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March 27, 2013 | Tom Ballard

LED North America on a good trajectory, awaiting certification of newest luminaire

Andrew Wilhelm of LED North America is counting the days until he expects to secure Underwriters Laboratory certification for his new Trinity thermal foam high bay luminaire.

The device is the smallest, lightest, and brightest passively cooled commercial high bay lighting solution available. It comes in single and dual versions that can also include a unique, programmable motion sensor that can dim to a preset level if no movement is detected and quickly return to full lamination as soon as any motion occurs. The preset level can be anywhere between 100 percent and zero.

Wilhelm says this capability is “really useful for warehouses where energy conservation is a priority.”

For example, he explained that “a row of eight 400W metal halide lights that individually produce 458 watts (3,664 watts total) can be programmed where seven lights are on complete cut-off and one light at the entrance of the row is dimmed to a 10 percent lighting level. This uses only 13 watts of energy to illuminate the row when it is not in use. We might be able to get a 95 plus percent energy savings for the customer.”

He said that one customer for the Trinity device is the City of Oak Ridge that plans to use it for security and lighting at the city marina’s gazebo. “It will provide the same level of lighting for less than a 60-watt bulb when the gazebo is not occupied,” Wilhelm explained.

LED North America has based much of its work on carbon foam technology licensed from Oak Ridge National Laboratory. As Wilhelm looks to the future, he’s exploring adding a fan to further cool his lighting devices so LED North America can further increase lumens.

“We could replace 1000-watt bulbs in arenas,” he says.

The journey for Wilhelm has taken a good deal of time and patience, but he is pleased with where LED North America is positioned.

“We’re out of R&D, now in manufacturing, and soon in aggressive sales,” he says.

His next goal is to be selling at least 300 lights per month for the balance of 2013.  This will allow the company to be debt free within the year and move to a larger facility.

More information about the new Trinity device can be found at