The February/ March 2007 edition of Plenty Magazine has a really good article called "The Plenty 20" by Danielle Wood. You won’t find it online, so go pick up a copy. Generally speaking, magazine lists have a tendency to be contrived, opinionated, and/or incomplete, but I thought The Plenty 20 was rather thorough. The article profiled an Ohio-based company called Fiberstars (NASDAQ: FBST). The U.S. government funded the research that became Fiberstars’ Efficient Fiber Optic Technology (EFO) with grants totaling about $13 million. Now, its lights illuminate the Declaration of Independence and the Magna Carta.
How efficient are EFO lights? Their efficiency is analogous to improving gas mileage in your car from 12 MPG to 50 MPG. That’s efficient. So efficient, these lights were used in the green Bill Clinton Presidential Library.
EFO lights do not emit heat or ultraviolet rays, so they are perfect for museum or archival applications. One 70-watt metal halide lamp, which connects to a fiber optic system, can equal the output of eight 50 watt bulbs. Specifically in terms of efficiency, the EFO saves up to 80% on energy consumption, saves on maintenance (requires less work due to longer life), and saves one watt of HVAC for every three watts of lighting because the EFOs do not emit heat. Not bad. Further, Fiberstars EFO may reduce mercury emissions by up to 75% and their Reuse-Recycle Program allows customers to reuse 97% of the lamp and recycle the rest. Currently, most of Fiberstars’ customers are commercial entities such as Whole Foods, McDonalds, Trump Tower, Starbucks, Nordstrom’s, Chevron, etc. Maybe we’re not that far from turn-key consumer applications?
Here are some of the other companies on The Plenty 20: Nanosolar, ECD Ovonics, Greenfuel Technologies, Envirofit International, GE, Organic Valley, Tesla Motors, Southwest Windpower, Domini, Toyota, Whole Foods, Green Mountain Energy, Konarka, Goldman Sachs, Ormat Technologies, Ice Energy, Green Sandwich Technologies, Green Mountain Coffee, and Naturalawn.