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J.W. Speaker Corporation profile PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 22 December 2014

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The J.W. Speaker Corporation is a 3rd-generation family-owned private company. They make high-tech lights and lamps for a constellation of market sectors clustered around transport and mobility including automotive, motorcycle, industrial, commercial, agricultural, marine, and even spacefaring—NASA specify J.W. Speaker lights on spacecraft including the Mars Rover.

The company started out in 1935, and their most ubiquitous early product was a tiny portable can opener issued to American soldiers starting in the Second World War. Speaker's product focus shortly put down roots in the automotive realm, and lighting products became central by the early 1960s. These were generally low-cost items of conventional technology until the late 1990s, when the company made an HID motorcycle headlamp for Harley-Davidson. This was followed by some initial LED efforts, and by the early 2000s Speaker had chosen to dedicate themselves to high-tech lighting.

All operations take place at the company's homebase in in the U.S. state of Wisconsin, near Milwaukee. The company is almost completely vertically integrated, with nearly all components and processes done in-house. A highly empowered independent R&D organisation reports directly to the company's co-Presidents and Chief Technical Officer (himself a seasoned veteran automotive lighting innovator). There are 450 employees—up from 100 a decade ago—and sales figures are on a consistently upward trajectory.

Speaker's product range includes universal and custom-fit headlamps, fog lamps, DRLs, signal lights, reversing lamps, combination lights, work lights, emergency and safety lights, and infrared cameras. Custom-fit products are supplied for a broad diversity of applications including exotic hypercars, transit buses, motorcycles, and mining equipment. Universal products are updated and upgraded on a regular basis, and the company has a bustling aftermarket presence.

They regard themselves as an electronics company whose products' end output is light, and are actively engaged in development of advanced solutions to longstanding problems, including a soon-to-be-released range of adaptive lighting for motorcycles to countervail the nullification of seeing distance while turning on a motorcycle with a fixed headlamp.


BMW and Lighting PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 11 September 2012

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Building on our DVN library of automaker profiles, this report on BMW joins those covering PSA, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz.
Following a very successful first half of 2012 with an admirable 8% sales increase, BMW are on course to achieve top figures once again in the total year 2012 with sales of higher than 1.8 million cars and a complete portfolio of passenger cars, SUVs, and sporty cars.

For years—decades—lights on BMWs gave performance that could diplomatically be described as "compliant with the regulations". Starting in the mid-1980s, and at an accelerating pace, BMW have put steadily more attention and effort into their lighting systems and components such that now they are in the top tier of innovators in lighting technology, implementation, design, and performance. They've achieved this frontrunner position without sacrificing the core frontal elements of their visual brand identity, the quad-round headlamp configuration; in fact, this visual signature has gone from strength to strength with the infusion of increasing technology.

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