Lighting the lawn

Solar solution allows for illuminated signs
 - 
Wednesday, August 1, 2007

CARLSBAD, Calif.--Lance Dean said he was on vacation last year when the idea came to him for illuminated security lawn signs. One year later, 400,000 units of LiteWatch have been sold and "there are a lot more on order now," said Dean.
"It came to me that it's kind of crazy to spend a lot of money to protect your house, but you can't see the lawn sign at night, when 'deterrent' is the name of the game," he said.
Dean is the owner of Fallon Products. He's been in the industry for many years, most recently having worked for Honeywell for 10 years. After he thought of the idea, he made a few samples of an LED light--powered by solar rechargeable batteries--that would fit on a yard sign stake.
"I showed it around [to some security companies] and one company even wanted an exclusive on it," he said.
Dean decided to sell all the intellectual property rights to Advanced Bridging Technologies and the product was launched in April of this year. Kevin Slatnik, president of ABT, said his company specializes in wireless devices primarily for the consumer electronic marketplace as well as wireless security and lighting devices (search "Unlocker" at www.securitysystemsnews.com).
Slatnik knew Dean, and when shown the product, "we were very impressed with what we believed was the market potential for it," he said. "It seems to fill a unique niche and have broad appeal."
"We've had a great response," Slatnik said. "I think we've had interest from all the major players in the industry." Indeed, the product web site www.Litewatch.com, features signs for several major security companies.
Dean said one of the reasons security companies like LiteWatch "is because they get the advertising at night ... it's like a billboard," he said.
Mike Shirley, regional general manager for Interface Security, a super-regional security company, said it's his sales people who are really excited about it.
"We're using it as a re-sign bonus for customers who have finished their contract ... and as a promotional piece to encourage people to sign up for automatic checking." Shirley, who runs the Texas division of Interface, said he tested the product in his division and now the company is rolling it out across the country.
"I think in years to come, it will be as common as a yard sign," he said.
Dean is still involved in the sales of the product and says he's working on "more cool ideas."