ABOUT LOPOLIGHT
THE STORY BEHIND LOPOLIGHT

Lopolight is this month celebrating our 18th birthday, so we thought it would be fun to look back for a second…

 

Since the start of the LED revolution in the early 00’s Lopolight has been supplying LED navigation lights to sailors around the world with the promise of ‘fit ‘n forget’.

Today Lopolight is firmly established as a leader within navigational lighting worldwide, with both the products and the company matured and robust, we stand ready to service your every need within this sector.

From a start in humble surroundings in the basement of Peter Hancke, where he in 2001 developed a LED stern light and a combined sidelight for his own 10 meter sailing boat, the brief was simple: There should be enough power to start the engine after the traditional ‘Round Sealand Race’ a 231 nautical mile race that often would require the nav lights to be on for 2 nights –with conventional lights this was a marginal situation, and race rules prohibits charging of batteries during the race.

The race ended well, the engine started. And Peter went back to his daytime job.

Peter showed Jan his invention

Early 2002 Jan Møller sailed into Rungsted Harbour with his newly aquired Open 40 ocean racing sailboat. Intending only to stay long enough to attract attention from potential sponsors and prepare the boat for a singlehanded non-stop circumnavigation of the globe. An invitation to all local sailors to see this rare animal that got stuck in the sailing club’s politics and a bad choice of date (on the hour of world cup finals in football!) resulted that only 2 persons showed upfor the event. One of them was Peter, who took an interest in the boat, the project and the skipper. Energy management on ocean crossing sailing boats is a big challenge, and Jan had realized this the hard way crossing the Atlantic after buying his boat, many nights without power for the conventional nav lights does not provide much sense of safety for the lonely crew. When Peter showed Jan his invention and furthermore offered to sponsor a set, a deal was made!

This deal expanded into more than donating a set of LED nav lights, the electrical systems needed some TLC and the communication had to be installed, and so on, 33 evenings in a row after, Jan was ready for the attempt on the sailors version of scaling Mount Everest without oxygen assistance.

Jan started from Copenhagen and made it home in 168 days. Peter now in the pivotal capacity as shore crew.

 On the homestretch (only 8000 of the 32000 nautical miles left), somewhere in the South Atlantic Ocean, just North of the Falklands, the winds slacked for the first time in months and Jan made a check of the rigging. At the masthead a depressing sight met him as all wind-instruments and antennas had broken or disappeared. The only equipment in fully working order was the tricolor light that now carries the brand name Lopolight –as an acronym for ‘Low Powered Light’.

Writing about this to the many Danish and international followers of his trip, resulted in famous singlehanded sailors such as Mike Golding contacting Peter, as they also wanted to buy such a light that could endure the challenges of the Southern Ocean.

Peter kindly asked Jan whether he could write some more, the answer came back as a business proposal!

In April 2004 Lopolight was established, just 2 weeks after Jan’s return –and shortly after the company Peter worked for had gone bankrupt, they started out building a business together.

The initial customers were sailboat sailors, but very soon Lopolight products found their way onto high speed military craft, on super yachts. All for the same reasons: here was a light that was made for long term use on the ocean –and it captured all the benefits the LED technology provided.

Such as Low power consumption, High vibration safety as all components were potted in epoxy, Small size, High quality aluminium housing. All resulting in along life expectation.

The first public exposure for the team and their products was METS in 2004. Lopolight won the DAME award for its category and had prospective distributors lined-up. Even today many of these are still with us.

 

Around 200.000 Lopolight Navigation lights later, headquartered in Humlebæk north of Copenhagen with a modern factory and employing 21 highly skilled associates, and with offices in USA UK and Italy, Lopolight is ready to take on the future!

Early 2019 a majority of the lights was re-launched with new optics, new LEDs, new electronics and with the same trusted design.

The 3rd party testing of the new lights and the continuing lights was expanded to not only cover the European Wheelmark, but also the recently published set of US Coast Guard guidance on LED nav lights.

The range of products is extensive and will cover all needs. Should you nevertheless have a requirement for your ship that is not in our range we will build it for you, the modular design and having the factory a few steps away makes this possible.

Lopolight Vision
Improving safety on board – light by light!

Our vision for Lopolight is to enhance safety on the ships of the world, by providing the best and safest navigation lights to minimize the risk of collision.

Lopolight designs and manufactures LED navigation lights, control & monitoring systems and other functional lighting for use on Yachts, Super Yachts, Navy vessels Workboats and other Commercial vessels. 

To make this vision real, Lopolight has attracted the best team, each with their own unique contribution; THE LOPOLIGHT FAMILY

Lopolight around the world
The Lopolight network of dealers, integrators and installers is expanding – if you want to be part of our success please contact us on info@lopolight.com

David Hellar
Sales Director - USA

Please contact:
david@lopolight.com

A driven sales manager who can lead and motivate others, to achieve sales objectives. Excellent ability to absorb new sales techniques quickly as well as the ability to oversee multiple tasks simultaneously. Experienced in speaking directly to decision makers by establishing strong and profitable relationships. Top-ranked sales professional with a demonstrated record of success in sales. Excellent communication skills, able to develop strong business relationships with co-workers and clientele. Demonstrated history of successful building, motivating sales teams. to exceed goals and meet dead lines.Expert at developing and encouraging employees to assume higher levels of responsibility via a strong sense of team work and sales leadership.

Mike Booth
Sales Director - Europe

Please contact:
mike@lopolight.com

Working directly with Lopolight since 2014, and previously as a distributor Mike offers strong
technical support and training of the Lopolight product range, backed up with many years of experience and practical knowledge.

Supporting the brand towards our customers and developing new markets. In addition establishing Lopolight UK with his team for product sales and distribution. 

Based in Edinburgh Scotland.

Maelle Montel
Sales Development – France

Please contact:
sales-france@lopolight.com

Reinforce Lopolight business activity in France.  
French, Spanish and English-speaking rep Strong Sales experiences, Proactive, organized. 

Based in Lorient (Brittany), known as the French sailing Mecca

Michael Krumbæk
Technical sales manager - Denmark

Please contact:
michael@lopolight.com

Part of the technical team with strong knowledge of marine electronic integration backup with 30 years of hands on experience. Michael has worked with some of the biggest names in marine electronics in both technical and sales positions.

Part of both the sales and the technical teams, Michael is supporting shipyards and the dealer network providing in depth project support ranging from a new yacht to the latest military autonomous vessel.

As sales manager Michael also takes care of our Danish and Swedish customers.

Marco Ravaioli
Sales manager - Italy

Please contact:
marco@lopolight.com

Marco, working from our office in Genoa supports the Italian market. With a strong background in marine sales Marco operates within commercial sector whilst working with our  long time partner Special Rig (Armare) in the leisure and superyacht markets . 

Russ Patton
Regional sales manager, USA and Canada

Please contact:
russ@lopolight.com

Russ has been in the maritime sector his entire career. With 22 years in the US Coast Guard, almost half of which were underway, as an integrator and operator of complex electronic Navigation and Communications systems. After the Coast Guard, Russ held various rolls in Sales, Engineering and Shipbuilding positions. He has been an integral part of the Engineering teams for Icebreakers for the US Coast Guard and National Science Foundation built in Wisconsin. Most recently, Russ was part of the core team which won the prestigious contact for the US Navy Guided Missile Frigate (FFG).

Russ’ territory is the Great Lakes, Pacific Northwest and Canada. He resides with his family (and chocolate lab Ace) in Northeast Wisconsin.

Since the start of the LED revolution in the early 00’s Lopolight has been supplying LED navigation lights to sailors around the world with the promise of ‘fit ‘n forget’.

Today Lopolight is firmly established as a leader within navigational lighting worldwide, with both the products and the company matured and robust, we stand ready to service your every need within this sector.

Around 200.000 Lopolight Navigation lights later, headquartered in Humlebæk north of Copenhagen with a modern factory and employing 25 highly skilled associates, and with offices in USA, UK, France and Italy, Lopolight is ready to take on the future!

Early 2019 a majority of the lights was re-launched with new optics, new LEDs, new electronics and with the same trusted design.

The 3rd party testing of the new lights and the continuing lights was expanded to not only cover the European Wheelmark, but also the recently published set of US Coast Guard guidance on LED nav lights and ABS type approval of the complete navigation light system – the lights together with the control and monitoring system.

The range of products is extensive and will cover all needs. Should you nevertheless have a requirement for your ship that is not in our range we will build it for you, the modular design and having the factory a few steps away makes this possible.

JAN MØLLER
MANAGING DIRECTOR, PARTNER

With a strong background in marketing of one of the world’s strongest brands and fresh of a singlehanded non-stop circumnavigation in 2004, Jan joined forces with Peter to create the company Lopolight. Jan was then totally convinced about the uniqueness of the Lopolight promise of fit ’n forget – after testing some of the very first Lopolights for 40.000 nautical miles. 

His passion for all types of vessels is strong, from roaming around in the engine room of the 1959 restored  ocean going tug “Elbe” and marveling the engineering of that time, or assisting with a re-fit of nav lights on a chemical tanker, to sailing his 49’ sailboat home to Denmark from Italy last year. 

Today Jan’s enthusiasm for the Lopolight products is unwavering and he is on a quest to drive Lopolight ahead to even higher accomplishments.

The passion for Lopolight and the sea is shared with his wife, Merete, who serves at Lopolight as customer service manager.

PETER HANCKE
R&D, PARTNER

Engineering and innovation are the defining professional characteristics of the inventor of Lopolight. A rare combination of the capabilities of electronic and mechanical engineering forms the background from which the unique Lopolight design stems from. 

Peter is a lifelong entrepreneur with roots in the long-disappeared photo-finishing industry, taking over the family company after his father at a very young age and continuing in that line of work until the very end of the classic photo era. 

In 2002 he volunteered to help a rather hapless sailor with a dream to sail around the world, aside from his monumental effort in getting the boat seaworthy, which meant 33 nights in a row away from the family, he graciously offered to sponsor the LED navigation lights. 

The co-operation and friendship between Peter and Jan formed in those days, continued during the successful voyage, where Peter was a core part of the shore crew, into today’s partnership at Lopolight.

IT IS ALL ABOUT SAFETY AT SEA

Navigation lights are one of the most important tools to avoid collisions at night. The comfort provided by equipment that you can trust and allow you to relax a little bit is just priceless.