BriteShot, an LED lighting vendor, has pivoted its focus amidst the pandemic and now specializes in COVID-19 decontamination products and is an expert in air filtration and air purification. Co-founder, Roy McDonald shares more details about the corporate pivot from LED lighting to COVID decontamination solutions, utilizing its resources to produce a groundbreaking innovation to help venues re-open safely amidst the pandemic.
PH: Can you talk about BriteShot?
Roy McDonald: BriteShot was founded by myself, Roy McDonald and my two partners Peter Ticktin and Irene Conrad. We began a three-year process of research and development to bring our first product to market, our signature Luminator LED light. Since then, we have been hard at work developing products and patented technologies that provide unlimited creative possibilities while saving our clients and productions money. We have been lucky enough over the last 10+ years to have watched our products lighting over 300 television shows, movies and commercials.
We have representation and rental offices in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Toronto and Southern Florida in addition to our main office in New York City.
Our mission has always been to deliver revolutionary lighting technology and more and more productions every year rely on our products, from our Brite Power Battery Systems and BriteShot Lighting to get the job done at a low cost and with maximum efficiency.
PH: How did BriteShot pivot its focus given the COVID pandemic?
Roy McDonald: Since our founding back in 2009, BriteShot has been a premier provider of patented LED lighting and lithium battery technologies for television, film and live event production – through both rental and sales. In the wake of this pandemic, we found a way to use our manufacturing capabilities to help combat the coronavirus. In doing so, the team and I developed AirAffair, an air filtration system that not only benefits the television and film industries, but also a wide range of public facilities including concert halls, Broadway theaters, museums, restaurants and more.
We made a near 180-degree pivot from lighting in developing the AirAffair, which helps clean the air of any facility using a patent-pending formula that combines existing and scientifically-backed technologies. The AirAffair unit effectively inactivates and filters all contaminated airborne particulate matter including COVID-19.
PH: What was that process like? What went into it?
Roy McDonald: The original plan was for us to build a decontamination product based off our experience with our existing technologies, but after working with a highly regarded microbiologist and cold plasma scientific team, we expanded beyond just lighting in the development of AirAffair.
AirAffair is a highly technical solution, utilizing not only UV-C light, but also MERV and HEPA rated filters. We have implemented cold plasma to aid in eradicating and directly targeting the core RNA of COVID-19.
PH: Can you talk about the decontamination solutions you've created and implemented?
Roy McDonald: We created AirAffair to not only purify the air within a space, but also incorporate a process that effectively decontaminates staff, guests or audience members who enter a venue using a polypropylene tent that has been proven effective for field hospitals in war zones. We accomplished this initially through the AirAffair air filtration system. AirAffair pulls in the air, and pathogens, lingering in the venue and pushes out cleaned micro particles. With each pass through the AirAffair, the pathogens are broken down and the cold plasma within the unit and entering the air helps to keep the space purified.
The intention is to have all actors, singers, staff and audience members enter through our polypropylene multi-airlock tent outside the venue. The AirAffair is ducted into this space to purify the air physically on and around the guests, essentially sanitizing their clothing, hair and other surfaces on which germs may live. After passing through this airlock before entering the building, visitors, artists and staff alike are then safer, especially in the socially distanced, mask-worn environments being observed today.
With most of our beloved live event spaces currently still dark due to the pandemic, especially theaters, the AirAffair system makes it possible for performers, staff and patrons to visit theaters, concert halls, museums, restaurants and more, with ease of mind. With the U.S., and much of the world still overwhelmed with COVID-19, this system is a groundbreaking way to turn the lights back on on Broadway while also assisting other venues in getting patrons back inside.
PH: What were some of the challenges (if any)?
Roy McDonald: A challenge from the start was thinking about the future and the direction of BriteShot. It was tough enough not being able to pay a lot of my staff their full salaries due to no income coming in from the shutdown of productions. Moving forward with this idea and developing it took months of work. That was a huge challenge that my team and I encountered everyday, and were able to overcome, resulting in the amazing product we have today. I went into this knowing that we would be creating this product to save people and to help bring change and normalcy back to our country and the world.
Another challenge we faced throughout development was the constant changing and differing information about COVID-19. We needed to stay ahead of the curve of information coming in from scientific professionals and the CDC. Every day there was something new we needed to implement into our design, whether it be a different filter rating or size of the particle we needed to inactivate. It was a constant battle through hours on Zoom and conference calls with my entire team every day.
PH: Will these be an integral part of BriteShot moving forward? How will this infuse with LED lighting?
Roy McDonald: The AirAffair will be an integral part of BriteShot going forward as another product we offer, but unlike our LED lighting solutions, this product will help many industries, not just television, film and live events.
PH: How do you view the future of this industry as a whole? If you had to guess, what would the "new normal" be when it comes to safety?
Roy McDonald: I wish I had a crystal ball to help me answer this question. This will save lives. LED lighting has nothing to do with that, but we do want to get back to normal and see our lights in use. However, I think the future of this industry will continue with many of the safety procedures in place now, long after this pandemic is defeated.