Company is revolutionizing portable lighting with the introduction of an autonomous aerial light to improve nighttime working conditions

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, UNITED STATES, September 28, 2023 / — The Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC) today announced that Virginia Venture Partners (VVP), its equity investment program, has invested in Blue Vigil LLC. Sterling, Va.-based Blue Vigil is using its core power tether technology for drones to disrupt the portable light tower market for construction, public safety, and disaster response. Since VIPC’s Virginia Venture Partners’ previous investment in Blue Vigil in 2022, the team has completed the initial design and engineering for the ALED and is now focused on building the first production units for its beta customers. Blue Vigil also received funding from VIPC’s Commonwealth Commercialization Fund (CCF).

Traditional construction light towers are heavy, must be towed into position, and have a practical height limit of 25-30 feet, producing a small, ineffective light field that shines across the work area. This creates hazardous glare and shadows that impact both workers and passing motorists and pedestrians. Blue Vigil’s aerial LED (ALED) uses a tethered, purpose-built drone to optimally position a high-intensity LED array 80-100 feet above the work area. As a result, the light shines directly down, creating nearly twice the usable light than traditional construction light towers, while eliminating all dangerous glare and shadows. The ALED is person-portable, does not require towing, and can be positioned practically anywhere on the job site. It is designed to be incredibly simple to operate via a simple push-button pendant controller that allows the operator to adjust the height, brightness level, and direction of the LEDs.

“Our team saw an opportunity to make workers on nighttime job sites safer and more productive by vastly improving the quality and portability of lighting, which will eventually lead to the elimination of generator powered lights”, says Rob Schumann, CEO. “We are truly thankful to VIPC’s Virginia Venture Partners’ continued investment to help us further our growth.”

The Blue Vigil ALED portable light is a ruggedized, purpose-built light specifically designed for use on a construction site or at emergency scenes, and it includes proprietary technology around its power management, flight control, and LEDs. The initial version will be powered by small generators or vehicle inverters, but it will eventually be battery-powered, in keeping with the push to decarbonize construction sites.

“Blue Vigil’s ALED technology serves as a perfect example of ingenuity at its very finest – combining high-intensity lighting technology along with tethered drones that creates a win-win for nighttime job sites such as roadside construction,” says Marco Rubin, VIPC Senior Investment Director of Virginia Venture Partners. “This innovation will allow for much better safety conditions while dramatically increasing productivity at substantially lower customer costs, all while enabling for a much cleaner energy footprint, and we are excited to contribute to their continued success.”

VIPC’s investment in Blue Vigil draws upon funds made available through the U.S. Treasury Department State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) Program.

About Blue Vigil
Blue Vigil is the U.S. industry leader in tether power systems for drones. The company has designed the first-ever autonomous aerial LED lighting system for construction and public safety. Blue Vigil was founded in 2015, in partnership with a Harrisonburg, Virginia angel investor group, and James Madison University. For more information, visit

About Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC)
VIPC: Connecting innovators with opportunities. As the nonprofit operations arm of the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority (VIPA), VIPC is the commercialization and seed stage economic development driver in the Commonwealth that leads funding, infrastructure, and policy initiatives to support Virginia’s innovators, entrepreneurs, startups, and market development strategies. VIPC collaborates with local, regional, state, and federal partners to support the expansion and diversification of Virginia’s economy.

Programs include: Virginia Venture Partners (VVP) | VVP Fund of Funds (SSBCI) | Virginia Founders Fund (VFF) | Commonwealth Commercialization Fund (CCF) | Petersburg Founders Fund (PFF) | Smart Communities | The Virginia Smart Community Testbed | The Virginia Unmanned Systems Center | Virginia Advanced Air Mobility Alliance (VAAMA) | The Public Safety Innovation Center | Entrepreneurial Ecosystems | Regional Innovation Fund (RIF) | Federal Funding Assistance Program (FFAP) for SBIR & STTR | University Partnerships | Startup Company Mentoring & Engagement. For more information, please visit Follow VIPC on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), and LinkedIn.

About Virginia Venture Partners
Virginia Venture Partners is the equity investment program of VIPC that makes seed-stage equity investments in Virginia-based technology, clean energy, and life science companies with a high potential for achieving rapid growth and generating a significant economic return for entrepreneurs, co-investors, and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Since its inception in 2005, Virginia Venture Partners has deployed $41.8 million in capital across more than 275 portfolio companies, including 17 companies in designated Opportunity Zones. Virginia Venture Partners’ investment decisions are guided by the Virginia Venture Partners Investment Advisory Board (IAB). This independent, third-party panel has drawn from the expertise of leading regional entrepreneurs, angel, and strategic investors, and venture capital firms such as New Enterprise Associates, Grotech Ventures, Harbert Venture Partners HIG Ventures, Edison Ventures, In-Q-Tel, Intersouth Partners, SJF Ventures, Carilion Health Systems, Johnson & Johnson, General Electric, and Alpha Natural Resources. For more information, please visit the VVP pages from

Angela Costello, Vice President of Communications
Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC)
[email protected]
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