Taking the LEED

TRAVERSE CITY – Tim Burden brightens up around light-emitting diodes. And why shouldn't he? The CEO of CooLED, Inc. is in an industry that experts say is poised to explode: By 2020, 70 percent of public lighting is predicted to be LED lighting.

"We expect to have substantial growth for the next 10 years," Burden said about his company's product, a patented heat-removal system that results in greater light output, longer life, lower cost of ownership and greater energy savings.

CooLED represents Traverse City-based LED light manufacturer Hybra Energy Inc. Together they have installed commercial and industrial LED projects throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, Mexico and Canada.

Burden sees opportunities to market Hybra's lighting applications all over the world.

"I've built businesses before, but I've never seen anything quite as exciting as this," said Burden, who is president of Midtown Development Inc. and previously owned a nationally-ranked painting and environmental company. "The opportunities with this technology are absolutely incredible for our business, Traverse City, and the state of Michigan."

Hybra's LED lights have been installed locally at Great Lakes Stainless, Britten Banners, Munson Medical Center, Traverse City Area Public Schools, The Leelanau School, Northwestern Michigan College's aviation building, Deering's Market, Lake Ann Marine, the Larry C. Hardy Parking Deck, fast food restaurants, Cherryland Rural Electric, DTE/Consumers Energy and auto dealerships.

One of CooLED's most recent projects was lighting the lot at Cherry Capital Cadillac Subaru in TC, where people tend to cruise for cars after hours.

"They [the dealership] are under a three-year payback," said Burden. "Most Hybra LED installations recapture the initial cost in two to four years, then continue to return energy savings throughout the fixture's life."

Here's a look at other local Hybra installations and savings:

– Burger King in Acme recently

replaced 32 of its fixtures

with 30 high-efficiency 50-watt

floodlights and two 100-watt LEDs,

saving 33,500 watts and $8,070 per

year. The lights are expected to last

an estimated 100,000 hours.

– Last spring, LED lights in the Larry C.

Hardy Parking Deck reduced annual

energy consumption by more than

230,000 kWh and saved the

Downtown Development Authority an

estimated $21,000 annually.

– Deering's Market brought down its

energy costs from $1,600-plus per

year to $144 per year.

– Premier Health & Fitness replaced old

fluorescent lights in its pool area with

38-watt LED retrofit tubes, saving

upwards of $1,400 per year.

Keeping it cool

What makes Hybra's LEDs different? They operate cooler than other LEDs currently on the market.

When Hybra's Joseph Thiel and Ryan Wells ventured into LED lighting devices, they found the lamps were better off being cool. Their patented "Heat Spreader" technology removes heat from the LED, resulting in greater light output, longer life, lower cost of ownership and greater energy savings, according to the company.

"We believe they are the best LEDs because they don't get hot, are built like a tank and have the best warranties," Burden said. "I'm seeing opportunities to market them all over world."

For more information, contact CooLED at cooledinc.com or call 231-421-5981.