Architectural sophistication rules in the finely crafted, machine-made lighting produced by Grupo B.lux, a manufacturer based in the Basque Country of Spain. Proof is in the number of starchitects snapping up their fixtures for prominent projects around the globe. Award-winning designers + a storied tradition of excellence: what’s not to like!read more
Our hottest and newest offerings from B.lux include many innovative fixtures in our state-of-the-art ECCO Collection.
Impeccable classics from B.lux remain sought-after lighting fixtures for the business, retail and hospitality industries.
Landscape lighting that springs from the progressive design minds at B.lux makes a plaza, park, boardwalk or patio glow.
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Global Lighting's collaborator from the Basque Country of Spain, Grupo B.lux is flourishing under the direction of a talented team that includes Harriet Ibarretxe, the second generation of the family to take the helm of the manufacturer, and David Abad, the newly appointed creative director. Harriet is the general sales manager of the company founded by his father, Agustín, over three decades ago. In preparation for his entrée into the lighting business, Harriet began attending lighting fairs with his father in 1987 when he was still in secondary school. Once he’d completed high school, the avid learner directed his higher education toward degrees that would benefit the family business, earning his first master’s degree—in engineering—in 2000. He jumped right into a technical role at B.lux in 2001; his thirst for knowledge unabated, he went on to earn a junior MBA and a master’s degree in sales management during the intervening decade. “I’m the kind of person who likes to gain knowledge,” he says. “I just can’t stop learning!” He stepped into his current title of general sales manager in 2009, and he’s been crisscrossing the globe to spread the word about the company’s products since. “The engineering degree was the most challenging, but it remains very important because the knowledge it gave me as I work with our designers and communicate with reps is invaluable,” he adds.
Having a knowledgeable management member who understands good engineering, combined with a talented pool of designers, has made B.lux products popular with a storied list of architects who have used their lighting in projects. These include Philippe Starck, Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry and Dominique Perrault, among others. “We’ve made bespoke fixtures for some of their projects and have had our products specified in a number of Gehry projects,” Harriet says with pride, enjoying the fact that important architects have not only come to value B.lux's products but have repeatedly specified them. One of the aspects of the company of which he is most proud is the fact B.lux has made a strong commitment to staying at the forefront of traditional manufacturing, investing in innovation when many companies are selling out to China to increase profit margins. “In 2000, we decided to invest much more in machinery rather than going to Asia, which is what everyone else did,” explains the inveterate traveler who finds himself “on the road” quite a bit since taking on the sales position. He says he welcomes the opportunity to get to know other cultures. “I enjoy learning about other countries,” he says. “When trying to develop products for different markets, the best way to understand what will appeal to the people in those places is to get to know the culture. When I come to the U.S. to meet with Larry and the team at Global Lighting, I never have the attitude that I have come to try to sell Americans what we at B.lux think they want. I’m here to see what it is everyone is excited about at any given time so we can craft better products to match that excitement. We’re here to support our products from beginning to end, so we are determined to really listen. I feel very passionate about keeping our finger on the pulse of the North American marketplace.” B.lux products have been in the States since 1982, but Harriet believes the connection with Global Lighting has brought the company a broader and a deeper introduction. “We’re so happy to be collaborating with a company that can help us become better known in North America,” he says, and given the release of over 200 new iterations of products—including ones designed by Abad—the chance their products will strike a chord with many designers and architects on the North American continent is a good bet.
Abad is also educated as an engineer, which shows in the designer’s products. The fact that he is super talented when it comes to being innovative with T5 and LED bulbs is also a plus. The team that is in place and the fact that B.lux takes environmental issues seriously has the company poised for success. Harriet explains, “Our point of view is different in this way in the Basque country. We’ve been recycling and reusing resources for the past 15 years—long before many other companies were doing so.” So what does it mean to be a manufacturer in the bucolic part of Spain? “We are a manufacturing culture; we’ve been building things in the region for such a long time. One of our first manufacturing industries was boat building, which was brought to our region by the British. The British design legacy persists in the architecture of old Bilbao, for example; meanwhile, modern Bilbao has become a virtual gallery of contemporary architecture. The building of Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum, along with many other notable projects, has encouraged a significant tourism industry, but manufacturing is in our blood!” We at Global Lighting are delighted (pun intended) to be bringing their products to the North American marketplace, and we salute the camaraderie they maintain. “B.lux is not the usual company—we are a family company, but that doesn’t mean it’s just my father and me, though we are the ‘faces’ for the brand,” Harriet says. “Our entire company is our family, and we include our collaborators, like Global Lighting, and the reps who sell our products. We wouldn’t be where we are without everyone working so hard. Our slogan—working for a future that's more human, sustainable and ecological—is one we take very seriously. The human part is that we take our relationships to heart.”
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