Component Connection

Neon Lighting Is Efficient And Turtle Friendly!?!?!?

Just when you were sick and weary of solid-state lighting versus incandescent versus CCFL and you just want to turn on a light, any old light, just to find your way to the bathroom, another contender enters the alternative lighting arena: NEON. That’s right, you read right, neon. But it’s really not for you folks, it’s for, now get this, turtles.

Just last month, Florida based TBSS International, Inc. bought Velella International Lighting Inc. and now owns that company’s patents, inventory, and molds for what it deems a highly efficient and environmentally-friendly neon lighting system. Dubbed Velella Lighting Systems, these neon components were not created for the windows of bars and pubs or the marquis of movie theaters and other playhouses. They were made for the benefit of nesting sea turtles.

For those of you, myself included, who are not sea-turtle savvy, these creatures normally nest in the darkness of night. They do this to protect themselves from overheating and predators. Essentially, it’s a survival instinct and if anyone has the right to nest in the dark it would be the sea turtles. I would just pull my head into my shell for a bit of darkness, but what do I know.

So in a place like Florida with miles of beachfront, you end up with turtles all over the place at night. And as a result of the never-ending heap of laws, mandates, rules, regulations, and other well-meaning harassments, beach resorts and waterfront homes are prohibited from using flood lights, which would impede nesting. So in essence, if you are a beachfront-home owner, you won’t be able to see home invaders but your sea turtles will be safe in the dark. In response to this dire situation, the TBSS company believes that the market for turtle-compliant lighting on beachfront properties, marinas, hotels, and residences will be humongous. Enter the neon-based Velella Lighting System.

TBSS is launching a pilot program to see how effectively its energy-efficient neon lighting system performs. The system does meet the specifications required by the Turtle Conservation Coastal Lighting Regulations, and you can’t go wrong there.

As per TBSS, the Velella Lighting System offers certain advantages over LED lighting. The company claims, unlike LEDs, Velella Lights are non-corrosive, have up to a 28 year lifespan vs. up to four year Limited warranties for comparable LED products, and Velella Lights are competitive or lower in price than LED alternatives. And the self-generated accolades continue: Velella Lights use less energy, give off no heat, and, dig this, are physiologically more comfortable to the human eye, reducing eye strain and possible damage caused by harsher LED light illumination.

I hope you’ve noticed something unique in TBSS’ claims, yes? Ah! They’ve apparently addressed every complaint levied against LED, SSL lighting. In other words, Velella lighting is cheaper, lasts longer, and is easier on the eyes, all while keeping out precious turtles in the dark and out of the soup. Sweet deal! Bold, radical, and downright courageous.

Not to leave us humans out there nesting in the dark, on January 24th TBSS completed the design of commercial lighting for offices and outdoor path lighting. The company's design promises to maximize visible light while minimizing power consumption. The Velella Lighting System operates from a patented 12-Vdc supply, meets or exceeds UL requirements, and, again, will allegedly be brighter, safer, and cheaper to operate than its LED counterparts. Volume production of 2' x 4' lay-in fixtures will begin soon.

For more details about TBSS International, Inc., visit and, if you want to get in touch with your inner turtle, you can learn more about coastal lighting via the Coastal Roadway Lighting Manual.

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