Channelbrite is Shining Bright

Channelbrite is Shining Bright

Permanent Outdoor LED Lighting System Offers Plenty of Promise as Exciting, New Franchise Concept.

Roland, IA, March 13, 2008 --( Jerry Handsaker, a lawyer-turned-entrepreneur, is not only a thinker, he's a doer. Twice now, Handsaker has found creative solutions to everyday problems and founded a couple of companies along the way.

The first - Innovative Lighting, Inc., - was founded in 1993 as the indirect result of a scary experience Handsaker had a few years before when he found himself on an unlit boat with friends at dusk on a busy lake on a Fourth of July weekend. It inspired him to design a motorized light that could be raised and lowered from the boat's controls like a power antenna. When no other manufacturer would license the concept, Handsaker started his own company to make the lights.

Now, the 57-year-old Handsaker is at it again, this time inspired by the annual hassle of time and money that Americans across the country endure when they put up their holiday lights.

In May 2007, Handsaker founded ChannelBrite, an innovative franchise concept that installs Permanent Outdoor LED Lighting Systems that blend in seamlessly with a home or commercial building's trim. Both the franchise concept and the lighting system are the only one of their kind in the world.

Requiring a one-time installation, the ChannelBrite LED-based system remains on a home or business year-round. LED light strips are contained within a railing system that matches a home's trim and blends in seamlessly, while also ensuring that the light strips remain perfectly straight and uniform. A programmable pattern controller that can be located indoors or outdoors controls the speed, pattern and color of the lights.

However, with commercial installations expected to comprise 60 to 70 percent of revenue, ChannelBrite is not only for Christmas and other holidays. Because LED lights are extremely safe and 90 percent more energy-efficient than traditional incandescent lighting, they are well-suited for year-round commercial use by car dealerships, banks, shopping areas, storefronts, car washes, downtown main streets and more.

"We have a very unique product that can't be found anywhere else," said Brian Flynn, ChannelBrite's vice president of franchise sales and development. "LED lighting not only offers tremendous benefits over incandescent lighting in terms of energy consumption and service life, but the ChannelBrite Lighting System solves many problems inherent to the residential and commercial markets."

ChannelBrite is backed by the experience and industry success of its sister company, Innovative Lighting. Since Handsaker founded the company, it has expanded to other markets and today Innovative Lighting is recognized as an industry pioneer and leading manufacturer of LED lighting products.

Handsaker expects to find the same success nationally with ChannelBrite, which can be run as a home-based business with an affordable initial investment ranging between $36,500 and $79,000. The franchising program was launched in July 2007. Besides operating a company-owned franchise in Roland, ChannelBrite has two other franchisees in Dakota Dunes, S.D. and Des Moines, Iowa.

The company is targeting 20 major metropolitan markets across the country for growth and expects to add 12 to 15 franchises in 2008, eventually growing to 150 franchisees by the end of 2010.

The impetus for ChannelBrite originated in late fall 2000, when Handsaker relocated Innovative Lighting. The holidays were nearing and though many of his neighbors in the development where Handsaker had moved had put up their lights, Handsaker was consumed with setting up his new plant and hiring employees. He did manage to put up a few holiday lights, but they fell short of his neighbor's expectations.

The following year, however, Handsaker's ingenuity took over. He secured some small LED lights to curtain rods that matched his home's trim and attached the rods along his home's roofline. At night, the lights not only looked great, they were perfectly straight and uniform. And because the curtain rods matched the home's trim, the lights were barely noticeable during the day.

"I got such a joy out of going out, flipping the light switch and watching my neighbors scramble," Handsaker said with a good-natured laugh. "I had people stopping and wondering how I got my lights so uniform."

Handsaker realized from the onset that his idea had business potential. He used the resources of Innovative Lighting over the next several years to further refine the product, buoyed by research that showed time-starved Americans were willing to pay for such a service.

"There was a significant research and development expenditure," Handsaker said. "But I went The concept is suitable for both major metropolitan and smaller secondary markets."

The passage of a new energy bill that mandates increases in the energy efficiency of light bulbs by 30 percent - effectively phasing out most common types of incandescent light bulbs by 2012 - proves that the opportunities for ChannelBrite extend far beyond simply being a new twist on holiday lighting.



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