An Illuminating Interview With An Industry Luminary
Garry Hannah is nothing if not passionate about lighting especially LED. He is also no newcomer to the balustrading industry having served many years across its many facets. All of his experience both hands on and in research and development culminated in the formation of his company, Lumorail named clearly to reflect the area of specialization that he has made his own.
He is a hard man to catch and nail down due in large part to the success of the business and his personal dedication to many projects, but we managed it and found the result most illuminating.
So was it a light bulb moment that led you to establish the Lumorail business?
Pardon the pun! Not so much a moment, it was more of a growing awareness of the success of similar products in the US and European markets compared to Australia. Although architects wanted this option there seemed to be resistance by building companies to its use on the grounds of the complexity of the installation process which needs a number of trades to be involved.
Is that what prompted you to set up the business as a one stop shop?
Yes it is. We source only the best components and materials and handle the whole process from design through to construction. And now with a string of accredited installers in many states we can even manufacture and install across most of the country. This also allows Lumorail to maintain complete quality control at every stage.
This holistic, hands-on approach coupled with a strict Quality Assurance system and patents pending, not only ensures the integrity of the product but also that each project is completed and delivered on schedule.
What shaped your business into what it is today?
I started by creating what I thought I would like to see in my own home. Throughout the first couple of years, and even now, I take time to reflect on each job and see how we can improve the process and adapt to the client’s needs and expectations. This has brought about our patented range of speciality products. Our passion for the environment has also had a huge influence on the way we look at each project. Most of our team are members of the IDA, and with Lumorail being a corporate member of the IDA and IDAVic (International Dark-Sky Association) we have ensured that we meet their requirements. As a result Lumorail now has several products that are IDA certified. IDA guidelines are something to consider when designing or creating any outdoor lighting project. (For anyone interested you can find more info at www.darksky.org)
What do you feel is your largest market?
It’s hard to say really. Although we are still a bit of niche market, we have things going on in all sectors. We have projects on the go with everything from small domestic builds, to large commercial and landscape projects and even council projects. We have become the go to guys for any and all handrail lighting solutions.
Do your customers seem happy with the number and types of products in your range?
Well, we started with 3 products, and now with over 40 post and rail products available, we have the largest range in the world and the range is still growing. I’m sure we have something for everyone, anywhere around the world. There are absolutely heaps of images on the website (www.lumorail.com.au)
We are also happy to come up with bespoke solutions to meet most lighting or aesthetic requirements.
Anywhere around the world….can you tell me more about that?
Absolutely! As well as inquiries from all around Australia, we’ve been approached by builders, designers, and architects from New Zealand, Israel, Dubai, Sth Africa, Fiji, and even the USA. Most of these clients want a tried and tested system, and to work with a company that has a long history of getting it right, and that’s us. With our Quality Assurance system and patents pending, clients can be confident that they will get what is truly fit for purpose, and not just some throw together product.
So what more can you tell us about your range?
Ok, so there are 3 basic styles of lighting across the range. The Logan which is a single light puck, the Aston which is a 100mm long LED module, and the Forrest which is a continuous light rail. These are all named after my 3 sons. These are all available in a range of stainless steel profiles, and most are also available in powder coated aluminium.
Then there are our wardrobe rails, the Claudia named after my daughter, and 2 others, the Melanie and the Emma. In addition there’s our Timberluxx range of over 23 timber printed aluminium finishes. We also have bar foot rails, mobility rails, and bollards and of course our well know Amberley post….all illuminated of course.
Most of our products are available in a broad range of Kelvins and Lumens, so we can meet just about any spec required. We even have colour changing RGB with remotes, and products that run on Dali and DMX.
How do you think this is revolutionising the industry?
Although used in the home, the workplace and an endless list of locations, I felt the humble handrail was due for a facelift, with safety and aesthetics at the heart of the change.
For some time now lighting has been fitted low in the walls of stairwells, this often shines directly into your face as you approach the stairs. Being built directly into the underside of the handrail, Lumorail removes lighting from the direct line of site, and brings it back down to floor level where it’s actually needed. This is also a huge win for the vision impaired. This means less, or even no, overhead lighting is needed, and with a full range of low voltage lighting this also results in a huge reduction of power usage. With the demand for homes to be more energy efficient, our LED handrails are often fitted with sensors, timers and remote controls so lighting is not running when it’s not needed. Our own patented mounting brackets and rail system also streamlines and simplifies installation, keeping labour costs down to a minimum.
As for revolutionizing the industry, what we have done so far has opened a lot of eyes to the potential of a whole new aesthetic. We have taken the classic and timeless appearance of the stainless steel handrail, and completely changed its feel by adding the latest in lighting technology transforming the often bland and overlooked handrail into a radiating thing of beauty.
Any last words?
Many people seem caught up in justifying the quantum of lighting and miss giving attention to the individual qualities of light. I have always been smitten with the effects of light in any environment. I think if there are subtle ways of introducing light to an area, while also keeping its presence to a minimum; it makes sense to explore those possibilities.
And I truly believe that incorporating lighting into something that must already be part of an environment rather than introducing a new element is the most subtle way to do just that. To me the Lumorail range of LED handrails is the most beautiful way of achieving subtle, yet ample lighting.
Even the most beautiful staircase can be enhanced and boring old balustrades transformed into stunning key features of any project…but hey, I’m biased!