Local manufacturer designs LED lighting equipment for NASA

Vancouver-based EnviroLux Energy Systems recently completed work on the lighting equipment for the new Launch PAD at NASA Kennedy Space Center

Courtesy of EnviroLux

EnviroLux Energy Systems, a manufacturer of made-in-USA LED lighting products based in Vancouver, recently completed a year-long project designing and manufacturing the lighting equipment for the new Launch PAD at NASA Kennedy Space Center. Not long after the completion of the project, the newly designed Artemis Space Craft was moved to the Launch PAD.

Founded in 1989, the company’s primary focus today is the design and custom manufacturing of LED lighting application solutions for the aerospace industry, according to EnviroLux CEO Terry Grover. These include NASA, ULA, Lockheed Martin, NAVY, Army, Air Force, as well as many large- and small-scale commercial entities.

“We have heavily invested into new automation technology over the last five years to be able to produce high-end semiconductor Circuit Board designs, which allow us to be extremely vertically integrated,” Grover said. “Whereas we maintain a made-in-USA presence and focus, 99% of our industry has always relied too heavily on importing finished goods from China and simply redistributing poor quality LED lighting products, which are prone to failure in as little as one year.”

Grover said that the company’s made-in-USA business model is now highly sought after, from both the federal and commercial sectors, because of their quality, quick design and build capabilities, accelerated delivery times and excellent domestic customer service.

“The demand for our products will continue to grow annually, which is reflective in our significant annual growth the last three years,” he said. “The demand for ‘made-in-USA’ will stay consistent, while importers of finished goods from China will have to continue their absorption of import tariffs, as well as deal with ongoing supply chain issues, causing month long delays to their customers.”

In 2016, in search of a made-in-USA manufacturer of LED lighting equipment, Grover said NASA reached out to EnviroLux to develop customer outdoor Amber LED luminaires to replace their existing non-energy efficient incumbent lighting technology, which was comprised of high-intensity discharge arc tubes. Grover said EnviroLux designed custom Amber LED circuit boards that they could utilize in their standard commercial lighting housings, allowing NASA to start retrofitting older lighting fixtures as they failed, and no replacement parts were available for.

The Artemis Space Craft. Courtesy of EnviroLux

“The challenges were to develop an LED design that was safe for wildlife but also provide adequate nighttime security at Kennedy Space Center, as well as give employees at NASA ample light output at nighttime to be able to disseminate the mobility of large spacecraft throughout the premises, as well as other heavy equipment,” Grover said. “People do not realize that Kennedy Space Center is five times the geographic size of Manhattan.”

Grover said the most demanding request to date was when EnviroLux was commissioned to design and manufacture the LED lighting towers to illuminate the new Launch PAD at Kennedy Space Center in 2020. The new Launch PAD is designed around the Artemis Space Craft. The Artemis stands 322 feet tall and needed to be fully illuminated for the upcoming historic launches, which will be filmed for current and future generations to view on the likes of the Discovery and History channels for years to come.

EnviroLux was also asked to develop a lighting system for the deep space vacuum chamber silo, which descends several stories underground and was built in the 1960s to simulate the effects of deep space on newly designed spacecraft. In addition, EnviroLux has also designed the entire lighting system for the Mars Rover facility, which was completely custom designed for safety and the proper illumination for a facility height of almost 100 feet. The company also designed the custom LED lighting systems for the two Mission Control centers.

“Additionally, we designed and lit up the nuclear SUB station on NASA premises, as well as designed custom lighting for the Space Craft Crawler vehicle and Vehicle Assembly building, which is the largest building in North America, and actually has its own atmosphere on the inside, because it is so big,” Grover said.

Locally, Grover said EnviroLux has done numerous projects. They upgraded much of the Port of Portland exterior, as well as numerous commercial buildings in the area, many of which he said are several thousand square feet. Nationally, Grover said they have designed fixtures for most of the Harley Davidson locations, Tyson Foods, Simmons Foods, Trident Foods, ConAgra Foods, Saint Louis Airport, Jacksonville Florida Airport, Baltimore Ravens Stadium and countless other commercial entities.

NASA’s Artemis Space Craft will be launched on Aug. 29 with live coverage on the NASA.gov website. This will be a test flight, and in 2024 the Artemis Space Craft will take a man and woman to land on the moon.

Joanna Yorke is the managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal. She has worked in the journalism field since 2010 after graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. Yorke worked at The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground for six years and then worked at and helped start ClarkCountyToday.com.