Monday, November 28, 2016

Trans-Lux Corp. (TNLX) is Helping America Flick the Switch to LED Lighting

LED (Light-Emitting Diode) lighting is brightening the homes, offices, factories and public spaces of America. A report from ResearchandMarkets (, issued last month, estimates that the U.S. LED market is set to grow at a CAGR of 8.8 percent from 2016, reaching $8.9 billion by 2022, with as much as half of this growth coming from general lighting. And America is just the beginning. As the world switches from incandescent and fluorescent lighting, the market to replace these legacy systems globally is set to grow even faster. This forecast growth is lighting a bright future for Trans-Lux Corp. (OTC: TNLX), a premier global supplier of engaging LED-based digital display and lighting solutions.

The first lights powered by electricity appeared in the mid-nineteenth century. The arc lamp, invented by Humphry Davy, worked by allowing an electric current to ‘jump’ between two close, but separated, carbon electrodes. The arc of luminous ionized air that resulted provided a bright light. By the late nineteenth century, Edison and others were working on ways to develop incandescent bulbs, which issued light when electricity passed through a filament. In 1904, the adoption of incandescent lighting accelerated after the introduction of tungsten filaments. By the 1930s, however, fluorescent lights were making their debut, and, by the 1950s, they were everywhere. Now, after reigning for over a half a century, fluorescent lighting is about to be deposed by LEDs.

LEDs use semiconductors to convert electricity into light. Their rise to the top of the lighting pecking order stems mainly from their “luminous efficacy”, i.e., their efficient use of power. A light bulb’s efficiency is a measure of emitted light (lumens) divided by the power it draws (watts). A bulb that is 100 percent efficient at converting energy into light would have an efficacy of 683 lumens per watt. To put this in context, a 60- to 100-watt incandescent bulb has an efficacy of 15 lumens per watt, an equivalent fluorescent tube has an efficacy of 73 lumens per watt, and current LED-based replacement bulbs on the market range from 70-120 lumens per watt, with an average efficacy of 85 lumens per watt.

Trans-Lux is certainly playing a part in guiding America through its transition to LED. This is a company that has been innovating since 1920, known globally as a leader in indoor and outdoor digital signage, scoreboards, and lighting solutions for numerous industries, including commercial, education and sports markets. Trans-Lux product offerings fall into three broad categories: scoreboards, video displays and LED lighting.

The LED systems that Trans-Lux designs, manufactures, distributes and services are programmable in real time. They can be fashioned to meet the digital signage needs for a venue of any size, whether indoor or outdoor, and have found application in the financial, banking, gaming, corporate, advertising, transportation, entertainment and sports markets. Trans-Lux lighting fixtures save energy and offer a comprehensive range of the latest LED lighting technologies. This provides private facilities and public infrastructure with “green” lighting solutions that emit less heat, save energy and enable creative designs.

The company recently filed its latest 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2016. Although it managed quarterly revenues of $5.9 million and income of $140,000 ($0.05 per share), performance was down compared to the third quarter of 2015. CEO Jean-Marc Allain, former president of Panasonic System Solutions, attributed the lower revenues to logistical issues.

“In the third quarter, construction of our new state-of-the art manufacturing facility in St. Louis and the coordination of several facilities has impacted deliveries. However, we fully believe that when complete, our new manufacturing base will provide great and sustained returns and efficiencies. We are confident that shipments that were delayed in third quarter, will be delivered in fourth quarter,” Allain stated in a recent news release (

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