Make It in Brooklyn: Wavelength
May 31, 2022
How often do you think about lighting? For Wavelength, a Downtown Brooklyn startup focused on energy efficient lighting retrofits for building owners and tenants, the answer is “always”. Wavelength is changing the approach to lighting for commercial spaces - designing and installing energy saving alternatives to traditional incandescent lighting systems.
Wavelength is accelerating the transition to energy efficient lighting in offices, schools, museums, retail spaces, and more. The mission of the company is to reduce the energy consumption of New York City buildings; a timely endeavor considering New York’s nation-leading climate targets for improving energy efficiency includes: 70% of the state’s electricity is produced by renewable energy sources by 2030; 100% zero-emission electricity by 2040; and 85% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Wavelength has projects across New York City and particularly enjoys working in Brooklyn. With 2.3 billion square feet of commercial space in the NYC metro area, all of which will have to comply with Local Law 97, to meet new energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions goals the team sees no shortage of opportunity.
As with most businesses, Wavelength’s work was disrupted by Covid-19. In the light of this experience, Wavelength explored ways in which they could aid the business community in resuming operations. They started by installing UV-C lighting — a disinfectant that inactivates viruses and bacteria, to help office-based businesses return sooner.
As businesses get back to the office, there has been a lot of focus on reimagining the workspace and how people use it. This shift in mindset has created more opportunities for Wavelength. The team mentions that one of the first things businesses want to change when revamping their office space is lighting, one of the simpler fixes that makes a noticeable difference to workspaces.
Michael Hennessy, Wavelength’s Brooklyn-based founder, started the organization by going door-to-door to local retailers and installing lighting himself. Wavelength has since expanded to take on larger, more complex commercial projects, from Barclays Center and Yankees Stadium to Etsy and New York Magazine’s offices.
When the Wavelength team isn’t at NYU Urban Future Labs office or out in the field, you can find them at Xi’an Famous Foods, or Dos Toros after work enjoying a bite. Wavelength not only enjoys the Downtown Brooklyn food scene but sees themselves continuing to grow in Downtown Brooklyn: their team, their office, and the clients they serve. Wavelength has retrofitted millions of square feet and is well on its way to its 100th project.
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