Case Study
  • In 2010, Independence LED moved its Light Emitting Diode (LED) manufacturing from China to Boyertown, Pennsylvania.
  • Independence LED has created jobs, increased product quality, doubled the average warranty length and reduced total costs.

Independence LED is a leading U.S. manufacturer of award-winning high-efficiency LED tube retrofit kits and fixtures that replace the less efficient fluorescent tubes, troffers, parking garage fixtures and industrial high bays that dominate commercial lighting. The company has installations across the Fortune 100, from Morgan Stanley to MetLife, and in the public sector as well. Independence LED has patent filings in over 40 countries and provides a 10-year warranty that is the strongest coverage on the market.

Bringing Production Home

The vast majority of global lighting, whether the traditional kind or the new Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology, is currently manufactured in China. Independence LED used to do the same thing – it built products in China, relying on inexpensive labor to keep its products low-cost. In 2010, Independence decided to move its LED manufacturing back to the United States, for reasons that included both profits and patriotism.

A Win-Win Situation

By moving manufacturing back to the United States, Independence created American jobs, reduced total costs through advanced automation and proximity to a large portion of its customers, and has reported increasing its product quality, as indicated by the decision to double the average LED warranty (up to 10 years). Its operations are located in the greater Philadelphia area – centered between Washington, DC, and New York City – with easy access to markets up and down the East Coast, but also some of the highest cost of electricity in the U.S. With a growing national and international sales network, Independence educates its customers to look into their own lighting product total cost of ownership. Just as the total cost of production pushed Independence to produce lighting in America, they argue that total cost of ownership should push consumers to buy American-made fixtures.

Since Independence's decision to reshore their production, they have worked with the Department of Commerce's Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). In 2012, MEP sourced Independence as a candidate for supplying a firm in the United States that wanted to buy American. MEP also helped Independence connect with the ExporTech program, which has aided them in identifying and planning to double their business through a contract award in Eastern Europe.

Last updated: 03/16/2018 - 15:09

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