Our History

Established in 1976, the company originally manufactured and distributed reprographic lamps for the printing industry. The business was founded on innovation, using existing technology and resources. Today, we continue to deliver a first class service based on those same principles in the manufacture of Europe’s widest range of fragment retention lamps.

Key Milestones

Reg Payne - Founder of GlassGuard Fragment Retention Lamps1976 – Reg Payne starts his business under the name of Fotolec Technologies.

1992 – The first GlassGuard® fluorescent lamp is produced after market research showed a need for shatterproof lamps within the food industry.

1995 Fragment Retention Lamp CatalogueLate 1990’s – GlassGuard® lamp coating techniques are developed to increase product ranges for metal halide, mercury and incandescent lamps. National electrical wholesalers become distributors of GlassGuard® coated lamps.

2001 – David Payne takes over from his father Reg to become CEO.

2001 – Operations expanded with the investment of automated machinery to produce 20,000 hour service life fluorescent lamp coatings. GlassGuard® move to a new site in Thetford.

2001 – GlassGuard® joins the Lighting Industry Federation (Lighting Industry Association) and establishes a technical committee to drive an international standard for fragment retention fluorescent lamps.

2002 – GlassGuard® is awarded an Innovation Award at Foodex 2002 for its fragment retention lamps

2002 - Media report on success of GlassGuard Fragment Retention Lamps2002 – The new Thetford production facility incorporating a new fluorescent lamp coating line is officially opened by Rt Hon Gillian Shephard MP

2003 – Contracts secured to supply major pest control OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) with GlassGuard® coated UVA insect lamps.

2004 – Operations extended overseas with the signing of major distributor deals within Germany and France.

2005 – GlassGuard® secures business with major retailers to provide GlassGuard® lamps for food preparation areas.

2006 – Cadbury and Nestlé become the first major food giants to begin using GlassGuard® fragment retention lamps at their manufacturing sites.

2008 – GlassGuard® enters into a partnership with BRC Global Standards to promote industry compliant fragment retention lamps to food and packaging manufacturers.

2009 – GlassGuard® launches GlassGuard® IP65 open-rated luminaires.

2010 – IEC 61549, incorporating requirements for fragment retention lamps, is introduced as a manufacturing quality Standard throughout Europe.

2010 – GlassGuard BlackBand® fragment retention lamps to IEC 61549 is launched.

2012 – GlassGuard® joins the social media scene and signs up to Twitter.

2012 – GlassGuard® extends overseas operations with the signing of major distributor deals within Spain.2013 - GlassGuard Fragment Retention Lamps are EDP Business Awards Finalists

2013 – GlassGuard® launches GlassGuard® Bay luminaires.

2013 – GlassGuard® is named as Finalists in the 2013 EDP Business Awards in the International Business category.

2014 – Distribution operations expanded with the acquisition of neighbouring warehouse. Following extensive refurbishment, the new 10,000 square feet warehouse is officially opened by Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP.2014 Elizabeth Truss MP opens GlassGuard new Fragment Retention Lamp warehouse

2014 –Chris Payne takes over as Managing Director following the retirement of his brother David.

2014 – Further distribution agreements secured across Europe with electrical wholesalers in Switzerland, Italy and Poland.

2015 – GlassGuard® launches its first ever range of LED products developed specifically for the food industry.