Techmar Garden Lights – A Short History

Quite a few of you may already know our story, some of it's on the homepage and we have often talked about it before on social media etc. For those that don't, here's a quick recap. Basically our owner was in a well known diy chain, saw a Techmar display which didn't explain anything, He then asked staff who looked blankly at him and basically got very frustrated because he liked the concept but had very little information on how to install it in his own garden.

That visit led to a phone call, which led to a flight to Holland, which led to him building the garden light shop and becoming the UK's top retailer in 18 months. All because he created a site that explained every step of how the system works and how it would benefit you.

Techmar

We have never really talked about Techmar and how it's changed over the years we have been selling it. I know it can confuse some people, so we thought the easiest way to explain it would be to write a brief history of what products have changed, why some were renamed and why some specs have changed.

Now I should point out that this is our history with them and not their history as plainly from the anecdote above you will realise that their products were already available in the UK before we found them.

When we first stocked the warehouse, there were two two ranges, 'Garden Lights' and 'Ludeco'. Both ranges used the same transformers and cabling so could be used together. Around 8 months or so later another compatible range was added called 'The Design Collection'. The following is a description of what is included within those ranges.

Techmar 'Garden Lights' Range

The main (largest) part of the Techmar range was the Garden Lights range. A lot of companies (and I guess we have been guilty of this as well) continually refer to this range as the Techmar range. But let's be honest, calling your garden lights range 'Garden Lights' is just as confusing. I am sure if you turned up to our showroom (and please do, we have great coffee and often cookies) and we said to you, welcome to the Techmar Garden Lights, garden lights you would think it was somewhat odd.

The garden lights range consisted of all of the categories it does today: spotlights, post lights, deck lights, wall lights, ground lights etc etc. I can't quite remember, it was a long time ago, but I think it was predominantly halogen, because seven or eight years ago we were on that cusp of LED being good enough to match halogen as well as the price of LED's coming down to make it a relatively affordable option. The halogen lights did all have LED lamps available so even back then you could of had an all LED system.

Techmar 'Ludeco' Range

The Ludeco range primarily consisted of light sets. So you would get 3 lights, some cable and a transformer. The lights were also available separately allowing you to expand your lighting. The lights themselves were all LED and mostly made of cheaper synthetic materials and plastic. Thus keeping the prices low. Lights such as the popular Alder spotlight were originally from this range.

The Design Collection

The Techmar Design Collection often referred to by others as the designer range, consisted of very contemporary garden lighting which was supplied without a lamp. The design Collection lights were made of much higher grade materials like aluminium and better quality stainless steel. The lights in this range were supplied without a lamp (bulb) which gave you the opportunity to choose whether to go with halogen, which back then was a lot cheaper, or LED. The feeling was that this range was aimed at landscapers. The fact that it was never advertised as such though just meant stores and online outlets just listed the designer collection with the other two ranges. In fact most online stores didn't even explain there were three ranges and the fact you couldn't see the boxes, meant most people didn't even know this until they got their garden lights delivered.

Merging The Ranges

So basically, Ludeco was your lower end (entry level) lighting. The Designer Collection was the top end (most exspensive lighting) and the 'Garden Lights' was everything else.

As you may have already guessed, the lights were all merged into one range, this was called 'The Garden Lights' range. At this time a lot of lights from all three ranges were cut, as well as a few new lights added. As you would probably expect, just like when our money changes, there were a lot of the same lights being sold by the same companies (including us) in completely different packaging which did cause some confusion at the time. So all in all, it made complete sense to do this.

The Next Big Cut

Around 3 to 4 years ago, the next big change happened. With LED now being so much better as well a lot more affordable, all the halogen lights except one (I will come back to this) were removed from the range. Many of the popular lights were replaced with LED versions. However, a lot of the lights just didn't warrant becoming LED because they were basically quite big to cope with the heat of large halogen lamps and looked ridiculous with a much smaller LED lamp in them.

When this change happened, some stores sold their halogen stock off with LED replacement lamps included. Thing is, when the LED versions were released, Techmar shortened some of the lead lengths. This mean't that some companies were selling an LED Focus (for example) with deifferent specifications as another store. Again this caused some confusion with customers.

They also dropped a lot of the Designer Collection. With so many great LED lights in the range now some of the higher price point garden lights became unpopular or in some cases, irrelevant.

The other big change was that all the lights from the the Design Collection that survived were to now include lamps. This made sense as everyone now only wanted LED so shipping them without one would have just been annoying. Ironically it was at this time Techmar added an RGB lamp to their garden lighting accessories. So indeed some people may not have wanted a lamp in their light after all.

Swinging back to the one halogen light I mentioned. The Focus Halogen was left in basically for anyone who had purchased halogen lights before the big change happened and just wanted to add one or two more lights. It would have been a nice touch for Techmar to rename it the Focus Legacy to make this clearer, but they didn't.

Solving The Confusion

So I hope this goes a little way to explaining why on some sites you see the same product explained slightly differently. Why they may use words like 'Ludeco' and 'Designer Collection'. It just means they are either selling old stock, or more likely, just didn't change their description. The latter is something you should be aware of because when 'Ludeco and 'The Design Collection' became 'Garden Lights' as well as when Halogen became LED, many specifications including cable lengths and lamps were changed.

The Garden Light Shop Difference

Most companies who sell Techmar Garden Lights don't hold stock. Your items get shipped directly from Holland, so many companies wouldn't be aware of any of these changes. Techmar aren't the best at updating their retailers with changes and it's only the fact that as their leading UK distributor, we have a close working relationship with Techmar, and we do a thorough stock check on all new deliveries, that we manage to keep our descriptions accurate. It's also the reason that we can offer next day delivery.

If you have managed to get this far, thanks for reading, if you have any questions, feel free to email us our drop us a message on your favourite social media.

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Tuesday, 21 May 2024