New South Wales based Aqualux Lighting has moved from a design centre and assembly operation using imported components for its extensive range of architectural landscape lighting, to full Australian design and manufactured products in-house.


Formed in 1991 this family business specialised in electronics for defence, telecommunications etc. but saw a shift in the market and an opportunity to design and develop a range of landscape lighting and power products.

Completely designed within the Australian operation, components were initially manufactured for the company in Taiwan and assembled locally.  Major supply chain issues with longer lead times, manufacturing COVID shut-downs and other issues as a result of the world-wide pandemic, brought forward the company’s plans to move towards a complete design and manufacturing operation within the Australian plant.

Discussions had commenced with leading high technology machine tool company Okuma Australian as early as 2017 and over the next two years extensive research was initiated with Okuma and within industry to ensure that the selection of the right plant and CNC machinery would fully meet the company’s requirements going forward.

An experienced engineer was appointed and following a competitive process, the Okuma LB3000 EXII MYCx950 Horizontal CNC Lathe was selected and commissioned. As a result of this change and subsequent development, the company has added seven more staff in the last twelve months including an industrial designer and an electrical engineer to give greater depth to the design and development of cutting edge products.


“The installation of the Okuma machine and service advice from the company has been brilliant resulting in greater flexibility with capability from raw material to finished product principally in brass and aluminium plus unattended production,” said Machine Shop Manager Nathan Parr. “The finished quality of components is outstanding and we have drastically reduced lead times and greatly improved control over our production. We are now in a position to meet customers’ short lead times on small and large orders and it has been obvious that the Okuma name certainly gives our customers’ confidence,” he said.

The success of this strategic move is such that Aqualux is looking to move to two shifts and to also introduce robotics to further speed up production and provide staffing flexibility. There are also plans for additional machines in the future.

The company had invested in a Form 3 - 3D printer for prototype work and has now installed a Fuse 1-3D printer for production volumes of industrial grade polymer accessories and components.

The positive and progressive moves made by this family company have opened up the total Australian market for high quality Australian designed and manufactured lighting products.


“We are now highly competitive on quality and design with high end products coming out of Europe and although our immediate focus is on the Australian market, the potential for export sales for quality products is there and will naturally follow,” said Aqualux Director Andrew Coppins. “There is no doubt that the on-shoring of our production has reinvigorated our long term employees and there is a buzz within our staff at all levels as a result,” he said.

Steve Norbis, Northern Regional Manager NSW & Qld, Okuma Australia commented, “The tremendous effort put in by our NSW Okuma team is in essence what we do for all customers and it is exciting to watch the results and development of Aqualux and Australian manufacturing generally in the market.”