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Patricia Beck, Detroit Free Press
Mount Clemens, Mich.
2009 revenue: $2 million
Estimated 2010 revenue: $10 million
While apprenticing as an electrician in 1997, David McKinney, a self-described "lifelong tinkerer," made his first prototype light-emitting diode bulb. LEDs use 75 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and can last 50 times longer, according to Energy Star. In 2001, McKinney brought on Rudy Mayes and Tom Meyer because of their business backgrounds and they formed an enterprise to manufacture energy-efficient lighting for industrial, commercial, and government clients. By 2006, they had established operations in Shenzhen, China, increasing their production capacity as major manufacturers started to enter the LED market. McKinney says his company has had no trouble attracting large, long-term customers, including the City of Fairbanks, Alaska, U.S. Steel (X), Sherwin Williams (SHW), and Siemens (SI).