Solar-powered sign in the the spotlight at Lakes Business Park, Laconia, NH

September 20. 2012 1:23AM
Gilford business park in the spotlight with solar-powered sign

Union Leader Correspondent
GILFORD — The board of directors of the Lakes Business Park on Hounsell Avenue decided a little more than a year ago that the park’s entrance sign needed some lighting, but they wanted to do it without a large investment, and without making a sign that would distract passers-by at night.

“We wanted the public to notice the sign in the evening hours without being overwhelmed,” said Tony Ferruolo, a member of the park’s board of directors.

As it turned out, the board didn’t need to look far for a solution. A business in town, Sealite USA at 172 Lily Pond Road, submitted a proposal to the board for a solar-powered lighting system for the sign that fit the bill perfectly.

The new sign is now complete, and the board is pleased with the outcome.

“(Sealite USA) submitted a comprehensive proposal that avoided digging a trench through the pavement and also eliminated the need to pay monthly electric bills, while making sure the lighting would shine throughout the short days of winter,” Ferruolo said.

The Lakes Business Park is a joint venture between the city of Laconia and the town of Gilford. Lots are currently available for commercial development for manufacturing, light industry and professional offices.

The park’s board of directors has six members — three from Gilford, and three from Laconia. Laconia City Manager Scott Meyers and Gilford Town Administrator Scott Dunn serve as staffing advisers to the board along with Carmen Lorentz of the Belknap County Economic Development Corporation.

Sealite USA is an international company with locations in Gilford, Australia and the United Kingdom. The company began manufacturing aids to marine navigation in 1982, like solar-powered lanterns and buoys.

Using ultra-high intensity light emitting diodes, Sealite created a range of products that use low levels of power, making them ideal for solar energy sources with little maintenance needed, said Sealite USA President Mark Goodwin. Sealite products are now used in bridge lights, remote power systems, telecommunications, mining and many other applications.

The new business park sign is powered by electricity gathered from a small set of solar panels a few feet from the sign during daytime hours.

The just-completed business park project represents another application for Sealite products, Goodwin said: municipal lighting.

“Our company was well suited to provide a solution to the Lakes Business Park lighting needs,” he said. “It’s refreshing to actually work on a project like this in our corporate hometown. We look forward to being able to see the results of our labor on a daily basis.”
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