Evolucia to extend credit to customers

To boost its sales, Evolucia Inc. will begin offering up to 100 percent financing so customers can more easily buy its light-emitting diode products.

The company also said Wednesday that it has joined forces with Solarmax International SA, of Colombia, to take advantage of a 2012 U.S. free trade agreement with the South American country.

Through financing partners, the company hopes to increase sales by offering customers the chance to install even major new lighting systems with little or no money down.

"Cost and cash flow are often the major barriers for customers when it comes to retrofitting both interior and exterior lighting," said Evolucia chief executive Mel Interiano. "Evolucia has removed that barrier with a program designed to finance the installation of state-of-the-art, energy-efficient LED lighting and to help customers start saving dollars on day one."

Evolucia's key selling point is its patented optics system, which aims light exactly where needed. Its LED parking and roadway systems have been installed at Andrews Air Force Base, the U.S. Marine Corps' base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina and at Chicago's DePaul University.

With Solarmax, meanwhile, several lighting projects are underway. They include the installation of Evolucia's newest area lighting solution, the PAL 1000, in one of the main ports in Colombia.

"We are preparing for quick market penetration and explosive growth," said Olga Lucia Giraldo, Solarmax's vice president of sales and marketing.

The Solarmax joint venture comes on the heels of several other partnerships Evolucia has entered lately.

The company has recently completed Asian, European and Australian partnership agreements and finalized a joint marketing agreement with a global lighting brand in Mexico.

"Our agreement with Solarmax opens up another important international market for us," said Carol Gutierrez, Evolucia's vice president in charge of global strategies. "This alliance also allows us to introduce our portfolio throughout the rest of South America."

The two announcements come just days after the company revealed it will move its headquarters and research operations into a larger space at Lakewood Ranch later this summer.

Evolucia's 30 employees will move by late August to the new space, a building formerly occupied by artificial diamond maker Gemesis.

The LED company moved out of offices on Cattlemen Drive late last year and has been operating in temporary quarters in Lakewood Ranch since then.

Its new offices, on Professional Parkway East, will include a customer demonstration and education area that showcases Evolucia's LED fixtures and controls.

Formerly known as Sunovia Energy Technologies, Evolucia stock is traded over the counter. In its first quarter this year, the company reported a net loss of $2.1 million on sales of $457,000. More information about the program is available on the web site at www.hmhid.com.

From the playing court to the studio court

NBA TV wanted to stand out from the crowded sports TV market and encapsulate the game into its set. Its number one request? A real basketball court on set.

“We wanted this entire studio to look and feel like basketball, and we felt that this could not of been achieved unless a minimum of a half court was incorporated into the design,” said Justin Garrone, artistic director at ISD.

The final design includes a true to scale half court, complete with a three point line and basketball goal. This was able to happen because of ISD’s research into the client.

“During the design phase, we watched a lot of NBA TV.  We noticed that they utilized the court for their demonstrations often,” said Garrone. “We wanted to provide them with even more opportunity for their demonstration by providing a true to scale half court, especially the 3 point line.”

To make the basketball court as realistic as possible, ISD worked with the same companies that supply the NBA.

“I was amazed to watch the precision that went into this process.  It came down to 1/16″ of an inch, to make sure the goal sat in the correct spot on the court,” said Garrone.

Every detail of the court was important, right down to the flooring.

“We wanted the court to visually be familiar to the courts that the NBA teams play on.  Horner Flooring helped us thru this process and the grade that was chosen was 1st and better,” said Garrone. “This allowed for the clean bright white wood with some darker boards scattered throughout to add texture.“

“We drew the court in VW making sure that all of our dimensions were correct.  Once we knew the court consisting of the 3 point line would fit into the constraints of the studio, we designed the rest of the studio from this point. To be able to fit all of the elements of the design into the scenic walls we had to make the on camera side of the wall represent the out of bounds line. “

LED lighting was used throughout the set, saving energy, and providing a bright look on-air. The internally lit scenic elements used 96 five meter rolls of RGB LED tape.

“This product was used most importantly for it’s ability to follow curves, but also because of its brightness as well as that it is flicker free on camera.”

LED lighting also allows NBA TV a chance to change the sets look on cue.

“Each scenic element (header, columns, light box sweeps) are individually controlled from the lighting console.  The reason for this choice was to make the studio evergreen as far as the color palette.  This allows the studio to change it colors to match sponsors, teams, holidays, etc.”

The desk was also enhanced with a Martin Lighting 25 mil LED tile. Through this, the desk can have constant moving backgrounds and branding.

The NBA TV project was a 5,000 square foot undertaking by Innovative Show Design that combined skilled craftsman, design and lighting to create a new home for a rising sports network. Read the full story at www.hmhid.com web.

More LED lamps to glow in Thiruvananthapuram

A demonstration project meant to replace the sodium vapour lights along the Vellayambalam-Vazhuthacaud stretch with Light Emitting Diode (LED)-based streetlights is showing signs of life after a hiatus of five years.

It was first proposed in 2008 by the Energy Management Cell (EMC), functioning under the Power Department. Sources in the cell told The Hindu that they were forced to retender the works, which led to the delay.

Now, such processes had been completed, and the work order to install 70 lights along the one-kilometre stretch would be issued by the end of this month.

The project was designed to highlight the benefits of the more power-saving option of LED lights. It was sidetracked after the Chennai-based company carrying out the project demanded higher payment in the middle of implementation. Three poles and six lights were installed near the Forest Office Headquarters then.

Once the work order is issued, the project will take only three months to materialise. The 100-watt LED lamps will save over 60 per cent power.

The project is being sponsored by the Union Government agency, Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE). This project and another initiative of the EMC being sponsored by the BEE were attempts to nudge the city towards a more energy efficient lighting regime, said Johnson Daniel, energy technologist with the EMC.

The technical evaluation of companies who responded to the tender to install 500 LED-based lamps along the Kazhakootam-Kovalam bypass route was also almost complete and the financial bidding would open by July, he said.

Each of these 45-watt lamps would replace the double-tube fittings that fringed the highway. Again, the power consumed would be less than half of the tubes and could make a significant difference in the bills accrued by the city Corporation.

The civic body, however, is still making its choice on which mode of power-saving to employ for the street lights in the city – LEDs or those fuelled by electromagnetic induction – before inviting Expressions of Interest. So, it may time another year before the 84,000 streetlights in the city is switched over to a power-saving mode.

The Corporation limits have benefited from another project of the EMC — to install 100 LED streetlights in 65 municipalities across the State.

This was carried out in the Attukal ward here in January. Ward councillor C. Jayan said there were no complaints about the lamps except that people initially thought they were dimmer.

The EMC also has plans to move towards attaching each light with an almanac-based automatic street lighting system that will ensure no wastage of electricity with on-off timings accurately programmed in. More information about the program is available on the web site at www.hmhid.com.

Kia Pro Ceed GT

The unique front-end treatment introduces a lower, broader bumper and air dam and a wide central lower air intake to supply additional cooling air to the high-performance turbocharged engine, underscored by a red trim line which emphasises the wide and sporty track. This is flanked on either side by high-gloss black inserts housing the GT's unique 'ice-cube' LED daytime running lamps and foglights. The high-gloss black theme is continued on the graphite chrome-framed main radiator grille - with Kia's family 'tiger-nose' outline. The grille includes a smart 'GT' badge on the black high-gloss mesh.

From the rear, the broad stance of the pro_cee'd is evident in its bold shoulders and steeply angled tailgate glass, but for the GT this is further emphasised by a diffuser section in the lower edge of the rear bumper, separating the dual sports exhaust outlets. The rear number plate is framed in high-gloss black and straddled by a vertical reversing light and reflectors, while the combination lamp units are LEDs which give the car a unique signature at night, or when braking. There is a 'GT' badge on the tailgate.

The already sporty side profile of the pro_cee'd is given even greater sense of purpose by bold side sill mouldings and special graphite grey ground-effect 18-inch alloy wheels tightly encased by the bodywork. Red brake calipers front and rear are a clear sign of the GT's performance credentials, while the premium quality of the car is emphasised by a chrome strip running around the side windows, and the folding mirrors with LED indicator lights.

The performance-oriented exterior design is echoed inside the all-black five-seat cabin. The driver and front passenger are gripped by Recaro sports seats - for the first time in a Kia - adorned with 'GT' and 'Recaro' logos. Power-adjustable lumbar support is fitted to both front seats. The upholstery is part leather and part suede, and there is red contrast stitching on the seats, steering wheel, gear shifter and door trims. The leather steering wheel also features perforated grip areas and an overstitched 'GT' logo, and there are stainless steel pedals with non-slip rubber inserts. High-gloss black features on the air vent surrounds, front console tray and door trims add a premium flourish which is echoed in the stainless steel kick plates on the door sills.

Kia's familiar three-dial sporty instrument layout is enhanced by a TFT LCD multi-function high-definition display which allows the driver to switch between analogue-type or GT performance digital information. The latter shows the car's speed, engine torque, turbo boost pressure and engine coolant temperature as well as important trip information. It can display speed in miles per hour or kilometres per hour. A 'GT' button on the steering wheel allows the driver to change the display without taking a hand off the wheel.

The 'GT' is the entry-level version yet it comes with anything other than a base-level specification. The exterior benefits from a number of unique styling touches including new front and rear bumper designs, side sill mouldings, dual exhausts, 'ice-cube' daytime running lights and 18-inch graphite grey ground-effect alloy wheels with red brake calipers.

On the inside the 'GT' receives Recaro seats finished in leather and suede, and with power lumbar adjustment, with red stitching that is also applied to the leather steering wheel and gear knob, a black headlining and several gloss black trim items.

Providing driver comfort and convenience are a host of standard items, including air conditioning, cruise control and speed limiter, automatic lights, cornering lights, reversing sensors, Bluetooth phone connectivity with music streaming and voice recognition, a six speaker radio/CD player with iPod connectivity, a unique 'GT' TFT LCD dash binnacle display, electric windows, electrically operated and heated folding mirrors with puddle lights and privacy glass on the rear windows and tailgate.

The trip of a lifetime sees automotiue antiques

Well, in seven days I've notched up 2,000 and over the next ten I'm going to do another 4,000. Not a normal fortnight.

My trusty choices of travel? The new Ford Transit Custom and BMW's awesome new 1200 Adventure bike. More about the bike next week.

We transported the BMW and a mountain of gear to Vienna in the back of the van and did the non-stop blast from Calais to Eastern Austria in one day having caught a red-eye Chunnel train.

Not bad value at 90 each way, bearing in mind it takes just 30 minutes to cross La Manche.

And you don't get sea sick. With a quarter of a tonne of BMW's latest and greatest safely tied down in the back we blitzed across Belgium and smashed the full width and breadth of Germany in record time.

The Transit Custom managed more than 500 miles to a tank-full even though we sat on the autobahn at precisely 100mph for hour after hour.

Yes, it's a very fast van - even faced with a big load and an uphill incline. But some of the details rock.

There are about a thousand cup holders and the LED lights in the back are a revelation. Do other vans really just have a single light bulb? The back of the Transit is lit up like Blackpool in the autumn.

The Transit Custom's twin front passenger seats aren't a patch on the multi-adjustable and softly-sprung driver's seat but the trip was a doddle for me and my passenger who brought a cushion to provide some muchneeded comfort.

DAB radio, cruise control, a leggy sixth gear and car-like sound-absorbing levels made the trip utterly hassle free.

We were in Calais for breakfast and Vienna before last orders. I'm here to follow the amazing Alpine Eagle rally, an event that was designed to test the reliability of cars more than 100 years ago and is now being re-lived by the Rolls-Royce 20-Ghost Club for 2013.

It's nuts.

It starts in Austria and finishes in Austria 14 days later but winds its way up some of the most tortuous alpine passes as it visits Italy, Slovenia and Croatia.

A hundred years ago, in brand-new cars, it must have been tough. But in 100-year-old cars 100 years later the 1,800 mile, mountain-crossing route is a pretty savage test of these six-figure price-tag automotive antiques.

That's why I had to come and see it for myself. We've done five days and just about blitzed all the most interesting and jaw-droppingly scenic parts of Austria.

Tomorrow takes us via the Stelvio Pass to Italy. What's amazed me is the reliability of these 20hp, sixcylinder Rolls-Royces, many of which were made before the First World War.

Yes, when George V was King-Emperor of the British Empire. And we've still got all the 40-something entries at tonight's finish.

Yes, there may be another ten days to go but after today's 32-degree heat and crippling inclines, I think that's pretty amazing for cars old enough to have been rolling off the production line when the Titanic sank. Read the full story at www.hmhid.com web.

LED lighting becomes a mainstream option

Philips announces the release of a new range of LED bulbs for the home at a significantly lower price point available at supermarkets and DIY stores. Combined with the other savings from greater energy efficiency and the much longer life of LED bulbs, the lower upfront cost of the bulbs and mainstream accessibility is expected to drive further uptake of LED.

The new Philips LED bulb range includes bulbs that provide similar lighting output to standard incandescent bulbs (25W, 40W, 60W and 75W). But Philips’ LED light bulbs use up to 80 per cent less energy and can last up to 15 times longer than an incandescent bulb.

“With lighting making up around 12 per cent of the average New Zealand home’s electricity bill[2], converting to energy efficient lighting is one simple and effective way to reduce overall energy consumption and costs,” says David Procter of Philips Lighting New Zealand.

As well as the savings for individual households, greater uptake of LED lighting has wider benefits to New Zealand. According to EnergyWise, if every household in New Zealand used efficient lighting, this would save the same amount of power that Hamilton uses every year.

Supermarkets account for around 60 per cent of all retail light bulb sales. To date, LED bulbs have not been widely available in supermarkets. Philips LED bulbs will be ranged in both Foodstuffs and Progressive supermarkets from this month.

Philips has already seen a significant rise in LED sales in New Zealand over the past two years as businesses and consumers become more aware of the benefits of switching to LED. Philips’ sales of LED lighting in 2012 made up 19 per cent of its total lighting sales across New Zealand.

“The growth in uptake of LED in New Zealand to date has been driven by early adopters who recognise the long-term cost savings and other benefits from making the switch. While New Zealand has not introduced regulation to phase out incandescent bulbs as other countries have, we expect lower prices for the LED bulbs and nationwide availability in supermarkets to drive further uptake,” says David Procter.

LED bulbs are mercury-free and do not require consumers to compromise on quality and style. They produce an instant warm, white, glare-free light and have been designed to resemble a traditional light bulb. They are compatible with most existing light fittings (screw or bayonet cap sockets) making it hassle-free to make the switch.

“It’s great to be able to bring a wider choice to consumers who want to make the switch to energy-efficient LED, just as Philips has been recognised as one of the top 25 best global green brands in the annual Interbrand Top 50 Best Global Green Brands survey,” says Procter.

With LED lighting becoming increasingly accessible to mainstream consumers, Philips expects at least 50 per cent of global lighting to be LEDs by as early as 2015, and 75 per cent by the end of this decade. Click on their website www.hmhid.com for more information.

LEDs will even save energy compared

“It took about a year to 18 months to really get going. A lot of that time was spent researching the products, researching how the energy industry works, coming up with good proposals,” Mr Nelson said. Then Greenlux landed a contract with Cambridge University, which has remained a customer for two and a half years.

“I feel if you give somebody good service from the start, whether they want one lamp or 1,000, you’ll get repeat business, and that’s how we’ve won business,” Mr Nelson said.

Greenlux’s role as a service company has been taken over by Truelux, which was originally created in Dubai as a joint investment with Tom Leese. Truelux UK is also jointly owned by Mr Nelson and Mr Leese, unlike Greenlux which remains in the hands of Mr Nelson and his father.

Truelux recently won a 100,000 contract with the Celtic Manor, replacing a large part of the resort’s lighting with LED lights.

Other clients include the Royal Emirates Pearl in Abu Dhabi,  the Stokers furniture chain, Ramada Hotels, Barclays Wealth and the Shangri-La Hotel in Abu Dhabi.

According to Mr Nelson, such customers can save between 50% and 80% on their lighting bills if they switch to LEDs – between 60% and 90% if they are replacing incandescent halogen bulbs, depending on what they need.

When you start adding in maintenance savings and replacement costs it can amount to a large amount of savings, he adds.

“A typical halogen or incandescent lamp lasts between 1,000 and 2,000 hours, a typical LED will last between 35,000 and 50,000 hours. That’s almost five years, 24/7. So if you put it in your kitchen and ran it six hours a day, it would last 20 years,” he said.

LEDs will even save energy compared to energy-saving CFL (compact fluorescent light) bulbs, Mr Nelson said.

“The biggest problem with those are that you turn the light on and nothing happens for a few seconds, the light colour quality is poor and they don’t last very long.

“LEDs compared to those are instantly on, they’ve got a much better lifetime, they can be dimmed whereas CFLs can’t, and the colour quality is much better,” he said. It used to be the case that a light bulb was a light bulb, but as the above shows consumers are now faced with a sometimes bewildering choice of LEDs, CFLs and halogen bulbs, while the old fashioned incandescent bulbs are phased out of the market.

Mr Nelson’s latest business venture is a website designed to advise customers about which LED bulbs would best suit their needs.

“What we’re seeing is that retailers are trying to push LEDs, get the consumers interested, and get them to start buying,” he said.

“I was talking at a conference at Swansea University about various LEDs and people were saying, I didn’t know these products were out there.

“I thought to myself, these are the experts and if they don’t know these things exist, how on earth is Joe Bloggs going to know?”

The company’s revenue is a small commission on each sale from the merchant. However, even if visitors don’t buy bulbs through the website, Mr Nelson’s other companies stand to gain by spreading greater awareness of LED lights.

“Even if they only use our site for research and don’t buy it helps us, because we need to get the LED reputation better known,” he said.

The LED market is only likely to grow, so it’s no surprise the Mr Nelson has ambitious plans for all his three businesses. “Our plan with Truelux is to be a branded name where we can franchise out to different countries. More information about the program is available on the web site at www.hmhid.com.

Packaged LEDs

LFI also provided an opportunity to discuss the latest in the LED component space and the business of LED manufacturing with top executives. Several announcements at LFI or just before tie into the color-tuning SSL trend. Osram Opto Semiconductors, for example, announced five color LEDs in its mid-power Duris family at the show. The color LEDs can be closely packed to enable tunable lighting even in replacement lamps.The lights used were Inspired LED Strip light in warm white The company also announced a deep-blue Duris optimized for remote phosphor applications. 

Just prior to LFI, Philips introduced new products in the tiny 1.6x2-mm Luxeon Z ES family of high-power LEDs, including both tunable white and colored emitters. Indeed, the family includes the same color LEDs used in the Hue lamp, including the first commercial availability of the lime-green LED technology that Philips has said was vital in Hue delivering 90 CRI white light. 

At LFI, Lumileds CEO Pierre Yves Lesaicherre confirmed that the lime-green Luxeon Z ES LED is made with the same recipe as the one in Hue, but at this point has a smaller die than the actual LED used in Hue. 

Lumileds announced its first chip-on-board LEDs at LFI in the Luxeon CoB family with efficacy up to 120 lm/W and flux output up to 6000 lm. Lesaicherre said that the company had not offered COB LEDs before because you could achieve much tighter beam control with smaller point sources. However, he added that the market is now demanding COB LEDs because product development is much simpler with a single packaged LED even if it integrates many emitters under the phosphor. 

Lesaicherre did claim that Lumileds has developed a COB product with uniformity and light quality that exceeds other such products on the market. He said, "We optimized the phosphor for the light emitting surface." 

The bigger LED news at LFI, however, may have been the high-profile presence of Korean suppliers Samsung and LG Innotek. Samsung announced new COB LEDs at the show with flux output up to 5000 lm and maximum efficacy of 129 lm/W. Just prior to LFI, Samsung had announced mid-power LEDs with efficacy of 160 lm/W, and LG topped that at LFI with an announcement of 170-lm/W mid-power devices. 

The two have both moved their component focus squarely onto the general illumination market. Both have been among the leaders in packaged LED sales with Samsung ranked two and LG ranked four by Strategies Unlimited. Although both companies have sold the majority of their devices into backlighting applications in the past, they see their future in lighting applications. 

LG is rather a late entrant into LEDs,Learn how daytime running lights use gas and the amount it takes to power these lights. but has rapidly gained ground. Harry Kang, vice president of the LED lighting business division, said that the company spent $1.2 billion in research and development over the course of 2010/11. He said the company has the capacity to manufacture 2.5 billion chips per month. 

The year 2012 was an important one for LG's move into lighting. Kang said that the company has faced roadblocks in the move, such as the lack of LM-80 testing data. But he said that LG completed LM-80 testing on 13 LED models in 1012,You can add the car led and fluorescent kits to your car, truck, motorcycle, boat etc. and will complete 20 more in 2013. 

Thus far, the company is having more success in the mid-power segment, according to Kang, but it does have high-power and COB LEDs, and modular light engines available as well. Moreover, LG will follow a path seen in other industries in cloning a competitor's product. Kang said the company will offer a product that is much like the Cree XP-G2 LED in the third quarter.

SolSolutions sees market opportunity

A four-year-old green company that provides solar generators to outdoor concerts and other entertainment venues, construction site workers and off-the-grid fans,You can add the car led and fluorescent kits to your car, truck, motorcycle, boat etc. is looking forward to more stringent regulation of diesel generators. 

“I picture a cap-and-trade arrangement for users of diesel generators,” said Chaz Peling, chief executive officer. 

Right now the highly polluting generators — they can release more air pollution than even the highest-emitting power plants — enjoy protections from federal and state clean air regulation. Even the Environmental Protection Agency concedes they provide an important service as emergency backup systems. 

But the EPA deplores the amount of carcingenic material they release and recently put a cap on the number of hours they can run in a year, going into effect next year. 

The EPA will also require the users of diesel generators to file a detailed annual report, providing the location of the generator, dates it was used and all times of operation. 

“There’s talk of even stronger regulations in California,” said Mr. Peling. “People are really on the lookout for alternative energy generators.Learn how daytime running lights use gas and the amount it takes to power these lights.” 

Initially those people were mostly environmentally conscious types, putting on green fairs and benefit concerts with solar generators. But SolSolutions has been building up its client base and developing new products and services. 

“We have super efficient LED light towers now, a SolMan Lithium Deluxe generator, and specially-built trailers to carry the equipment. We can come in and set it up and run it, or we can lease it out.” 

So popular has the leasing model been that one client wants to lease as many generators as SolSolutions can build, but even with a new facility on Piner Road in Santa Rosa, the company doesn’t have the capacity to ramp up production. 

Mr. Peling and his team are on the prowl for investment dollars.The lights used were Inspired LED Strip light in warm white He figures a seed round of angel funding would allow the company to build 100 units. 

Meanwhile SolSolutions is focussing on the entertainment industry, where night time concerts often rely on diesel generators to light vendor areas and parking lots. 

The Sonoma County Fair has agreed to use some SolSolutions light towers for the gate at its night concerts, but the bulk of its night time area lights will still come from diesel, he said. 

The BottleRock Music Festival in Napa used SolSolutions to power its VIP, security and area lighting. 

Other users of temporary area lighting are police investigative teams, night time construction crews and the military. 

The company’s flagship portable generator, the SolMan Classic, delivers up to 1500 watts of AC power or 12 volts DC power, with 2400 watt hours of storage capacity. 

That’s not enough to charge up your electric car, but plenty to run your computer or charge up your cell phone during a blackout. Or light up your event for two days running just off battery power.

CVTC team's winning invention makes kids' bikes more visible

Bob Grzegorek watched the taillights on the bicycle his 12-year-old son was riding move further away into the darkness. 

He saw the lights brighten as the boy applied the brakes, then return to normal brightness, still visible 200 feet away. 

Grzegorek knew then that the product he and his fellow team members from the Chippewa Valley Technical College chapter of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers developed was a good one. 

"It's about safety for the kids. This might save a life," Grzegorek said of the bicycle brake lights the team created. 

Grzegorek isn't the only one who likes the product. "We had a team of 12 engineers looking at this and they all thought it was a great idea," he said. 

That judging team awarded the CVTC team second place in the 2013 SME Student Design Manufacturing Competition at the SME International Conference in Baltimore, Md., earlier this month. 

The product, called the Solar Brake Assembly, gives a bicycle rear taillights and brake lights that work like those on a car or motorcycle. The lights are powered by two AA rechargeable batteries that are automatically charged by a solar panel mounted on the rear of the bicycle. LED lights ensure plenty of brightness with little power used. A mere four hours of daylight fully recharges the batteries. 

Engineers at the conference said the solar brake assembly is certainly marketable, perhaps patentable. Where the product goes from here is uncertain. For now, team members,You can add the car led and fluorescent kits to your car, truck, motorcycle, boat etc. which include electromechanical engineering students Grzegorek, Adam Clark, Benjamin Paffel and Jon Keeley, and manufacturing engineering student Scott Steenerson, are thrilled to have done so well. 

"I told the guys, even if we didn't place, we're still winners, no matter what," Grzegorek said. 

The team finished second to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, but ahead of PEC University of Technology in Chandigarh, India; Wichita State University in Kansas, and the University of Colorado. CVTC was the only two-year school in the competition. 

The genesis for the CVTC entry was a trip to the SME International Conference in Cleveland last year, where 10 college teams took part in the contest. CVTC SME Chapter Advisor Tom Vanderloop encouraged his students to give it a try. 

Grzegorek was on that trip and started brainstorming right away. The team was formed last fall. 

"The team wanted to try something outside their experience with a focus on safety and renewable energy. Our original idea was an electric scooter, but we realized we would not have a budget large enough, or the time to completely manufacture our own design,The lights used were Inspired LED Strip light in warm white not to mention the wide commercial availability (of electric scooters) we discovered upon early research," Grzegorek said. 

It was Grzegorek's idea to narrow the concept to the brake and tail light assembly. Other team members contributed their ideas,Learn how daytime running lights use gas and the amount it takes to power these lights. and soon the team was designing a printed circuit board for a solar recharging system. 

The target market was children's bicycles, but team members thought it would work just as well for adult bicycles and electric-powered mobility devices often used by elderly people. 

"The team researched the idea at a local bicycle business and found that the concept had not yet been explored," Grzegorek said. Each team member contributed in his own way. 

"I got to do a lot of the soldering," Paffel said. "This was a new experience for me, since I'm just out of (Eau Claire North) High School." 

"I helped design the circuits and selected what parts we used," Clark said. 

One of the most challenging aspects students encountered was finding time to work together outside of class. Team members have families at home and jobs outside of school. "It was just amazing how they put everything together and worked as a team," Vanderloop said.

Artists find inspiration in the city’s outskirts

“Chalmatia” offers photographs, text, three-dimensional pieces and film to show how a broken community existed as a tribe in a nether world of survival. The artists capture joy, isolation, child’s play, spiritual devotion and dedication to place, encountered from December 2008 through today. Residents of Chalmette serve as the “characters” in the display’s fictional realism. 

The artists, who together are branded as The Elektrik Zoo, use the past to define both memory and evolution. Fog in some frames and light in others capture the surreal and eerie quality of life in the years after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the downriver community. 

“Circumstances (after Katrina) found us living on my sister’s living room floor in Chalmette, and at that time it was still slabs and broken fences and water everywhere,” Daneeta Jackson said. “We set up the camera and started shooting photographs.” 

Daneeta said there were a number of family members — four children, four adults and “a ton of animals” — packed into a single-family home, a common occurrence in many communities after the hurricane. 

It took more than two months for electrical power to be restored to St. Bernard after the storm; light became a powerful symbol. In “Chalmatia,” Jacksons used specific shutter speeds, LED lights on moving hula hoops, Christmas displays and lighting from televisions and smartphones to focus on a subtheme called “Little Baby Light.” 

“We wanted to capture Chalmette at night, the light at night,” Patrick Jackson said. 

He believes people will experience both the fantasy and fiction of the art, but also the real people and real elements of the community. 

The population of the parish is still only half what it was before Katrina. The empty spaces resonated with the artists. 

“We wanted to create this world and focus on children and old people; everyone else is gone,” Daneeta said. 

Throughout the project, she and Patrick held the belief that the youngsters are waiting for life to happen and the elderly are waiting for life to end. 

Daneeta, who is also a writer, grew up in Southeast Louisiana and met Patrick, from Sweden, in film school in London.Buy hid kit, ballasts, and headlight bulbs. They married and have been working as artists for 13 years in various locales around the world. 

The world of Chalmatia exists only in the 426 photographs and two films the Jacksons created, including a fictional piece, “Destiny Lives Down the Road” (Best Louisiana short, 2011 New Orleans Film Festival) and a documentary short about a real-life resident, Miss Carmella. The Destiny character appears in the film on Carmella, which blurs the artistic line between fact and fiction. 

“We were inspired by Chalmette because it’s a small town outside of New Orleans,” Daneeta said. While New Orleans has generated a large share of artistic attention over the years, “We’re more interested in the outskirts,” she said. 

In addition, “It was a deliberate choice to come back here and be inspired by our families,” Patrick said. 

Daneeta’s niece, Dominique Thompson, plays several different characters in the Destiny film and appears in a number of still photos. 

One special element of the exhibit will be a kitchen window “film” that creates the illusion of looking out at fictional neighbors in Chalmatia. There will be a recreated slab and a swimming pool as three-dimensional parts of the real world inserted into Chalmatia. 

“I want people to walk into the space and remember what childhood was like (at that time), playing on broken slabs, in broken houses and there was still an element of childhood,” Daneeta said. “It’s almost as if we’re peeping into the lives of these ‘characters.’ There’s a sense of wonder.” 

Said Patrick: “We want people to spend time in Chalmatia.” 

The exhibit is supported by grants from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts.


If you’ve taken advantage of the recent warm weather to clean out your garage, attic or basement, or if you’ve recently completed a home remodeling project, chances are you’ve ended up with some unusual, or unusually large or awkward, waste. 

Thankfully, there are plenty of opportunities to keep your curb free of the items the garbage hauler just won’t take. Many items can be donated, but it’s also important to safely dispose of potentially hazardous materials, and you might not even know certain items are hazardous, of course. 

If you’re still confused and not knowing what to do with certain castoffs,Buy hid kit, ballasts, and headlight bulbs. here’s some help. Our question was ARE YOU STUCK WITH … ? and our answers are the best we can find. The good news is the most common answer is no. 

PAINT? No. Those cans filled with colors from the kitchen renovation your wife had you finish three years ago can be safely put out with your household trash. 

William Feher, solid-waste division supervisor with the Dallas Area Municipal Authority, recommends opening the paint can and mixing in cat litter or an oil-drying compound and allowing the paint to dry completely and placing it next to your garbage bags or cans. 

“Underneath Department of Environmental Protection guidelines, some paints are considered hazardous waste. However, if you’re a homeowner, it’s considered household hazardous waste,” Feher said. 

Beth DeNardi, recycling coordinator for Luzerne County, said cat litter or sand can be used to dry out paint. Luzerne County officials suggest placing no more than two paint cans next to your trash bags for each scheduled pickup. Paint cans must not be hidden in regular garbage bags. 

LIGHT BULBS? Yes, at least for a while. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends recycling all light bulbs that might contain mercury, including fluorescent bulbs, but recycling opportunities for those long, older tube bulbs, which often come out of drop ceilings, are becoming less available each year, even though they qualify as hazardous waste. 

Household waste is generally excluded from regulation as hazardous waste, Feher said. “Regular household bulbs can go into the garbage,” he added but suggested that residents seek out a municipality-driven spring cleanup or bulk-waste event to get rid of them as safely as possible. 

“The county would like to reach out to the municipalities and see if there are any ideas that we can take on collectively to do anything for fluorescent lights,” DeNardi said. Until a solution is put in place, she said, “we suggest calling a Lowe’s or a Home Depot.” 

We’ve done that, however, and were told recycling opportunities for tube bulbs were no longer available. 

AIR CONDITIONERS/REFRIGERATORS? No. Air conditioners and refrigerators still in working order are among the many unwieldy items you might want to consider donating to the Salvation Army. 

If your fridge or AC is roasted, toasted and burnt to a crisp, you’re much better off having the Freon removed by a licensed agency. After that’s done, make a local scrap-metal recycling business your next stop. 

“Absolutely anything made out of metal can be brought to us,” said John Allan, president of Allan Industries, a metal-only recycling center on Allan Road and Route 309 in Wilkes-Barre Township. 

Common items taken to scrap-metal recycling centers include aluminum cans and siding, copper, brass, stainless steel and more. After 63 years in business, Allan Industries has handled some unusual recycling requests, including part of an airplane removed from a crash site, towers for telephone wires and interstate road signs and poles. 

Aside from saving space in a landfill, scrappers can earn a bit of income. Allan said the going rate for aluminum is 60 cents per pound. Copper and brass go for an average of $2.60 and $2 per pound, respectively.

LED Ballroom Dresses Dazzle the Stage

When ballroom dancers from Brigham Young University (BYU) took the stage at a recent international competition, it wasn't just their moves that generated buzz. 

BYU student engineers designed custom dresses with LED lights for the dancers,Buy hid kit, ballasts, and headlight bulbs. which incorporate some smart technology that syncs with the music.Increase the performance and visual appearance of your headlights with hid lights and bulbs. 

The project grew from a collaboration between the BYU Ballroom Dance Company, alongside computer and electrical engineering students working on their senior projects. The dance company wore the unique dresses during the prestigious British Open Championships in Blackpool, England on May 29. 

BYU says each dress included eight LED-light strips, attached to a computer chip and battery. Over the past school year, about 17 engineering students worked on the project. Doran Wilde, a BYU associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, says his students worked closely with the dance team to design the dresses. 

"We'd have them sew in pockets in strategic places or sleeves or channels or things like that that we could stuff in our electronics," said Wilde, who was one of three faculty advisors for this project. 

The circuit boards embedded in the dresses were programmed with different effects and patterns for the LEDs — such as a rainbow pattern that shimmered or a solid color with pink sparkles. Each one can hold around 512 effects. 

The light choreography was pre-programmed ahead of time and downloaded into the dresses, which can communicate with a central system. "All of these dresses have radios in them that communicate with the host system that has the music player with it," Wilde says. 

Designing these dresses to work seamlessly involved its share of technical challenges. BYU highlighted three of the students — Franklin Morley, Stephen Wood and Ali Wood — who worked 60 hours a week near the end to make sure the dresses would work for the big competition. 

“There were a lot of things we didn't anticipate,Learn how daytime running lights use gas and the amount it takes to power these lights.” Wood says. “With the other performing groups we worked with, the lights were attached to arms or legs and had a more sturdy surface to attach to. With the ballroom dancers, we didn't understand the amount of stress these dresses would undergo.” 

But it all worked out in the end: the dresses dazzled the stage, wowing audiences and earning the ballroom team first place in the competition's formation category. 

Wilde said the two-year-old partnership between engineering and dance at BYU was an "unlikely combination for collaboration" that they plan on continuing. 

"It's been fun for our students to work with the dancers who are very artistically-minded, (who get) to work with our engineers that are very scientifically-minded." 

Lightech's new state-of-the-art showroom offers a one-stop-shop solution, stocking light fittings that serve and fulfil the demand of every customer. Lightech imports leading brands from Europe and East Asia and provides a comprehensive range of products to make living or working spaces beautiful. The store has in-house design consultants to offer professional lighting design services so that architects, interior designers, project managers and home owners can find the best way to meet their requirements.

Park District Celebrates the Grand Opening of Chippewa Pool

Construction, under the direction of Paul Cathey, the Park District Superintendent of Parks and Planning, Glen Anderson for the General Contractor, Nicholas & Associates, and Ed Kelley, the district’s Mechanical Maintenance Supervisor, proceeded according to schedule throughout the warm winter, and opened on time after passing final Inspection by the Department of Health on May 31. This inspection process certifies that Chippewa Pool is compliant with all the rules and regulations set forth in the Bathing and Swimming handbook.

At the 2010 public meeting, residents expressed interest in having the look of the new pool fit with the general feel of the neighborhood. Cordogan, Clark & Associates, the architectural firm for the project, designed a Tudor-inspired bathhouse with a steeply pitched roof, an open arch above the entrance, and prominent gables to coordinate with the style of the older homes in the area. Residents also wanted the facility to remain a “neighborhood pool”, as opposed to a water park. New Chippewa Pool occupies the same footprint as the old pool, but has many additional state-of-the art amenities.

In the Leisure Pool area, the shallow end has a zero depth entry, and five geysers that shoot continuous fountains of water into the air. The shallow end also has a Fumbling Five: an omnipod with five buckets in a star pattern. As the buckets constantly fill and randomly spill, they create a large variable splash area. At the opposite end of the Leisure Pool is a new tot-size slide for, swimmers under 48 inches, which splashes riders onto a non-slid pad in just two feet of water. The Lap Pool is connected to the Leisure Pool and can be configured with six standard 25-yard lanes for competitive or recreational swimming.

When not in use for swimming laps, a lane line divides the lap pools at the five-foot depth mark. In the deep end there is a three-meter diving board and another drop slide for swimmers over 48 inches tall. On the deck, a permanent shade structure and shade umbrella offer respite on sunny days, and new chairs and chaise lounges are perfect for sun bathing. In addition to men’s and women's locker rooms, the bathhouse also has a family locker room. There are lockers both in the locker rooms and on the deck, free to users, which can be secured with a standard combination padlock. Adjacent to the bathhouse is a new, covered concession area with picnic tables, two water and soft drink vending machines, a snack machine with healthy alternatives, and an ice cream dispensing machine.

Many new “green initiatives” are in place at Chippewa Pool. The Park District is testing green cleaners that are better for the environment, along with a wall-mounted metered dispenser that will help save money and create less waste. A recycling program is in place. Fluorescent lighting was installed, replacing the metal halide lights. This provides for energy savings in several ways: 1. The new ballasts and lights use much less electricity than the metal halide ones. 2. Fluorescents have instant on and off capability; no electricity is wasted during a warm up period. 3. The new light bulbs and fixtures are less expensive to replace and maintain. LED soffit site lighting was installed, remotely controlled by computer, providing additional cost savings. The Defender pool filter that was put in place will save thousands of gallons of water each year and provide significant energy savings. Finally, a new electronically fuel injected lawn mower was purchased to maintain the grounds. The new mower uses substantially less gasoline.

“The entire process was a team effort,” said Paul Cathey, “From the residents’ input, to the architect’s beautiful design, and the General Contractor’s hands-on management of the construction, everyone worked closely with the Park District staff, and the result is a pool that enhances the neighborhood in every way.” “I couldn’t be more pleased that the Park District has delivered another new facility that Des Plaines residents will enjoy for many years to come,” Cathey said.

Drive Cost-Competitive Next Generation Efficient Lighting

Building on his strong focus on energy efficiency in his first few days in office, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced today five manufacturing research and development projects to support energy efficient lighting products. The projects will focus on reducing manufacturing costs, while continuing to improve the quality and performance of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). Today’s LED lighting is six or seven times more efficient than conventional lighting and can last up to 25 times longer. The Energy Department’s $10 million investment is matched dollar for dollar by private sector funding.

“This partnership with industry to produce affordable, efficient lighting will save consumers money and create American jobs,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “It’s another example of how energy efficiency is a win-win proposition for our economy.”

According to a new report by the Energy Department, LED lamps and fixtures installed in the United States have increased 10-fold over the last 2 years – from 4.5 million units in 2010 to 49 million units in 2012.  These installations, which include common indoor and outdoor applications such as recessed lighting and streetlights, are expected to save about $675 million in annual energy costs. During the same period, the cost of an LED replacement bulb has fallen by about 54 percent. Switching entirely to LED lights over the next two decades could save the U.S. $250 billion in energy costs and reduce electricity consumption for lighting by nearly 50 percent. By 2030, LED lighting is projected to represent about 75 percent of all lighting sales, saving enough energy to power approximately 26 million U.S. households.

Still, while life-cycle costs are attractive, the initial price of LED and OLED lighting is currently higher than the price of traditional lighting. The projects announced today will help achieve significant cost reductions in manufacturing equipment and processes, while improving lighting quality and performance:

This project will develop a modular design for LED lights that can link together multiple units to fit larger areas. The design will also use less raw material, reducing manufacturing costs while ensuring high lighting quality and efficiency. Cree’s approach will design and manufacture the different components of an LED fixture -- including electrical, mechanical and optical systems – as one, seamless product, helping to further reduce assembly costs and ensure strong performance.

The Eaton project will develop an innovative manufacturing process that streamlines the LED fixture design and removes unnecessary materials and parts. With this approach, the LED chip can sit directly on the heatsink, improving heat transfer within the design and increasing LED efficiency.

Organic LEDs, or OLEDs, are typically assembled through transfer or screen printing. The OLEDWorks project will develop and demonstrate new spray printing equipment that reduces overall manufacturing costs and could help support cost-competitive mass production. This technique will give manufacturers greater spray control to take full advantage of expensive organic materials and maximize the visible light produced from this material.

Most LEDs are grown on a sapphire substrate. Through this project, Philip Lumileds will develop an alternative to the standard flip-chip device that grows an LED face-down on the sapphire substrate. Before light can shine through, this substrate must be carefully etched off the device. The Philips Lumileds device will treat the sapphire substrate so that removing the substrate is not necessary – reducing manufacturing costs without compromising lighting quality.

Emirati builds home for sustainable living

Covering a built up area of 8,500 sqft, the sprawling Moorish-styled villa in Al Barsha 3 with jasmine arbors incorporates best practices that reduce energy consumption and conserve water. Designed with the idea of sustainable living, the home is an expression of Al Muhairi’s belief that it is possible to create something of lasting beauty and not be a burden on the environment.

A civil engineer by profession, he was with Etisalat and retired from the company from the Administration and Human Resource Department. Post retirement, he set up plans to build a house. And, as is the norm obtained quotations.

The UN World Environment Day being celebrated today has two words in its theme that Al Muhairi has stringently applied in the building process of the villa – think, save.

“My first objective when I re-designed the villa was to reduce the amount of concrete and quantity of steel being used. Usually the roof is heavy, so the columns and beams holding them up have to be big (to withstand the weight).” This has an impact on the foundation, all of which means vast quantities of concrete and steel usage. It results in a direct increase in the carbon footprint of a building.

“Instead of hollow blocks (concrete) for the roof, I used a light insulated material. I used 20 centimetres of extruded polystyrene. It can be lifted by a child,” he said. To break it down further, this is a kind of material that insulates but is extremely strong. So, as it is way lighter, it reduces the weight on the columns and conserves energy, because of the insulation, the rooms don’t heat up. “Also, white reflects the light… the roof has a (final) layer of white cement tiles … heat will not enter.”

The walls are made of aerated blocks that have trapped air within them that, again, acts as insulation. He has also layered the foundation with extruded polystyrene.

Energy saving from air conditioning – a conservative estimate of “35 per cent” he said, as the usual temperature setting for the rooms are 24C.

That was not enough. Al Muhairi sourced LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights from China, because LED lamps function for years and have high energy efficiency compared to other lights.

He estimated nearly 90 per cent saving in energy consumption with the use of LED lights and by reducing the number of electrical points.

Al Muhairi has a specialised home automation system that ensures with the help of a master control no light gets left on in the house, also with motion sensor activated lights installed in passage ways and bathrooms, there is no waste.

On the issue of energy use, Al Muhairi said: “One of the biggest sources of electricity consumption is water heaters… we have 365 days of sun here. It is important to use that. The government needs to reduce the money they are investing in electricity, so should encourage solar energy use.” He set up solar water heaters for the entire villa and its guest house facilities.

“We see wastage of water when you open a tap (for hot water). You wait for 10 seconds for the water to run hot. I used circulation pumps to prevent this waste.” Additionally, he installed special water closets that use 1.2 litres less than the conventional WC in every flush.

For the pool covered in recycled tiles, too, he set up energy saving pumps with variable speed to re-circulate the water, depending on if it is in use or being cleaned. More information about the program is available on the web site at www.hmhid.com.

Al Muhairi wanted to do more. He personally did the landscaping and designed the irrigation system. Wood shavings from the building of doors and cupboards from within were mixed into the soil to help retain moisture.

Solar-rental options might be a bright idea

The same pathway that has put many in the seat of a new car -- the lease -- is taking off as a financial vehicle for homeowners who don't have tens of thousands of dollars sitting around to buy a rooftop solar-panel system outright.

It works like this: A solar company that offers a lease option -- such as SolarCity and SunGevity -- comes to your house to determine whether a solar array would work on your roof. If it's suitable, depending on the company, you can choose either to pay zero upfront and a regular lease fee each month, or you can pay some money up front and have lower or no monthly lease fees.

A rooftop solar system from SolarCity, for example, that's guaranteed to produce a little more than 6,000 kilowatt hours annually might cost $63 a month with nothing up front. The payment is set to increase 2.9 percent annually, which the company says is lower than average price increases from the utilities.

Putting some money down on the system -- say, $2,500 -- would lower the monthly payment to $53 and erases the yearly percent increase. The last option would be to pay the lease up front, which would cost $7,920 and results in no monthly payments for all 20 years of the lease.

While the solar company handles installation, does maintenance and ensures the system's productivity, it also collects the subsidies and tax credits that the state and federal government give to people willing to invest in the renewable energy.

The solar company, not the homeowner, owns the equipment -- just like car dealership owns a leased car. And so in many cases, when it comes time for routine maintenance or repairs, the company is responsible. When the lease ends, you have the option of buying the system, renewing the lease or having it removed. If you move out, the solar systems also can be transferred to a new owner.

SolarCity, a California solar outfit, has signed more than 40,000 leases countrywide. The company's chairman, Elon Musk, is the CEO of electric car company Tesla Motors and spacecraft firm Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX.

In May, Goldman Sachs said it would put up $500 million in financing for SolarCity leases, a chunk of the $40 billion the investment bank plans to set aside for renewable projects in the next decade.

An intermediary company, One Block Off the Grid, hooked him up with SolarCity. During a conference call last summer, Pelchar heard his options and agreed to lease a solar system.

"Without the leasing option, we would not have solar," he said. "No question, I would not be able to purchase a system for myself."

He took the option of putting up money for the system -- about $8,000, which covers all of his lease payments. This way, SolarCity still handles the maintenance and repairs of the 20 solar panels that sit on a steep south-facing portion of his roof.

The process from "yes" to solar power coming down from above took just a few months. SolarCity did a site visit to inspect his house, making sure that it didn't have anything blocking the sun and that its roof was structurally sound. They later came back and did a home energy evaluation. By the first of the year, the system was up and running, with little effort from Pelchar.

"I never filled out a form for a rebate or tax credit," he said. Pelchar also passed another of the hurdles to leasing a solar system -- a credit check.

The economics of Pelchar's decision to invest up front in the system, rather than choosing to pay nothing up front, were well thought out.

"I'm only five months into it but it seems to me, investment-wise, to be the most secure investment you can make," he said. With electricity rates an uncertain thing at best, the solar array locks in a set price for Pelchar.
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