Shortly after returning home from World War II, the son of a residential electrician in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, created the very first decorative, cast aluminum outdoor luminaire company in America. His name was Howard A. Daum and the company was Hadco. After incorporating in 1953 and growing the business for several years, Hadco moved from Pittsburgh to its current home in Littlestown, Pennsylvania, (near Gettysburg) gaining close access to most of the foundries that were executing Howard’s original designs. Today, Hadco owns the foundry which provides the ultimate in flexibility, service, and vertical integration.
In 1960 Howard created a new division of Hadco called Miniature Lighting Products, the first low-voltage outdoor luminaire line manufactured and distributed on the east coast.
One major component to Hadco’s success today is our custom and modification capabilities. This process started early on in Hadco’s history, when Howard Daum met with Walt Disney in the 1960’s and together they designed the decorative lighting for Walt’s new family fun park, Disneyland. Not only did Hadco provide all of the original decorative lighting for Walt’s first park, but also many of the decorative luminaires used in Disney World, the country pavilions at the Epcot Center, and Euro-Disney as well. This strong heritage still fuels the “yes we can” attitude and approach to our business today.
In 1973, Hadco discontinued the manufacture of gas lanterns (yes, up until then Hadco manufactured both electric and gas outdoor luminaires) and started down a new path in decorative luminaires…high intensity discharge (HID). It wasn’t long before Hadco was providing High Pressure Sodium and Metal Halide luminaires for downtown redevelopments, college and university campuses, as well as hotel and resort franchises throughout North America. Our commercial, architectural lighting products today encompass not only time-honored European designs but contemporary styles as well.
In 1988, Nitelife Landscape Lighting was launched. This was an updated version of Howard’s original Miniature Lighting Products line. The Nitelife products incorporated the latest in lamp technology and the time-proven attributes of durable, powder-coated, cast aluminum housings, providing the market with the greatest selection of both low- and line-voltage landscape lighting available. Although the NiteLife name is no longer used today, the product line has continued to grow and flourish including such options as solid, cast brass, bronze, and stainless steel as well as copper and composite luminaires which have unique style and meet all types of environmental challenges.
Cutting edge technology has always been a major ingredient in Hadco’s formula for success. In 2000, light emitting diodes (LEDs) became available as a new source for white light and Hadco led the way in the outdoor market by offering some of the first commercially available landscape luminaires with this exciting new technology. Today, Hadco offers a multitude of LED luminaires ranging from one watt, step and garden lighting to decorative, commercial luminaires which offer the equivalent performance of a 300 watt or greater HID luminaire at a fraction of the energy use.
Continuously upgraded to ensure the highest level quality, our on-site UL and ETL certified engineering lab is well equipped for testing severe environmental conditions such as salt and UV rays, effects of vibration, wind loading on poles, ingress protection (IP) ratings against dust and moisture, simulated rain and sprinkler, as well as a brand new, state-of-the-art gonio-photometer for the generation of photometric IES files. Suffice to say, our testing facility insures that all of our luminaires last and perform as well as they look.
And now a new era begins. In 2008, Hadco became a Philips brand! Philips is the world’s largest luminaire manufacturer and a global leader in LED, lamps, ballast/driver, and controls technologies. The foundations of Philips were laid in 1891 when Anton and Gerard Philips established Philips & Co. in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. The company was founded to meet the growing demand for light bulbs following the commercialization of electricity. Beginning with the manufacturing of carbon-filament lamps, by the turn of the century Philips had become one of the largest producers in Europe. As of 2009, Philips is recognized as the 42nd most valuable brand in the entire world!
As a part of the Philips family, Hadco is in a unique position among other manufacturers with a vertically integrated manufacturing process and, therefore, the ability to offer a one-manufacturer product from the luminaire housing to the lamp source and drivers. It is this complete system approach and a long history of excellence that sets us apart from the crowd.