For more than 75 years, BEGA has been developing and producing high-quality luminaires
for almost all areas of interior and exterior architecture. These years have given rise to products whose ideas and trademarks have become generic terms for countless luminaires in the entire industry. We have carried the Light Brick – Lichtbaustein® trademark for more than 60 years, for example.
We have been working on in-ground lighting solutions for more than 40 years. We had a formative influence on many of the current standards according to which the quality of this group of luminaires is judged. We know the extreme conditions which outdoor luminaires have to face up to. They are exposed to dirt, atmospheric influences and extreme temperature fluctuations. They have to stand up to enormous stress more than other luminaires.
We have created the perfect conditions for the production of our luminaires ourselves. They were not the consequence of any set of rules, but the result of our learning process as an integral part of our notions of quality.
20th September...the moment it all began: The goldsmith and steel engraver Heinrich Gartenbrink completes the first of three wrought iron lamp crowns, in effect writing the first page in the history of the company. His products are received with much enthusiasm and ten more are ordered. Then comes an order for 100 luminaires. It is time to hire staff. By the end of the year, Heinrich Gartenbrink employs five staff and manufactures twenty varieties of luminaire in small series.
The number of employees quickly grew to 50. But in order to expand production, qualified hand-crafted work alone is not enough. Soon 30 different luminaires are manufactured with the help of machines. For some time, the company´s work is illegal as a result of the deindustrialization policy of the occupying forces. But then production approval comes from the English military government. And the work can continue: The first factory hall is constructed, the name BEGA is found, and our first exhibition is presented – still in a tent back then – at the industrial trade fair in Hannover.
A sense of optimism. First signs of a major economic recovery: "The German economic wonder". And there are new developments for us as well: Special luminaires are manufactured for breweries as well as luminaires made of cast bronze with hand-blown opal glass. High surface quality in fine patina and components with 24-carat golf-leaf finishing nearly give us a monopoly for valuable outdoor luminaires in Germany.
For the first time, we exhibit at a foreign trade fair. Such a large self-contained collection of outdoor luminaires was entirely new for Europe, and we receive the "Medaille d´Or" at the International Exhibition in Luxembourg in 1952.
Within the company, changes are happening too: Instead of working in barracks, we now have 120 employees in a large, modern facility. In 1958, we build the new Leuchtenhochhaus building together with our partners at the world´s largest industrial trade fair in Hannover: An important and bold step that ultimately leads to the "World Light Show".
We make a radical break from tradition with the fundamental development of new methods in application technology and the fulfilment of contemporary requirements for architecture and environmental design.
World-class architects increasingly take our brand into account. Light Brick – Lichtbaustein® becomes our most important trademark, and soon the most familiar in the trade. BEGA Lichtgitter® and BEGA Bausteinleuchte® are soon added. At BEGA, we create the first garden luminaires with an earth spike, the first underwater floodlights and the first floodlights for permanent and portable installation. These are followed by construction systems for underground cabling and permanent housings for sockets. This was the start of a development that quickly made us one of the most important manufacturers of these special luminaires.
At the end of the 60s, we focus increasingly on reducing the product to its simplest form and achieving the highest possible utility value. The central target of our work is not the luminaire, but rather light itself.
Traditional glass sphere shaped luminaires are becoming increasingly vital to our collection We construct our first mirror optics bollard luminaire, our first drive-over in-ground luminaires as well as our first ceiling luminaires featuring a high protection class as well as ballproof characteristics for indoor swimming pools and sports facilities. Another highlight: We produce our first luminaires for boats. In February 1973, we buy the glass factory BOOM in Belgium.
Towards the end of the 70s we find new possibilities of combining glass with metal parts made of die-cast aluminium, creating a luminaire group with entirely novel designs and constructions. Technical perfection, high function and a high protection class are the foundations for this solid, logical form. This pioneering invention and award-winning design make these luminaires true classics; they can be found on many architectural structures around the world. Our reputation is firmly established as a manufacturer of the most advanced and probably largest collection of outdoor luminaires in the world.
Groups of new luminaires are createdwhose design is solely determined by the requirements of the intended use. For example, the group of wall luminaires with directed light. We now make street luminaires with asymmetrical light distribution and infinitely adjustable optics. A new group of small floodlights is created for the house and garden. They have energy-saving light sources and high light outputs.
Our factory now has a surface area of 51,000 m². The number of employees grows to 500. Together with American partners, we establish a BEGA luminaire factory in the USA in Santa Barbara, California.
In 1987 we receive the State Prize of North Rhine-Westphalia for Design and Innovation for the luminaire 9906, and the luminaires 8707 and 8710 are awarded in 1989. In 1989, the first State Prize for Design Management is awarded. This honours a company´s overall performance for excellent formal quality in their products, presentations and advertising. BEGA is the first-prize winner.
New developments in lighting technology enable us to manufacture floodlights with extremely small dimensions and high light outputs for permanent and portable installation. Technical progress in lamp technology leads to expansion of the output range. Owing to new developments in the area of optical systems, we are now able to achieve a high light output area ratio with in-ground luminaires that was not possible in the past at such an extremely low projection. For this series of luminaires, we were awarded the State Prize of North Rhine-Westphalia for Design and Innovation.
The pole-top luminaires 8821, 8822 and 8823 are honoured with the “Federal Product Design Award” by the Federal Republic of Germany in 1994. In 1997, we receive our highest award to date during the Hannover industrial fair. For the first time, a BEGA luminaire receives the distinction “Top Ten.”
The 25th catalogue in the history of our company is issued on the occasion of its 50th birthday. Now with 1500 models. Its graphic design always follows the same principles: A clear presentation of our work, the performance of our products and their applications.
In the new millennium, our work is also shaped by an increasingly fast process that results from new techniques in architecture and rapid developments in lamp technology.
Our range includes 23 product groups with more than 2000 different luminaire types.
The factory in Menden is one of the most beautiful and modern luminaire factories in the industrial landscape of Westphalia. Despite a considerable size, with an operating area of 52,000 m² and state-of-the-art technical equipment, we are still a true manufacturer.
Our products are first and foremost made by people.
The broad diversity of our work requires a high level of training and expert craftsmanship. Thanks to consistent application of the formal and functional design criteria developed over decades, each product is highly distinctive. The durability of form, function and material remains the guiding principle, then and now.
The variety of lamps has grown steadily since we began to develop outdoor luminaires. In most cases a new lamp technology resulted in new additions to our product range. The LED has inspired the imaginations of light enthusiasts more than any other type of lamp before it. A far higher luminous efficiency, stable light colours, a very long service life and - last but not least - a more attractive cost situation all speak in favour of the professional use of this modern lamp technology for general lighting purposes. Today we offer all series of our luminaires with LED.
When it comes to the development and application of LED technology, BEGA often follows its own instincts. Our in-house production of LED modules is an additional guarantee for long-lasting and exceptionally economical luminaires in BEGA quality.
The luminaire category commonly referred to today as “bollards” has its roots in BEGA developments. We have been producing these luminaires for several decades already, developing them into trendsetters that are also equipped for the future. BEGA system bollards – a modular luminaire concept in which the actual lighting unit of a bollard luminaire can be combined with additional technical components that are integrated in the bollard tube.
Under the strong umbrella brand of BEGA, two of our group’s brands that until now have been presented independently, GLASHÜTTE LIMBURG and BOOM, are being merged in the interest of making our consulting and order processing even more efficient. The ranges of luminaires behind our brands will be fully retained in the process. Similarly, there will be no changes to our sales team but it will be reorganised. From now on, BEGA is your sole contact point for all outdoor and indoor luminaires in our product range. Moreover, with the BEGA product range combined under one roof, it will be possible for light planning and configuration to intermesh seamlessly throughout all aspects of design, technology and light characteristics. This will be possible moreover without the division into outdoor and indoor product lines customary in the past.