Oklahoma LED is lighting the future – Tulsa World
By Lesa Jones May 15, 2015
Ideas are often compared to that of turning on a light bulb. For Josef Schrader, president of Oklahoma LED, the idea was a light emitting diode, also known as LED.
Schrader recounts flying over Tulsa and seeing the lights of the city.
“I knew I wanted to be in the LED business because the market is going to explode,” Schrader said. “When I look down from a plane and see the lights, I know one day, every light I see will go to LED.”
The world is full of incandescent lighting. LED is the next technology that will be replacing every single light bulb on the planet.
“When I read some statistics that said less than five percent of the world had high efficiency lighting, which does not include LED, I thought, ‘Wow, what an incredible opportunity!” he said.
In 2012, LED was a $90,000 million industry. It is expected to grow to more than $50 billion by 2020.
Three years ago, Schrader read an article about LED that intrigued him and helped him see the potential in the market. The Oral Roberts University graduate had been in the advertising business most of his life. But, he sold his shares of his advertising business and invested in time for research.
“An opportunity like this comes around once in a 100 years, once in a lifetime,” he said. “It is technology that is replacing 100 percent of the [current] technology.”
The company’s biggest project to date is the Promenade Mall, 4107 S. Yale Ave., with nearly 4,000 lights upon completion of the three phase project.
Oklahoma LED representatives go into each project by counting every single bulb and adding up the wattages. They then convert the total wattages to kilowatt hours, and then go to LED products and see how they can maximize energy savings.
The Promenade Mall project will begin Aug. 1.
“We are doing all of the parking lot poles with new brighter and whiter fixtures,” Schrader said. “It will be a night and day transformation.”
The Promenade Mall is currently buying more than 4 million kWh [kilowatt hours] at eight cents a kWh,” Schrader said. “When the project is complete, it will only take 1.1 million kWh to light this place. It is a 72 percent reduction in lighting energy.”
By converting its 3,824 lighting fixtures to LED, Promenade Mall will have a positive impact on the environment. Over the next 10 years, it will equal: 37,850,239 pounds of CO2 removed, equal to 28,388 trees planted or 2,294 cars off the road. It will also mean 62,050,202 gallons of water saved from the power plant and 2,838,759 pounds of acid rain (SO2) removed.
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Schrader says the mall operators currently spend approximately $30,000 per month for electricity for the lighting his company is improving. He estimates the cost will be about $7,500 per month when the project is complete.
Oklahoma LED also provided lighting and design for three Warren Clinics in Tulsa and Broken Arrow.
Tim McNulty, vice president, Warren Professional Building Corporation, said the decision to use LED lighting was easy because they use less wattage, less energy and the lamps last longer than traditional lamps. This type of lighting also adds versatility in design.
“We had a unique situation here,” McNulty said. “We are not experts on LED lighting, but Joe actually did a lot of research for us. He helped educate us and he did a lot of the legwork on the project. He shot straight with me and was very honest.”
Oklahoma LED is a family-owned, Tulsa based business with three years invested in research in the industry.
“We’ve visited manufacturing plants, we just got back from a big plant in Houston and toured the facility,” Schrader said. “Other people don’t do that, but we are positioning ourselves as LED experts and we have the facts to backup what we know.”
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