1949: It all started in a hangar in Antwerp

In 1949, 23-year-old Norbert Joris laid the cornerstone for what ETAP is today. ETAP's (ElektroTechnische APparaten) activities were originally primarily focused on the shipping industry, i.e., the rewinding of electric motors. Lighting was soon added, initially for ships, but later also for functional indoor and outdoor applications. The first ElektroTechnische APparaten were designed and produced in a shed on the Eilandje in Antwerp.

ETAP’s original activities were focused on shipping.
ETAP’s original activities were focused on shipping.


In 1960 verhuisde de verlichtingsafdeling naar Malle.
The lighting department moved to Malle in 1960.


1960: Move to Malle

In 1960, the lighting department (by then by far the company’s most important business) moved to a brand-new building in Malle. Initially the focus was on industrial lighting, soon complemented by lighting for offices, schools and care facilities.

1970: First emergency luminaire

The demand for reliable emergency lighting gathered momentum after the fatal fire at the Innovation department store in Brussels (1967). ETAP’s first emergency luminaire was produced in 1970. Since then we have grown into a major player on the emergency lighting market throughout Europe.

Eerste generatie noodverlichtingsarmaturen (K4).
First generation emergency lighting luminaires (K4).


Na België werden er ook in andere Europese landen kantoren geopend.
After Belgium offices were also opened in other European countries.


1970-2000: European expansion

Although ETAP has always kept its roots in Malle, Belgium soon became too small. We opened sales offices in the Netherlands, France and Germany, and later also in Spain, Portugal and Sweden. ETAP lighting became a concept throughout Europe.

1987: First emergency lighting control system

In addition to general and emergency lighting, control and monitoring systems represent ETAP's third signature lines. It started in 1987 with the AST (Automatic Self-Test) for emergency lighting. Later ELS (daylight-dependent light control), EMD (motion detection) and Excellum2:: a fully computer-driven light control system for one or more buildings.

ETAP-reflectorarmatuur met daglichtafhankelijke lichtregeling (ELS).
ETAP reflector luminaire with daylight-dependent light control (ELS).


ETAP-lichtpaviljoen anno 2000
ETAP light pavilion in 2000


2000: Opening of the LIPA

We always wanted to share our passion for restful and energy-efficient lighting with our customers. To do so we opened the Light Pavilion (LIPA) in 2000, where you can experience the impact of lighting in person. In 2014 the light pavilion was fully renovated and updated.

2003: Beginning of the LED revolution

The introduction of LEDs as a new light source, unleashed a true revolution in the world of lighting. In 2003, ETAP was one of the first to market an emergency luminaire with LEDs. General lighting followed in 2010. Today, our products are fully LED-based and we closely monitor LED technology developments.

2003: Begin van de ledrevolutie

2018: LaaS en circulaire economie

2018: LaaS and circular economy

ETAP is once again leading the way in the area of sustainability with Light as a Service, or LaaS for short. In this context, ETAP will no longer sell luminaires, but lighting as a service, with a lease for a fixed period, say ten years. Luminaires are given a second lease of life. Another example of circular lighting includes our renovation solutions, where we convert old fluorescent luminaires into LEDs with just a few minor adjustments.

2020: ETAP Lighting International

Since June 2020, ETAP has made its international character clear in its company name: ETAP Lighting International NV. This name change goes hand in hand with the modernisation of our corporate structure to one head office and six foreign subsidiaries in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.

2021: tomorrow's light

A new logo and the strapline tomorrow's light reflect our ambition in 2021: to provide our customers with a safe, restful working environment in today's and tomorrow's world through pioneering and sustainable lighting.

Our priorities in this respect are:

  • Circular Light-as-a-Service lighting solutions for full peace of mind for our customers and circular processing of parts and raw materials.
  • Circular renovation solutions that enable our customers to switch to energy-efficient, sustainable lighting quickly and easily.
  • Personalised lighting, 100% tailored to our customers and their projects.
  • Resulting in local production with the smallest ecological footprint as well as sustainable, reliable products.

logo ETAP

Would you like to know more about the lighting of the future? Read all about our circular product design

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