LightLab International Allentown LLC in Allentown, Pennsylvania USA, held a grand opening on Thursday, October 22nd.
Founders Mike Grather and Tracy Silvert celebrated the grand opening of the ISO-certified photometric testing laboratory.
The lab is located at the Bridgeworks Enterprise Center. The grand opening marks the completion of nearly eight months of work involving construction, equipment installation and laboratory certification. LightLab International Allentown reports that it is ready to perform certified photometric testing on lighting bulbs and fixtures.
The lab will specialize in photometric testing and certifying LED lighting products including replacement lamps and more complex fixture applications. Lighting fixture producers have to have certified labs perform tests to ensure that specifications are met, such as energy efficiency, color, and lumen output. Additionally, selling light products in the U.S. are required to meet certain levels of energy efficiency and must be labeled with certain performance metrics. LightLab International Allentown reports that it is fully accredited and ready to provide these services.
“There are much broader applications for LEDs than there were for incandescent or compact fluorescent bulbs,” explained Grather, president of LightLab International Allentown. “Not only are we seeing the proliferation of replacement bulbs, but more complex luminaires are being created for interior and street lighting. The increased demand for these new lighting options has also increased the demand for testing services to validate their performance claims.”
When the Bridgeworks Enterprise Center was launched in 1989, Luminaire Testing Laboratory (LTL) was the very first company recruited into the fledgling Bridgeworks Enterprise Center and Grather was one of the company’s first employees. After a few years, Grather purchased the company from its founder, and he continued to grow the company for the next 13 years. The company grew to employ nine people and earned $2 million in revenue annually. Silvert joined LTL in 1999 as a manager for the lab’s overall operations. In 2010, an international certification company approached Grather, and he ultimately chose to sell LTL and exit the business.
In late 2014, Grather and Silvert approached Allentown Economic Development Corporation with the idea of starting a new photometric testing lab at Allentown’s Bridgeworks Enterprise Center.
“This is the story every business incubator looks for,” said Anthony Durante, AEDC program manager. “We are bringing back an entrepreneur who had successfully grown and exited a company that originated in our program. The team is back because they know firsthand the benefits of being part of a program like ours.”
“There are a lot of resources here that you wouldn’t otherwise have as a small business,” Grather said. He and Silvert noted the help they have received with the lab set up. They also said that the Bridgeworks Enterprise Center gave them access to amenities such as conference rooms, meeting space and a range of business resources available to startups.