By Taylor Nicole Richards

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PennGlobe CEO Marcia LaFemina with new “smart light” lamp.

Marcia LaFemina is proud of the profile she’s built for her company, Pennsylvania Globe. Their mission is designing and manufacturing energy saving and sustainable lighting for municipalities and universities as well as other indoor and outdoor venues. Other than directly contributing to global energy reduction, LaFemina is proud of the makeup of her staff.

“We’re a growing company that’s women and family owned. We work hard to take care of our employees and hire the unemployed and underemployed. Our employee structure is what pushes us forward,” said LaFemina.

Penn Globe has only 16 members but is responsible for frequent large-scale projects, like replacing old lights to more energy-efficient fixtures at universities like Harvard, Brown, Quinnipiac, Princeton, and UConn. The company recently completed the retrofit lighting project at the Harvard Business School. The lighting on the campus was outdated and under-performing, with a combination of many styles of lanterns that all needed to be fully re-lamped and repositioned for LEED certification. 

“With so many needs on this lighting project, Harvard found it nearly impossible to find a single source manufacturer that could both refurbish and produce new lighting at the same time. Penn Globe was able to take a full inventory of all the lighting products and not only refurbished existing lighting, but also manufacture new lighting with sustainable stainless steel while preserving the historical visual image that Harvard works hard to preserve,” according to their case study on the project.

Penn Globe offers three kinds of light induction and replacement services: PennSTAR, PennAVATE, and PennTROL. PennSTAR is their general LED lighting replacement service that is maintenance free and has over 50,000 hours of lamp system light. This service is used for outdoor fixtures. PennAVATE is their retrofitting option that allows clients the choice of a vintage-style fixture while upgrading to a more energy and cost efficient fixture. PennTROL is their outdoor HID lighting option that’s designed to eliminate glare and light trespass.

Energy consumption drops considerably after Penn Globe replaces fixtures, according to LaFemina. Their engineering team is driven by reducing wasted illumination, light pollution, and conserving energy. All of their products are assembled in North Branford.

“It’s important to us that we’re taking a serious global responsibility and we’re able to contribute to sustainable, energy-saving practices around the country,” said LaFemina. “We’re reducing footprints from our clients. It has the additional benefit of reducing light pollution.”

The next project for Penn Globe is called PennSMART IoT lighting systems. The company is starting to work with clients on not only updating the light fixtures on existing outdoor lamp posts, but adding discreet security features as well.

“We’re taking the existing real estate of the outdoor lights and introducing everything from surveillance cameras to other kinds of data collection to meet the transportation and security markets. We’re also looking to upgrade posts for cities, neighborhoods, and schools,” said LaFemina.

The security cameras will be hidden within the light posts, close to where the bulb rests so pedestrians can hardly see it. The PennSMART technology, designed by Penn Globe engineers, goes further than typical surveillance systems and provides unlimited customizable plug-and-play options to suit the needs of each client. The company is reducing energy with their new service by using the same post location for both lighting and surveillance.