Case Studies

Lighthouse Electrical Contracting Inc.

Experienced, Dedicated, Resourceful

It can be hard for a new contractor to make a name in the construction industry. Construction works efficiently because architects and land developers collaborate with a network of general contractors trusted to complete projects on time and on budget, and the GCs in turn have typically established a network over time of subcontractors who they trust to deliver. Herb Aikens, owner and president of Lighthouse Electrical Contracting Inc. (LEC), founded his company in 2002 at the age of 20, and he had to overcome the obstacle of his company being new to the Massachusetts market.

However, Aikens did not lack experience even though he was young. A journeyman electrician for one of Boston’s largest electrical construction companies, Aikens got around LEC’s initial obstacles by identifying a niche in greater Boston’s market that wasn’t oversaturated with competition, and he set out to build a series of high-quality projects that would eventually earn LEC respect and trust throughout eastern New England’s renewable energy, commercial, educational and healthcare sectors.

“We started out working on solar,” reveals Aikens. “Most contractors will do solar now, but back then there were very few electrical contractors who were willing to tackle the new technologies. As we gained more experience in solar we expanded into small residential projects, and that gave us the experience we needed to land commercial projects. From there, it was only a matter of time until we started working for the general contractors.”

Slow, Steady, Sustainable Growth

Today, the Rockland-based company is well known throughout the region for its work powering a bright, renewable future, and Aikens estimates that the company has grown to roughly 40 employees and continues to see its revenues grow annually. “In terms of the economy, it’s been extremely challenging for the last four years, but as a company we’ve continued on a long path of slow and steady growth,” continues Aikens. “2011 was one of our best years on record so far.”

LEC’s dedicated team of professionals deliver the highest quality workmanship on each project, which has been recognized across the company’s full range of electrical contracting services. The company delivers excellence in prominent facilities throughout the region, providing an array of services including design-build capabilities, in-house engineering and estimating, electrical distribution, lighting, life safety systems, telecom/data systems, security systems, A/V systems, tenant fit-ups, electrical renovations and more. LEC has deployed technicians on successful projects in sensitive environments for institutions such as Harvard University, Tufts University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Caritas – St. Elizabeth Hospital and Millennium Pharmaceuticals, to name a few.

Solar and wind projects are still a company specialty – over 200 photovoltaic and 15 wind turbine projects have been completed by LEC so far – and LEC delivers feasibility studies, site evaluation, grant procurement and design-build services that run from installation to connection with the power grid. A skilled labor force, comprehensive support services and competitive pricing has made LEC a preferred partner for installations with clients including the Genzyme Corporation, MIT, Tufts University, Boston Public Schools, BNY Mellon, Carlson Orchards, Mass Maritime Academy and the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority.

LEC’s efforts are supported by affiliations with the National Electrical Contractors Association, Boston Chapter, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 103, and the company’s highly trained crew recently completed a unique renewable project. “We installed a 220-kilowatt (kW) solar project for Mann Orchards in Methuen,” explains Aikens.

“The project, which was worth about $1 million, consists of roughly 1,000 solar panels that were essentially placed on the ground. They set aside an area that they normally would have farmed and we installed a series of piles and mounted the panels on those. I like to think they’re harvesting electricity instead of fruit,” laughs Aikens.

New Fire Alarm System for a World-famous Client

LEC’s crew also demonstrated the company’s flexibility on a project at the world-famous Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. The company installed a new $800,000 fire-alarm system in the 10-story, 124,000-square foot Louis B. Mayer Research Laboratories building. LEC installed a new addressable Simplex Fire system, 48 pull stations, a graphic smoke control panel and three fire command centers on floors 1, 5 and 7. LEC also installed a new Comtronics bi-directional antenna system that provides Boston Fire Department communication from all points in the high-rise building.

The company successfully completed the project while the building was still fully operational, minimizing interactions and disruptions to the buildings scientists, doctors and patients. LEC also tied the existing fire alarm system into the new system until it could be fully decommissioned at the successful completion of the project.

All of this activity was done with the utmost respect for safety, which is taken seriously at successful construction company. LEC’s commitment to safety is outlined on its website as follows: “Maintaining a safe work environment on each job site is our primary concern. Lighthouse Electrical conforms to the best safety practices in the industry, the result of which is a consistently strong safety record. All operations are conducted with the utmost regard for the safety and health of our employees, with an emphasis on all employees being compliant with OSHA requirements. All Lighthouse foremen and supervisors have completed OSHA 10-hour and OSHA 30-hour training.”

In the single decade since Herb Aikens founded LEC he has impressively grown his company by carving a niche for himself, and by adhering to a strict set of standards that produce safe work environments and high-quality projects. Lighthouse Electrical Contracting Inc.’s reputation as a dynamic, performance-driven electrical contractor will continue to grow the company as a prime choice for large-scale, progressive installations.

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Spring 2018



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