Creating light for the future – for 70 years
Since its foundation in 1950 in Bispingen, Lower Saxony, WE-EF has developed from an electrical installation company to an internationally renowned manufacturer of exterior luminaires. The WE-EF brand stands for high-quality outdoor luminaires with an independent design and innovative technology. More than ever, the focus is on innovation and sustainability. Today, as in its early years, WE-EF is guided by the principle of one brand, one family.
Words by: WE-EF
Germany at the beginning of the “economic miracle” around 1950: A young man completes his training as a master electrician and, with the support of his wife Gisela, he sets up an electrical installation company in Bispingen, Lower Saxony. His name: Wolfgang Fritzsche. At this point in time he had no idea that a globally renowned brand would one day develop from his initials “W” and “F”. As an entrepreneur, he boldly pursued his desire for independence and self-determination in the firm belief that anything is possible when there is a will to succeed and you work hard for it.
Now, in 2020, the company is celebrating its 70th anniversary. WE-EF can look back on a success story spanning the seven decades that were actively shaped by the founder up until a new generation took the helm in the early 1990s; thereafter, Wolfgang Fritzsche continued to support the company until his death in 2015. The company tapped global growth markets early on, for example in South-East Asia. In 1982, WE-EF Lighting was founded in Thailand – under the management of Thomas Fritzsche, who had worked in his father’s company since 1976. In 1985, his brother Stephan Fritzsche joined the family business, and in 1990 he took over the management of the head office in Bispingen. Further subsidiaries followed in France, Australia, the United States of America and Switzerland.
WE-EF has always had a pioneering role in technology. Durable cast aluminium for housing parts was a core competence right from the start – initially in the form of sand casting, later in gravity die casting and today in high-precision, high-pressure die casting. In 1976, a lighting technology laboratory for reflector development was added and WE-EF also became a pioneer in the field of LEDs; the company presented its first street and area lighting luminaires with OLC® One LED Concept technology as early as 2008.
WE-EF has belonged to the Fagerhult Group since 2017 and the corporate culture continues to be shaped by an authentic, personal management style, short communication channels and solution-oriented thinking. This creates an environment that attracts and retains the brightest minds in the industry. These flexible, modern structures enable innovative product solutions to be developed – both for urban spaces and architectural lighting – ranging from LED projectors to well-designed bollards, inground luminaires, and networked street and area lighting luminaires for today’s smart cities. These are the best prerequisites for passing a further milestone – the handover of the management of the WE-EF Group from Stephan Fritzsche to his successor Mario Dreismann, which is planned to begin on 1 October 2020 following an intensive induction period.
Company Registration Certificate
Production, 1950. Photo: WE-EF
Production, 1950. Photo: WE-EF