About Rob Tomkies
Rob learnt to walk at the age of 14 months on his father’s 47’ motor yacht. So active
was he that they eventually tied him to the mast with just enough line to reach the lifelines.
Two years later Rob learnt to row a dingy. This time he was tied to the yacht with 200’ of line with his
life jacket further tethered to the same line. Rob did not get wet in these learning these life skills
but he did learn about water and has had a connection and an appreciation for the sea ever since.
Experience in various off shore races showed Rob an opportunity to provide a partial
solution to the never ending demand for energy on all sea faring vessels. Running out of battery power
while doing a Sydney Hobart race proved very embarrassing at the scheduled radio position reporting
time-there was insufficient power to run the radio and report. Many low battery experiences on boats
during social occasions proved to Rob that there is a positive demand, for it is never a good idea to
run motors to battery charge while people are relaxing.
Rob’s general lighting experience started in 1975 with distribution of acrylic
lampshades and outdoor lanterns. This followed by a venture into fabric lampshade manufacture combined
with distribution of blown glass shades. Full manufacture of quality outdoor lighting followed with
recognition by the lighting industry by being elected as the chairman of Lighting Council New Zealand.
Rob has used his seafaring knowledge combined with his lighting experiences to design
products that are reliable and practicable. His intimate knowledge of new and efficient light sources has
resulted in an ever developing range of useful and energy efficient product. The emphasis has always been on
quality and serviceability.
All the Royal New Zealand Navy vessels in operation today are equipped with emergency
lighting specifically designed for rough service. With slight alterations these same fittings are utilised
by New Zealand Army battlefield equipment designed to be dropped out of Hercules aircraft. The fittings are
NATO listed, certified and field tested.