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Five Minutes With... Paul Breedon, MD and founder, Display Lighting

The Altrincham company will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year.

Display Lighting, which designs and manufactures high-end lighting solutions for customers including Harrods and John Lewis, will celebrate its 25th anniversary later this year.

It was originally launched in Paul Breedon’s garage back in 1999 but for the past 20 years has operated from a workshop on Atlantic Street in Broadheath.

We took a trip down to meet Paul and his team.

ALTRINCHAM TODAY: Paul, can you give us a bit of background about Display Lighting?

PAUL BREEDON: Sure - we started the company back in 1999, literally working out of our garage. I knew this space had potential, so when my ex-wife and I were made redundant on the same day, we thought, what are we going to do? I got a job, but then started Display Lighting, and it’s since gone from strength to strength.

AT: What does the company actually do?

PB: We design our own range of high-end LED luminaries and spotlights, linear lighting and track lighting. We manufacture over 80% of our products here in Altrincham. Our lighting goes into display cases, hence the company name, so we work with a lot of museums and high-end retail customers. Our aim is to integrate lighting into display cases as inconspicuously as possible so that the emphasis is more on the product than the lighting. People want to see a watch or a ring sparkling, not the light itself.

Paul with the team at Display Lighting

AT: Can you give us examples of places where your lighting can be found?

PB: We've supplied to places like Harrods, Goldsmiths, Beaverbrooks, H Samuel, John Lewis and the Oxfordshire Museum. 

AT: You design everything yourself - what's your background?

PB: I went from school to college in Colchester for four years and did an HND in product and industrial design. I then got a job in a lighting company in Bolton and ended up settling there for 15 years. Then when my ex-wife and I were made redundant, we thought we could do it better ourselves, and we did. We'll be 25 years old in December.

AT: How did you ensure that Display Lighting stood out in the early days?

PB: We basically supplied a similar product to our competitors but at a better quality and a lower price.

AT: You’re located here at the Cedar Technology Centre on Atlantic Street - can you tell us a bit more about the team?

PB: We've been here for the best part of 20 years. Our team consists of three permanent staff in production, two directors and a part-time book-keeper. Leo is our production manager and oversees our orders. His wife Steff works in assembly, is very experienced and knows exactly what to do. Edward, who also works in assembly, is from Hong Kong and has only been over here for a year. 

AT: How can Altrincham residents use you?

PB: Aside from our products, we can also offer the best advice on lighting. We can put a whole package together, from the power coming out of the wall and everything else involved. Some older properties might be better lit with a warmer light that gives a more traditional feel, for instance, but more modern properties with sleek kitchens might be better lit with a colder light. You need to know which colour is going to lend itself best to your property. 

AT: What does the future hold for Display Lighting?

PB: We want to keep growing, with a particular focus on growing our international market.

Display Lighting Ltd, Cedar Technology Centre, Atlantic St, Broadheath, Altrincham WA14 5DZ. For more information, visit the website.