Long-Awaited Regulatory Milestone Opens New Markets for Carmanah
Vancouver, BC, Canada - (December 16, 2003) - Carmanah Technologies Corporation (TSX VE: CMH; Berlin and Frankfurt Stock Exchanges: QCX), is pleased to announce that on December 8, 2003, the U.S. Coast Guard enacted a long-awaited regulation that will allow private aids-to-navigation (PATONs) to use light-emitting diodes (LEDs), versus incandescent light bulbs. Tens of thousands of PATONs in the U.S. will now be allowed to use Carmanah's solar-powered LED lights as a low-cost lighting alternative.
"This U.S. Coast Guard endorsement of LED solid state lighting marks a watershed in marine lighting equivalent to the shift from kerosene to electricity in the last century," states Carmanah's CEO, Art Aylesworth. "Carmanah is leading the market with a range of LED lights that already meet the new standards. In fact, we have been perfecting these lights for years for U.S. federal navigation aids and other marine applications."
Carmanah began building solar-powered LED lights for the U.S. Coast Guard's federal aids-to-navigation in 1999. PATONs, however, include all marine navigation aids owned and maintained by bodies other than the Coast Guard, including other branches of federal government, state and municipal governments, corporations, small businesses and individuals. These "private" applications account for more than half of the aids-to-navigation registered in the U.S.
The new rule, effective March 8, 2004, will replace the requirement to use tungsten-incandescent bulbs in PATONs with a performance-based standard that will allow the use of LEDs.
LEDs have many advantages over regular bulbs. They burn for up to 100,000 hours, about 20 times longer than the best incandescent bulbs, and use up to 90 percent less electricity. Also very durable and compact, LEDs are ideal for the demands of marine navigation lighting. The new regulation notes that LEDs "may reduce the consumption of power and simplify the maintenance of PATONs".
"Final approval to use LEDs in PATONs has been a long time coming," states Carmanah's Marine Division Manager, Mimi Drabit. "We have already proven our technology by meeting the strict regulatory standards for federal navigation aids. Now we can also serve the larger consumer / private aids market with LED solutions that are less expensive and more durable than traditional lighting with the added incentive of being maintenance-free."
What sets Carmanah's technology apart is its MICROSOURCE(tm) integration technology - a combination of sophisticated, patented micro-electronics and software that control power storage and LED output for optimum performance at the least possible size and cost. MICROSOURCE(tm) enables Carmanah lights to be installed virtually anywhere and operate maintenance-free for years. For more information, please visit Carmanah's new marine lighting web site: www.solarmarinelights.com.
Carmanah is an award winning alternative energy manufacturer specializing in patented solar-powered LED lighting solutions for the marine, aviation, transit, roadway, railway and industrial worksite markets. The Company has more than 70,000 units installed in 110 countries. The shares of Carmanah Technologies Corporation (parent company) are publicly traded on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol "CMH" and on the Berlin and Frankfurt Stock Exchanges under the symbol "QCX". For more information, please visit www.carmanah.com.