James Hamilton, president of Gualala Robotics (the maker of LightRail light movers), has a favorite motto: “If you don’t have time to do it right the first time, you must have time to do it again.” And it’s the basis of a thought process that has served him, and his company, well.

A mechanical background and laser-like focus were the contributing factors that helped James Hamilton take his company, Gualala Robotics, Inc., from its early inception to where it is today. The Light Mover company first came to light in 1986 in the small coastal town of Gualala, California, and then moved from its Gualala/Point Arena location to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, in 1993. Products include LightRail 3.5 Intellidrive (0 to 60 second adjustable time delay and travels at 1.2 m per minute), LightRail 4.0 Adjustadrive (same adjustable time delay plus an adjustable speed control of 0.6 m per minute to 1.2 m per minute) and LightRail 5.0 Commercial Duty with Intellidrive. We’re proudly made in the United States, with manufacturing in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and distribution in Aurora, Colorado.

James’ work style would best be described as intense. Today, he oversees all departments but product development is what he enjoys most. “It’s awesome to come up with the very products that help people to do a better job,” he says. “Moving your lights increases yields substantially (75% better with our Tomato Project and 85% better with our Pepper Project), but then to make our LightRails offer even more features—such as the Adjustadrive 4.0 with adjustable speed— well, that’s very satisfying.”

James Hamilton - Gualala Robotics - LightRail

“Also, speaking of product development, our new end-cap display bot is something brand new and this one is for the store owner. This item helps the stores to not only organize LightRail items but also to serve as almost an extra store employee standing there helping the customer with their LightRail questions. It has a 25.4-cm LCD screen, a looped info still shot tape and/or movie and a small working demo of a LightRail—all made so the store customer will get a better understanding of the workings of LightRail.”

As you can see, product development is huge for James, but he balances all this out with his two main hobbies: skiing—it is Steamboat Springs, after all—and building custom cars (once a gearhead, always a gearhead). His current project is the Off-road Rolls (you can see photos at offroadrolls.com). As far as honors and accomplishments go, James is most proud of the fact that his company produces the No. 1 indoor gardening light mover in the world, and—in particular—that he has remained “Made in the USA”.

As to what James has planned for his goal for the future of this industry, he would say “to make indoor gardening more mainstream.” This goes along with his bucket-list item, the primary thing he’d like to see one day: an indoor garden in most homes. Whether it’s a smaller-scale kitchen herb/lettuce/micro garden or a dedicated room growing enough food to feed a family with plenty of produce left over to help their local food bank, it’s time for this industry to take off in the mainstream arena.