Leading light

Technology | 8 Jan 2021

Always a creative soul, Light in Motion founder Jacky Yim proves that you can be successful without giving up your passion, even in difficult times.

Against his parents' wishes, Yim studied graphic design at Central Saint Martins of the University of the Arts London for his bachelor's degree.

"I made a deal with my parents: if I could get into Central Saint Martins, they would let me study art and design," said Yim. "As luck would have it, I was accepted by the school."

Having spent most of his teenage years in Britain, he moved back to Asia after obtaining his master of business administration at the University of Wales as he found more opportunities here.

Growing up, Yim had learned how to do business from his father Stanley Yim, founder and chief executive of electronic goods manufacturer SAS Dragon.

"My father is an entrepreneur," Yim said. "That is something I have always wanted to do: to be an entrepreneur and create something aesthetically cool."

At 26, he started his brand Light In Motion, kicking off his career as an LED lighting entrepreneur by realizing his vision through an appliance we often take for granted: lights.

"When I started in 2011, LED was not popular. The products out in the market were quite ugly, frankly speaking."

He explained: "Those products might have been energy saving but the ambience and color temperature were not right. If you go to a clothing store, a red jacket may seem orange under those lights."

This problem inspired him to focus on improving consumers' shopping experience using LED displays, and his business slowly grew from working with local retailers to bigger international brands and hotel groups such as Shangri-La.

Lights may sound mundane, but good use of light can transform a space. Citing his hotel client as an example, Yim pointed out that the lighting in its rooms has to consider certain factors such as color temperature and brightness to ensure a comfortable environment for guests.

Use of lighting also helps show off interior design features and affects the ambience of a room through details down to a single beam's angle, he explained.

In Yim's entrepreneur journey, his degree in design proved to be a wise decision, as he was his brand's designer in its early days.

"I think the most difficult part is finding the first customer. But as a startup company, you just have to do everything," he said. "This logo for Light in Motion is actually designed by me."

While the pandemic has put many businesses on a halt, the entrepreneur turned problem into opportunity by developing a new product that combines his expertise in lighting with the highly-demanded sanitization products.

The innovative idea stemmed from his own wardrobe at the beginning of the pandemic.

"I thought to myself: wouldn't it be nice to close my wardrobe knowing that it will sanitize itself? That was the initial idea of why I wanted to develop this product."

With "act fast and adopt fast" as his business motto, Yim created a new lifestyle line, Life in Motion, and launched its first product, Honey, in just three months.

The product was inspired by honeycombs and the fact that hexagons are the most space-efficient shape.

"Honey's hexagonal shape is compact and gives you a better grip when you are holding it. Also it looks cool aesthetically and can be combined to make different shapes," said Yim.

Though UV-C sanitization technology has been around for more than a century, Yim's product uses his specialty, LED, to make the process more energy-efficient and thus more environmentally friendly.

With LED being a more lightweight solution, not only does Honey seamlessly merge sanitization technology into the light source of cabinets and wardrobes, but it is also portable enough for on-the-go uses.

"Traditional UV-C is very bulky, so you can't really carry it around with you in daily life," Yim explained. "LEDs give us more room to design a compact product that you can put into your jacket or handbag, making it more user-friendly."

Thoughtfully designed, Honey's built-in motion sensor will detect the opening of cabinet doors and light up the interior. If no motion is detected for 15 seconds, the light will switch into UV-C mode to sanitize the space within two minutes then automatically switch off.

Bearing the slogan "when fashion meets protection," Life in Motion's products do not sacrifice practicality for beauty.

To prove its effectiveness, Yim and his team worked with Baptist University to research LED UV-C lighting that kills coronavirus and other germs and found that the Honey Pro could disinfect viruses by up to 99.9 percent after one-minute exposure at two centimeters distance.

The Life in Motion product line can be found online and in local retailers such as Sogo, SaSa and Pricerite.

By launching Life in Motion and Honey, Yim proves that even though the pandemic has made life tough, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

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