Flat, flexible light bulb maker CeeLite Inc. recently raised $4 million in private equity money to fund the opening of a U.S.-based facility in the Philadelphia-area this year.
The company, which calls itself the world's first commercial manufacturer of light-emitting-capacitor technology, said Musser Group LLC of Wayne, Pa., leads a group of investors.
``In today's global economy, it is not often that an American company has the opportunity to bring new manufacturing jobs to the United States,'' said CeeLite Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Hayward in a news release.
The company did not release an exact location for the facility, which is expected to open sometime this year.
CeeLite said the opening of a new site will allow its research, development and manufacturing facility in Hsinchu, Taiwan, to focus on an expanding Asian market. Blue Bell, Pa.-based CeeLite employs about 90 overall.
``We have been very impressed by the company and their product's impact on the green energy and technology market,'' said Musser Group founder and Chief Executive Officer Pete Musser. ``CeeLite is truly ushering in a lighting revolution, we believe, on how marketers market, advertisers sell and cities light their streets.''
CeeLite signed an agreement in June 2007 with Eastman Chemical Co., of Kingsport, Tenn., to manufacture CeeLite LEC panels using Eastman's patented encapsulation technology and Spectar copolyester.
CeeLite's LEC technology provides illumination on a variety of surfaces. Its first marketed product was the flat, flexile light bulb, which ranged in size up to 3 feet by 6 feet. The company uses electrodes to stimulate light-emitting natural phosphors embedded between thin plastic sheets.
The arrangement with Eastman allowed CeeLite to provide more robust LEC panels for outdoor use that can withstand harsh conditions such as moisture, heat and humidity. These panels can be used on buses, billboards, retail windows, street signs and other merchandising avenues.
Eastman's proprietary method uses its copolyester resin as the transparent substrate to encapsulate a variety of images, textiles, botanicals and natural inclusions along with LEC panels for architectural and surface lighting applications.
Product applications keep growing, according to CeeLite marketing vice president Gabriele Santulli. She said the technology has been used for metropolitan bus advertising in Memphis, Tenn., and for the sound-activated drums of the Red Hot Chili Peppers rock band.
If you're planning to attend the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, there will LEC signs to show the way.
The LEC technology was named one of Time magazine's best innovations of 2006.