LED lighting has a bright future, according to the people at Lumecon LLC and its sister company, Carrier & Gable Inc.
The two high-tech Farmington Hills companies hosted more than a dozen Engineering Society of Detroit members and staff for a tour April 10.
Lumecon had its origins in defense projects in the mid 1990s, according to tour guides Don Lincoln, product and operations manager, and Michael Woznicki, a product engineer. From that beginning, Woznicki said, Lumecon “learned to build stuff like a tank.”
About five years ago Lumecon moved to its present 16,000-square-foot quarters and began producing LED lighting products for the municipal and commercial markets. Today it makes a wide variety of area lights, wall mounted lights, floodlights and decorative street lights.
LEDs have huge advantages over incandescent bulbs in efficiency. The latter produces 90 percent of its energy as heat, and only 10 percent as visible light. LEDs produce the vast majority of their energy in the visible spectrum.
Lumecon’s products use 60 watts of electricity to produce the same light as a 175-watt mercury or sodium vapor light. The company also offers a wide variety of lighting colors – from a 3,200-degree-Kelvin warm light to a 4,700-degree neutral light to a 6,000-degree cool light.
Woznicki said Lumecon intentionally sources as much of its product from Michigan as it can – electronics from a supplier in Romeo, LEDs assembled in Troy from a domestic manufacturer, acrylic light housings from Charlevoix. The company doesn’t do installation, instead turning to a network of experienced contractors.
Lumecon also runs regular seminars for the building trades at its Farmington Hills location.
Lumecon sells its products through a rapidly expanding network of sales representatives. Most of its sales so far have been in the Great Lakes region, although that sales network is being expanded nationally.
Lumecon’s current building has the capacity to build 150 to 200 lighting units a day. The company’s now up to 26 employees.
More at www.lumecon.com.
The ESD tour concluded with a visit to Lumecon’s sister company, Carrier & Gable Inc., which has been providing traffic signals and other transportation control products since 1945. Obviously, the company has gotten big into LED lighting in recent years as the vast majority of traffic signals have been converted from incandescent lights to LEDs. A traffic light that used to be run by a 150-watt bulb that cost 79 cents but had to be replaced every year is now run by a 5-watt LED that costs $50 – but more than pays for itself in power savings, not to mention the fact that it will last for more than a decade. (The current warranty: 15 years.)
For more information on future ESD tours and other ESD and affiliate events, visit the ESD Master Calendar at http://www.trumba.com/calendars/ESDevents