Earth Day: ETC Style


In 1969 a massive oil spill destroyed the coastline of Santa Barbara, California. In response, Gaylord Nelson, a US Senator from Wisconsin, was inspired to harness and redirect the energy of the young adults who, at the time, were protesting the Vietnam War. He knew that if he could get that same passion funneled into educating the nation on the failing state of the planet, real change could be made.

On April 22nd, 1970 a date that fell between spring break and final exams, the first Earth Day was recognized. 20 million Americans gathered in demonstrations, protests, and educational seminars to bring awareness to the state of the earth as it was and as it would be if things did not change.

Fast forward 49 years and while we’ve made some great progress toward a cleaner planet, it’s no secret that both the theatrical industry and the technology industry are not always gentle on the environment.

That being said, we at ETC are proud to be in a state of constant exploration of how we can continue to, as the slogan goes, reduce, reuse and recycle.

Here are a few things that we’re working on.

Our buildings

ETC Container coffee bar

This past December many ETC employees moved into their new container offices. In an effort to reduce building materials in the most recent addition to the headquarters building, shipping containers were repurposed. These one-trip containers come over from China but are rarely returned. Several companies around the US are taking them and modifying them into custom homes, offices, and stores.

We’re also big on recycling anything and everything we can. In 2018 we as a company recycled:

  • 23,785 pounds of electronic scrap
  • 31,238 pounds of paper and cardboard
  • 6,690 pounds of scrap metal

“ETC continues to invest in sustainable equipment and technologies, such as returnable shipping containers, reusable storage containers, and high-efficiency HVAC systems with energy management controls.”

Your buildings

We also help make your building more earth-friendly.

Sensors: With our line of occupancy sensors and light sensors, your spaces use the minimum amount of energy to stay up and running.

LED Fixtures: It’s a given that LED technology makes the list of an energy saving blog. But did you know swapping your incandescent fixtures to LED can save up to 70% on your energy bills?

ETC Fixture Energy Comparison

  Source Four 575 Source Four LED Lustr+
 Maximum Connected Load 575 Watts 130 Watts
Max CO2 Emissions (varies by region.  Using .524 lb per kWh) 2,639 lb CO2/year 734 lb CO2/year
 Sustainability The Source Four has a rating of 12 Lumens/watt. It is the most efficient incandescent fixture in the theatrical market. The Source Four LED Lustr+ has a rating of 34.5 Lumens/watt. It is 288% more efficient than the Source Four 575.


And if you have an existing inventory of Source Four fixtures, you don’t have to throw them out! Have you met Source 4WRD?  This LED retrofit turns any full-sized incandescent Source Four fixture into an energy saving LED fixture.

Source 4WRD


ETC’s “green” reach extends even more deeply to the software systems inside of many of our power control products. Our Paradigm system has advanced energy reporting software that lets you keep track of every watt, giving you real-time energy-usage reports. It also syncs easily with building management software programs, helping businesses create more energy efficient spaces.

If you want to read more about how ETC is doing our part to reduce our overall footprint, check out the Environmental Policy page on our website. 


ETC Earth Day

LED FAQs (Part 3): Chromaticity Diagrams

Previous article

Tradeshow Talk – Prolight + Sound 2019

Next article
Rachel Frederick
Rachel has worked with ETC since 2007. She takes advantage of the limited warm months in Wisconsin by participating in outdoor activities like camping, paddle boarding, kayaking, and riding waterslides. She has several gardens that she swears she’ll be able to keep up with someday. And she enjoys stretchy things like new socks, yoga, and taffy. She writes a lot, she reads a lot and she plays with her kids a lot.