The Business Times: IEQ Global Aims to Light Up the Competition With Its Products

Tuesday December 13th, 2011 In the News

“Operationally, IEQ’s lights aim to achieve up to 60 per cent savings in monthly energy cost. It also overtakes the lifetime ownership costs of a light as its lifespan is five times of conventional lights. Our customers typically only sees us once every five years!”

— Mr Ong Wei Ping, Executive Director of IEQ Global Pte Ltd

ECOLIGHT Design Consultants (EDC) was fully acquired by IEQ Global just last October and it is already invading the commercial space with IEQ’s highly efficient next-generation lighting.

Among others, it has worked with Suntec City and Bugis Junction to revamp their entire basement carpark with its high-specification light-emitting diode (LED) tube lamps which reduce energy consumption and ambient heat by more than 50 per cent.

‘The carpark is now a lot cooler than before,’ says Ong Wei Ping, Executive director of IEQ.

The 44-year-old founder of EDC held the same designation in IEQ even before the acquisition took place. He assumed a larger stakeholding in IEQ after the acquisition. The company’s revenue at the close of this year is expected to be in excess of $30 million.

IEQ’s IntelliNRG brand of LEDs, plasma lights (PLS), and induction lights (IDL) are brighter and much lower in wattage than conventional lights, thus substantially reducing electrical consumption; paired with EDC’s light designing capabilities, IEQ is now an end-to-end provider of energy-efficient lights and lighting design services.

It was by no means a hostile takeover – Mr Ong and Jeffrey Tang, Managing Director of IEQ, met during their National Service and have been friends for 25 years.

The 46-year-old grandson of retail magnate CK Tang is no stranger to green technology as his Heritage brand of luxury hotel chains in New Zealand was the first to be accredited with the EarthCheck and Qualmark EnviroGold in the country (Green Mark equivalent).

Coming from a country full of green pastures and fresh air, Mr Tang hopes to promote a greener Singapore. ‘Incandescent lights are no longer allowed to be used there (New Zealand) and I hope that as people become more educated, they will switch to our energy-efficient lights,’ says Mr Tang.

IEQ’s claim to be the world’s most efficient lighting is not unfounded as its IDLs consume only half the amount of electricity required by conventional metal halide lights. It also generates half the amount of heat and casts a wider throw for better light coverage.

Its induction lamps do not use filaments or contain mercury vapour and has a lifespan of 100,000 hours or 11 years, about eight times longer than its counterparts. With its capability for an instant restrike, the light would be ideal for lighting up entry points between borders or airports.

‘For wattage beyond 70 to 80 watts and distances or heights beyond three metres, IDL are perfect as they currently cost 50 per cent less than LED, light up more effectively, and lasts twice the lifespan of LED,’ points out Mr Ong.

For distances beyond 15 metres, Mr Ong recommends PLS. With the same lifespan as LEDs, it can reduce energy consumption by over 80 per cent compared with incandescent metal halide lights.

One of its 1,000 watt plasma floodlights is able to replace three 3,000 watt metal halide lamps used to light up building exteriors or stadiums. Conventional metal halide lamps pale in comparison to its plasma floodlights as Mr Ong demonstrates in his office.

‘The metal halide lamp does not light up as fast as the plasma; you need to wait for about 20 minutes before it fully lights up,’ notes Mr Ong.

Additionally, his before- and-after photos of buildings were irrefutable. Skyscrapers that used conventional metal halides to light up their exterior during the night were still unilluminated whereas buildings lit by their plasma floodlights were fully illuminated.

‘I’m sure you’ve seen lights giving out smoke when its raining in Singapore, meaning it is more than 100 degrees Celsius,’ says Mr Ong, ‘Our lights don’t give out as much heat as conventional lights, so you won’t see it smoking up in the rain.’

Energy use reaches maximum utilisation as more of it is given out as light instead of heat, resulting in a brighter, more energy-efficient light.

‘Operationally, IEQ’s lights aim to achieve up to 60 per cent savings in monthly energy cost. It also overtakes the lifetime ownership costs of a light as its lifespan is five times of a conventional light. Our customers typically only see us once every five years!’

Mr Ong divides his target market into three primary groups at the moment— direct end-users, industry partners, and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

Direct end-users include building or factory owners and managers who see the long-term cost savings of using IEQ lights.

Industry partners include developers that are looking into using energy-efficient lights and OEMs include companies that require customised energy-efficient lights for a specific purpose.

Mr Tang provides an example where a cold storage company had problems with conventional lights which always took a long time to light up.

‘Conventional lights have ballasts that are attached right behind the light bulb. In such a cold environment, the ballast takes quite some time to heat up, so you need to wait for a long time before the light bulb actually lights up.

‘We customised the light bulbs for them with the ballast located further away from the light bulb, so when the user turns on the switch, the light instantly lights up.’

Mr Tang hope that their next-generation lighting solutions will replace conventional lights even in households.

‘I think it is going to be difficult right now as most housewives are not educated enough to understand the amount they can save. I don’t think any of them will pay $80 for a light bulb,’ says Mr Tang, adding that only corporations will understand the cost-savings of switching to IEQ products.

‘Our projected plans are to build an even stronger revenue stream within the next two years and double that revenue three to five years later and extend our global network to every major country in the world,’ says Mr Ong.

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