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  1. 1. Loveland’s Lighting Innovations bends the rules Nov. 23-Dec. 6, 2007 Special Section B GREEN BUSINESS Lighting Innovations gets ‘green’ light to shine Flat light panels’ LEC technology outshines bulbs By Luanne Kadlub What would you do if you could let there be light any- where without worrying about bulbs? Illuminate a countertop from below? Light up the dance floor or the walls of your building? Surround your prized collection of (fill in the blank) in a soft glow? Put your com- pany logo in eye-catching places where no light bulb has ever gone before, like on a pillar or the side of a moving bus? Lighting Innovations, a CeeLite LEC reseller based in Loveland, can help make the impossible possible — if it has anything to do with illumination, that is. Linda McKellar, president and CEO of the two-year-old business, has teamed up with Pennsylvania-based manu- facturer CeeLite to market the revolutionary lighting source deemed one of the Best Inventions of 2006 by Time and the 2006 Product of the Year by Electronics Products maga- zines. And not only is CeeLite’s technology cutting edge — the name of the business’ Web site,, sums it all up — it’s energy-saving and easy on the environment. Image courtesy of Lighting Innovations But first, what is this new light source? CeeLite’s shielded three-wire panels sandwich light- emitting capacitors and patented Sylvania phosphors BENDING PERCEPTIONS — This light sheet developed by Ceelite LEC in Pennsylvania emits white light by exciting phosphors and light-emitting between a series of electrodes and encase the entire LEC capacitors encased in polymer sheets with an electric current. The lights can be bent and imprinted with logos or designs. setup in screen-printable polymer thick-film compositions similar to shrink-wrapped laminates. Running an electrical from that of a small cell phone to a sheet of drywall. Pan- Signs of the times current into the system through a flatline inverter generates els can be connected to form an infinite array of sizes and Signage, however, is one of the primary uses of the pan- a changing field within the phosphors that causes them to configurations. They can even be cut. els. Best Western Hotel and Conference Center at Inter- emit very white light. “I love introducing this to new clients,” said McKellar, state 25 and U.S. Highway 34 tapped into the new technol- The result: Panels that light up across their entire surface who started Lighting Innovations after her previous posi- ogy when it underwent its recent renovation. General that are so thin they bend — one the size of this newspaper tion as an administrative assistant for a real estate compa- Manager Amanda West is glad she did. page weighs less than six ounces — and can be imprinted ny was eliminated when the company downsized. West, tired of dust-collecting fluorescent signs, was with logos or designs as easily as a T-shirt. “I didn’t want to work in another office setting,” she attracted to the slim design of the CeeLites. She ordered CeeLite’s fabrication process is proprietary, but the com- said. three signs to promote the hotel’s Monroe’s Lounge, one pany claims it uses environmentally friendly and degrad- So she began investigating products she could sell that exterior and two inside. able chemicals, and that the LEC panels consume less ener- wouldn’t require a lot of setup and on-hand inventory. She gy than traditional fluorescent bulbs. “They’re simple to take care of. There’s minimal main- started out selling carpet runners before she ran across Because the panels are so thin, their uses are limited only tenance and I don’t have to replace light bulbs,” she said. CeeLite and looked into becoming a reseller. by one’s imagination. “Pretty much if you can create it, I How well lit they are was proven during a recent foggy can light it,” said McKellar. She works with business owners, contractors and morning, West said, when she could clearly see the outside CooperSmith’s Pub and Brewing in Fort Collins uses homeowners. Much of her job is to educate prospective Monroe’s sign from the highway. CeeLite to illuminate its top-shelf liquors. Thunder Moun- clients about the new technology. Longevity is determined by how long the lights are lit. tain Harley Davidson in Loveland uses it in signage. And a “Once they have hands on and actually see the light A CeeLite panel left on 24/7 will do its job for about four Loveland homeowner designed an elaborate panel, then their brains take over and they start asking years, McKellar said, while those on a timer can last up to sculpture/waterfall using the waterproof lights. ‘Can we do this?’ or ‘Can you help me with this?’” 15 years. That project, McKellar said, is by far the most expensive The answer is “always,” McKellar said. “But they last a lot longer than fluorescent light bulbs,” one she’s helped put together. The lights cost about $114 The lights are currently manufactured in Taiwan, but a McKellar points out, adding that hot spots common with per square foot, so that panel the size of this page would U.S.-based plant will open soon. Turnaround time is three fluorescents are a non-issue with the new panels. They’re cost less than $200. to four weeks. also impact- and vibration-resistant and range in size © 2006 Northern Colorado Business Report, Inc. May not be reproduced without written permission.