Intel, Kleiner, DFJ invest $14M into lighting control startup

A new lighting control startup, Enlighted Inc, which says it can cut lighting energy by between 50 and 75 percent, has launched with a splash and $14.2 million from high-profile investors Intel Capital, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Today in Cleantech

Redwood Systems, the startup with the future-forward idea of LED lighting that’s both powered and networked via Ethernet cables, has just landed a showcase client — Facebook. The social networking giant has chosen the LED-over-Ethernet networking startup to install lighting and sensor systems in its new super-efficient data center in Prineville, Ore. While retrofitting a building to use only LEDs that can run on the low power available over Ethernet can be a daunting affair, building a new data center around the concept — and then allowing all kinds of sensors and controls to use the same Ethernet infrastructure — makes a lot of sense. Redwood Systems has been getting a lot of play recently — Johnson Controls just installed its system in its Milwaukee, Wisc. headquarters, and may be looking to use the startup’s system in projects for other clients, including the idea of using it for networking retail store checkout counters. In a sense, Redwood Systems is in a different category than the rest of the lighting controls vendors out there, which tend to focus on traditional control panel and wiring solutions or newer, cheaper and more retrofit-minded wireless solutions. Until LEDs catch on en masse, it will be hard to imagine Redwood’s concept becoming mainstream — but for efficiency minded clients like Facebook and specialty environments like data centers, it may well be a perfect match.

Today in Cleantech

Here’s an update from Daintree Networks, the wireless lighting controls startup I profiled three weeks ago. Daintree told me back then that it was looking for OEM lighting system partners to adapt its software and ZigBee-enabled wireless area controllers and device nodes, and on Wednesday they named one — Boulder, Colo.-based lighting ballast and control system maker Easylite. The two are testing out Daintree’s ControlScope platform in a Colorado warehouse, where they’ve delivered about a 50 percent reduction in electricity use, and are rolling out their combined platform to other customers, Daintree CEO Danny Yu tells me. As for more OEM partnerships, the company isn’t naming names yet. Competitors include wireless system startups such as Adura Technologies and Echoflex Solutions, as well as big lighting controls maker Lutron

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Will ZigBee Rule Networked Lighting?

Stealthy startup Daintree Networks wants to take a slightly different tack than its competitors — deliver ZigBee-based, interoperable lighting controls to market by partnering directly with the incumbents. Will the big boys be interested?

Can a Startup Make ZigBee a Lighting Controls Leader?

Stealthy startup Daintree Networks wants to become the ZigBee-enabled provider of wireless lighting control technology to the big boys in the field. It faces a lot of competition, but its OEM-focused approach on the market could yield big dividends.

I See You: Video Chat Taking Off

Phones with video chat capability have been out in Europe for years, but getting the ability on two of the biggest smartphone platforms will expose the feature to millions who have no idea such video calls are possible. A new comprehensive report details this upcoming boom.