Des Duignan’s hectic role at Aurora Lighting sees the busy Director of Sales & Projects cover about 2,000km every week driving around Ireland.
“I wonder how people sometimes refer to Ireland as a small country. If you drive up and down it daily, it’s anything but small!”
Each day involves numerous site visits along with audit and customer calls.
“All in, it amounts to a working day of 14 to 16 hours from Monday to Thursday, 12 hours on a Friday, and a few productive, hours on a Saturday afternoon.”
A career in the lighting sector appealed to Des for a couple of reasons. Initially, he felt it was an opportunity to build a future in a specific industry and succeed in that sector. Once he began to establish his career, this grew into pleasure at seeing the final product and realising the benefits of good lighting design.
“I also began to see the fantastic aesthetic enhancement that lighting provides to great architecture and, in recent years, the incredible energy-saving ability of good quality LED lighting. Out of a sense of pride, I have been photographing my completed projects as a record of my progress in the sector for nearly 25 years.”
Before joining Aurora Lighting in March 2009, Des successfully ran his own lighting company for eight years.
“Like so many of my peers, and due to the misfortunes of so many developers and development companies, their collapse had a massive detrimental effect on my company. Prior to joining the lighting sector, I was employed in the building services engineering sector where I gained invaluable site and project experience which I still utilise to this day.”
During the eight-year period of running his own business, Des was introduced to Aurora Lighting. He quickly developed an excellent working relationship with the company and a great understanding of the vision of Aurora’s CEO, Andrew Johnson, and other senior management.
“The transition was made simple by the Aurora team and, year on year, we have enjoyed continued growth as a result of that partnership.”
The company’s experience and commitment to the industry lead the way in the production of next generation LED products.
“The R&D teams at Aurora ensure we are at the forefront of next generation LED products and always the first to bring this new technology to market.”
A complete range of LED products for all applications covering all industry sectors is available from the company, while quality and price remain the cornerstone of Aurora’s trade business. The company also offers all its Irish customers a proven lighting audit service which provides exceptional energy savings.
The biggest change Des has seen in the industry over the years has been the introduction of LEDs.
“If you consider lighting before and after LED, you must accept the fact that all of us, no matter how long we have worked in the lighting sector, have had to re-educate ourselves simply because lighting was not lighting as we knew it.”
The next phase, says Des, is smart lighting and the IoT (Internet of Things).
“This is the future of lighting and yet another ‘semester in education’ for all of us. I am excited about this next step and I would urge everybody to engage with Aurora Lighting as we can assist in that education process.”
It hasn’t just been improvements in the lighting sector that Des has experienced. Inferior products in the early years of LED were a massive problem for lighting manufacturers, who ended up responding to and repairing the issues caused by these products.
“Incorrect and false technical information provided by the multitude of lighting companies that suddenly appeared in our sector was detrimental to our industry. The technology of LED lost ground in the early days with the end-user because of the actions of these ill-informed distributors of the early generation product.”
However, thanks to the efforts of Aurora and other premier lighting manufacturers, the technology ultimately won out.
When Des isn’t working, time off is spent with family. “Weekends are spent just chilling with my fantastic wife and two wonderful girls. There are always plenty of laughs around our house. I’m on a bit of a health buzz at the moment after one of life’s little warnings, so the priority outside of work is exercise and health. And it’s working!”