The Leds America Inc. move to a converted Kingston, N.Y., IBM Corp. campus known as TechCity will add some 100 manufacturing jobs within 12 months, officials said.
The Kingston operation will serve the U.S. and Canadian markets, while the Chinese plant will serve the rest of the world, said Joel Westermarck, chief executive officer of the Jupiter, Fla., company.
Leds is "really taking a bold move" in moving its light-emitting diode technology and manufacturing capabilities to New York from China, but the company "sees value in 'Made in America,'" said Vincent Cozzolino, president of the Solar Energy Consortium, a non-profit Kingston center seeking to expedite the adoption of solar energy in the United States and create a solar research-and-development and manufacturing cluster in New York state.
The move "proves that what we are doing is working," said U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., who has played a key role in expanding the solar-technology sector in New York's Hudson Valley region north of New York City.
Leds will begin prototype lighting-system manufacturing shortly and full production next year, officials quoted by the Mid-Hudson News Network said.
The company announced in July two LED semiconductor technologies intended to replace standard incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs.
A 6-watt LED light bulb with a lumen output equivalent to that of a 60-watt standard bulb will save 90 percent of the standard bulb's energy use and 50 percent of that of a comparable compact fluorescent lamp, the company said.
A 14.6-watt LED light tube that generates the equivalent lumen output of a standard fluorescent light cuts energy use by more than 65 percent and eliminates 40 percent of heat output, Leds said.