Reliable lighting is often the unsung hero at production facilities with harsh and hazardous conditions. And one California company is on a mission to make unstoppable lighting that not only illuminates these locations but does it while consuming less energy and resources. This is the story of Red Sky Lighting and how they are shaking up the world of harsh and hazardous location lighting.
Facilities such as steel mills, oil and gas refineries, wastewater treatment facilities, or marine shipping all contain uniquely harsh environments. This world of molten heat, deep freeze, combustible gases, chemical baths, salty air, thick humidity, coatings of dust, corrosive fluids, and heavy machinery poses tremendous challenges for maintaining functioning facilities and the safety of personnel, and lighting is a key part of that safety.
Red Sky Lighting began as a small operation in Wisconsin that provided high quality, customized solutions for these kinds of facilities. Its quality products and responsive service helped Red Sky grow quickly in a niche industry with a high entry threshold that requires trust and credibility. Another key factor in Red Sky’s growth was a unique internal structure featuring performance-based small stake ownership incentives that helped foster a spirit of ownership throughout the company.
After only a few years Red Sky began selling lighting to facilities around the world, and by 2023 had moved its headquarters to Rancho Cucamonga, California to better serve both its US and growing list of international clients, especially in Latin America.
Less Leads to More
The continued international growth of Red Sky can be largely attributed to its ethos of cutting waste in every aspect of its business. As managing director Naren Pillai puts it “we work hard to cut out everything that’s unnecessary. We have reduced delivery times to a fraction of our competitors, while our lights have been carefully designed to use less materials and consume less energy.“
Pillai took the reins of the company in 2023 and is tasked with leading it to continue cutting waste will driving more international growth. “We’ve never seen ourselves as reacting to trends in the industry. We want to drive the trends, and as we cut excess while delivering a superior lighting product, we’re setting a new standard for years to come.”
From all accounts, many facilities are in need of stable long-lasting lights. Older facilities in heavy industry, such as metal processing, still use traditional lights not suitable for such harsh conditions and frequently go out without being replaced. These traditional lights are not as bright, have shorter lifespans, and frequently burn out. LED lights designed specifically for harsh and hazardous locations, however, provide long lasting and brighter light that consumes significantly less electricity.
These LED lights can function normally from temperatures between -40oF and 176 oF while being explosion proof, water resistant, and “tough as nails.” These are the lights sold by Red Sky and with the clear benefits they provide to users, their market is boundless.
Lighting the Future
While cutting waste in all aspects of product design, logistics, and energy use has been key for Red Sky delivering on their client’s needs, the company is also motivated by doing its part to address climate change. “With the impacts of climate change looking increasingly serious by the day, we believe every company should be doing what they can to use less resources and energy,” said Pillai. Red Sky’s research and development is focused squarely on this area; how to produce the brightest, most reliable light using the least amount of materials and energy.
Red Sky sees two main industry sectors as key to its short term growth; primary metal manufacturing and wastewater treatment facilities. Both have extensive facilities in North America and are often large facilities lit with traditional lighting overdue for an upgrade to specialized LED lighting.
With its innovative line of lighting products, industry-leading delivery times and service, and dedication to light weight but heavy duty lighting solutions, Red Sky is poised to further its steady climb into the top ranks of the harsh and hazardous lighting industry.