While working in his family's plastic molding business making traffic signals and LED crosswalk lights, 31-year-old Daniel Lax decided to start a new division that would make jobsite lighting units for subway track work and construction.

Last fall, Clear-Vu Lighting of Westbury, N.Y., landed its first two big sales. Together with the city's power authority, the New York City Transit Authority has tested 24 light banks, which take power from the subway's 600-volt, DC-current third rail. It ordered 500 units—with 3,500 more orders possible—to illuminate worksites in tunnels.

The other important sale is with Skanska USA. The manager of one of the company's projects in Boston halted installation of conventional lights on a 201,000-sq-ft museum renovation and expansion project at Harvard University and switched to Lax's 24-volt, DC-current LED Flex Site Lighting System. Skanska's Paul Davey says he is recommending that his firm make the LED jobsite lighting system its worldwide standard.

"It's tremendous," says Davey. "Here in the Northeast, the electrical contractors are old school and not too receptive to change, but the guys love these things. It's awesome because of the simplicity of installation—and no maintenance."

Three months later, Davey says, the lights no longer draw many comments, except from the masons, who love the way they reveal details of the work. But no news is good news, Davey says, because people usually complain a lot about worksite lights.

Unlike the typical job lighting systems for larger spaces—100-watt, 120-volt incandescent bulbs mixed with 400-watt metal, 120-volt halide lamps—Lax's job lights are easily connected strings of rugged 40-watt, 24-volt LED bulbs, 15 ft on center. At night, they can be programmed to dim to eight watts. Light pollution and energy consumption are greatly reduced.

The Harvard project is expected to take two years. With conventional lighting, the electric bill was expected to reach $395,000. Operating the LED system is expected to cost $45,000.