Home Cool Company Awards 2011 Meet Brightgreen, Anthill 2011 Cool Company Award Finalist

Meet Brightgreen, Anthill 2011 Cool Company Award Finalist [Innovation Category]

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What are the Anthill Cool Company Awards?

The Cool Company Awards were launched in 2006 as a way for Anthill to acknowledge and celebrate Australian organisations that are doing things differently to bring about positive change. Cool Companies stay one step ahead of the rest. They breed leaders who are rule-makers and rule-breakers. They are trend-setters in attitude and action. Quite simply, they are … cool! More.

Brightgreen

Company: Brightgreen
Website: brightgreen.net.au
State: VIC
Category: Innovation

OK, first we need to tell you that Brightgreen is a Melbourne-based company that specialises in energy-efficient LED lights. Founders/brothers David and Barry O’Driscoll say they’ve concocted lights that have the same brightness as a 50-watt halogen bulb, but with 15 times the lifespan.

Now, in the interests of never letting a cheeky moment pass, we feel compelled to share the brothers’ answer on the Cool Company application to this question: How could you describe the personality of your product?

If Brightgreen was a person he would be named Gustav. Gustav is smart, cheeky, well-educated, relaxed, friendly, modest, good-looking and successful. Gustav would ride a bike to work, always be willing to help out a mate and enjoy pints at the pub on the weekend.

Brightgreen, ladies and gentlemen.

The less-personified version of the company is working hard to revolutionise the lighting industry by offering LEDs that match their halogen comparatives (and beat their competitors). Brightgreen says their 10.5-watt DR700 boasts twice the luminosity of the Philips 10-watt LED. That means residential and commercial spaces can replace standard lighting with devices that use a quarter of the original’s needed energy.

The company’s products grew out of designs David O’Driscoll developed in his home garage. Today, Brightgreen, founded in 2008, employs more than 10 people in its Collingwood office.

Brightgreen has three product lines. Two of them — the D900 Curve and D900 Cube series — are aimed at new residential and commercial spaces. The Retrofit DR700 series offers lights that replace bulbs in existing properties. The life expectancy of a Brightgreen light is somewhere around 70,000 hours, compared to 2,000 for an incandescent bulb.

The company says it also owns an edge over the compact fluorescent lamps — the common energy-saving alternative — because LEDs don’t have the hum, flicker and inconsistent brightness issues CFLs have.

“All of Brightgreen’s lights are designed in Australia and built for the Australian climate, eliminating any fire risk and offering 100% peace of mind,” the brothers write.

The brothers are well-aware that, with products expected to last up to 30 years, they won’t enjoy the planned obsolescence the standard bulb manufacturers enjoy. Not a problem, they say; this is the direction their industry is going, and they’d rather be at the head of the pack.

As for the “green” part of the business, Brightgreen estimates the lights sold so far have saved nearly 129,465 tonnes in carbon dioxide emissions. That’s the equivalent of the annual emissions made by 5,913 people.

Brightgreen combines a relaxed office atmosphere (“casual Friday exists throughout the week”) with an aggressive marketing strategy (trade shows, public relations, print advertising, direct marketing and website promotion). The company also is working aggressively to protect its property — several copies of the D900 lights have popped up. Brightgreen says IP Australia found in favor of the company and issued a certificate of registration. Brightgreen is taking legal steps to recover all the copies.

Overall, Brightgreen is confident that they’re on the leading edge of their industry.

“With the gradual phasing out of 50-watt halogen and incandescent lights and the Building Code of Australia’s new regulations of only 5 watts per square meter, LED lighting is set to increase dramatically in both the Australian and international markets,” the O’Driscolls write.

“It’s fantastic to be part of an Australian company that is leading the market and creating world first products which, like all great ideas, began in a garage.”

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