MARL International Ltd. was founded by our former Chairman, Brian Ainley, in 1973. Brian’s home in Marl Park, Ulverston, lent our company its name. 'Marl' is a type of rock that’s found across the UK. Its distinctive grey colour is reflected in our company’s logo, as it was when MARL was first formed.
MARL started out life as a medical equipment manufacturer before pivoting to LED design and manufacture in the late 1970s. During this time, the public started to recognise the potential of LEDs as a low-power alternative to standard lighting. Our Managing Director, Adrian Rawlinson joined MARL in 1977 when our range of core products and printed circuit boards were released.
The 80s and 90s were times of significant growth for MARL, with our workforce growing from 9 to more than 100. We extended our services to the likes of Kodak and Boeing, as well as the UK’s rail and defence sectors.
We also set our sights on the creative industries. In 1995 we worked with Pink Floyd to supply the pulsing red LEDs that featured on the CD cases of their iconic album, Pulse.
We opened our first US-based office and began expanding our international network of distributors.
In the early 2000s we further expanded our operations and moved to our current seven-acre site at the MARL Business Park in Ulverston. We refined our technical capabilities, enhancing our solid state lighting and electronics technology.
We invested in new manufacturing facilities, helping us to improve our agility and increase output, whilst allowing us to offer highly bespoke products for select clients.
MARL continues to innovate, researching and investing in new manufacturing equipment, design methods and talented team members.
Our in-house design and manufacturing facilities allow us to produce large-scale custom lighting systems at pace, as well as rugged LED components.
We work closely with the defence and rail industries, as well as producing speciality lighting for creative applications.