On 1 July 2004, the big Light4U adventure started for Wim van Olm and Walter van Maren in Marum, with 250 square metres, no storage space, and an old Volkswagen Golf that Walter used for client visits. From attracting clients to assembling, the duo do it all themselves.
We are happy to briefly take you through the last 15 years.
“We started the Light4U adventure without really realising what we had started”, laughs Wim. Time flew by: the team was expanded in 2005 and we were getting support in the warehouse, the back office and administration. The real diehards are still working at Light4U: Gerrit has now been employed at the company for 12.5 years.
The team succeeds in getting their first export client in 2006! TEGO is actually still a Light4U client. Walter: “We think it is wonderful that we still have clients that have maintained faith in us from day one.”
From Marum to Joure
In 2007, the Marum location has really become too small. Light4U moves to Joure with four staff members. Light4U enjoys an excellent location adjacent to the A7 motorway. This location is witness to working days full of passion and energy.
The neighbour’s building becomes available seven years later. Wim and Walter did not have to consider acquiring it for long. This laid the foundation for the current Light4U.
The economic crisis hit in 2008. A difficult period, but Light4U was able to keep its head above water. The fact that Light4U some clients and partners went bankrupt in this period had a major impact on both men. They knew they had to persevere and keep forging ahead. Light4U has therefore always kept investing in technology, quality, knowledge, staff and automation. This is why Light4U started developing LED lighting in 2009.
One of the highlights comes in 2012. Light4U attended its first trade fair: Light & Building in Frankfurt. It is the key trade fair for lighting and building service technology worldwide. At the same time, this also sees the launch of the sale of LED lighting. And what a success! By offering flexible, tailor-made products, a higher quality can now be achieved.
“What makes Wim and Walter unique? They do not want to keep all of the success for themselves, but rather share it with others. Both of their hearts are in the right place,” states Jantien Homsma, Marketing & Communication coordinator and who works at Light4U for already 11 years. A great example of this is Light4U committing to support the Netherlands ALS Foundation. Light4U participated in Mystery Roads in 2015, the Tour du ALS in 2016 and the ALS City Swim in 2017. They even organised their own event in 2018: the ALS Christmas Swim 2018. This year, Light4U sponsors Loek Peters climbing the Mont Ventoux!
The lighting market evolves quickly and every growth phase requires new solutions. That is why marketing is also being tackled. An exciting process which shows that Light4U’s passion, drive and flexibility form the basis of its success, which is why we use ‘sparkled by us’ in our communications and have a brand-new house style from 2016.
The constant growth demands increased knowledge of specific professional areas. Walter: “We work with an enthusiastic and passionate team where everyone has their own speciality.” That is why Tarek, Light4U’s first R&D engineer, was taken on in 2018. At the same time, export manager Zuzana arrived to strengthen the team. She was welcomed with open arms too, because the export market is playing an increasingly important role.
What will the future bring? Construction of the new office and warehouse will begin in the autumn. The building will double in size! In addition, Light4U will naturally make rapid switches to develop the best LED lighting, both in terms of quality and innovation. One thing is certain: “We are really excited about it,” says Wim with a sparkle in his eyes. Walter adds: “It is fantastic to walk down a shopping street in the Netherlands, Dubai, Denmark, or wherever in the world, walk into a store and realise their fixtures are made by us.”