A downtown Rochester-based startup is using wellness technology to light up the hospitality industry.
Nadarra Lighting has developed modern, eye-catching decorative light fixtures geared toward the hospitality and tourism industry using organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, light panels. Focused on the health and wellness of light, Nadarra believes that light needs to be understood as “something that can directly impact emotional and physical well-being.”
The company was founded by Bill McDonnell as a way to leverage partnerships in Rochester. Nadarra will source its OLED light panels exclusively from Rochester manufacturer OLEDWorks as a member of its channel partner program. The program provides early adopters expanded access to OLEDWorks’ OLED light technology, engineering mindshare, marketing and sales advocacy.
Nadarra is among the first companies nationwide exclusively dedicated to manufacturing decorative light fixtures that use OLED light panels.
“Nadarra Lighting was an early adopter of OLED light and has an impressive portfolio of OLED luminaires,” said OLEDWorks’ Vice President of Customer Success John Rubens. “We’ve always believed in the potential for OLED applications in the hospitality space, and Nadarra has brought that believe to life. We’re excited to see what we can do together this year as our partnership expands and they develop new fixtures in unique designs.”
OLED technology poses no blue light risk to the human eye and is circadian rhythm friendly, officials noted, leading to better overall health and well-being. Nadarra is planning to target other health and wellness industries such as senior living and long-term care facilities.
“Lighting impacts us in so many ways throughout our day,” McDonnell said. “We need to be aware of how light impacts us beyond allowing us to see, but how it impacts our emotional well-being.”
The first practical OLED device was invented in 1987 by two Eastman Kodak Co. chemists.
An Atlanta-based provider of lighting and building management solutions will work exclusively with Rochester’s OLEDWorks to develop a series of affordable and innovative OLED luminaires for architectural lighting applications.
Acuity Brands Inc. employs roughly 12,000 individuals and has operations throughout North America, Europe and Asia.
OLEDs, or organic light-emitting diodes, are thin sheets of light that create a gentle and diffuse illumination that is calm, soft and comfortable to view. Their ultra-thin form offers excellent visual quality and are a natural fit for interior applications that can help enhance the occupant experience and the surrounding space.
“We have worked with OLEDWorks and their OLED technology for years and we’ve found it to be the superior OLED technology in the market,” said Rick Earlywine, Acuity Brands senior vice president, architectural lighting solutions. “Over time, we see an advent of even higher luminance OLED panels and more form factor choices that will create interesting options for specifiers to light architectural spaces.”
The products are a “major step forward” in enhancing OLED lighting, Earlywine said.
“Acuity Brands has been able to anticipate trends in the general lighting industry, and it was an early adopter of incorporating OLED technology for luminaires, capitalizing on the unique benefits OLEDs offer,” OLEDWorks CEO Dave DeJoy said. “They continue to be the leader in developing and delivering innovative, impactful lighting solutions.”
OLEDWorks was founded in Rochester in 2010 and is a global leader in the development and production of innovative OLED lighting solutions. In addition to its local manufacturing facility, OLEDWorks also has a plant in Aachen, Germany.
Rochester OLED solutions company Orthogonal Inc. has named David Fyfe as chief executive. Co-founder John DeFranco will move into the executive vice president and chief technology officer role.
Fyfe brings more than three decades of experience to the position. From 2000 to 2010, he served as chairman and CEO of Cambridge Display Technology Ltd. CDT developed soluble and printable organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) based on a discovery at Cambridge University, Fyfe’s alma mater. He took the company from a lab-based spinoff to NASDAQ flotation and subsequent $285 million trade sale.
Fyfe most recently was chairman of Oxford Photovoltaics, a spin-out from the University of Oxford that works in the solar cell technology sphere.
“David is a real heavyweight in the OLED industry, and we are truly excited to be under his leadership,” DeFranco said in a statement Wednesday. “He brings a breadth of knowledge and skill-set from over 30 years as CEO, to enable Orthogonal to move to the next level.”
Orthogonal officials said DeFranco’s appointment will allow him to focus his efforts on taking the technology to commercialization while supporting the needs of key customers in technology evaluation and adoption.
The Rochester section of the American Chemical Society next week will honor a Rochester business owner with its 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Michel Franz Molaire founded Molecular Glasses Inc. in 2015, following nearly four decades at Eastman Kodak Co.’s research laboratories. While at Kodak, Molaire received 57 patents, the C.E.K. Mees Award for Excellence in Scientific Research and Reporting, induction into the Kodak Distinguished Inventors Gallery and selection as an African Scientific Institute Fellow.
A native of Haiti, Molaire in 2010 formed Molaire Consulting LLC, which focused on materials and formulations for high technology applications. In 2013, he identified a need for non-crystallizable organic light emitting diodes (OLED) materials that could be used in convenient and cost-effective solution-based manufacturing.
It was that discovery that led to Molaire’s Molecular Glasses enterprise, located at Eastman Business Park. Molecular Glasses recently was one of the 10 companies selected from roughly 100 competing companies in the U.S., Canada and Europe for participation in the 2018 Luminate-NY inaugural cohort, the world’s largest optics, photonics and imaging business accelerator.
Molaire will receive the ACS Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the section’s annual recognition dinner at Nazareth College of Rochester Oct. 2.
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