11/21/2011

Estiluz - clear vision

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Button ceiling-hung shelf, designed  by Francesc Rifé for Estiluz

Button ceiling-hung shelf, designed by Francesc Rifé for Estiluz

Balloon, a 2011 design by Crouscalogero

Balloon, a 2011 design by Crouscalogero

Poulpe a very subtle light by Oriol Llahona

Poulpe a very subtle light by Oriol Llahona

Dona hanging model, inspired by nature

Dona hanging model, inspired by nature

E-llum, by King and Miranda, very romantic

E-llum, by King and Miranda, very romantic

Luck, by Ximo Roca

Luck, by Ximo Roca

Karina, a handmade lamp

Karina, a handmade lamp

Pluma, by Estudi Ribaudí, full of balance

Pluma, by Estudi Ribaudí, full of balance

Cameo, by King and Miranda, textured and washable

Cameo, by King and Miranda, textured and washable

Quepí Due, by King and Miranda

Quepí Due, by King and Miranda

Doppia, by Oriol Guimerà

Doppia, by Oriol Guimerà

Carpet, by Serra y de la Rocha

Carpet, by Serra y de la Rocha

The weight of a product is often a good indicator as to its quality. And that is true with lighting, says Marta. A key factor distinguishing Estiluz is the robustness of our products, twice as heavy as similar sized lamps in the market.

 

Estiluz is based in Girona, employs some 50 people and has 7,000 clients in 45 countries. It was set up by Gerard Masdeu in 1969 to produce modern lighting made from steel, chrome and nickel, inspired by everyday objects. Now the company is run by his daughter, Marta, and his son, also called Gerard.

 

The company has always preferred to work with a few top designers, establishing a close relationship with them. ‘Our designers know us and they can propose designs, as well as responding to our briefings’, says Marta. ‘Developing new products is hard, it takes time. The designers fight for the look of their original design, we fight for what we know will be profitable. But there is always a middle ground to satisfy us all’. Some of the designers who have worked for Estiluz are Estudi Ribaudí, Guimerà i Cinca, Lagranja, Oriol Llahona (we reviewed his Poulpe light), Serra y de la Rocha and Ximo Roca.

 

Estiluz is proud of not compromising on materials. They use the best metals and build lamps to last. In short, Estiluz lights do not have in-built obsolence.

 

Made to last

 

Marta says this commitment to quality has resulted in them having a strong following among residential interior designers and architects. ‘Of course we do contract work, for boutique hotels or boardrooms. But 75 per cent of our lights are sold to the high-end residential market, for houses and villas, where the client is prepared to pay for quality that will last for 10 or 20 years’. And should they stop working, they are designed to be easily repaired.

 

The drive for energy savings has had a big impact on Estiluz in recent years. It’s had to incorporate fluorescent sources, which means bigger designs to fit the ballasts. Many incandescent sources have now been discontinued, as has halogen in some countries. ‘At this point, we are switching more to LEDs and fluorescent products’, says Marta. Estiluz is also investing in environmentally-friendly methods of manufacture and packaging.

 

All add to the strain of working in a tough economic climate. Marta is optimistic but thinks it will take a couple of years before things are back to being OK, and a decade before they can be described as good. But we will survive an we will continue to develop new products’.

 

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