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Our Story

Hello, I’m Wayne!

Thank you for visiting the Near website! I am Wayne, the founder, product developer, web designer, graphic designer, packaging designer, UI/UX designer, video creator, well you get the idea, at Near! I founded Near shortly after discovering my passion in lighting while working on commercial projects. Not only did I grew to appreciate the profound impact lighting has psychologically, but the craftsmanship behind each luminaire’s design as well.

As a tech enthusiast and legit comfort creature, I wanted to make lights that can adjust to suit my mood anytime, anywhere. That’s how I got the idea for the brand name as well! Lighting control is convenient as long as my smartphone is “Near” me. In my projects, I observed that existing LED fixtures were often fixed in colour temperature and brightness level. Homeowners were enslaved to the same light setting for work, movie nights, dinners etc. Brands with those functions were either too expensive, too complicated to use or simply unreliable. As such, I was determined to make smart lights that are easy to use, super affordable and most importantly, customisable!

So in 2018, I flew to Shenzhen and Hangzhou in China to learn as much as I could about lighting and cloud-based platforms. After countless questions, meetings and brain-storming, the solution that makes the most sense to me was to outsource software and develop my own hardware. This way, I can keep cost low by avoiding the need to build my own tech department and focus on what I enjoy most, lighting! With help from industry experts and inspiration from my favourite lighting products, I began the creative process and boy was it tough.

After thousands of dollars spent in research, prototyping and many re-iterations later, I painstakingly arrived at the luminaire that satisfied my list of fundamental requirements. It didn’t end there, I needed a reliable manufacturer that understood my mindset and finding the right one was truly exasperating. By divine providence, I found the factory that was the right fit. Not only were they able to meet my expectations, I discovered later on that they were producing smart lights for some of the world’s biggest smart lighting brands! Knowing that gave me some relief and confidence.

So I went ahead and placed the first order for the Near ultra-slim smart downlight that you see today! I am thankful that hundreds of you have supported Near so far! Don’t worry, I did not just stop there! I have went on to design more lighting fixtures and accessories. I’m sure you’re just as excited as I am to try them! Join the Near community and let us build a Singaporean smart lighting brand that we can all call our own!

Thank you,
Wayne Hoo
Founder, Near