Our Story

Made in Australia. Exported to the World. Planet Lighting has evolved and adapted to changes in the market for over 100 years.

About Us

Class Leading Design & Manufacture

The Planet Lighting design tradition heralds back to the early 1900s, when founder WA Iggulden set up Bentley Mfg Co in Melbourne to produce building tools to patented designs. Since the 1930s Planet has been manufacturing lights, including the iconic Australian classic, the Studio K desk lamp. Over the years, our facilities have expanded to include handblown artisan glassblowing facilities, a high tech LED laboratory and state of the art CNC equipment to ensure high quality in-house capability, and a comprehensive approach to lighting manufacturing.

Today, we are one of the leading Australian suppliers of Medical & Surgical lights, LED and custom lighting solutions and are uniquely placed to provide the expertise and know-how required to work with lighting designers and specifiers to realise creative custom lighting ideas and concepts.

Medical & Surgical Lighting

Planet has 50 years experience in medical lighting, with the Model I examination light being released in the 1960s as the first dedicated Australian made medical light. Since then we have supplied tens of thousands of examination and minor surgery lights to clinics and hospitals all over Australia. Our design philosophy revolves around exact and effortless arm-positioning and ensuring an optimum light beam. All our medical lights are developed with precision engineering and ingenuity. Every part of a medical light is selected based on durability and functionality – the end result is a medical light that stands the test of time and meets Australian Standards.

Custom Lighting

From breathtakingly large illuminated sculptures of glass and metal to small jewel like mood lighting fixtures, Planet works with architects, designers and specifiers through all facets of concept, documentation, manufacture and installation to see custom made lighting ideas elegantly realised. Over the last 50 years we have engineered, manufactured and supplied well over 10,000 custom lighting designs the world over. Planet was one of the first manufacturers to embrace LED technology, which has been incorporated into our fixtures since 2002. A decade later we are one of the leading manufacturers of decorative fixtures incorporating LEDs and LED control including wireless remote programmable DMX  – we can supply all major dimming protocols and tailor-made control solutions to suit any project. A growing number of International Designers, Architects and Heritage building consultants call on Planet to convert their concepts into effective lighting solutions. We have a proven record of on time, on budget performance for projects in all states of Australia and on every continent worldwide. When it comes to experience, know-how and manufacturing expertise Planet is the preferred source for quality custom lighting fabrication. We offer superior documentation, craftsmanship, materials and manufacturing expertise, quality, reliability, sensitivity to design issues and careful coordination with construction contractors.

Many great Custom fixture concepts started life on a napkin or the back of an envelope, others arose as the building spaces were being developed and detailed. No matter how the idea arises, how complex or simple it might be, how many are required or where the project is located, we are ready to play our part in the process of seeing creative custom lighting ideas realised.

Our History

Early Days

The Planet Lighting design tradition heralds back to the early 1900s, when founder WA Iggulden set up Bentley Mfg Co in Melbourne to produce building tools to patented designs, such as the 1920s ‘Speedscrew Floor Clamp’ and the 1930s ‘Bently Fibro Cutter’. Having weathered the great depression, a lighting division called Planet Products was established by the founder’s two sons, W.P. and J.M. Iggulden. In the1930s the late W.P. (Bill) Iggulden designed his first self-balanced table lamp, called the “Orbit”. The Orbit was replaced in 1938 by his brilliant “I” series range, which was still in production almost 60 years later. Following the outbreak of World War 2, Bentley-Planet became engaged in wartime production, including the first bomb-rack cradles for supply dropping on the Kokoda Trail.

A focus on lighting

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Post-war, Planet began in earnest to develop lighting concepts, striving to achieving engineering excellence in lighting design. This has become a hallmark of Planet products and won the company many awards, including the inaugural Prince Phillip design prize and the Australian Design Award. Most influential of this period is undoubtedly the iconic Australian classic, the Studio K, designed by Bill Iggulden and released in 1962. The Studio K was widely exhibited internationally and is one of a few truly original examples Australian Industrial Design available during these years, and it is still a sought after light by both domestic and international collectors. Another milestone in Planet history is 1964 when the first examination light was put in production. Planet medical lights remain the most widely used in Australian hospitals and GP clinics.

In 1974 Planet decentralised to a new factory at Bellingen on the North Coast of New South Wales. The factory can still be found at this site in the beautiful Bellinger Valley.

Glass-blowing & Custom Lighting

The late 1980s saw Planet take yet another direction, with the acquisition of a commercial-scale glass blowing facility. This enabled the company to explore new business opportunities abroad – the most significant undoubtedly being supplying thousands of glass-shades to the emerging coffee-house chain Starbucks. The addition of the Ambien glass-works meant that Planet now had a fully equipped factory well placed to enter the custom lighting market. The manufacture of complex site-specific or custom design light fixtures is a highly specialised activity and through investments and accumulated techniques, skills, know-how and equipment under one roof Planet strived to provide a facility which is second to none in this specialised area of manufacturing.

By combining competitive modern manufacturing capabilities in glass, metal and light sources with softer creative capabilities that approach lighting as functional art in architecture Planet quickly become a favoured manufacturer of leading Australian and international designers and architects. A focus of artisan metal trades of spinning, casting, pressing, polishing, fabrication and turning along with all types of glass manufacture were, and still are, undertaken in-house by experienced and committed staff, many of whom are the leading experts in Australia in their field. Planet also specialises in traditional metal finishing using the techniques of sculptors and metal craftsmen – bronze finishes, patina finishes and wrought iron finishes and other metal patination techniques are employed as a standard part of the company’s manufacturing capabilities along with normal powder coating and wet spray painting.

Custom design and manufacture became and has remains one of the company’s main activities, working with international luminaries such as I M Pei, Kevin Roach, Cesar Pell, Renzo Piano on innovative lighting designs all over the world.

Embracing LED technology

Planet was one of the first manufacturers to embrace the emerging LED technology and have a track record of incorporating LEDs in custom design for over a decade. The FMC range was one of Australia’s first commercially available LED downlights and the ingenious LED Puck revolutionised handrail lighting, winning awards nationally and abroad. Planet has since developed a range of high-performance LED downlights including the cyanosis and MRI downlights, which are the only approved LED downlights of their kind to be used in medical applications. Additionally, our medical range has grown to incorporate new LED medical examination lights, over-bed lights and a complete range of minor and major surgical lights.

In the last few years our new direction includes lights for the aquaculture and marine sector and we are also offering a range of exterior fittings with a new partnership with Danish company Focus lighting.

Export

Planet Lighting exports its class leading products to all corners of the globe.

 

Designed in Australia, Exported Worldwide

With a focus on commercial niche markets, Planet Lighting has leveraged its agile design and engineering team to meet needs across multiple worldwide markets.

Over the decades, we have developed an extensive worldwide distribution network, and aim our resource focus on developing these export markets.

Currently Planet Lighting export the LED puck and aquaculture fittings into a broad and ever growing list of overseas markets throughout Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

 

Research & Development

Planet Lighting exports its class leading products to all corners of the globe.

 

PUSHING THE LIMITS OF TECHNOLOGY

Our constant review of leading brands and processes keeps us abreast of the latest developments and allows us to deliver the best solutions to selected markets.

Our design team maintains deep knowledge in manufacturing processes, and supplier technologies such as: LED emitters, MCPCB, reflective and refractive optics, power supply, and control technologies. We thus ensure that our design choices are cutting edge.

 

LET'S TALK LIGHTING TODAY

Give our sales team a call today on 02 6659 5600 or contact a distributor near you to learn more about the Planet product range and service.

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