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Lighting manufacturing energizes Oklahoma's Delaware Nation

The tribally owned Unami LLC and sister company Greenlamps by Unami LLC work together to offer custom LED lighting system manufacture and installation.
BY RICHARD MIZE Modified: November 2, 2013 at 10:00 pm •  Published: November 2, 2013

The Delaware Nation has seen the LED lights.

Two years after its start as a solar energy company, tribally owned Unami LLC has shifted to custom LED and induction lighting design and manufacturing. LED stands for light-emitting diode.

The Delaware Nation, based in Anadarko 70 miles southwest of Oklahoma City, stands for jobs and economic development in southwest Oklahoma, said Paula Brown, chief operating officer of the Delaware Nation Economic Development Authority. Unami is helping the 1,500-member tribe get it there.

The tribe and its business arm celebrated the renovation of a 240,000-square-foot plant and the new direction of Unami at a ribbon-cutting last week. Unami, with 25 employees, uses about 30,000 square feet and hopes to grow into the rest, Brown said.

The event was meant to “show that the factory is open and doing business,” general manager Richard Saffa said. “We've been in the business and we're in the business every day of coming out and talking to business owners about new lighting and technology that provides good cost savings — green technology — and we're pretty fast on our feet and pretty flexible.”

A contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to retrofit lighting is a recent accomplishment.

“Retrofit” has a tighter definition at Unami than the usual “change over,” according to the manufacturing company, which works with sister company Greenlamps by Unami LLC. Greenlamps handles research, development and sales, Brown said.

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