Out of necessity comes stupidity and progress

Out of necessity comes stupidity and progress

Generally, when we start brand new ventures, it’s our ignorance that get’s us through. We simply don’t know what we don’t know when we venture out in untried waters.  If we did too much research in to what we were actually about to launch in to, we would be put off and not a lot would get done in the world of technological advancement.

Even though most people don’t want to be associated with the following words, it is often our Arrogance, Ignorance and Stubbornness that gets projects off the ground.

Arrogance – We don’t mean to be arrogant and yet we actually need some of it to believe we can actually change the universe with our new ideas.

Ignorance – We don’t mean to be ignorant either but it is often our lack of understanding about something that makes the impossible, well, possible.

Stubbornness – Being stubborn is a daily reminder once our Arrogance and Ignorance have been whittled down to a mere whimper, that we start these things with good intent and “You’ve come to far to turn back now”.

That’s the real beginning of success.  Overcoming all the reasons why not – and there are often MANY reasons.

If you run your own business (or are even considering it), most of this should ring true.  When we started Antipodes LED in 2014, LED lighting was still on the outer fringes of acceptability and a cause for suspicion for a lot of engineers through bad experiences.  There had been a lot of cheaper quality products flooding the market (as does happen with new technologies) and over time, we all learned a thing or two about what to look out for.  At some point, however, we at Antipodes LED knew we needed to make a decision and embrace this new fangled technology and we went on a genuine journey of discovery around the world.  Our big idea was to fill the void between the lower priced, lower quality markets and the expensive European brands.

We recognised that LED was a great leveller for countries like New Zealand – we just had to change our mind-set away from, “We can’t do that here”.

In the bad old days, there was so much money spent on fluorescent technology.  How optics or louvres worked was critical for squeezing every drop of light out of a fixture and in some cases the difference between a poor and excellent design of a fitting was up to 30% – but that relied largely on large R&D budgets.  Traditionally New Zealand doesn’t have particularly large budgets for such developments so we needed to rely on European firms for real performance lighting.

LED changes all of that.  LED chips push light in one direction so when comparing lumens between fluorescent (or other older technologies) an allowance must be made for the fact that LED is only pushing light in one direction and not 360 degrees, such as a tube.  This means that the losses do not need to be re-cooped the way that older methods require.  The issue with LED is more basic.  LED is called ‘solid state’ lighting because it is an electronic component – just like a resistor, capacitor or diode – it just happens to give light.  It means that the old rules do not apply.  The key is thermal management.

People are often surprised that LED gives any heat off at all but when you look at the size of heat sinks on down lights today, you will see that heat is very much a part of thermal design.  LED is certainly more efficient than any older technology but unlike, say, fluorescent, it hates heat and will fail very early if it’s not considered as many earlier fittings didn’t.  As a solid state device, LED simply has very little tolerance of overheating and part of product development is designing around these intolerance’s.

Changing the world means learning from others that have gone before you and we have done that, extensively.  We are proud to be a New Zealand manufacturer and we are proud to make products through perseverance. I guess if that makes us Arrogant, Ignorant and Stubborn, it also makes us Learned and the number 8 mentality is still alive and well in New Zealand.


Clark Nemeth is a company director of Antipodes LED and has been in the lighting industry for over 20 years.  Please feel free to contact him on email mailto:clark@antipodesled.co.nzif you want to discuss anything about this article.