By Linda Scherer
WINSTED, MN Millerbernd Lighting, a division within Millerbernd Systems in Winsted, will have the opportunity to show the lighting industry its custom capabilities when it unveils its winning light fixture from the 2009-10 custom lighting design contest it sponsored last year.
Millerbernd will present the winning light fixture from their “You create we build” contest Wednesday, May 12 at the 2010 Lightfair International in Las Vegas, the world’s largest annual architectural and commercial lighting trade show and conference.
“Through our commitment and our capabilities from the custom standpoint, it was just a natural fit to challenge the lighting designers and the folks in the industry to come up with a unique LED (light emitting diode) based fixture that we would actually design, build, and display,” Mitch Gaida, Millerbernd Lighting national sales director said.
The contest began with inquiries about the contest from around the globe Russia, China, France, Australia.
“It was incredible the response we got,” Gaida said. “The contest took off far beyond my expectations.
To qualify as a finalist, the design had to incorporate LED lighting, metal fabrication, outdoor application, and fit within a 30-inch cube. It also had to look as good during the day, unlit, as it did at night, lit.
It was a time-consuming process for a panel of judges, along with input from LED companies and Millerbernd reps, to evaluate the more than 100 contest entries, and select only one.
FM Carroll of Dallas, TX was the winner with a fixture that highlighted the benefits and flexibility of LED lighting, coupled with an innovative dark sky outdoor design.
Carroll received an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2010 Lightfair in Las Vegas, $1,000 in cash, and potential royalties on the sale of the fixture.
“It was great to create a fixture in an environment that was almost boundless and, as a bonus, aimed at extending LED technology into a technical-edgy and forward-thinking design,” Carroll said. “I’m looking forward to seeing my creation turn into reality.”
Partnered with Lumagine in Burnsville, who made the LED platform and designed the circuitry, Millerbernd Lighting manufactured the final design.
The lighting contest is considered a great success by Millerbernd, with plans to sponsor it next year, too.
Millerbernd Lighting is a fairly new company, established in 2005. In the last 12 months, it has managed to double its sales revenues, and is so confident in its product line, it offers a 20-year warrantee, which is something, “very unique to the industry,” according to Gaida.
Millerbernd Lighting, which is one of a very few companies that specialize in custom lighting solutions, has a number of advantages other lighting companies do not have.
One of its assets is a team of lighting professionals with a combined industry experience of 175 years. The team was assembled from former professionals at Sterner Lighting, a one-time custom lighting business in Winsted.
Another advantage is that the company has 76 years of expertise in stainless steel, with fabrication capabilities.
The company also guarantees to the consumer, all of its components in the complete fixture are manufactured in the USA, with very tight tolerances.
LED technology has become important to the lighting industry, according to Gaida. It has become more efficient, has a longer life expectancy, and is green because of its lack of toxic materials found in other light sources.
“Millerbernd is committed to expanding and embracing the new technology,” Gaida said.
A new offering of Millerbernd Lighting, which partnered with Lumagine of Burnsville, is an LED Retrofit solution for existing street and park post top fixtures.
“We were just up in Fargo two weeks ago and built and designed a mock-up for the city,” Gaida said. “They were able to change out and convert to their existing fixture, an LED in under three minutes. This solution is providing a cost-effective, energy-efficient, green technology that a municipality can utilize in their existing hardware,” Gaida said.
The most recent project completed by Millerbernd Lighting is for the city of Dallas. It is a custom design bowl fixture which sits on top of columns along the walkway of the Northwest Highway Bridge.
Millerbernd Systems supports four divisions
Millerbernd Systems, previously known as Millerbernd Design and Fabrication, provides support and resources to four separate divisions Millerbernd Lighting, Millerbernd Automation, Millerbernd Process Systems, and Millerbernd Laser.
“From a corporate perspective, I focus on all the divisions equally, striving to make each and every one a success in and of itself,” Millerbernd Systems President Brad Millerbernd said.
Millerbernd conducted his interview by cell phone from Madison, WI, where he was making preparations to attend a trade show to display Millerbernd Process Systems’ new line of cheese and dairy processing equipment at the International Cheese Technology Expo the week of April 19.
More than 2,000 representatives from cheese, whey, and butter industries will be attending.
Millerbernd Systems prides itself on being a single-source solution that has expanded its manufacturing facility to more than 90,000 square feet, in addition to adding state-of-the-art, laser-cutting and robotic welding centers.
The company was founded in 1933, by Millerbernd’s grandfather, Carl Millerbernd.
“We are still a family-held business in Winsted and have been for three generations,” Brad Millerbernd said.
“We will continue to grow and expand our business, as well as support the community for generations to come.”