Sustainability as part of the DNA

A company history, distinguished by the pursuit of efficiency 

TRILUX is looking back on a company history of more than 100 years. In 1912, Wilhelm Lenze founded a manufacture for luminaire accessories and residential lighting which developed into a successful medium-sized family business over a period of 30 years despite setbacks due to inflation and war. The Nazi regime brought about a difficult time for nonconformist Wilhelm Lenze. He and his company were subjected to political and economic ostracism. Expropriation and company closure were successfully reversed in 1944. However, in spring 1945, seven bombs hit the factory in Neheim-Hüsten – meaning the temporary end.

Energy efficiency and climate protection all in the name

The restart after 1945 was made with the support of son Eberhard Lenze and his two brothers Franz and Wilhelm. Eberhard Lenze proved to be a tireless driving force of reconstruction. It was also he who decided that from 1949, only luminaires with fluorescent lamps would be produced. The “TRILUX linear assembly line luminaire” was soon found in countless factory halls. The fluorescent lamp, three times more efficient than the incandescent lamp, characterised the TRILUX brand name and became the heart of a versatile, continuously growing portfolio for professional lighting applications.
In retrospect, the decision for the new lamp technology at the time, and thus for higher luminous efficacy and longer service life, marked the first of many milestones along which the sustainability history of TRILUX, which spans over 70 years now, can be told. 

As would be expected of a lighting expert, a large part of its work has been devoted to innovation which constantly improves energy efficiency and lighting quality. However, convincing examples of ecological, economic and social sustainability can also be found for many other criteria from species protection to supplier assessment. They are proof that TRILUX does not see sustainable action and corporate responsibility as a trend, but as an obligation and a tradition.

1950 – 1965 instead of 200 watts

In the 1950s, TRILUX linear luminaires with T12 fluorescent lamps were installed in many production plants. Instead of an incandescent lamp with 200 watts, they used a fluorescent lamp with 65 watts. This saved a lot of energy, but the new luminaires also provided a more targeted light distribution and therefore better visibility. The name TRILUX was born. More comfortable working conditions as a result are an important aspect of social sustainability.
(“The Light Book”, page 74, possibly image from page 32)

1960 – Sustainable corporate culture

TRILUX became one of the most important employers in the region. The family business now employed over 750 people. In some families, two or even three generations worked at TRILUX. The concept of a sustainable personnel policy included voluntary social benefits such as a company pension scheme, a support fund that provided assistance in emergencies, and subsidies for cures and medical treatment.
(Source: “The Light Book”, page 107)

1970 – Design, profitability and user comfort

Competent lighting design is a prerequisite for satisfied users. TRILUX therefore provides extensive support for electrical installers, electrical system planners as well as architects and service technicians. The aim is to harmonise design, economy and user comfort in a sensible way tailored to the individual project. What began in 1951 with a light calculator in the form of a calculating disc had grown into a comprehensive service as early as 1970. In the interest of sustainable lighting applications, numerous publications communicate not only product information but also expert knowledge. A large support team provides consulting for customers.
(“The Light Book”, page 74, picture possibly from page 32 and a screenshot of a current tool)

1975 – Attractive working conditions and technology breakthrough

The number of TRILUX employees increased to about 1,200. To provide them with an attractive working environment, various measures were implemented including the opening of a subsidised company restaurant and a full-time medical station. Further education and company sports were financially promoted. The breakthrough in lighting technology and energy efficiency came in 1978: as one of the first luminaire manufacturers, TRILUX started developing electronic control gear (ECG) for fluorescent lamps.

1980 – Lighting technology for ergonomic offices

TRILUX engineers worked on the development of Darklight louvre luminaires. With their combination of parabolic reflectors and sheet louvres, they ensured glare-free vision at workstations increasingly equipped with computers. Good visual conditions make an important contribution to the sustainability criterion “health and safety of product users”.(Image from “The Light Book”, page 33)

1985 – Environmental protection in production

The electroplating shop, where the surfaces of the specular reflectors were tempered, was equipped with its own waste water system. It ensured that the chemical processes could take place without any consequences for the environment. This measure exemplifies the ecological responsibility that TRILUX consistently practises at all its production sites.
(Image from “The Light Book”, page 80)

1995 – Official recognition and more efficiency

The electronic control gear unit “Ectron” received permission to bear the “Blue Angel”, the German government’s environmental label. Products awarded the Blue Angel are more environmentally friendly than comparable conventional products. The following year, TRILUX was one of the first manufacturers to introduce the energy-saving T5 fluorescent lamp generation.
(Image from “The Light Book”, page 97)

1998 – TRILUX becomes international

TRILUX opened production sites in the Philippines and China. In 2000, the acquisition of Chinese component manufacturer ICT followed.

2000 – Managing Light

With Lightgate technology, TRILUX simplified light management for its customers – tuning lighting more and more finely to requirements became possible. TRILUX has continuously pursued the topic of requirement-oriented light control. Today, freely scalable and programmable systems with many options – from wireless data transmission to cloud connectivity – are available. These digital solutions optimise energy consumption and increase user comfort.

2007 – LED luminaires for the road

TRILUX started research and development in the field of the new light source technology LED early on. As early as 2007, Düsseldorf was therefore able to install TRILUX LED street luminaires on a test route. Compared to high-pressure sodium vapour lamps, LED technology at the time facilitated energy savings between 20 and 30%. Today, converting a street lighting system from conventional luminaires to LED luminaires can, under certain conditions, save up to 80% of lighting energy. 
(“The Light Book”, page 55)

2008 – Sustainable company buildings

TRILUX put its new European Distribution Center into operation. It improved customer service but also increased the efficiency of the group-wide transport network. The new construction enabled particularly efficient building operation. It features exemplary thermal insulation: heating is carried out with dark radiators and the lighting is equipped with a daylight-dependent control. A solar system was installed on the roof, supplying about 420,000 kWh per year. The building thus produces more energy than it consumes.(Image from “The Light Book”, page 80)

2011 - Employee qualification and customer training

The TRILUX Akademie opened its doors. Training and further education have always been of great importance at TRILUX. This includes vocational training and the qualification of TRILUX employees as well as customer training and know-how transfer in the industry. With the TRILUX Akademie, a state-of-the-art training centre was created. It not only offered lectures, but also experimenting, assembly and discussion. Consulting, qualification and information offers cater to a wide variety of target groups.

2012 – Luminaires for sustainable construction

In 2012, the new office and administration building of Fraunhofer IAO2009 in Stuttgart received the DGNB certificate in platinum according to the evaluation system of the Sustainable Building Council. An LED lighting solution from TRILUX made an important contribution to energy-efficient building operation. From that point, TRILUX luminaires and lighting management systems made their way into more and more buildings worldwide distinguished for their sustainability quality.

2012 – Commitment to ethical principles within the framework of economic activity

TRILUX signed the ZVEI Code of Conduct, acknowledging its worldwide social responsibility within the scope of its corporate activities. The Code of Conduct is based on internationally established standards with regard to human rights, environmental protection, working conditions, rejection of corruption, etc.

2020 – Climate protection targets and online sustainability report

TRILUX adopted a group-wide climate protection target, aiming for complete climate neutrality by 2030. Goals, measures and successes are presented and reported in the online sustainability report.