Q-Tran in Milford marks 25 Years with LED launch
Q-Tran, Inc., a Milford-based lighting manufacturer, held an official ribbon cutting ceremony marking 25 successful years, the launch of its new “Made in the USA” LED product and a recent manufacturing facility expansion.
The event was held at Q-Tran’s expanded headquarters at 155 Hill Street in Milford, as the company introduced its newest LED product which uses Surface Mount Technology (SMT). “Q-Tran is supporting the local economy with our most recent factory expansion,” said founder and CEO John Tremaine. “Adding to our manufacturing capabilities and introducing a “Made in the USA” LED product was a natural fit for us as we further develop our strategic product plan and celebrate our 25th anniversary.”
Mayor Ben Blake congratulated the company adding, “We love when businesses move into Milford and when they expand and grow and continue to help our community flourish. We have a lot of manufacturing in the State of Connecticut and Milford is tied for the top 1 percent of all manufacturing in Connecticut. We embrace our manufacturers and look forward to having great corporate citizens to partner with for many years to come.”
Q-Tran, Inc. was founded in 1993 with a goal “to provide a superior solution for powering low-voltage lighting. One that provided higher performance, eliminated noise, increased efficiency, and was safer and easier to install.” Q-Tran added remote transformers able to eliminate noise and heat, enhance the quality of light output, adding the ability to be installed with flexibility.
Lighting runs in the family, as five generations attest. John’s great-grandfather founded the National Electric Lamp Association (NELA), which became General Electric’s lamp division in Cleveland and continues today as Nela Park. In 1970 John Tremaine joined his family’s lighting business (Miller Company) which was acquired by his grandfather in the early 1930’s. By 1980 lighting design became his focus (Remained Lighting Design) and five years later he opened a high-tech lighting showroom called “PRIMO,” providing customers with a creative alternative to functional lighting.
“Our family is probably the oldest continuous family in manufacturing of lighting in the world,” continued John Tremaine. “My great-grandfather started making light bulbs eight years after Edison invented the light bulb in 1888. We have had three generations of Tremaines working together in the manufacturing of lighting equipment for 130 years. It was in a basement of a lighting showroom in South Norwalk that we began Q-Tran.”
“We were a power supply company that was Best in Class in the world for years and as LED lighting became more established, our customers and our lighting engineers asked that we provided a complete package of both the power supply and the LED lighting. So we changed ourselves from power supplies to being a lighting company, that was a great decision, our business started growing at 30 percent or more a year. We now are about 50,000 square feet and 60 employees. The State of Connecticut has been very helpful in some grants.”
To ensure the highest quality, Q-Tran knew they had to produce all the key components. Moving to a larger facility allowed for a Vertically Integrated approach to their manufacturing process. Morphing into this new category, a low-voltage lighting power supply center, helped Q-Tran earn numerous awards including the IES Award for Excellence and Innovation in numerous categories. “We had successfully redefined the power behind the light.”
“We were reliant in getting LED lights from China, I thought this could jeopardize our company and if we wanted to be able to control our destiny we needed to make that component, but I also believe that our president today has brought patriotism back to our country, I wanted to be a part of that - made in America, by Americans and we now have a product that is fully made in the USA. We are the only company that has encapsulation equipment in North America, we bought the equipment to make LED tape light and we are buying our aluminum extrusions and our lenses here in the US. The company can truly and proudly say, Made in the USA,” John Tremaine said.
“Q-Tran transitioned into marrying power supplies with our lighting,” said Gean Tremaine, president. “We always were focused on vertical integration. From the making of the core of the product through to the final version of the product when we brought LEDs into our company we weren’t completely vertical integrated, we wanted to bring that to our capability. The SMT machine is the robot that actually puts the LEDs onto the circuit board so we start from the beginning of the process through the final process with our illumination. We are focused on linear lighting as well. We are proud to be a Connecticut-based company.”
“I’m super excited for today and am proud of the accomplishments of Q-Tran,” said David LaVigna, Chief Operating Officer. “Our future is integrated fixtures and to be a vertically integrated US- based manufacturer.” LaVigna thanked the generations before, “for the platform we are able to leap off today. We fight hard on a day to day basis to make sure we sell and deliver US-manufactured products. We are incredibly proud to be doing it here in Milford and we are proud to be waving the American flag. I am appreciative of everyone here today coming and celebrating with us.”
“Twenty-five years ago Q-Tran (Enlightened Thinking) forged a new path in the industry,” said John Tremaine. “Today we find ourselves in a similar position. We are bringing new technology, designs and our trusted innovation into the next 25 years. This year, we will be manufacturing Linear LED Strip Lighting at our facility and we are dedicated to sourcing 100 percent of our components in the USA.”
Gean Tremaine thanked the community, Mayor, Chamber of Commerce, vendors, supporters, friends, family and employees during the ceremony. “It is your support, dedication, determination, integrity and excellence that makes Q-Tran everything it is,” he said.