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Last Update: Thursday September 23, 2021

Key Idea: Make A Quantum Leap

NoUVIR teaches that truly new ideas are hard to come by.  Meet co-founder Jack Miller.   More..

Key Question:


Invent something new.

Starting a business by launching a new product is nearly impossible. You have to love the idea and enjoy the pain of doing something no one has ever done before. You can look for paths to follow or mentors to guide you but so often you will find yourself very alone.

Q: What did Jack and Ruth Ellen have to do to achieve their breakthrough?

A: They shut down a profitable consulting business and worked for three years before they had something to show a museum director. Jack said, "it really is a quantum jump to go from lightblubs to fiber optics."

Think about it

What is your next quantum leap? Or, could you re-invent yourself with incremental steps?

Clip from: NoUVIR: Lighting Is Big Business

Seaford, Delaware: The bold among us take on the giants of industry.  This episode of the show is a classic David & Goliath story. Their slingshot is the US Patent & Trademark Office and Goliath looks like GE, Osram Sylvania, and Phillips.

Meet two small business owners who have slain the giants. Their advice for inventors is timeless.

Ruth Ellen Miller and her ever-inventive father and business partner, Jack Miller,  are  two of the brainiest people we've gotten to know and we've met lots of geniuses since the first episode back in 1994. They hold over 100 patents; they're expert witnesses on patent infringement lawsuits. And, they truly understand the heart and soul of intellectual capital. Their lighting business is the working evidence. Museums around the world come to them to provide the type of lighting that does not damage physical artifacts.

Their company is NoUVIR.  They create pure light -- no UltraViolet and no InfraRed. UV and IR found in typical lighting will destroy art and artifacts over time. 


Ruth Ellen Miller, Co-founder

Highway 13
RR4 Box 748
Seaford, DE 19973

Visit our web site:

Office: 3026289933

Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1990

Make A Quantum Leap

HATTIE: Hi. I'm Hattie Bryant. So often we are asked: How do you decide what companies to study on SMALL BUSINESS SCHOOL?
We look at many factors. What kind of business is it? Where is it located? Does it create jobs? Is it committed to the community? But above all, we ask: Does this company represent the best of breed?

In June of 2000, we first met Ruth Ellen Miller and her partner and father, Jack, when Ruth Ellen was named Small Business Person of the Year from the State of Delaware. She caught our attention because she and her father hold more than 100 patents. They moved their company to a business-friendly state, and they have invented a product that is loved by their customers. I have never met a pair who could more clearly teach us how to turn an idea into a profitable business.

Step into our Master Class in Seaford, Delaware, with Ruth Ellen and Jack Miller.

(Voiceover) This is the new look of light, and what you see represents a technology breakthrough.

JACK MILLER: (Voiceover) It really is a quantum jump to go from lightbulbs to fiber optics. And I see fiber optics as the lighting product of the future. We got this photon approaching a lens surface at an angle.


Right. HATTIE: (Voiceover) But the big vision to present and preserve the great art and treasured artifacts of the world, Ruth Ellen Miller and her father Jack are one museum at a time changing the way we see.

RUTH ELLEN: And here's this beautiful piece of artwork and because the light is dull and dingy and is out of balance, it's the artwork as well. Yeah, that's interesting. I understand the history behind it, but it doesn't really excite me. Because if I can take two things or two objects and light them side by side, your eyes work well and suddenly you go, `I see what I've been missing.' If they can see it, I've made a sale.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Ruth Ellen and Jack Miller launched their company, NoUVIR, in 1990, and today its systems are found lighting Thomas Jefferson's handwritten draft of the Declaration of Independence, Marilyn Monroe's white subway dress from the "Seven Year Itch," Faberge eggs and great art in dozens of museums around the country. With nine employees and $1 million in sales, NoUVIR builds highly specialized lighting products specifically developed for museums. And it has succeeded at establishing a new standard for lighting. The light has no ultraviolet and no infrared energy; thus the source of the company's name, No UV and no IR.

RUTH ELLEN: Well, when you look at traditional lighting, what you discover--let's say track lights or a lightbulb, what you find out is that most of the energy, most of the light that comes out of that filament is something that you don't use to see with. It's invisible. It's either infrared or it's ultraviolet. And like 94 percent of it is infrared and about another percent of it is ultraviolet.

HATTIE: And that's manifested in heat, right?

RUTH ELLEN: Infrared is heat. That's all it is.

HATTIE: So a traditional light is putting out a whole bunch of heat, hurting the artwork and not letting me see the artwork any better.

RUTH ELLEN: Exactly.

HATTIE: So we have a lot of waste?

RUTH ELLEN: Right. And so what you do is with the fiber optics, you tune the light in the fact that you have only the visible part of it.

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