October 1, 2016 – The Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission (TRRC) recently awarded the Center for Advanced Engineering and Research (CAER) a $1.36 million research and development grant at their meeting in Wise, VA on September 20, 2016. This grant will be used to support the research and development activities of LiteSheet Solutions LLC, a privately held light-emitting diode (LED) company that produces the world’s most efficient AC Direct LED light engine. With the support of TRRC Phase I grant funding over the last 3 years, LiteSheet has opened a UL/MET and ETL certified manufacturing facility in the Little Otter Industrial Park on Forest Road, just outside the Town of Bedford. Bedford, VA and begun hiring employees. It has developed, commercialized, and generated revenue on 11 UL Certified interior lighting product families (representing over 120 products), all of which are DesignLights Consortium (DLC) compliant. With this new Phase II funding, LiteSheet will continue this work to develop exterior lighting products, advance the company’s IP technology further, install an additional manufacturing line, and move the company to a new building with more capacity for growth.
With the success of LiteSheet’s initial project in developing technology for product lines that have mainly focused on interior commercial-industrial applications both private and municipal customers have requested exterior lighting including street light cobra heads, parking lot lights, and exterior fixtures for buildings. LiteSheet’s technology provides a 50-year life span with significantly higher energy efficiency; the total cost of ownership is dramatically reduced to the customer. LiteSheet’s adaptive AC Technology is 30% more efficient than conventional LED technology reducing energy costs. In addition, labor costs to change/maintain the fixture are eliminated reducing liability from employee injury in maintaining the fixture. When extended to a street light for a busy street in a city, changing a light bulb becomes a more costly proposition—closing the street, renting/use of a scissor lift or bucket truck, insurance, permits, workers’ comp, the list of savings goes on and on.
“The CAER and Del. Kathy Byron from the Tobacco Commission have been great partners and without their assistance none of this would be possible,” stated Roger Whyte, CEO of LiteSheet. “This additional funding will allow us to continue to expand our product lines and to grow our presence in the region.”
“LiteSheet is an innovative manufacturer that represents the future of their industry”, said Delegate Kathy J. Byron, who chairs the Tobacco Commission’s Research and Development Committee. “They are exactly the type of firm we should be attracting to our region, bringing the jobs that will strengthen our local economy and provide more opportunities for our citizens.”
About The Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission
The Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission is a 28-member body created by the 1999 General
Assembly. Its mission is the promotion of economic growth and development in tobacco-dependent communities, using proceeds of the national tobacco settlement. To date, the Commission has awarded nearly 2000 grants totaling more than $1 billion across the tobacco region of the Commonwealth and has provided $309 million in indemnification payments to tobacco growers and quota holders.