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LEDs to Replace Fluorescent Lighting in State Office Building

ilumisys, Inc. today announced it will begin work with the State of Michigan to provide light-emitting diode (LED) replacement lighting for fluorescent tubes and collect research data in the state's Escanaba office building.

Over a four-year period beginning this month, ilumisys will install three successive generations of LED lighting, each to replace 200 four-foot long fluorescent tubes -- about 25 percent of those in the two-story, 31,000-square foot building. With each successive generation of product expected to be more energy efficient and offer additional improvements and features, the state and ilumisys will collect and share research data during each phase.

"Research and development of solid state lighting technology is an important component in Governor Jennifer M. Granholm's plan to promote alternative energy technologies and enhance job creation in Michigan," noted Lisa Webb Sharpe, director of the state's department of management and budget (DMB), responsible for state-owned buildings. "What we learn from our research, and by working with ilumisys in Escanaba on this pilot program, will help us to continue to evaluate, design and implement environmentally friendly energy savings strategies for many state buildings."

"We know there will be an immediate reduction in electricity usage and even greater reductions as the project moves forward and product operating efficiency increases, but we also want to study several other areas that impact total user cost savings," explained Dave Simon, president of ilumisys. "We certainly want to learn how our patented solid state lighting technology is being received by those who work underneath our LEDs, so collecting qualitative user experience data is also important."

Mr. Simon noted ilumisys' first products are drop-in LED replacements for standard fluorescent tube lighting. Compared against incandescent lamps, fluorescents are already 3-5 times more energy efficient. But LED replacements last several times longer and are now exceeding efficiencies of fluorescents. Equally important, they contain no mercury or other toxic substances.

500 - 700 million fluorescent lamps containing as much as 13 tons of mercury enter the U.S. waste stream each year. The sobering reality is a fraction of a teaspoon (1 gram) can render all fish in a 20-acre lake unsafe to eat. Mercury from just one fluorescent lamp can pollute 6,000 gallons of water beyond safe levels for drinking.

Ms. Webb Sharpe added the state is particularly interested in learning how to use the intelligent circuitry inherently built into solid state lighting to interface with computer-managed smart building systems. These integrate and control heating and cooling (HVAC), lighting and building security. "Capabilities like these," she adds, "meld nicely with several Michigan initiatives to achieve cost and energy savings through use of intelligent building technologies."

"This partnership with the Michigan DMB is a great platform for advancing new technology," Mr. Simon noted, "and we are very appreciative of the state's commitment to alternative energy and support of new business ventures."

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