However, since 2009 the town has played host to one of the most significant business initiatives in Andalucía, light Environment Control Sl (lEC), a company which, with the support of EU funds, has triggered considerable improvement in the damaged local economy. Specifically, 82 direct jobs have been created, the majority of them for highly specialised engineers, and this is also helping to retain the talents of Andalusians who, without this project, would not be able to develop their careers in Spain.
lEC was established in 2009 following four years of research into the development of a more efficient and less expensive lighting system. Public administrations and businesses recognise that lighting is one of their highest fixed costs.
In 2007 during its research phase, lEC illuminated the first European city with remotely controlled lED technology. The positive response from administrations and businesses encouraged them to go further and to research, design and manufacture their own lights.
In 2009 construction began of an R&D+i (research, development and innovation) and lED technology production centre. The 6 500 m2 building houses a machining centre, electronics ‘clean room’, a painting area, a luminosity labelling area and an assembly area.
lED lights significantly reduce energy consumption, and, consequently, spending; they are 100 % recyclable, and, in contrast to conventional lighting, do not contain any pollutants such as lead, cadmium or mercury. Furthermore, they produce no infrared or ultraviolet rays and generate less heat, resulting in less energy wastage and reduced air conditioning consumption.
With its acquired expertise lEC has developed internal and external lighting solutions, as well as proprietary software StelUrban, to control street lighting. This adapts lighting to needs in real time, thus producing additional energy savings.
The software is cloudhosted, so that it is possible to access it from any mobile device. In addition, it features an alarm system that alerts users to possible unauthorised connections or consumption, or any other malfunction in the installation.
Control over the entire production process allows the company to customise solutions tailored to customers’ needs. lEC is currently considered to be the top lED manufacturer in Andalucía, and one of the largest in Spain. It is carrying out lighting projects in countries such as Mexico, Brazil, Peru, and Morocco, and has received the University of Seville’s Inno vation Prize and the Andalucía Regional Council’s commendation in the category of innovation and scientific achievement.