AWARDS 2020 | Best Lighting Supplier – Hella marine

Hella Marine - Best Lighting Supplier (Photo: Hella Marine)
Hella Marine - Best Lighting Supplier (Photo: Hella Marine)

Best Lighting Supplier – Hella marine

Hella marine specialises in marine lighting that is now almost entirely LED. With a vast range covering the requirements of the smallest leisure boats to the largest ships, it produces lights for every imaginable marine purpose at impressively competitive prices.

Hella lights are renowned for their quality and reliability, their low power consumption and their precise fitness for purpose.

So many of the vessels of all shapes, sizes and types that we review here at Baird Maritime are equipped with Hella lights that it is unusual to see one without some Hella products fitted. During 2020 we reviewed Hella-equipped ferries, tourist boats, patrol, pilot and rescue boats, luxury ferries, and even a mussel harvester. The diversity is amazing.

The range of well known builders and owners with whom Hella has done business, frequently repeat business, is equally diverse.

"Many end users choose our products for their safety, efficiency, good looks, and performance with reliability and durability through high technology, engineering and precision manufacturing," Hella told Baird Maritime. "We also have a worldwide network of distributors and dealers who provide easy access and expertise to assist in supply and to guarantee technical competence."

Hella added that its lights are all purpose-designed and engineered to withstand the harshest marine environments, thus ensuring the products and the technology behind them are robust enough and perform to exceed customers' requirements. A challenge still exists, however, as many end users continue to request outdated technology with regards to lighting:

"Increasingly, we field certification requests around LED navigation lighting packages, i.e., vessels specified to BV etc. However, some regions still request incandescent bulb lamps. The difference is mainly due to lack of knowledge by the customers regarding the superior reliability, safety and collision prevention performance on offer plus the long-term cost-benefits of operation to end users."

In addition to helping both existing and potential customers overcome this reliance on outdated technology, Hella is committed to overcoming another challenge: the difficulty of doing business in a time of pandemic.

"The 2020 calendar year was full of change and challenge as it was for most suppliers and manufacturers in our industries," the company said. "We experienced a pause in our NZ manufacturing activities during March under the government's lockdown policy and so we had to shift to 'catch-up mode' shortly afterwards. Fortunately, the months of manufacturing since then have more than made up for March with a very positive forward orderbook and a tremendous number of quotes and projects underway across Australasia and the wider world across newbuilds and refits."

Hella anticipates that 2021 will be another growth year judging by the current demand for the technology made available by the company.

"We see commercial customers seeking more and more reliable products. Not being able to operate a vessel due to a navigation lamp failure can be costly, as is deck illumination not providing enough safety for a working crew. Future trends include a shift to smarter marine lighting technology where illumination modes can change the vessel's lighting by colour, colour temperature, intensity and possibly warning and monitoring modes to provide a greater suite of safety enhanced working advantages for owners and crew."

Hella foresees a growing market in Oceania if economies remain positive in this region.

"Infrastructure and capital investment mean more and more commercial vessels and workboats," commented Hella. "If we see border conflicts, then investment is made in patrol vessels and associated workboats. We see the region still expanding; the market is nowhere yet mature.

"The trends of supply and specification of recognised and certified quality components for workboats is a constant forward momentum. Accountability for safety and operational efficiency over time is increasingly the approach taken by leading shipyards for the good of their customers, business and reputation."

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Baird Maritime / Work Boat World