Super Bowl victory for EDA innovation accelerator: Regional cluster shines with game-changing LED lights

This year’s Super Bowl featured an epic game on the field, a stunning halftime performance, and—high in the rafters—a pioneering new lighting system that was developed with assistance from an EDA award for regional cluster development.

The next-generation LED lights that lit Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium were developed by Ephesus Lighting, of Syracuse, NY. Ephesus developed its new lights specifically for outdoor stadium sport venues with partnership support from the Advanced Manufacturing in Thermal and Environmental Controls (AM-TEC) program. AM-TEC was awarded EDA funding under the 2012 Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge; it supports an emerging industry cluster in New York’s CenterState region.

Ephesus Lighting is a shining example of the AM-TEC project’s vision for fueling growth and jobs in the region. The firm’s stadium lights achieve dramatic reductions in energy and maintenance costs, and improve experiences for athletes and spectators. And they’re raising the bar for high-quality sports lighting demanded by professional and collegiate venues.

In 2010, company founders Joe and Amy Casper, created a company that envisioned translating their combined expertise in semiconductor design and production to develop new energy-efficient technologies. That vision resulted in a new company that targeted high-performance LED lighting. They tapped a broad array of resources available to start-up companies in New York State, including business incubation, research and development collaborations with area universities, and other services to develop, test and commercialize their innovative, energy efficient lighting products. In partnership with AM-TEC project partners led by the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems (SyracuseCoE), Ephesus Lighting demonstrated the first outdoor stadium prototype LED fixture using the SyracuseCoE headquarters facility as the testbed.

To date, Ephesus lights have been installed at more than 100 sports venues across the U.S. and Canada. At University of Phoenix Stadium, home of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, 312 Ephesus fixtures replaced 753 metal-halide lamps, using 75 percent less energy and providing full illumination instantly, in contrast to the 20-minute warm-up period required by metal-halide lamps.

With the support of EDA and others, Ephesus Lighting and its collaborators in New York’s AM-TEC cluster have demonstrated the benefits of leveraging regional assets and strengths, addressing new markets, and accelerating development of innovative, game-changing products. For more information about Ephesus Lighting, visit To learn more about the AM-TEC regional cluster project, visit

Central to SyracuseCoE’s mission, vision, and purpose, the SyracuseCoE Innovation Ecosystem encourages and funds collaborative projects that develop new environmental and energy systems products and services. Focusing on clean and renewable energy, indoor environmental quality, and water resources, these projects improve built and natural environments—the places in which we live, work, learn, and play. Grants are offered for targeted research, demonstration, and commercialization. In addition, SyracuseCoE outreach activities educate the public and the workforce—a crucial aspect of the green and clean technology sector.

SyracuseCoE members leverage world-class R&D facilities, including the SyracuseCoE headquarters, the Building Energy and Environmental Systems Laboratory (BEES Lab) at Syracuse University, bio-fuels facilities at SUNY-ESF, full-scale wind turbine testing operations at Clarkson University, and more.