A shift to LED lighting is saving sports teams millions of dollars and improving fan experiences, in large part using products developed and manufactured by Central New York’s Ephesus Lighting. Since 2013, Ephesus lighting has been installed at more than 100 sports venues across the United States and Canada, saving an estimated 45-million kilowatts of energy and eliminating 34,000 tons of CO2 from being emitted into the atmosphere.
Ephesus developed an ultra-high performance LED technology with a patented lens design that is 75 percent more energy-efficient than the metal halide lights traditionally used at stadiums, providing fuller illumination and casting fewer shadows. And at much less cost—the average arena installation reduces energy costs by up to 85 percent, bringing a return on investment in less than five years.
Since entering the sports LED market, Ephesus’ revenue has grown an average of more than 300 percent in each of the last three years. “We wouldn’t be where we are today without SyracuseCoE,” says Joe Casper, who founded the company in 2010 with his wife, Amy.
The Caspers had worked for advanced technology companies across the United States, including Lockheed Martin in Syracuse and Motorola. They returned to Central New York with a vision to translate their combined expertise in semiconductor design and production to develop new energy-efficient technologies in LED lighting. Casper sought out Ed Bogucz at SyracuseCoE, who in turn connected the Caspers to a broad array of resources, including business incubation, potential research and development collaborators, and other services to develop, test, and commercialize their innovative, energy-efficient lighting products.
In 2012, Ephesus won a Commercialization Assistance Program award from SyracuseCoE that enabled the company to develop its own patented LED chip using gallium nitride on diamond. Subsequently, Ephesus developed an LED light for sports arenas that was installed at the historic War Memorial Arena at The Oncenter, home of the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League.
In 2014, Ephesus developed a next-generation light suitable for large stadiums; the performance of the first prototype was tested successfully at SyracuseCoE headquarters in May. The first installation of the new light was the University of Phoenix Stadium, which hosted the Super Bowl in February 2015. That exposure led to a jump in sales. “Ever y new venue will be built with LED,” says Casper, adding that stadium and arena lighting is just one aspect of business. Ephesus has also developed lighting for industrial and commercial use and for broadcasting. And that’s just the beginning.
“The intellectual collisions that happen at SyracuseCoE spawn a lot of new ideas,” says Casper.
In October 2015, Ephesus Lighting was purchased by Eaton Corporation, a global technology leader in power management solutions.