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LEDs give entrepreneur a bright idea for new business Print E-mail
Written by Jef Hatch, Pilot staff writer   
May 03, 2010 10:05 am
Mitch Valentine, seated center, with his crew at Radiantz Hardcore Lighting.
Radiantz Hardcore Lighting claims to have the brightest light-emitting diode (LED) on the market.
All it takes is a single look into one of their LED arrays and a person might be inclined to agree.
Owner and president of the company, Mitch Valentine, once promised himself that as soon as a “white” LED was introduced to the market, he would quit whatever job he was doing and start building and designing LED products.
Valentine started his company in 1998 and located his warehouse and manufacturing site in Anaheim, Calif. Living in Irvine, he decided that the commute and the traffic were too much to take anymore and started looking for a new location.
Through some contacts on the Wild Rivers Coast, and upon the recommendation of his good friend and business partner Ray Runyan, Valentine decided to relocate to Brookings in September 2006.
Valentine grew up in El Centro, Calif., located close to the Glamis Dunes, and spent a large amount of his free time driving sand rails and enjoying the dunes.
Upon graduating from California Polytechnic State University with a degree in engineering, Valentine wasted no time in putting his degree to work for him.
He noticed that the standard tail-lights on his sand rail would constantly go out from the extreme shaking associated with driving off-road. Instead of constantly paying for replacements, he designed his own tail-lights out of LEDs and never looked back.
“I noticed that the look of the LED taillights made my rail stand out from all of the others and thought that there had to be a business opportunity in making custom LED arrays.”
Shortly after starting his company, his work was noticed by a couple of Harley Davidson motorcycle owners. As word of mouth grew he was eventually featured in an Easy Rider magazine article on customizing motorcycles.
He patented a flexible LED array and his work is featured on almost every motorcycle created by Orange County Choppers which utilizes LED lights.
Faced with a tough economy, Valentine does not limit his business to just motorcycle enhancements. Instead, he branches into any area where LEDs might be helpful.
His work has been used in architectural features, including at Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nev., and Nicholas Cage’s California home.
Valentine’s work can be seen locally at O’Holleran’s Restaurant and Lounge. Their recent remodel put to use extremely bright LEDs set in glass blocks to give a very distinct look to the building both inside and out.
He is currently working with the designer of a DNA sequencing machine to provide cutting edge light for a bleeding edge product.
“We make the best stuff in the world,” Valentine said. “We offer a lifetime guarantee, because it is the best stuff in the world.”
Currently Radiantz employs seven people to design and build custom LED arrays, handle Internet orders and run the business.
The business is not open to the public, except by appointment, but examples of their work can be seen at In-Motion Graphics located at 1102 Chetco Avenue.
Radiantz Hardcore Lighting can be found on the web at http://www.radiantz.com, or they can be contacted by calling 541-469-7462.
 

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