First, Baldev Duggal was a photographic innovator, now he’s a green revolutionary.
The Indian immigrant, operating in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, has invented a wind- and solar-power streetlight called the Lumi-Solair which runs completely free of fossil-fuel-generated electricity and will save the Navy Yard hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Not only that, Duggal says, but the glow from the pollution-free lights actually make people look better.
“I don’t want to just make it happen, I want to make it beautiful,” said Duggal, who’s best known to generations of photo buffs for his Duggal Visual Arts, the film processing company he founded in 1961.
Conventional lights with their yellowish glare “make even good-looking people look ugly,” Duggal said, but his bulbs burn whiter, which help everyone looks his best.
The crossover to the so-called green economy was heralded last Thursday by Mayor Bloomberg at the Navy Yard — but the mayor was more impressed by the environmental benefits of the lights, than by their alleged beautifying powers.
Borough President Markowitz was also on hand to praise Duggal, though he has trouble keeping pace with the visionary’s ideas.
“When you talk with him, you float with him,” the Beep said. “You’re not exactly sure where’s going, but he has a vision.”
Duggal credited Al Gore for the vision thing.
“I saw ‘An Inconvenient Truth,’ and that got to me,” said the hepcat. “Life has been good to me, but it’s time for me to make a contribution.”
But there’s some self-interest in saving the planet one light bulb at a time.
“It’s good business,” he admitted.
He said his staff is developing other new money-making, Earth-saving products in the lab, but he’s not saying a peep until he’s further along.
While these products are real, there’s a lot of myth-making about the sunglass-wearing Duggal. Markowitz said he arrived from India 50 years ago without a penny in his pocket, but Duggal admitted that such talk is not quite true.
“I came on a one-way ticket with $200 and a pocket full of dreams,” said the romantic.