Electronics, acquisitions and DALI
In the beginning of the 1980s, electronic ballasts were added to the product range. Helvar developed the world’s first dimmable electronic ballast for fluorescent lamps. Electronic lighting became more and more important and also the demand for lighting control systems increased rapidly in the late 80s.
In 1982, Helvar gained the Finnish President’s export award, as even at that time, exports accounted for 80% of turnover. To facilitate growth in the area of lighting control systems, Helvar acquired a share of the UK-based Electrosonic in 1987.
As the demand for lighting control systems grew, Helvar acquired Electrosonic in 1990. Electrosonic’s lighting division was merged with Helvar in 1998, taking the company still one step further globally.
On New Year’s Eve 1999 the Karkkila factory was badly damaged by a fire caused by fireworks. Work to rebuild the plant was started immediately and ballast production was restarted in February 2000.
In 1999 Helvar played an active role in developing the new standard for digitally addressable lighting called DALI that made it possible to control each luminaire individually based on the user’s needs in different applications. Helvar introduced the product range DIGIDIM, based on this digital standard. A new digital era in electronic lighting began.