Company

Carmanah signs agreement with frog

U.S. firm will design next-generation solar light products
Thursday, July 16, 2009

Carmanah Technologies will have a global heavy-hitter design its next generation of solar-LED area lights.

The company announced yesterday it has signed an agreement with frog design inc., a global innovation firm based in San Francisco that has produced designs for companies such as Apple Computer Corp., Disney, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and Sony.

Carmanah plans to launch its standalone solar lights, intended for streets, parking lots and pathways, at some point next year. No timetable or financial terms were disclosed.

The president of frog design said she is looking forward to the challenge. "Exploring the possibilities for the next generation of solar powered lighting is an exciting design challenge," said Doreen Lorenzo. "Alternative energy solutions are a big part of the future of the field of innovation. We're excited to be partnering with industry leaders like Carmanah."

Frog has more than 400 designers, technologists and analysts who work across a broad spectrum of industries, including consumer electronics, telecommunications, health care, media, education, finance, retail and fashion. It has studios in Austin, Tex., New York, Seattle, Milan, Amsterdam, Stuttgart and Shanghai.

It is an independent division of Aricent, a global technology and outsourcing company focused on communications. Aricent is owned by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., Sequoia Capital, The Family Office, and Flextronics, the last of which took over all of Carmanah's manufacturing last year when the company closed its Saanich plant to cut costs.

Carmanah said it will put its 20 years of developing self-contained solar-LED lanterns and beacons for the marine and aviation industries into its new product. The company says solar-powered area lights help businesses and communities introduce outdoor area lighting wherever it's needed, without trenching, cables, grid access or a monthly utility bill.

Carmanah has deployed more than a quarter of a million units and its products have a reputation for durability and dependability in some of the world's most challenging environments.

Chief executive Ted Lattimore said Carmanah is committed to introducing a trend-setting design that incorporates the benefits of today's photovoltaic, LED and lighting technology for "this significant new product."

"With solar energy more attractive than ever, I believe our technology is fast approaching the tipping point between industry innovation and widespread acceptance," said Lattimore. "Thanks to the amazing capabilities of today's solar-LED technology, solar-LED lighting can offer convenience without compromise -- as an affordable, high-performance alternative to traditional wired systems.

"Today's high-output LEDs produce more light for less power, so batteries, panels and support structures can be smaller and lighter than ever before," added Lattimore.