Solar Cynergy featured in VentureBeat! (live post Sept 19th)

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Solar Cynergy, for zero-energy outdoor lighting
By Chris Morrison 09.19.07

Makers of outdoor light-emitting diode (LED) technology usually aim at replacing public street lights, which sap large amounts of energy over time. A company called Solar Cynergy has instead chosen to focus on the residential outdoor decorative lighting market.

LEDs consume less power than incandescent bulbs, the standard lighting used everywhere. LEDs are a developing technology that may one day beat fluorescents for energy efficiency, and also have an extremely long life-span. Their low power requirements mean they can be combined with a small solar cell and capacitor to drop off the power grid entirely.

Solar Cynergy’s initial outdoor product is a “brick” that is installed in the ground and covered by a polycarbon shield strong enough to drive a truck over. During the day, the solar cell inside soaks up sunlight, storing the energy in its capacitor. At night, the light comes on automatically. A single day of weak sunlight is enough to power the LED for several days, according to the company, and the lights can last as long as 25 years.

Competitor Hotbeam sells a nearly identical product, although the “SolarBrick” has a more visible solar panel. Solar Cynergy has also begun making lights designed for cities, such as cross-walks illuminators.

solarcynergy1.jpgSolar Cynergy has started out targeting the high-end residential market, to cover its high component costs: A pack of six round lights costs about $799 wholesale. John Huang, an associate of the company, blames manufacturing costs and a 20-40 percent markup that will be reduced over time.

But with the price of both LEDs and solar paneling coming down by at least 10 percent each year, and production ramping up, it won’t be long until the lights are within reach for ordinary homeowners. Solar Cynergy currently sells only through a handful of distributors, who resell to construction companies and contractors across the country, but recently signed a contract to sell through SmartHome, an online retailer.

Prashant Shewa, CEO of the company’s Japanese parent Shewas Inc., claims that Solar Cynergy is run by only six employees and already takes in about $7 million annually. Its early success is an indicator of the expanding market for energy-conscious products in every aspect of consumer’s lives.

For more on cleantech LED designs, see our posts on D.Light Design and Metrolight.

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One Response to “Solar Cynergy featured in VentureBeat! (live post Sept 19th)”

  1. fight4 solar panel Says:

    Something I find slightly comical is how so many people will say that it isn’t worth it to add

    solar energy to your home because it takes too long for the system to “pay itself off”. If you

    save up the money and have a system installed you suddenly have a tiny utility bill, if any

    bill at all. To me it’s a simple cash-flow equation.

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