In recent years, Jesse Pelzar’s LED lighting projects have illuminated Downtown Binghamton, with redecorated facades including The Colonial and other local organizations and businesses. After having designed multiple apps as well, Pelzar, a first-year graduate student studying computer engineering, is moving on to his next endeavor: a website for his own business, Loomx.
Started early in 2017, Loomx is headed by Pelzar and recent addition Robert Healey, a senior majoring in electrical engineering. The business provides private organizations with accentual lighting through the use of technologies built by the duo. Healey and Pelzar met through the Entrepreneurship Learning Community, exclusive to the fifth floor of Johnson Hall of Dickinson Community.
“Being in the Entrepreneurship Learning Community inspired me to look into starting Loomx and taught me where to begin and how to manage the business,” Pelzar said.
Pelzar’s knowledge of programming allows him to focus on the coding aspect of Loomx, while Healey’s background in electrical engineering directs him toward the hardware-oriented side of their projects.
“I brought [Healey] on for his drive and determination, someone that showed my same passion for the business,” Pelzar said.
One of Pelzar’s apps, LoomVR, is an interactive language-training app that gives you a task to complete as you do everyday tasks in real time. For example, the app teaches you how to say various fruits in Spanish by simulating you as a fruit vendor on the streets of Spain. The system tells you the script and recognizes your accent as you speak, aiming to teach the user the core of the word instead of how to say it in a specific Spanish dialect.
Pelzar and Healey look to continue providing private organizations with LED lighting and accentual lighting, as they hope to expand their clientele across college towns such as Ithaca, Oneonta and Syracuse, where they can work with organizations and eventually establish Loomx in a bigger city.
“We would like to try and find footing in either New York City or Boston, but we’re not sure yet which one would make sense for us yet,” Healey said.
Pelzar’s first project, Christmas-themed lighting on The Colonial’s exterior last year, was a testament to Pelzar’s effort and motivation, as he was tasked with completing the entire face of the building in one month. Pelzar was able to decorate the building with a vibrant display of colors that coordinated with the music playing in the restaurant.
“I was talking to the founder of LUMA, who put me in touch with the owner of The Colonial,” Pelzar said. “They asked if I could have it done by Nov. 25. Starting from scratch, I was able to get it finished on time with just sheer determination.”
At the time of the Colonial project, not all of Pelzar’s technology was his own, including the controller used to match the lighting design to the music. Loomx has since developed its own controller for interactive aspects of the lighting — it was able to successfully manufacture the controller entirely from scratch, which is something it does with all projects now. All the materials, lighting and software used by Loomx are in-house built.
Despite making a name for themselves early on within the lighting business and hoping to make Loomx a full-time career, Healey and Pelzar also hope to expand their work to other fields, such as augmented reality.
“For now, the plan is to advance the business, but we’re definitely open to other fields,” Pelzar said. “Right now, we’re just focused on expanding the business and making a name for ourselves with Loomx.”