Ladislav Petřek had started importing PAR cans, mirror balls and other lighting equipment from Germany, and spotted a growing market for lighting installations opening up post Velvet Revolution.
He then started to design and build sound activated lighting effects, which were marketed through his company ProLux. Josef Valchář was recruited as a Sales Manager. In 1993 they started to design their first Scans.
Josef Valchář had his sights on developing an entire product range and selling into other parts of Europe, and so the two decided to collaborate in this joint venture and Robe Show Lighting was born.
Robe’s first Frankfurt ProLight & Sound exhibition scored their first OEM customer – Steinigke Showtechnic GmbH. Robe’s initial products were scanners and sound activated fixtures. Also their ‘Dominator’ effect broke new ground in using the first generation of servo motors, and all Robe products were made DMX controllable from this point onwards.
By this time, Robe had expanded rapidly to 25 people and bought their current 1.000 square metre office premises in Hážovice. Manufacturing and administration both moved into that building.
Rimini 1995 saw the launch of new scanners, using the first generation of stepper motors – upping the success and reliability stakes.
A period of steady and sustainable growth culminated in the next technological breakthrough – the introduction of the 250 Spot and Wash moving heads.
After bringing these products to the market, Robe was approached by Coemar to produce an entire range of products under the TAS brand name, which was launched at PLASA that year as the “Millennium” range. This quality and cost-effective product proved a massive success, and also introduced Robe to a whole new strata of clients.
In 2000 Robe started to work for Movietec (Germany), Starway (France) and Sagitter in Italy.
To produce moving lights for these companies as an OEM manufacturer. The Millennium was an incredible year for Robe and saw the tripling of their previous annual turnover to 20 million DM.
In January 2001, Robe acquired its current factory premises (then 5,000 square metres) in Valašské Meziříčí.
It was completely gutted and modernised and production moved in during November.
The landmark year in which ‘Robe’ launched as a brand in its own right at the SIB exhibition in Rimini.
PLASA 2002 saw the launch of Robe‘s latest generation of moving lights – the AT (Advanced Technology) Series which was to become a flagship product during the first decade of the 21st century. Robe’s distributor network expanded to include over 50 countries
Robe UK Ltd., Robe America and Robe Italia established
Set up to exclusively supply and market the rapidly expanding Robe brand in these regions. Robe’s ColorSpot and ColorWash 1200 AT Series was launched and fast became one of its most popular products, and a cornerstone of the AT Series.
Robe S.E.A. was established in Singapore to operate as a sales and support office integrating and co-ordinating Robe’s rapidly expanding business in South East Asia.
A 4 Million Euro refurbishment of the factory at Valašské Meziříčí was completed, which saw it expanded to 14,000 square metres, including 6,000 metres of manufacturing and warehouse facilities. Robe also acquired another 13,000 square metre site adjacent to the main building, including 4,000 square metres of production space. Anolis – Robe’s architectural LED lighting brand was established.
Launch of the powerful ColorSpot 2500E AT fixture
ColorSpot 2500E AT
Robe’s largest spot fixture to date. PLASA saw launch of 12 dynamic new products including the StageQube 324 and the 700 Series of moving lights.
Robe America was renamed “Robe Lighting Inc.”
May 2007 the new 1,800 square metre R ‘n’ D Centre was opened at Valašské Meziříčí. At PLASA, Robe Show Lighting became “Robe lighting” and the company was completely rebranded, reflecting the diversification of its product range and markets.
ROBE bought DIOFLEX
Its long term PCB and electronic part supplier.
Robe lighting hosted the 3rd International Dealer Conference in Roznov pod Radhostem, Czech Republic
It Was attended by over 150 people representing Robe distributors from around the world.
The reconstruction of “the old bakery” building in Valasske Mezirici was completed and all Robe offices in Hazovice moved to their new premises.
The whole Robe family is now together in a central location. Robe established a new subsidiary in The United Arab Emirates – Robe U.A.E with a head office in Abu Dhabi.
4th Robe International Distributors Conference held in the Kempinski Hotel Gravenbruch, Frankfurt am Main in Germany.
Right before the Prolight & Sound exhibition, was a massive success. Attended by nearly 200 people from over 80 companies representing 60 countries, confirms that the Robe family has healthy growth in all parts of the world.
Robe lighting had their most successful year in the history with a record turnover.
The new showroom in the hospitality facility in Valmez was finished and Robe hosted during the year hundreds of visitors, Lighting Designers and customers from around the world.
Robe became the main sponsor and co-organiser of the Showlight 2013 conference in the picturesque town of Český Krumlov that falls under UNESCO. Conference and exhibition for more than 350 lighting professionals.
In April Robe organised 5th International Distributors Conference in Hotel Radisson Blu, Frankfurt am Main attended by nearly 200 people.
Robe celebrated its 20th anniversary, a massive landmark in the company’s history.
This was marked by a special gala dinner staged at the PLASA exhibition in London, attended by staff, a wide selection of distributors and ‘friends of the family’, who enjoyed an after dinner speech by Patrick Woodroffe.
Robe opened its 5th subsidiary office in Paris - Robe lighting France SAS
- which exceeded all performance expectations in its first year od trading. Robe's 6th International Distributor's Conference had a good attendence and faciliated excellent feedback from multiple markets around the world.
Robe won a coveted PIPA (Prolight+Sound International Press Award) for the BMFL WashBeam in the ‘Lighting’ category. The factory premises extension continues with new buildings and extensive refurbishments to the factory area.
At the Prolight+Sound expo in Frankfurt Robe presented exhibition stand occupying almost 500 sq m, which re-created an iconic and ’classical town square‘ environment, complete with two live show areas.
Robe goes Mega with the global launch of its much anticipated new multi-functional moving light fixture … the MegaPointe! MegaPointe is set to define new standards and expectations in moving light technology…
Robe lighting announced a new wholly-owned subsidiary - Robe Deutschland GmbH - which will be based in Munich and have a regional sales force covering the entire country.
2018 was characterised by some truly spectacular exhibition stand designs ...
kicking off at Prolight+Sound in Frankfurt and concluding at LDI in Las Vegas … with more promised – and anticipated – for the coming year! SuperSpikie and T1 were two of the amazing new products launched and RoboSpot MDC (Multi Device Control) was another important development in 2018.
25th Anniversary of Robe Lighting. The Silver Jubilee is here – let’s celebrate together!