LittleFootprint Lighting: Most Inspirational Exhibitor at Greenbuild 2011

LED Task Lamp

An LED Task Lamp Made Totally in the USA by LittleFootprint Lighting

My feet still hurt from the back-and-forth, back-and-forth trek from the north and south halls of last week’s Greenbuild conference at the Toronto Canada convention center.  These two large exhibit halls were separated by a walk that I’m guessing is somewhere between a quarter and a half mile walk, a trip I made about 24 times over a 3-day period.

Despite the indoor geography, I’m still happy that I attended this year and I’m excited to share what I saw, starting with the exhibitor and product that inspired me the most: LittleFootprintTM Lighting.

The California-based company makes just one product, the HeronLED task lamp.  The design is simple, elegant, and loaded with personality.  Clearly, as the name suggests, nature was the inspiration but the manufacturer didn’t stop there.  The construction of this birdlike lamp speaks volumes about LittleFootprint Light’s commitment to sustainability.

A Recyclable LED Lamp, Made from Recycled Parts, All in the USA
Here’s what makes the HeronLED and LittleFootprint Lighting the “real deal” as far as Greenspiration Home is concerned:

  • It’s made in the USA.  The lamp itself is totally made in California, from injection molding to assembly of parts.  Even the LED light bulb is made in Vermont.  (FYI, finding US-made lighting of any kind is all but impossible, much less LEDs.) Only a few internal components are sourced from outside the US.
  • It uses just a fraction of the energy when compared with an incandescent light.
  • The LED light bulb, which should last 15 to 20 years, is easily replaceable.  It does not contain lead and can be disposed of safely and easily.
  • The lamp body is made from recycled plastic materials taken from e-waste.  The recycled material is sourced from a company in Richmond, California, just a few miles from where the lamp is made.
  • The lamp base is made from 70% recycled scrap metal.
  • The lamp itself is recyclable.
  • Even the packaging, which is also made in the USA, is made from 100% post-consumer recycled material.

Sustainable Yet Competitively Priced
But the real story is the pricing of this lamp, which is comparable to similar task lights you might find at Pottery Barn – which, by the way, are not LED lights and have little if anything to brag about when it comes to being green.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love Pottery Barn as much as any other woman with a space to furnish and decorate.  It’s just that this lamp combines style and sustainability at a competitive price, and that’s not easy to find.  Believe me; I’ve tried.

Finally, there aren’t any roadmaps (at least not that I am aware of) for companies looking to achieve this level of sustainability story in the manufacturing of a new product.  It’s not something that happens easily or overnight.  It takes time, money, initiative, and research. I’m sure when I talked to LittleFootprint’s CEO, Nancy Wahl-Scheurich, I only got an abbreviated story of all that went into the development of the HeronLED.  I don’t think a company sticks its neck out that far without a real passion for doing the right thing.   Sort of makes you want to buy one, doesn’t it?

I hope you do.  I’d like to see this company stick around.

Learn more about Littlefootprint Lighting and watch a video of their inspiring story!

 

12 Responses »

  1. Nancy,

    I want one! You promised me one!

    Better still … need an Australian representative?

    David :-)

  2. You can see where and how the plastics were recycled by watching the following new TED talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/mike_biddle.html

  3. I will definitely look for one or go on their web site. (added to my fav’s)
    Bob

  4. You must be nuts to pay 145.00 for a light you can get for 10.00 at Walmart

    • JMS, I suppose some people would agree. But then again, their are plenty of people who will pay $500.00 for a pair of shoes, when others won’t pay more than $45.00. Some people wouldn’t think of paying over $1000.00 sofa. Some people wouldn’t look at one that was less than $10,000.00. This product is not at all out of the range of a mid to high end lamp.

      • Most of those products Americans buy at Walmart aren’t made in the USA because we want really high salaries when we work, but we want to pay something like $2 for a bath towel made by foreign workers at Walmart. We’ve put ourselves out of work! It’s worth paying the price tag on this lamp to invest in our own country’s economy. My two cents.

        • If you want to know how I really feel about this topic, read my post from this morning on the Greenspiration Home Facebook page here.

        • I couldn’t agree more. It is beginning to appear…and is my hope…that we as a society are slowly but surely stepping away from our ‘throw away’ mentality and are ready to invest in quality craftsmanship and consumption with a conscience. Let’s hope the economy can improve soon to help support the movement.

  5. I agree with Trish that the pricing is reasonable and honestly, I tell my readers that when there are moving parts (electricity moves through those wires), they don’t want to mess around with sub-standard quality … and while I’m usually referring to ceiling fans and toilets, it’s always true that you get what you pay for You can buy a cheap light at Walmart and replace it in 5 years … or you can buy a quality light for $100 and use it for 50 or more years.

    PS Trish, I’d also add to your list of benefits that you’re getting a piece of art in the design, which is why you’ll keep this task light if only for it’s beauty.

  6. I think as part of a signature light on a desk in a living room or work desk that gets alot of use, would be ok…I’m the kind of guy that would take a year to buy the right $3k bike, but would have problem, including my customers, paying this price!

    Not in todays ecomomy anyway.

  7. By the way..it didn’t cost $145.00 to build that light…I think we are kidding ourselfs, that evan made in America products, can rip us off. Nothing personal!

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