Focus on Manufacturing: The Lighting Quotient

By:  Scott Whipple
The Bristol Press

WEST HAVEN — The Lighting Quotient Inc., a woman-owned, second-generation family manufacturer of sustainable lighting products, has been named U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy’s “Monday Manufacturer.”

Founded in 1977, Lighting Quotient designs and manufactures industrial lighting applications for businesses, roads, bridges, airports, and other uses with an emphasis on energy efficiency and social and environmental responsibility. The manufacturer adapts existing technologies and invents new tools to meet changing energy codes and stricter sustainability goals.

The Lighting Quotient’s “Elliptipar” and “Tambient” products are distributed to domestic and international customers and are in use at well-known sites including the White House, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington; the Olympic Visitors Center and U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.; the CN Tower in downtown Toronto; and Grand Central Terminal in New York.

These products maintain a commitment to American manufacturing by using local materials and working with more than 100 other Connecticut companies to produce their products.

Allison Schieffelin Walker, daughter of founder Sylvan Shemitz, is chairwoman and CEO. She has been instrumental in the company’s rebranding effort as it sets its goals.

“Innovation was at the core of Sy’s spirit,” Walker said. “It’s no different today as we work to keep the company competitive and relevant in [the current] lighting landscape.”

Walker says that, everywhere she travels, she meets people who care deeply about products being manufactured in the state and creating jobs in Connecticut.

“Momentum is building and the time is imminent that state government and all of Connecticut manufacturing stakeholders draw a line in the sand and not allow more of our manufacturing power and economic health be taken out of state,” she said. “It’s our mission to keep good manufacturing jobs here in Connecticut.”

The Lighting Quotient participates in programs with CONNSTEP, the New Haven Manufacturers Association, the Materials and Manufacturing Teachers Institute, and many other educational programs to attract current manufacturing students to work in Connecticut.

The company initiated a student scholarship program, named for its founder Sy Shemitz and administered through the Illuminating Engineering Society. The program is designed to help aspiring lighting designers, engineers and architects get the training and certifications they need.

“For 38 years, The Lighting Quotient has supported countless Connecticut companies and hundreds of local families, all through their commitment to buy local and to buy American,” said Murphy. “During my visit to the facility in West Haven last week, it became clear that all of their investments — whether it’s advanced training for current employees, scholarships to help new technicians launch their careers, or research and development of more efficient technologies — The Lighting Quotient is on the cutting edge.”

Murphy says manufacturing plays a crucial role throughout Connecticut, creating new jobs and accelerating the state’s economic recovery. Today, Connecticut’s 4,602 manufacturers account for 10.2 percent of the state’s jobs and 87 percent of the state’s total exports.