HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) - A lakeshore company is helping bring brighter days to the state's economy. Holland-based Solar Street Lights USA makes a product that can't be found anywhere else in the state and the company says its even saving people's lives.
"It's energy saving and it's good for the economy," says Lynn Truchn, President of Solar Street Lights USA.
The company uses solar energy to power street lights.
"In the evening, we are not charging and the charge controller knows it's dusk and turns the solar light on," says Craig Brumels, engineer for Solar Street Lights USA.
Brumels created the company with his wife in 2007. Its product is now sold all over the U.S. and distributed in more than 25 countries internationally.
"A lot of developing companies are going to solar lighting because they don't have the infrastructure for conventional fossil fuel generation," says Brumels.
The solar lamps are not only used for recreational purposes but also for safety. In fact, the company says in other parts of the country the lights have saved many people's lives.
"We did a job in rural southwest Texas and they were having a lot of fatalities on very remote intersections. They put up solar lights because they couldn't bring conventional power in and since then they've had no fatalities," says Brumels.
"They're in police headquarters, we do government jobs, our lights are in malls and parking lots," says Truchn.
The company has 10 hard working Michigan employees, who strongly believe they're making a difference.
"I know everything we make is improving things a little bit," says employee Josh Foreman.
"Morally, I think it's the right thing to do get off of fossil fuels," says employee Dave Boes.
"When they say the sun doesn't shine, that's not true, it always shines in Michigan. It may be a little gloomy at times, but it always comes back out," says Truchn.
Solar Street Lights USA says it's four times bigger now than when it started in 2007. The company believes that will lead to more hiring soon.