Light is used by every business. But every business is not using LED light.
That is what Pittsford-based Lumalon LLC is working to change.
LED—light emitting diode—light is sustainable, creates better quality light, is more energy efficient than traditional lighting and saves money for businesses.
The belief in the mission is what has helped founder and owner Tom Murray gain traction in the local market.
“As an entrepreneur, you just have to believe,” he said. “That belief is what drives you and keeps you going. I’m not by any stretch saying we’re successful, but we’ve had some success and we’ve put a lot of money back in their pockets. We’ve taught a lot of people about how to be sustainable (and) how to take advantage of energy efficiencies. You don’t have to reinvest millions of dollars to make a difference to your bottom line.”
Today he serves as managing partner, founder and owner of the firm that employs a total of eight people at 1 Grove St. in Pittsford. The company plans to double revenues by the end of the year and has grown by 20 percent since its launch in 2012.
Lumalon—luma meaning light and lon referring to the longevity of lighting—is the brainchild of Murray, an entrepreneur who moved to Rochester in 2002.
He originally became acquainted with LED lighting in 2008 when he was exposed to it in a major way. But his interest and the market were not in sync.
“They lit the whole Pentagon up with LED lights,” Murray said. “And I thought, ‘Wow, that’s really interesting. I came back to Rochester (but) the recession kicked in and nobody was interested in spending upgrades on energy efficiency. They were just hoping to get to the other side. So I tabled the thought of Lumalon.”
Murray continues to work in telecommunications as owner of Fedtelecom LLC, a company he started in 2007. He previously worked in media for the CBS Baltimore Ravens Network as a sales manager. Murray’s experience, combined with a passion for sustainability, has brought him to his current role.
“I wanted to build like a Starbucks brand because I felt that LED was not just great, new energy-efficient lighting, it spoke volumes about the business, sustainability, (and) are you a forward thinking organization?” Murray said. “It said a lot about who you were.”
In April the company partnered with ENEROC LLC—the inaugural business of the Market Driven Community Corp.—to install LED lighting at Rochester General Hospital.
Competition is strong in the LED market. Businesses are realizing how much money they can save while being sustainable, Murray says.
“There’s a lot of competition, and there’s more coming,” he said. “There’s a lot of LED out there, but LED is tricky. There’s a lot of variables— it’s not like buying a 60-watt bulb.
“(It is) money back in your pocket so you can invest in other things. Everybody uses lighting—we’re here to help people with the process,” he added.
The growth of the company is challenging as well as a blessing, Murray says.
“The challenge is always meeting the demand and delivering at the quality and level of service that you did when you were smaller,” he said. “We don’t ever want to compromise, we don’t want to grow too fast and then not deliver to our customers the same kind of quality service that they’ve come to know. But yet people are really embracing this so we want to meet the demand.”
The firm does business with a variety of companies but mainly focuses on buildings such as hospitals and retirement homes that use a lot of light. A fair amount of business is spent on retrofitting, Murray says.
“These facilities that have lights on for the longest period of time will see the quickest payback,” he said.
Isaac Heating and Air Conditioning Inc. has been a customer for two years and saved $2,700 a month in electricity costs by working with Lumalon.
“I know when I need anything for our buildings’ lighting, Tom and his team are always there to help,” said Ken Isaac, co-owner and facilities manager. “Lumalon converted our lighting over to the more energy-efficient LED bulbs and informed us that we would qualify for a state rebate that covered about one-third the cost.
“They completed the work in a timely manner and most of it at night so as not to disrupt or workforce. I would highly recommend them,” he added.
The Brighton Fire District has worked with Lumalon since 2015. The firm was selected out of a competitive pool.
“Lumalon was one of several companies that came in to offer solutions for our desire to convert to LED lighting,” said Ted Aroesty, executive director of the Brighton Fire District. “We chose Lumalon because of their creative solutions that allowed us to be able to implement our entire project in an efficient and cost-effective manner.”
The savings cannot be denied, Aroesty says.
“Lumalon as a company does a great job of assessing your needs and finding the right solution,” he said. “Tom Murray and his crew were very conscientious in every aspect of our project. Looking back we have seen the savings we hoped for, thus further validating the work that they do as an organization.”
At the end of the day, lighting helps companies do great work. Murray is glad to help the community move forward, he says.
“I’m just grateful that people are buying into this, because it is something I believe in,” Murray said. “These companies are the ones that are doing great things,” he said. “We’re putting better light on people doing great things. There are so many amazing companies; the people here in this community are just incredible.”
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