage of the process, we’re looking at making our lights more cost-effective while further improving their high level of quality and durability. We’re also looking to improve the brightness of our products, which are required to illuminate large areas and be visible across large distances.
We have been adding new capabilities to some existing products based on customer feedback, including increasing the tilt on our flagship product, the ColourPoint, to expand its range of uses. We’ve been making some aesthetic changes, which not only improve the look and feel of our lights, but enable them to be constructed using the most cost-effective, quality materials currently available.
The third stage of our lockdown plan is reviewing our patents. Like many manufacturers we’ve created IP that has brought a number of genuinely original products into the market and have occasionally been the victim of imitation (apparently it’s the sincerest form of flattery). We’re using the sudden influx of free time that came with lockdown to take an overview of competitive products in the market and the terms of our established patents.
Lastly, like many in the events and hospitality industries, we’ve been looking into diversifying into markets which have been less heavily impacted by COVID-19. The likely timeline for a return to large-scale events is significantly long, meanwhile other industries are beginning to resume some form of continuing business. Our products have a wide range of potential uses across many sectors, and like many manufacturers with similar flexibility we’re always open to new opportunities and partnerships.
The coronavirus and subsequent lockdown has been an unprecedented time for all of us, but it’s worth remembering that in amongst the anxiety and the fear this can also be a moment to take stock, spend time with loved ones and address the little things that always fall way down the to-do list. If there’s one thing you achieve during lockdown, make sure it’s taking the time to pause, review and reset – ready to come out the other side better than ever.