By David Krechevsky, Republican American
WATERBURY — The LED City? That doesn't have quite the same ring as the Brass City, but nonetheless Waterbury soon could be home to a manufacturer of light emitting diode, or LED, commercial and municipal lights.
Tri Source Inc., a Shelton-based manufacturer of custom power supplies and battery chargers, is expanding into manufacturing LED lighting and looking to relocate from Fairfield County to a larger facility that could employ up to 140 people.
The company, which now has eight employees, has been located in a 10,500-square-foot facility at 84 Platt Road in Shelton for more than 20 years. Company and Waterbury officials, however, have met several times over the past few months in an effort to relocate Tri Source to a vacant facility here.
Luring a "green" technology manufacturer with the growth potential of Tri Source would be a coup for Waterbury, which over the last decade has seen its manufacturing base shrivel.
Tri Source's innovative product is called Qual-Lite, an LED light source that, unlike a compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb, uses no mercury or hazardous materials, has no glass or gasses, saves 20 percent to 50 percent more energy than a CFL and lasts up to five times longer. The lights also emit much less heat, and can be controlled by an automated rheostat the company is developing that will adjust the amount of light they put out based on the natural light in a room or area.
"It's the greenest technology that I've ever seen," said Leo Frank, chief executive officer of the Waterbury Development Corp.
Avery Gattis, business recruitment specialist for the WDC, said Tri Source already has several patents pending, has received an energy-efficiency rating from Energy Star, and is awaiting safety certification from Underwriters Laboratories, which is expected within weeks.
He said Tri Source already has about 1,000 units in production, which will be used primarily to demonstrate the light's benefits and attract investors.
The market for the product is huge, he said.
Ed Hyland, president and owner of TriSource Inc., in Shelton, stands under some of the LED lights his company manufactures. The company is hoping to move to Waterbury. The LED light fixtures, used for commercial and municipal uses, use less electrict and put off less heat. Jim Shannon Republican-American
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