Rarely does an opportunity present itself that can positively change the way the world operates.   IGNITE now has an opportunity to do just that. For over 100 years, every construction project has used 110 to 347 volts to power its lighting switches, which in turn powers lights.  Certain levels of voltage can be dangerous.  To an untrained individual, a seemingly simple task of changing a light bulb can result in an accident.

As with many things, there is often a better way, and this is one of them.  With the advent of LED lighting, higher voltages can be exchanged for much lower and safer voltage levels.  LED lighting systems can be designed for 24 volts.  This voltage level is safer because it mitigates the danger of electrical shock. Lower voltage also requires lighter wire. Going to lighter wire saves resources and lowers cost for lighting installation by as much as 50%.

The world has not yet adopted this lower voltage opportunity, but the IGNITE Team has an opportunity to design and implement such a project in a new apartment complex. As it has with other infrastructure initiatives, IGNITE is creating a New Way Forward for lighting in the 21st century.

“Those who disrupt their industries change consumer behavior, alter economics,

and transform lives.”

― Heather Simmons

Congratulations to Wiikwemkoong, an IGNITE member, on its development of a long term energy plan.   Many perceive an energy plan as adopting LED lighting and energy-saving heating equipment.  That is part of it, but a complete energy plan needs to include energy use for other types of infrastructure within a community.


Just replacing lights will save money, but what about the long-term effects on operating costs? IGNITE believes a complete energy plan must review every aspect of how a community or organization operates. This review process inevitably finds opportunities to reduce energy costs and increase efficiencies.  Sometimes operational efficiencies include ways to simplify energy use. Simplification may include finding ways to reduce the number of lighting fixture types.


Through a collaborative process with Wiikwemkoong, IGNITE was able find ways to reduce the community’s use of 100 different fixture types down to less than 50.  Simplification makes maintenance easier and more cost effective because there are fewer spare parts. It also reduces service costs by simply speeding up the service process.  This simple design exercise will benefit the community for many years to come.



“You have to change your thinking if you desire to have a future different from your present.”

― Germany Kent