Permlight forms sign lighting division, hires top managers

May 21, 2008
As part of its long-term plan, Permlight will now be organized into two operating groups: one focused on sign lighting products, and the other on LED-based technology for luminaire manufacturers.
Permlight, an LED lighting and signage manufacturer, has created a new division, Permlight for Signs, focused exclusively on the signage market, while still retaining its other activities in the lighting market.

Michael Keddington, who recently joined Permlight as co-CEO, said that the company's strategic long-term plan is to become the world’s leading provider of LED-based light engines for the general illumination market, including channel letters and signs, luminaires, and other application segments.

"In order to accomplish this, we are organized into two operating groups, one focused on sign lighting products, and the other focused on LED-based technology for luminaire manufacturers."

Keddington said that Permlight has been in the sign-lighting products market for 10 years and has sold more than 8.5 million LED lighting modules for the illumination of channel letters and signs.

"Three years ago, we entered the luminaire market segment and have already sold millions of LED-based light engines built into award-winning light fixtures. ... Both markets are important to the future of Permlight."

There are many important differences in these two markets (signs and luminaires), said Keddington, including terms and techniques used to measure the quantity and quality of light delivered by LED-based light engines.

"[However], we have demonstrated an ability to leverage engineering resources, expertise and our deep patent portfolio, as well as our purchasing volume, to deliver the best, brightest and most affordable LED-based lighting solutions,” he concluded.

Permlight for Signs' patent portfolio covers critical technology issues such as thermal management for light engine modules. This technology allows the LED chip to be directly attached to an isolated metal-core PCB to reduce heat generation and module size and, ultimately, total module cost.

With LED technology rapidly replacing neon in most channel letter applications, sign manufacturers and distributors need energy-efficient, non-toxic signage lighting that shine brighter, last longer and are more affordable.

Permlight recruits new executives

In other news, the company has made several additions to its management team. Joining CEO Fernando Lynch is Michael Keddington as co-CEO, Mike Bremser as CTO, and Sam Inman III as executive chairman of the board of directors.

“We have added an incredible amount of engineering, sales, marketing and executive business talent to the Permlight team to enable our next phase of growth,” said Lynch. “Permlight has been a leading provider of LED technology for 12 years, and we continue to make technological strides to advance the industry. Our new team members — each with vast industry experience and a proven track record of creating and enhancing profitable growth — will help us bring this technology to market in the most effective and positive way for our channel partners and, ultimately, our customers.”

Keddington joins Lynch as co-CEO, and will spearhead sales, marketing, finance and human resources. He brings more than 20 years experience in executive leadership positions with world-class technology companies, including Intel, Symantec, Oracle and Viking Interworks. He also brings a clear focus on the development of world-class channel partnerships and has been responsible for more than $1.6 billion in revenue through third-party channels.

Bremser brings more than 13 years technical experience serving in various divisions of the compound semiconductor industry, including capital equipment, lasers and LEDs. Previously at EMCORE Corp., he was instrumental in the production of InP devices by multiple metalorganic chemical vapor disposition (MOCVD) reactors used in the manufacture of devices for end customers including Comcast, Time Warner and Cisco. Bremser also was a technical reviewer and program auditor for the US Department of Energy's Solid State Lighting Program. He holds a doctorate in materials science and engineering from North Carolina State University.

Inman, a 36-year veteran of the computer industry, has served in a variety of senior management positions, including president of the IBM PC Company, COO of Ingram Micro, chairman and CEO of Centura Software, and co-CEO of Viking Components. Inman joined the Permlight board of directors in June 2007 and was elected executive chairman in April 2008. Inman also currently serves as president and CEO of Comarco Inc. and sits on the boards of Comarco, ChannelNet, and Sun Foods. Inman has been honored as a “Director of the Year” by The Forum for Corporate Directors, which recognizes directors who demonstrate the highest levels of transparency, independence, accountability and leadership on behalf of their shareholders.