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Knight Optical’s 30 Years of Premium Quality Optical Components

14th Apr 2021

This year, Knight Optical – the leading supplier of metrology-tested, custom-made optical components – celebrates three decades in business. 

A far cry from its humble beginnings, Knight Optical is a renowned name amongst a distinct array of industries, and its capabilities are widely recognised by discerning engineers, scientists, procurement specialists and the like. The brand’s success, however, has been no mean feat, and its leading global status has been awarded as a result of its unparalleled knowledge and vast in-house capabilities to supply made-to-measure optical components (and stock optics) for the most technically complex applications.

Knight Optical was founded in 1991 by Colin Overton. After getting involved in the John McArthur microscope (a simple handheld device designed for saving lives in Africa by identifying simple diseases and treating them quickly and effectively), Colin noticed a gap in the market for on-spec, metrology-tested optical components that had quality at their core.


From an outbuilding on his own property, Colin began dispatching premium-quality, fully tested optical components to a number of suppliers under the Knight Optical brand. Having successfully plugged a gap in the optics industry, Knight Optical soon became a recognised name amongst those seeking on-spec optical components. 30 years on, and Knight Optical has witnessed exponential growth and now has an in-house state-of-the-art Metrology Laboratory, QA department and HQ both based in Kent, UK, as well as offices in Rhode Island, USA and a highly knowledgeable team of Metrology and QA Technicians and Technical Sales Advisors.

Throughout its 30 years in business, Knight Optical has been led by Colin, and has evolved from a small-scale supplier to a widely recognised name that distributes premium quality optical components all across the world.


Today, Knight Optical works with shrewd industry-leading names in sectors such as Aerospace & Military, Research & Universities, Oil & Gas, Renewables & Utilities, Entertainment & Design, Engineering & Manufacturing, Medical, and so much more.

Talking of the company’s milestone, Colin Overton said:

“30 years in business is a huge achievement for Knight Optical. To watch the company go from strength to strength over the past three decades has been exciting, to say the least. Looking back on how far the company has come – from the very first optic dispatched from my little outbuilding to the fruitful large-scale operation we have today – is hugely gratifying.

 “Although our size has changed throughout this time, we have never lost sight of our end goal – to provide on-spec, metrology-tested optical components for the most complex of applications without compromising on that all-important aspect of quality. It is our quality-first ethos that has positioned us as a leader in the field of optical components, and to have worked with some of the world’s leading manufacturers, institutions and agencies demonstrates the excellence of our output.

“These roots will always be at the heart of Knight Optical, and I look forward to seeing what the next milestone brings to the business.”

Watch our QA video for behind the scenes information on our standards

 About Knight Optical

Here at Knight Optical, we supply a range of optical components for construction-related applications. Discerning manufacturers and engineers rely on Knight Optical not only for the premium quality of our output and in-house state-of-the-art Metrology Laboratory and QA Department‘s capabilities but because – as well as a range of Stock Optics (available for next-day dispatch) – we also offer a range of sought-after Custom-Made Optical Components.

We’re proud of our high-quality output, and every single team member at Knight Optical is dedicated to providing a first-class service for all. In 2020, we distributed almost 400,000 custom optics. With an in-house overall outstanding reject rate of 1.5% last year, it’s easy to see why we’re the number-one optical component supplier for so many noteworthy global corporations.

If you are looking for premium-quality, bespoke optical components, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of the Technical Sales Team today.