Creating beautiful, lasting, and sustainable light fixtures is just part of how B-K Lighting + TEKA Illumination make the world a brighter place
“Light is not so much something that reveals, as it is itself the revelation.” The words of American contemporary artist James Turrell inspire us to experiment with light and space, discover new palettes, and better understand the impact of sunlight, shade, and shadow in our lives.
That sense of experimentation, discovery, and impact is present in the lighting products created by B-K Lighting + TEKA Illumination, as well as in their ethos. The Madera, Calif., company specializes in innovative indoor and outdoor lighting fixtures; the B-K Lighting arm specializes in outdoor and landscape lighting fixtures such as floodlights, in-grade, and building mounted lighting. Sister brand TEKA Illumination, acquired by B-K Lighting in 2005, makes copper, brass, bronze, and stainless steel indoor and outdoor lighting with a coastal California sensibility.
“We're one of the few manufacturers that have in-house machining, engineering, and prototyping,” company CEO Nathan Sloan said. “We have one of the shortest lead times in the lighting industry in making a custom product. Once we have a signed engineer’s drawing, we are about six weeks out to production, generally. It depends on the scope of the project, of course.”
B-K Lighting + TEKA Illumination experts take a hands-on approach to understanding the customer and providing a great customer experience. “From the beginning of a project, multiple staff members get involved in that project to understand the full scope of what the customer is trying to achieve. There's always a desired look or feel of a product that has to perform to a certain level.” Asking the right questions is key to the high-quality outcomes both the firm and its customers and reps expect. “We get all of the information we need to create a product from scratch and give that lighting designer a signature on the project. It gives the designer their own unique spin, and it gives the customer exactly what they want,” Sloan affirmed.
That approach also helps the firm move their comprehensive lines of standard, non-custom products. According to Sloan, “In that collaboration, if we can get there with the custom products, we can build that relationship and work on standard products and improve the relationship there.”
From strictly utilitarian to intriguing and beautiful architectural items, B-K Lighting + TEKA Illumination make a comprehensive portfolio of products that you won’t find at your local big box outlet or lamp store. Products are marketed to a group of discerning “specifiers” that includes landscape designers and architects, building architects, interior designers, and electrical contractors and the independent manufacturers’ reps that serve them.
The land of ethical luminaries
For Sloan, leading B-K Lighting + TEKA Illumination is a labor of love in a literal sense. As the B-K Lighting division celebrates its 35th anniversary, Sloan recently celebrated his 25th. He came into the firm on the shop floor and worked through nearly every department until assuming the top leadership role last January.
“I tell people that my resume is very short, because I've only ever worked for B-K and TEKA,” Sloan joked. Several other employees have chosen similar routes. That strategy, he said, “expands our knowledge of how the total company works. You get a taste of everything as you work through various departments, and I’ve made a lot of friends and have been able to maintain those relationships. I consider a lot of these relationships to be family. … You spend so much of your time with the people you work with that you don't have time to make enemies. You really do have to be friends when you're here for a long time, and having a great group of people be a part of this thing that we do, making specification grade lighting fixtures, has made it a great place to work.”
Another nod to workplace greatness is B-K Lighting’s recently established employee stock ownership plan, dubbed the Lite Star ESOP. The plan, which is fully funded by B-K Lighting, gives employees a vested interest in the firm’s business outcomes.
The GreenSource Initiative™ endeavors to take good care of the environment as well. From efficacy-based factory rebates and recycling rebates to making a variety of fixtures from recycled materials, planetary stewardship is high on the priority list. Most recently, B-K Lighting celebrated its 35th anniversary in February by joining a campaign driven by the National Forest Foundation, 50 Million Trees in Our National Forests by 2023, and California Wildfire Reforestation, and contributing 35,000 trees to the effort.
“Everybody’s engaged in what they’re doing, and so far, it appears they are enjoying this process and journey that we’re on together, and believing in what we do,” Sloan mused. “We make light fixtures, but the end result of a project that is professionally done is breathtaking. It’s unbelievable what our specifier community is doing with these fixtures in their hands – they do some great stuff.”
Since 1984, B-K Lighting has been dedicated to providing the lighting industry with the highest quality, most innovative, and fairly priced outdoor lighting fixtures available. B-K Lighting uses the latest in computer-controlled equipment to produce its products, which are machined from copper-free aluminum, brass, and stainless steel components, to exacting standards. This type of precision manufacturing ensures a level of quality and craftsmanship unequaled in the lighting industry.
Since 1993, TEKA Illumination has been driven to manufacture sustainable luminaires. All TEKA Illumination products are manufactured from copper, brass and bronze, three of the oldest natural and manmade materials. These materials are extremely resistant to environmental corrosion and physical abuse attributing to their sustainability. Enduring metals. Elemental designs. New technologies. These are the inspirations of TEKA Illumination.