Celebrating 40 Years in the Outdoor Lighting Industry


In 2012, Lumec now known as Philips Lumec, will celebrate its’ 40th anniversary in the outdoor lighting industry. Every month, we will be posting an article on our blog commemorating the history of our company. Here is Philips Lumec’s story.

In 1972, the outdoor lighting world lacked originality and style. Typical CobraHeads dominated the landscape. Two forward thinking lighting specialists, Mr. Lamontagne and Mr. Amyot, decided to offer the world something better. Luminaires based on old-style lantern designs but with modern high-performance optical technology. And so, on May 15th 1972, in a small commercial property on  Montreal’s east side, Lumec was born.

The name Lumec is a combinaison of the French word ” Lumière” and the name of the province of Québec.

In 1975, Lumec won the assignment of supplying over three thousand fixtures for the Olympic sites of the 21st Olympiad, the 1976 Summec Olympic Games in Montreal.  The lighting fixtures (or projectors) were built-in the metal and concrete ramps. The lights were low pressure sodium. This was the first big contract that put Lumec on the map.

In 1975, Lumec opened its own foundry in Saint-Antoine-des-Laurentides. This allowed us to independently manufacture the cast parts for many fixtures. Our rapid and sustained growth brought us to new facilities in the Boisbriand industrial park in 1978. In 1993, we moved to our current location, which is spread out over 93,000 square feet of manufacturing space along Highway 15, one of Quebec’s main highways.

Following the acquisition of Lumec by Thomas Industries in 1987, the company accelerated its entry into the American market. In 1992, a strategic alliance with the Belgium based Schréder Group (Lumec Schréder) led to the introduction of the sealed optical chamber and allowed Lumec to go international. Around this time, Lumec also began to get involved with various environmental groups. Lumec was one of the first outdoor lighting manufacturers to participate in the InternationalDark-Sky initiative, and to this day Lumec continues to be the forerunner in environmental outdoor lighting responsibility

In 1997, the acquisition of ZED allowed us to strengthen our position in the market by adding high performance prismatic globes to our product line. In August 1998, the lighting division of Thomas Industries and Genlyte merged into the Genlyte Thomas Group LLC. This merger allowed us to expand our distribution network and gain access to public utility companies.

In 2004, Genlyte acquired the lighting division of Thomas Industries to form the Genlyte Group.

In January 2006, Lumec acquired all the shares in Lumec Schréder from Schréder, with the Helios, Citea and Visualume products being restored under the Lumec banner. With sales nearing 1.5 billion US dollars, the Genlyte Group was the second largest lighting group in North America.

In 2007, Philips Group acquired Genlyte Group in order to strengthen their position in the North America outdoor lighting market.

Philips Lumec’s history is rich and its influence on the outdoor lighting market is considerable. The employees at Philips Lumec are proud to be associated with the world leader in lighting. Philips Lumec acquired a leading position in the Canadian decorative and functional outdoor lighting market, offering both contemporary and traditional luminaries, as well as a major role in the United States. Our products can be found everywhere around the globe, as shown by our varied projects in Asia, Mexico and the Caribbean.

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