dmlights is your one-stop lighting shop. If you can’t find the lighting solutions you are looking for in our store then you probably won’t find them anywhere else.
Centrally located in the province of Antwerp
The door of our online store is open 24/7 but our physical store is located in Belgium, in the Province of Antwerp, in Heist-op-den-Berg.
The store of electricity specialist Paul De Meutter
dmlights is the online store of Elektriciteit Paul De Meutter CV, which specialises in electrical materials and appliances. We pride ourselves on our significant technical knowledge and in-house expertise about electricity and lighting.
First steps in Paul’s garage
The online store is a subsidiary of Paul De Meutter (plc), who also founded the company. Paul De Meutter established his company about thirty years ago in his own garage, much like Google, developing the company into what it has become today.
His son Jef DM took the store online
Ten years ago Paul’s son, Jef De Meutter, started to dream of an online store. After a lot of work his dream finally came true. Today the online shop generates about 70% of the overall turnover of Elektriciteit Paul De Meutter.
dmlights / Paul De Meutter throughout the years
1979 - Paul De Meutter establishes his own company
Originally Paul De Meutter mainly made a living as a professional DJ. In the early years electricity was more of a hobby, with Paul taking on jobs on the side for fun and learning the tricks of the trade at the same time. Today customers can still take advantage of this know-how.
In the late Seventies and early Eighties Paul decided to make electricity his main activity. He established his own business as an electrician/installer at the height of the construction crisis, deciding not to heed the advice of the people around him. Elektriciteit Paul De Meutter was established.
Initially he worked from his own garage in Hallaar. Between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. he also used to run a store of electric installation materials. Over time the store’s opening hours were extended. With Paul’s wife Maria manning the shop and a cellar and attic stuffed with electric installation materials the business soon flourished. It soon became apparent that they needed new premises…
1989 - Establishment of a Cooperative Company, Move to a Business Park and Best Young Entrepreneur
The critics were wrong because Paul’s business posted an annual growth of 40 to 60% and he was awarded the title of Best Young Entrepreneur in 1989. It was clear that he had survived the crisis with bravura. In 1989 the young entrepreneur consequently established his own Cooperative Company. It really was an amazing year for the company.
With 50 to 150 customers visiting the store daily and a stock of 3,000 different products the converted house in Hallaar gradually proved too small. So Paul decided to move his business to the business park of Heist Op Den Berg.
The new premises from Paul De Meutter – dmlights still operates today have an office and retail space of about 155 sq.m. and a 700-sq.m. warehouse.
The increased space only contributed to the company’s efficiency. At the time the company had seven employees – including Paul’s husband and brother in law – and it limited its scope to the surrounding region. “There is enough work in our own region”, De Meutter always said.
1997 - 22 employees, 8000 different products references and a 1,500-sq.m. warehouse
Over time De Meutter’s activities expanded to include security, telephony, electric heating, air conditioning and home automation. In 1997 the company had 22 employees, with a catalogue of 8,000 different product references, requiring it to expand its warehouse to 1,500 sq.m.
Meanwhile Paul’s 18-year old son, Jef, joined the shop staff, working alongside other family members, including Paul’s wife Maria, her brother Kurt and Paul’s brother-in-law, Paul C.
Paul De Meutter believed in constant, calculated growth. Growing too fast and too abruptly can have an impact on a company’s efficiency and finances. In 1997 Paul was interviewed by the trade publication “Elektro-Visie” and said that he thought that the company was large enough. “We have everything under control. I don’t think we will be expanding in the short term giving the shrinking market.” But his son Jef would come up with a solution for this in the years to come.
2004 - Launch of dmlights, an online store, by Jef De Meutter
Gradually the national market became saturated. If the company wished to grow then it would have to expand its scope. Time to go online and offer products to the whole world, Jef thought.
Jef became one of the e-commerce pioneers in Belgium with this courageous step into “cyberspace”. Although the Belgian economy is largely founded on SMEs only 3% of these companies also have an online presence. Compared with the other European countries Belgium is lagging in other words.
Although Jef had years of experience and had acquired expertise in his father’s shop, his dad initially didn’t have much faith in the online shop. The challenge for Jef was to prove him wrong.
2011 - Re-design of the dmlights online store and opening of a second warehouse
Soon after the launch it was already abundantly clear that the e-shop was a smart move. By 2011 the online store generated 50% of the company’s overall turnover.
And because change is crucial for improvement the dmlights website was redesigned in 2011. Better yet, the website was completely redeveloped in order to make it more user-friendly.
The new website made searching for and viewing products much easier and streamlined the ordering process. The dmlights logo also underwent a radical facelift.
As the online store gathered steam and the product range expanded it became clear that they needed more storage space. That is why a second warehouse was added at the end of 2011. The storage space was doubled to process orders faster and more efficiently.
2012 - The dmlights Blog
dmlights’ activities are not limited to selling lighting and installation material. We also like to tell our customers more about the design and the background of the lighting products we sell or share tips for making your interior more cosy.
That is why we established the dmlights blog in 2012. It mainly wants to provide customers with inspiration and inform them about the latest design lighting news. You can also read up on the history of the leading design brands here and find out some fun facts.
The dmlights blog has six different authors, including Jef De Meutter himself, and at that moment over 100 articles have been posted, which are available in Dutch and English.
Visit the dmlights Blog
2013 - Over 40,000 different products online
Currently dmlights is one of the world’s biggest online lighting stores. With over 40,000 different products by 88 quality manufacturers dmlights is a big market player.
The company was gradually developed thanks to Paul De Meutter’s extensive knowledge and expertise with Jef’s cleverness as a growth factor.
dmlights focuses heavily on customer service, something which can make or break an (online) store. Currently the dmlights support team consists of eight experienced staffers who work tirelessly to ensure customers’ satisfaction on a daily basis.
Last but not least we recently revamped our product pages, making them easier to navigate as well as adding larger photos and reviews.
2015 - New website, new possibilities
The e-commerce world is constantly evolving. That is why, after just four years, we are presenting an entirely new version of the website. The corporate style is more modern, the categories are more logical, and major efforts have been made regarding the user’s experience.
For example, the 3D Home Planner will be launched first. Thanks to this useful app, users can recreate their own interior or dream house to see if their favourite lamp fits in with the decorating style.
The Photo Gallery will be added later. Visitors to the dmlights website can be endlessly inspired by the interior design photos from all over the world before getting started themselves.
Lastly, Vic Electric was introduced. This likeable electrician will be the dmlights mascot on the new website.
2016 - New offices and warehouse
dmlights continues to grow and the original offices and warehouse have become too small. So a move was sorely needed. We found a solution just 100 metres from the shop. Beautiful, new, spacious offices connected to an even bigger warehouse.
In the meantime, we have been continuously hard at work expanding the range, with nearly 50,000 products already available.
Naturally, a great deal of attention has been paid to the user friendliness of our dmlights website. That’s why the filter and search options have been significantly expanded and improved.