by Emma Ritch
| October 13th 2010
Fremont, Calif.-based startup Redwood Systems revealed today it closed a $15 million Series B round for its LED lighting control system, coming on the heels of a $12.7 million Series B for Lumenergi, a lighting controls startup based in nearby Newark, California.
The two companies are illustrative of a fast-growing sub-sector within lighting that’s gaining investor support and market adoption. Lighting controls companies secured 16% of VC investment within lighting from 2005 to 2010, but that’s jumped to 21% in 2009 and 2010 to-date.
Source: Cleantech Group analysis
Why all the interest? Lighting is considered the low-hanging fruit for energy efficiency retrofits, as illumination accounts for 44% of electricity in U.S. office buildings and a quarter of the energy in residential buildings–roughly the same energy consumed by cooling. Lighting controls–including software, sensors, drivers, fixtures, and intelligent ballasts–can maximize energy efficiency of multiple lighting sources, with some vendors claiming up to 75% reduction in energy use due to controls technology.
Redwood offers a unique lighting control system that combines power and control of LEDs over the same low-voltage data cable for office buildings and data centers. While adoption of LEDs is projected to increase to about 80% of the …
by Emma Ritch
| September 22nd 2010
Lighting control systems are a hot sector within cleantech. The technology holds the promise of up to 75% reduction in energy use with little, if any, change in occupant behavior. Lighting accounts for about 20% of electricity use in the U.S., for example, so adoption of LCS can have a significant impact on worldwide energy consumption and emissions.
Source: U.S. Department of Energy Buildings Energy Data Book, Sept. 2008
There is significant buzz around the four startups that have come out of stealth in the past year—Adura Technologies, Redwood Systems, Daintree Networks and Cavet Technologies—as well as startups with slightly longer track records, Encelium Technologies and Starfield Controls. There are numerous other startups we’re tracking with complementary and tangential technology solutions, including Lumenergi, Digital Lumens, Juice Technology, Octus Energy and Echoflex.
ESCOs and major lighting corporations are amongst those in trials with LCS startups, and many LCS solutions are near commercial deployment thanks to the overlap in expertise with the IT sector.
Yet for all this attention, the LCS sector is still very early. Estimates are that fewer than 1% of buildings have advanced LCS installed. And there has been little …
by Emma Ritch
| March 16th 2010
Boston, Mass.-based Digital Lumens emerged from stealth today with a new lighting control technology aimed at reducing energy use in warehouses and industrial facilities.
Digital Lumens calls its technology the Intelligent Lighting System, combining light-emitting diodes (LEDs), networking and software for a whole systems approach—unlike lighting technology companies that aim to make a single component, such as a bulb, more efficient.
Key to Digital Lumens’ technology is new LED-based fixtures that have built-in computing, sensing and intelligence to improve integration and central control.
Lighting is an important element of energy efficiency projects, with the U.S. Department of Energy estimating that lighting accounts for up to 30 percent of energy use in commercial buildings.
Energy efficiency is one of the fastest growing cleantech sectors for VC investment, with companies pulling in $1 billion in 2009, up 39 percent from the prior year, according to Cleantech Group data. Of that $1 billion, lighting raked in $299 million in 34 deals, accounting for 5.26 percent of all venture money to cleantech.
Digital Lumens raised $11.3 million in two rounds in 2009 from investors including Flybridge Capital Partners, Stata Venture Partners and Black Coral Capital (see Energy efficiency rules week’s cleantech roost).