Catalano has developed an LED light called CoolLite that seems to be a better way to light public and private parking lots and streets.
“LED is in the 5th or 6th generation,” Catalano said. “It’s more appealing (than it once was) to the general public.”
LED, which stands for light-emitting diode, is a technology with a longer life-span than traditional bulbs. Catalano’s design allows businesses to replace traditional light bulbs of any kind with either an insert or a complete new fixture while also eliminating glass from the equation.
“I do inserts for about 70 percent of them,” he said.
Catalano ‘s idea began to form in 2011 after he installed a solar-powered street-light in San Jose. He decided to look into other technologies, learned about LED and took his idea to Cleantech Open, a group that helps fund clean energy startups,
“They really helped me develop the product,” he said.
Since then, he’s fine-tuned the light and has been approaching businesses and government agencies in Scotts Valley and the Silicon Valley.
Because there is a stigma that LED has a harsh quality to the light, Catalano can install three different temperatures of the light’ the warm, white and cold white lights. Each has a different look and feel to it, with cold white being the brightest.
“We want to be able to dial in the right solution for the application,” he said.
Locally, Catalano has installed new lighting systems at The Best Western in Scotts Valley, a business park on Whispering Pines Drive, Boardwalk Bowl in Santa Cruz and a trial light in San Lorenzo Park in Santa Cruz; an area that is often host to homeless encampments.
Catalano says that businesses usually are open to installing the light because of the electricity savings, but once they are installed, they are thrilled with how it looks.
“Once they realize its better light, people gravitate to it,” he said.