Source: eKapija | Wednesday, 12.04.2017.| 10:07
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First Serbian LED bulb coming from Ugrinovci – Weiss Light also develops industrial bell replacement

Belgrade’s Weiss Light is the first Serbian factory of LED bulbs and the only company in the region producing general-use LED bulbs. The facility in Ugrinovci features the whole process of producing a light bulb – from making the tools, through a draft, the assembly, to packing and recycling, making Weiss Light bulbs a 100% Serbian product. Aside from LED bulbs, the company produces LED displays, neon lamps, reflectors and performs the service of turning the existing lighting system into a LED lighting system.

They produce a million bulbs of various kinds and purposes a year, and they are currently developing a replacement for industrial lighting, i.e. industrial bells, as well as expanding their capacities.

– Industrial bells consume a lot of electricity. We've managed to make an adequate replacement. Of course, with investments such as these, it's very important for the price to be as low as possible, as the investment pays off that much more quickly. We made a test run, which passed all the tests, and we installed the first ones at the Zorka Keramika factory in Sabac a month ago. The clients are more than satisfied – says Viktor Vajs, General Manager of Weiss Light, in his interview for eKapija.

This family company also plans to market a replacement for conventional neon lamps soon, and our interviewee has announced that Weiss Light will increase its production capacity and range of products in the next two months. More precisely, the construction of another facility, where the company should produce cables, switches, sockets and other additional equipment, is close to being completed.

The importance of these innovative solutions and investments in the development of a new, more energy efficient and cost-effective lighting was confirmed by Aurea's expert jury, which awarded Weiss Light for the social usefulness of its investment.

Energy-saving, energy-efficient bulbs

Viktor Vajs at Aurea award ceremony
Weiss Light was founded by Ivan Vajs with the logistic support by his business partners and the managers of the company International Health, and Ivan’s son Viktor Vajs has been involved since the foundation and is now the general manager of the company. Taking care of health and ecology, the company used to import and sell LED bulbs from China for a period of time, but, as the number of complaints grew, they decided to start their own production.

The main characteristic of LED lighting is that it is economic and energy efficient. The advantage of LED bulbs is a remarkably long life cycle with up to 90% less energy consumption compared to conventional bulbs. LED bulbs produced by Weiss Light can work for 35,000 hours, achieving considerable house budget savings, are characterized by absence of toxic matters (such as mercury) and ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) radiation, and they are made from recyclable materials, making them fully environmentally acceptable.

Weiss Light emphasizes that bulbs and electronics are being developed constantly.

– The awareness of the importance of LED technology and possibilities of saving money and energy, that is, energy efficiency, is still underdeveloped in Serbia. It's very hard for someone who's been using one kind of product their whole life to change an opinion in such a short period of time. This is why our marketing is strong and why we are trying to explain to people what our products are like. I hope that people in Serbia will nevertheless become aware of the importance of LED technology and that we are only just beginning – Viktor Vajs points out.

Seven different processes take place under one roof, so that the production would be 100% controlled by the company. The production system consists of the following sectors: development and new technologies, preparation of tools and molds for the production of casings and diffusers, packaging production, pick and place machines for the production of control units and LED printed circuit boards, finished product assembly, quality control and recycling.

Old LED bulbs and the scrap produced in the process are recycled in a separate department, meaning that the production process effectively produces no waste.

Same quality at lower price

Considering that electricity in Serbia is mostly produced in thermal power plants through fossil fuel combustion, if everybody switched to LED bulbs, the production of electricity for lighting would drop ten times, and with it the emission of CO2. According to the Weiss Light data, this means that, if all of Serbia switched to LED bulbs, the amount of electrical energy saved would equal that produced by Djerdap 1.

The quality of Weiss Light LED bulbs is equivalent to the quality of the bulbs produced by the leading world companies in the field, whereas the price is up to 40% lower. For now, they are predominantly oriented toward the local market, with two stores in Belgrade and around 200 retailers.

Keeping in mind that LED bulbs are more expensive than the conventional ones and that the purchasing power is low for a lot of people in Serbia, Weiss Light is trying to meet everyone halfway as part of its socially responsible activities by organizing monthly discounts. The company has initiated the “Lighting Serbia” caravan, within which conventional bulbs are replaced with LED lighting in homes of socially disadvantaged families, theaters and kindergartens all over Serbia.

Investments exclusively from own sources

Weiss Light started with 23 employees in January 2016. In January 2017, there were already 67 of them in the production sector, nearly triple the original number, whereas the company has a total of 80 employees. They are planning to further grow and develop.

– We are still focusing on Serbia. There's still a lot to do in our country and we believe that there's no need to expand the market until the whole of Serbia is lighted – Viktor Vajs emphasizes in his intervju for eKapija and adds that they already have a lot of contracted jobs and that negotiations with numerous companies are in progress.

He says that they found it a bit hard initially to get used to local market conditions, but that they are satisfied with the business climate in Serbia at the moment. He optimistically emphasizes that there's always room for improvement and reminds that Weiss Light has so far financed its investments exclusively from its own sources, which he sees as the only true way of successful development.

Marko Andrejic
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