Update: Mia Antonia from T-Bar contacted me, stating: “We are currently adding a company profile to our website. JLC-TECH was founded in 2010 by Silvio Porciatti, who has nearly 20 years experience in the international lighting industry. JLC-TECH is based in Pembroke, Massachusetts. Our products are all made in the USA.”
I came across this startup on the web: T-Bar LED Smartlight. I haven’t seen the product in person, but this is one of the first commercially available products that is integrating lighting directly to the support bars of a dropped ceiling system. Founder Silvio Porciatti’s public profile also lists him as the North American head of the optics firm Khatod, along with a background primarily at Targetti.
Why do I care? First, there are a couple of my design colleagues from Color Kinetics that had developed and wanted to pursue this concept…seven years ago! It is such an elemental concept to economically reuse structural metal pieces for LED thermal dissipation. So it is nice to see someone finally launching something in this direction. Second, even though the first project images are showing examples of the typical, North American El Cheapo 2×2 tile system, I think the potential for design innovation in this space is huge, especially with better designed, larger-panel ceiling systems. I think you will see lots of companies — both lighting companies and ceiling companies looking to break into the lighting space — releasing products in this market space in quick succession.