Businesses could save 75pc on electricity through LED lighting

18 Jan 2011

An Irish technology company with R&D offices in Seoul is winning key deals with firms like Tesco to deliver made-to-order LED (light emitting diode) solutions.

Headed by former Last Word researcher Cian O’Flaherty, Frontline LED has an R&D office in Seoul, a sourcing office in Busan South Korea and a branch office in Taipei.

“The light comes from a LED chip that emits white light – like you would see on an Audi car – and this can run for 75pc less in cost than a standard light,” said O’Flaherty, who spent the past year at the R&D office in Seoul.

“In an era when everyone is paying more for electricity, these lights are the answer and can run for five or six times longer than standard lighting. We envisage a crucial market for LED lights in streetlights and flood-lit arenas.”

O’Flaherty said the company is focusing primarily on the commercial business and manufacturing markets, as well as hospitals.

“So far, Tesco Ireland have installed LED lighting in eight of their stores,” he said. “As well as this, the Health Services Executive (HSE) is installing them in a number of hospitals.”

Among the projects that Frontline is researching is the use of ceramic tiles powered by LED. “We have a LED lighting panel, which is effectively a ceramic tile built by the team that built LED TV.”

O’Flaherty said Cork Institute of Technology, which has installed the LED lighting, will save €200,000 over the lifetime of the lights or 4m tons of CO2 emissions.

Reducing CO2 in line with Climate Change Bill

He said that in light of the Climate Change Bill. Ireland could easily achieve its CO2 reduction charges by switching to LED lighting.

O’Flaherty explained that Frontline takes the orders in Europe and manufacturing providers at four facilities in Korea would build the systems to order.

“One of the products to emerge from our R&D efforts is a 90-watt unit aimed at the food and clean-tech industry that would shave 75pc off their lighting costs.

“For example, if food companies used fluorescent lighting and if one of those bulbs were to smash, all the food would have to be dumped because of toxic gas and glass shards. LED is a cleaner and more affordable alternative,” O’Flaherty concluded.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years