2019 40 Under 40: Daniel Lax

Sept. 13, 2019
Daniel Lax, Founder & CEO, Clear-Vu Lighting
  • One word to describe yourself: Driven
  • Alma Mater: University of Pennsylvania 
  • Favorite book: “Shōgun: A Novel of Japan” by James Clavell 
  • Favorite TV show: “Breaking Bad” 
  • Favorite movie: “Scarface” 
  • Favorite hobby(s): skiing, golf and hiking 
  • Fun fact about yourself: I am a proud dad and soccer coach. 
  • Favorite station or stop that you have ever visited or frequent (and why): 57th Street Station (6th Ave) because this is our finest display of subway station lighting in a large project. 
  • Favorite route you have ever ridden or frequent (and why): The 4 train from Brooklyn to Manhattan because I can see our tunnel lights on display! 

About 10 years ago, Daniel Lax started Clear-Vu Lighting as a division of Long Island-based plastic injection molding company, Autronic Plastics Inc. Since then, the company has grown from a concept into a provider of specification-grade LED lighting systems to transit agencies nationwide.

The first product developed by Lax was the LED Portable Lamp Bank, which replaced third-rail powered incandescent temporary and site lighting in subway tunnels. The LED replacement product reduced energy consumption by a factor of 10, improved service life by a factor of five, and eliminated a major risk of fires in the tunnels thereby improving worker safety. Tens of thousands of these units have been deployed since commercial production commenced in 2012.

He has also led the development of an LED-based permanent tunnel light with an integral emergency battery backup and a quick connect system. Variants of this technology have been deployed by multiple transit agencies with the most notable installation about to occur in the L-train tunnel (Canarsie Line) between Brooklyn and Manhattan in New York City, Ny. 

Through a NYSERDA grant, Lax's company will pilot a wireless monitoring system that will provide light fixture health data to the transit network, along with serving as an IoT-sensor network platform.

The company entered the station lighting (entrance/control area/mezzanine/platform) market roughly two years ago, and has manufactured over 20 unique light fixture products that were designed, prototyped, fabricated and deployed across 15 subway stations in New York City during the past 18 months in high profile design build projects under New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Enhanced Station Initiative. 

These fixtures feature best-in-class performance characteristics and an innovative three-step emergency backup system utilizing the DALI protocol.

Lax and his company have pioneered innovative niche applications of LED lighting and associated technologies in the mass transit market, and provided numerous product platforms that have improved the efficiency, operation, maintenance and safety of transit systems across the country. 

“I am an entrepreneur and engineer at heart. Designing, producing and delivering products that will improve the lives and safety of millions of people is what motivates me and brings me the most satisfaction.”

“From monitoring and performing diagnostics on the health of subterranean emergency lighting systems, to providing innovative methods of control, and reporting real time emergency events such as a temperature alarm, this technology has potential that exceeds what we can imagine today.”

“This is an industry that represents the state of our country from an architectural, industrial and technological perspective.  When we are focused and determined as an industry we can showcase the best that our engineers, designers, and contractors are capable of.”