News : Seeing the Green Light

Oct 16, 2012

From Coastal Home

By Jim Cavan

When Congress passed the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which spurred the phasing out of incandescent light bulbs beginning in 2012, it prompted plenty of questions. How much more expensive would compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) or light-emitting diodes (LEDs) really be? Are they safe? Can they be purchased as easily as standard bulbs?

In the past few years, as these green alternatives have had the spotlight turned on them, there have been affirmative answers to these mostly scientific questions. With shelf lives far exceeding those of incandescent bulbs, CFLs and LEDs are becoming more popular for both commercial and residential applications, with the resulting boom making their once steep price tags less expensive.

As for aesthetics- that is, how well energy efficient alternatives can mimic the warmth, glow, and appeal of incandescent bulbs- many still wonder whether true lighting beauty rests squarely in the eyes of the beholder.

But if Cynthia Regnier has anything to say about it, those eyes should not be able to tell the difference. A certified lighting designer at Rockingham Electric in Newington, New Hampshire, Regnier has worked for 15 years in the field. She spent the last five at the family-owned business, one of the Seacoast’s foremost specialists in lighting products and design for more than six decades.

Begun by Louis Porrovecchio in 1951, Rockingham was sold seven years later, quickly growing under its new ownership. Rockingham’s steady growth and increased recognition was dealt a devastating blow on the night of December 28, 1968, when, during a particularly harsh blizzard, a fire broke out at the company’s Portsmouth headquarters. Within hours the building, along with the inventory, company records, cash, and accounts, were gone.

Desperate for a new place from which to start fresh, Jim Pender- Rockingham's former president, current woner, and father of current president Jim Pender Jr.- soon settled on a five-acre farm plot in Newington, right next to the General Sullivan Bridge, where the company resides, and thrives, today.

To read the full article, pick up the autumn edition of Coastal Home at local newsstands.