elektraLite Celebrates 30th Anniversary

June 10, 2024

Long Island, New York-based Group One Limited announces that its longstanding lighting brand, elektraLite, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this summer.

elektraLite first got its start when Norman Wright and Vinny Finnegan teamed up to purchase the lighting division from Mark IV Industries. "At that time, we were distributing lighting products from a number of European-based manufacturers," recalls Wright, who has served as elektraLite's VP of engineering since day one. "Jack Kelly [Group One CEO] joined us soon after we commenced operations, and we decided to design and manufacture our own products because, at the time, we couldn't find anything on the market that was geared to our dealers and market."

"In addition to wanting to fill gaps here for unique and reliable products, we wanted to ensure safety by having them tested by an NRTL. So many of the products coming from overseas back then were not tested to any standard -- and many still aren't, even today -- and the average person has no idea." The first product out of the gate in 1994 was the elektraLite CP1 lighting controller, which led to the launch of the seminal CP10 the following year. "The CP10 was the first of a range of small, easy-to-use moving light controllers that to this day people literally all over the world still use," says Wright. "I personally have a CP20, which was introduced in 1999 and I still use to demo lights, and people ask me where they can buy one! Too many controllers, especially the laptop-based ones, are overly complex for the average user, so our early CP line really filled a niche."

After manufacturing lighting controllers for nearly a decade, elektraLite pivoted and began focusing more on fixtures and effects, illustrated by the introductions of the "moving yoke" MY150 and MY250 (2003), "moving mirror" MM150 (2003), Elektrik Eye (2004), Turbofog (2004), and Paint Can (2007), among other notable products.

In 2009, the company started incorporating efficient, high-power LEDs into its designs, starting with the Dazer in 2009. From then on, elektraLite generated a steady stream of product launches that would go on to become industry favorites, including the 1018 Quad (2010), Pancake (2011), eyeBall (2012), elektraBar (2013), ML602 (2014), and many others. The first elektraLite Stingray, a 300-watt model, debuted in 2017 and ultimately expanded into a full range of products under that moniker over the following years.

"The introduction of the COB LED, and now the LED module into our current range of products, is just a far superior and efficient solution to producing a high-output even field versus the use of multiple LEDs," he notes.

Looking forward, elektraLite's current short-term mission is to continue researching and adopting well-tested new LED solutions for stage lighting. "We find it difficult how some manufacturers claim monstrous LED life expectancy when the LED itself has not been in existence for a tenth of the time claimed," he says. "In the long-term, we want to build more diverse lighting products crossing into other markets, knowing that in the future those products will require far less energy to run than anyone today could have wildly predicted."

Wright is quick to additionally point out that the people behind the elektraLite brand have been every bit as important as the products themselves -- especially VP of sales Vinny Finnegan, he says, who retired in 2019 and passed away in late 2023 at the age of 76. "Vinny was a cornerstone of Group One and a larger-than-life character," Wright adds. "He was the quintessential cheerful guy-always happy and had a joke for everything. Without his presence and talents in our early days, elektraLite would truly not be where it is today."

For more details on elektraLite's past and present, come see the company at InfoComm Booth #W1071 in Las Vegas from June 12-14, 2024, or visit its newly-designed website found online at www.myelektralite.com.