Neon and beyond – Could xenon light bulbs be the wave of the future?
When StreetGlow, Inc., today the world's leading manufacturer of automotive neon and performance lighting, created its first automotive Undercar Neon Kits in 1990, the uninitiated perhaps saw "glowing underbody colors" as a passing fad. Today, StreetGlow is at the center of a definitive automotive aftermarket trend that is sweeping the nation, and the world, as a new generation of automotive enthusiasts takes its passion for cars in new and ever-more creative directions.
Fifty years ago, hot-rodders began customizing an assortment of pre- and post-war domestic vehicles to express their automotive ideas and desires, and define their growing fascination for performance, bold colors, and more creative auto designs and accessories. By the late 1980s the pendulum had swung full circle, and a new generation of hot-rodders had embraced the hugely popular compact performance sedan market, dominated by the growing number of Japanese nameplates powered by four-cylinder engines.
Today, according to a study conducted by the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), young people are still highly competitive and passionate about their cars. The typical compact performance enthusiast is 18 to 25 years old, and that group now includes an increasing number of females, who make up nearly 18 percent of the tuner/enthusiast market. And while professional and recreational tuners make all types of exterior, interior, and engine modifications, performance lighting is the second most important modification among the younger generation.
StreetGlow created and then satisfied a market niche that had not been previously tapped. In doing so, it set the tone and direction for the next major hot rod/tuner trend - Auto-Neon® - that accents everything from windshield washer nozzles to shift knobs to entire undercarriages with a series of innovative lighting technologies. Its neon product lines for automobiles, motorcycles, boats, sporting equipment and homes are sold across the U.S. and worldwide.
Some of StreetGlow's most popular new products reflective of the auto lighting trend include both LED (light emitting diode) and EL (electro-luminescent) technology. StreetGlow's LED Exhaust Tip features breakthrough design innovation and rugged styling, and is guaranteed to turn heads as it emits a perfect glow. Its easy-to-install LED Tire Lights, which are triggered by movement and vibrations, create a stunning effect as they trace rings around the wheels, and like the Exhaust Tip, are available in nine dynamic colors. Another new for 2002 product is the EL Seatbelt Pad with new EL flashing technology that allows enthusiasts to add instant color accents to seatbelts, customizing their interiors with splashes of color in just seconds.
StreetGlow's new Xenon HID Pro-Series offers consumers what it calls "unsurpassed visibility enhancements" that can be adapted to any vehicle. The StreetGlow system is the only one to feature a true, electronic control transformer for Xenon light bulbs. With it, compact, sport compact and muscle car enthusiasts can experience the same high-end lighting improvements that until recently were only offered on vehicles like Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Lexus.
To showcase the growing popularity of automotive neon and performance lighting products, and inspire upcoming enthusiasts to embrace the lighting phenomena, Panzarella created "Glow-Off" competitions, where owners can compete with their neon-lit vehicles for a variety of awards.
Ever-evolving quality product lines and unique accessories continue to produce success for StreetGlow across the marketplace. As the compact performance market continues its exponential growth, moving from a $295 million dollar retail industry in 1997 to more than $1.5 billion in 2001, StreetGlow has been the leader in driving new lighting design trends and even the OEMs are starting to take notice.
"We have received inquiries from DaimlerChrysler and other OEMs, investigating the possibilities of utilizing StreetGlow products and technologies on their vehicles," says Nicholas Mauro, StreetGlow's Marketing Coordinator. "As we've seen in the past, as trends build in the aftermarket industry, the aftermarket technologies and products make their way into the world of the OEMs, who then begin to address the increased demand from consumers as a result of a heightened popularity."
What cars and products will future generations of hot-rodders embrace? What make or model will provide the next hot tuner car or truck? Whatever the developments, StreetGlow has pledged to be at the heart of each new trend.
"We want to be on the cutting edge, with the most unique and revolutionary products at all times," says Jack Panzarella, founder and CEO of StreetGlow. "Our goal is to continue to develop ground-breaking accessories while continuing to provide our customers with the very best, top quality products possible."
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Mark Harris contributes and publishes news editorial to http://www.discount-light-bulbs.com.
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