Industry Professional

A Guiding Light

When you think about the security industry, what is the first technology that often comes to mind? If you said video, you are correct. Video surveillance has been the market’s bread and butter for years, and it is only growing stronger.

According to a 2016 report from information company IHS, the video market is expected to grow 7 percent in 2016. About 66 million network cameras and 28 HD CCTV cameras will ship globally this year. Video technology features like HD, analytics and storage will continue to dominate the conversation about what’s needed to create the ideal end-to-end solution.

One component that is often excluded from the video discourse, that deserves more consideration, is lighting. Without good lighting, there is no video. Edwina “Eddie” Reynolds realized this important fact and decided to build a company on this verdict.

“No law officer or security guard wants to watch a video feed or look at a screen shot that is dark and unintelligible,” said Reynolds, who is CEO and president of Iluminar Inc. “It is the same reason why we wouldn’t take a photo without a flash in a dim environment. Lighting is crucial to every industry that uses cameras, but this established truth has not been adopted in security. It’s time the industry changes this.”

In addition to the lack of awareness about the importance of lighting for surveillance, Reynolds also said that the integrated security cameras, cameras with built-in infrared (IR), don’t provide enough exposure. These fixed lights have narrow angles, which result in only partial coverage of the subject matter and a less than ideal image. Additionally, integrated lights yield inconsistent illumination, creating hotspots and attracting insects, which obstruct the camera view. These incorporated lights also have shorter lifespans and when they burn out, the integrator either has to replace the entire camera or add on a separate illuminator.

Determined to address these issues and deliver a solution to the market that would improve video capture, Reynolds founded Iluminar, with her partner, Joni Hamasaki, in 2009. The manufacturer specializes in IR and white light illumination as well as license plate recognition (LPR) products.

Getting Started

Before Reynolds launched Iluminar in 2009, she had years of security experience in video, risk management and lighting to bring to the table. After an initial security job recommendation from a high school friend, Reynolds began her security career as an account executive for UK integrator, Chubb Fire & Security in the mid-1990s. She later worked for Pinkerton Security before moving to Rainbow CCTV. It was during her time at Rainbow, a prominent lens manufacturer, that Reynolds first began her education in lighting. Reynolds then briefly worked for Sony Electronics as a regional sales manager before returning to Rainbow to run several national accounts. In 2005, Reynold launched a U.S. partner business to a UK CCTV lighting manufacturer and spearheaded the company until 2008. In 2009, she moved on to found Iluminar. Reynolds’ extensive resume proves she is a true security industry veteran, and all of her experiences influenced the technology and customer service values she instilled in Iluminar.

Iluminar’s Technology

“When it comes to lighting technology, I am proud of what Iluminar has accomplished, Reynolds said. “Our line of products offer longevity, durability and economy for covert security operations.”

The company’s line of IR and white light illuminators feature the latest highefficiency Osram LEDs that consume a minimal amount of power. The illuminators are enclosed in an IP67 weatherproof housing, so they can endure harsh weather environments. All lighting products are available in a variety of angles, from narrow to panoramic, providing optimal coverage. With the use of an optional remote control, the end user can also remotely manage the LED light intensity, photocell sensitivity and timer functions of Iluminar’s lighting products.

Currently, Iluminar’s IR919-PoE-2 series is in particularly high demand. This group of long-range IR illuminators is powered by Hi-PoE and is available in wavelengths of 850nm or 950nm at distances up to 919 feet. Additionally, the WL643-PoE-2 series is also a popular option because the long-range white light illuminators act as a natural crime deterrent and allow for a color picture 24/7.

Reynolds is not only interested in developing great products, but also deeply cares about providing education on the specification and installation of lighting. For this reason, she recently launched a certified, one-to-one training program on the how’s and why’s of LED lighting. Reynolds personally leads these online sessions, available to all for free, where she delves into the background, strategies and tactics for good lighting. This example just goes to show Reynolds’ dedication to providing the best services and resources to her customers.

Overcoming Obstacles

One important fact to note about Iluminar is that it is the only security manufacturer owned by two women who are of a minority ethnicity.

“As an African American woman, it hasn’t always been easy to work in the security industry,” Reynolds said. “However, I believe that the industry is becoming more aware and starting to address these issues. In the meantime, I am committed to doing my part by participating in thought leadership opportunities, sharing my story and leading Iluminar to produce the best LED solutions in the industry.”

Through Reynold’s leadership, Iluminar has grown to become an industry leader in strategic lighting. Today, the manufacturer is a lighting solution partner for market leaders like Axis Communications, Milestone, Sony, Arecont Vision and Johnson Controls, to name a few. The future is bright for Iluminar as it continues to deliver optimal lighting that ultimately accounts for a more effective, total security solution.

This article originally appeared in the June 2016 issue of Security Today.

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