The past year nine months have been incredibly difficult for everyone. No-one can be sure what will happen in 2021, but there are reasons to hope next year will be better.
As the year comes to an end, we wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on some of the positives from the past year. Here are some words from Kemps MD, Mark Kemp, on how Kemps has coped with the ever-changing landscape of the pandemic and the project highlights of 2020.
Are you pleased with how the team has adapted to this year?
Yes, I’m proud of everyone here at Kemps. The team has worked hard throughout the pandemic and have shown great resilience and character. Everyone’s remained focused on projects and meeting the needs of our clients, who have been fantastic also.
Has the pandemic changed the way the business operates in any ways?
Our manufacturing processes and procedures have remained stable as we have a large factory which enabled us to continue building products at a safe distance. To progress in 2021, we are introducing greater focus on efficiency with a new factory layout to accommodate new product lines and improve quality.
The main change has been our office team working from home. As most businesses who have had to adapt to working from home will have seen, there are pros and cons. When the pandemic is over, we will continue home working on some scale for those based in the office, so long as they can work in a comfortable and healthy environment which supports their wellbeing.
The business throughout has been relatively unaffected though we do miss not being able to see clients face to face, as I’m sure they also do.
What are your project highlights from this year?
I would have to say the Integrated Campus for Engineering and Physical Sciences (ICEPs) for Leeds University. We’ve created a new product for the building, which is due to be completed in February 2021. The product was designed and fabricated in a relatively short space of time, following a successful testing phase.
We also supplied over 20km of linear lighting for the interior and exterior of the new Ritz Carlton in Amman, Jordan, which was a significant order. This has been our largest project in 2020.
Another big project of 2020 was at Canary Wharfe, London. The development, called Wood Wharf, is a multi-use concept, with commercial and private apartments. We have supplied many thousands of metres of LED lighting as part of its construction.
What new technology has 2020 brought?
The introduction of our new Figaro range has been a highlight for us in 2020. Figaro has been designed for high efficiency in large commercial buildings.
New products are often born from bespoke products we’ve created, or from the ideas of the product team. Seeing a concept for a new fixture come to life is always a highlight.
Tell us about any new developments coming in 2021
We recently invested in a specialist bending machine. It allows us to add curves into suitable products, creating unique shapes and designs. The machinery provides designers with the opportunity to add shape and curves into their lighting schemes.
What lighting technology is most in demand right now?
More control within lighting systems is increasingly sought-after by clients. Lighting can be controlled remotely via iPhones or iPads using Bluetooth connections. Bluetooth controlled lighting has reduced the cost of control and made it a more accessible feature.
In post-pandemic cities, commercial buildings such as offices may need greater lighting control and more flexibility to cater to reduced staff numbers and shorter leases.
Lighting designers and manufacturers are responding to new patterns in workplaces and creating smart, sustainable lighting schemes with in-built control. Our new range, Figaro, is an example of a product designed for this purpose. It meets the needs of developers in terms of light output, flexibility, and power consumption, with Bluetooth or DALI control.
Talk to us about your upcoming projects for 2021.