LightLab International Allentown Celebrates its Grand Opening

Nov. 13, 2015
Allentown, Pennsylvania — On Thursday, October 22nd, founders Mike Grather and Tracy Silvert celebrated the grand opening of LightLab International Allentown LLC, an ISO-certified photometric testing laboratory located at the Bridgeworks Enterprise Center in Allentown. The grand opening marks the culmination of nearly eight months of work involving construction, equipment installation and laboratory certification. LightLab International Allentown is ready to perform certified photometric testing on lighting bulbs and fixtures.

“We are excited to be completely through the process of getting the lab set up and accredited,” said Tracy Silvert, Chief Operating Officer. “We are ready to start providing quality testing services for our clients who have been patiently waiting to send us work.”

LightLab International Allentown will specialize in photometric testing and certifying LED lighting products, both in the form of replacement lamps and more complex fixture applications. Lighting fixture manufacturers need certified labs to perform tests to ensure that quality assurance specifications are met, such as energy efficiency, color, and lumen output. Additionally, in order for a manufacturer to sell certain lighting products in the US, they are required to be labeled with certain performance metrics and meet certain energy efficiency requirements. LightLab International Allentown is fully accredited and ready to provide these services.

“There are much broader applications for LEDs than there were for incandescent or compact fluorescent bulbs,” explains Grather, President of LightLab International Allentown. “Not only are we seeing the proliferation of replacement bulbs, but more complex luminaires are being created for interior and street lighting. The increased demand for these new lighting options has also increased the demand for testing services to validate their performance claims.”

Grather and Silvert are no strangers to this industry and moving into the Bridgeworks Enterprise Center, the business incubator program managed by the Allentown Economic Development Corporation, is almost a homecoming for them. The brother-sister team spent nearly 20 years in the building with their previous venture.

When the Bridgeworks Enterprise Center was launched in 1989, Luminaire Testing Laboratory (LTL) was the very first company recruited into the fledgling program and Grather was one of the company’s first employees. A few years later, Grather purchased the company from its founder and continued to grow the company over the next 13 years. The company grew to employ nine people and had $2 million in revenue annually. Silvert joined LTL in 1999, managing the lab’s overall operations. In 2010, Grather was approached by an international certification company and ultimately decided to sell LTL and exit the business.

Subsequently, Grather joined the Advisory Committee of the Bridgeworks incubator where he served as a volunteer adviser to both AEDC and their client companies. He also stayed active in the lighting industry by consulting and speaking on photometric testing. Grather saw the opportunity in the marketplace with the transition to LEDs gaining momentum. In late 2014, Grather and Silvert approached AEDC with the idea of starting a new photometric testing lab in the Bridgeworks Enterprise Center.

“This is the story every business incubator looks for,” said Anthony Durante, program manager for AEDC. “We are bringing back an entrepreneur who had successfully grown and exited a company that originated in our program. The team is back because they know firsthand the benefits of being part of a program like ours.”

“There are a lot of resources here that you wouldn’t otherwise have as a small business,” Grather said, as he and Silvert noted the assistance they have received with the lab fit-out, along with the availability of amenities such as conference rooms, meeting space and a variety of business resources available to startups at the incubator. “Plus, there is a big change in the collaborative atmosphere here. There is an extra, renewed vibe about the place.”
About LightLab International Allentown LLC

LightLab International Allentown LLC is an independent photometric testing laboratory located in the Bridgeworks Enterprise Center in Allentown, PA. It is an affiliate of LightLab International (Brisbane, Australia), which provides testing and calibration services, equipment manufacturing, and software distribution internationally. There are currently offices in Brisbane, Australia, and Phoenix, AZ.

LightLab International Allentown will be an ISO-accredited photometric testing laboratory that provides testing services for the lighting industry primarily for the North American market. Typical products for testing would include bulbs (replacement lamps) and lighting fixtures (luminaires) for use in interior, outdoor, parking area, roadway, and floodlighting applications.
About the Allentown Economic Development Corporation
AEDC is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to a mission of identifying, encouraging, developing and managing strategic business opportunities for the benefit of Allentown, its citizens, and the Lehigh Valley. Its goal is to improve vacant and underutilized properties by assisting manufacturers, business owners and entrepreneurs in obtaining the resources and opportunities they require for success in the City of Allentown. AEDC offers access to financing and incentives, assistance with brownfield remediation, and support for growing businesses within the City.

Over the course of its 26-year existence, the Bridgeworks Enterprise Center, founded in the refurbished Mack Trucks Plant 4A in 1989, has helped launch more than 50 companies in Allentown that have created more than 300 jobs. It is a member of the Ben Franklin Business Incubator Network. Today, the Center is home to Architrep, ColdEdge Technologies, The Colony Meadery, County Seat Spirits, HiJinx Brewing Company, JH Plastics, LightLab International Allentown, MTS Ventures, Netizen Corporation, Polymer Contours and Zzyzx Polymers.


LightLab International Allentown