Posted on: Monday, December 27th, 2010 at 5:59 pm
Michigan Innovations in Advanced Lighting
When you step back and contemplate the whole energy conservation landscape, the transition to solid state (LED) lighting is the “low hanging fruit”, says Mr. Ingo Schneider, CEO of LED Optical Solutions, LLC, one the innovative new advanced lighting companies in Washington, Michigan. Mr. Schneider, who transitioned from the automotive industry into advanced lighting, explained that, “in terms of bang for the buck, the transition to LED lighting, on almost any scale, will get significant return on investment. This is one area in energy conservation that you see results in next months bill”. In other terms you can understand, he further explained, imagine taking your 45 watt (amount of electric power) desk lamp that outputs approximatly 400 lumens (amount of light) and dialing that up to 3000 lumens …effectivly turning your desk lamp into the power of a ‘street light’ without using more electrical power! This is the scale of innovation and advancement in light out-put we can look for.
In another wide ranging conversation with electrial engineer and CEO of Michigan start up, CleanLight GreenLight, David McKinney says, “…a few years ago people were too busy taking in dollars to pay much attention to the pennies …now that’s all changed”. People are paying more attention to the cost benefits of adopting LED solutions. Mr. McKinney is also confident that in the next few years, LED will displace all conventional ‘light engines’ as we know them. In other words, incandescent and fluorescent light will be history.
Dave’s company is also a case in point of the global reach of Michigan companies. Quoting from a press release issued by CleanLight GreenLight last September, according to the Marina d’Or Energy Division (one of the largest real estate developers in Spain), their engineering team conducted an exhaustive study of the worlds top LED manufacturers, over thirty competitors, and chose CLGL, right here in Mt. Clemens, Michigan, for “product quality, efficiency and warranty” to retro fit existing buildings and use in new construction.
This strategic alliance thrusts Michigan’s CLGL onto the global stage. Dave McKinney then pointed me to another one of their firsts …a grocery store, new construction in Washington state, completely illuminated, interior and exterior lighting with CLGL products. He says with a grin, “we’ve also have clients in Alaska …ya know what energy prices are like there?”.
A few days later, my next stop was at Luma Smart, in Macomb, Michigan, where Justin Palm, VP of Marketing, gave me a tour of the plant and engineering facilities.
He made sure I understood that I cannot see or photograph the section where they are working on ‘military and national security projects’. It’s a huge market and I was just glad they are getting some of the action. Back in his office, “…the same engineers at Luma Smart who were making tail lights a few years are now making Broadway lights” proudly stated Justin, pointing to a large photo on the wall.
The photo of a huge LED out-door sign, about four stories high, on the face of a building in Times Square, New York City. My jaw dropped when he said that not only did they design and manufacture this sign right here in Michigan, but they made it solar and wind powered. Back to the subject of bread and butter work, Justin showed me (on line) a catalog of exterior lighting I’d call industrial strength. LumaSmart’s exterior LED lighting products use 50 to 90 percent less energy than conventional lights, and last up to 5 times longer. Factoring in both energy and maintenance cost savings results in a typical payback on investment of between 2 and 3 years. Nothing motivates decision makers more than saving money.