The story dates back to 1901 when the company Merritt Manufacturing Company was established in Massachusetts, with the purpose to renew burned bulbs. Ten years later and until about 1930, the production and sales of new light bulbs grew, and during this time the company was renamed Hygrade Incandescent Lamp Company.

However, shortly after thanks to a combination of forces, organizational growth and acquisitions, the brand Sylvania is born, becoming known in the market as Hygrade Sylvania Corporation, one of the largest producers of radio tubes and incandescent lamps.

It wasn’t until 1959 when Sylvania was merged with General Telephone to create the recognized Sylvania GTE (General Telephone & Electronics Corporation). This was the beginning of a truly massive change for the company and its international expansion.

In early the 1960s, the Costa Rican company Multilux, that focused on the distribution of electrical products, decided to bring the franchise of GTE Sylvania and this lead to the establishment of the luminaries plant in 1964 in Pavas, San José, Costa Rica. This plant began making bottles, consoles, appliances, lights, chips for cars, breakers, starters and fixtures. In the decade of the 70s, incandescent bulbs and fluorescent tubes were incorporated, and the plant gradually began to specialise in lighting solutions setting aside their other markets.

In the early 90s, GTE has to make substantial investments in the emerging field of mobile telecommunications, which was beginning to compete with their core business of traditional telephone systems. Sylvania was sold to fund new investment. Sylvania’s division for Europe, Asia and Latin America led to the formation of SLI Holdings International LLC.

(1993 - Actualidad)

In April 2007, SLI was acquired by Havells, thus forming Havells Sylvania. This new entity has 91 branches and approximately 8,000 employees in more than 50 countries.

Sylvania Costa Rica for many years served as the “starters”production headquarters with distribution in Europe, Asia, North and South America. By 2008, the plant’s division specialised in this type of product closed because it became irrelevant, giving way to new technologies.

The factory devoted exclusively to the manufacture of fluorescent lamps, high intensity discharge lamps or HID (for outdoor lighting, stadiums, gyms, etc..) and incandescent lamps for residential use. The 11,000 square meter plant in Costa Rica has since specialised in designing and producing lighting fixtures. It is currently the only lighting production facility in Central America with UL Certification, ensuring the safety of the product and the user.

“In Sylvania, we support the regional talent and we believe in the potential growth that exists in the region”


Sylvania Costa Rica currently distributes over 4200 products covering the key technologies required for the lighting industry, and exports product to over 15 countries in the Americas (including the United States, the Andean region and Brazil); reporting growth between 20% and 25% in recent years.

We also work on major expansion plans and strengthening of new markets. We are constantly making changes in product lines and expanding niche catalogs such as residential, industrial, outdoor, etc.. We recently started an ambitious project with the introduction of LED lighting production in Costa Rica, which make us the first manufacturer in the country to do so.

In Sylvania, we support the regional talent and we believe in the potential growth that exists in the region, we endorse new technologies as well that are beneficial to the user and eco friendly (reducing energy consumption, increasing its products life span and covering all current needs and requirements).

Today we honor our mission through every life we bring light to, and we are fully determined to continue this path onto an increasingly bright future.