Lumenergi looks brighter today as the company just said it’s getting $7.5 million for their fluorescent dimming technology. The investment was led by Low Carbon Accelerator (LCA), and includes Noventi, whom we interviewed here.
Lumenergi, which makes dimming electronic ballasts and lighting control software, says they will use the capital to shift from research and development to focus on sales and marketing. The firms have already invested $3 million of the $7.5 million into the startup and plan to add an additional $4.5 million down the road.
Lumenergi systems are designed to dim fluorescent lights during the brightest times of the day, saving energy during peak times. This could provide a huge opportunity as lighting accounts for 23 percent of all electricity consumption in the U.S. and 50 percent of electricity used in high-rise buildings.
The company estimates that their systems could reduce lighting costs by a whopping 70 percent. “To get the cost of the ballast down what we do is replace a lot of hardware with software,” Lumenergi CEO William Alling told us this morning.
Currently each ballast costs between $40 and $100 but Alling says they hope to get that price down to $20 or $30. Each ballast can operate up to three lamps.
The company says their dimmers and control system work with existing lighting in industrial and commercial buildings. Coupled with demand management programs that are increasingly being offered by utilities, Lumenergi estimates that a customer could get a return on their investment in only two years.
Founded in 1974, the company “reincarnated” itself in 1998 and is in the process of moving its headquarters to California. With a little over 20 employees, Lumenergi has labs in Austin, Texas, and a facility in China.
The company plans to ramp up production over the next two quarters. Alling tells us that Lumenergi already has some of its hardware and software on the market as part of PG&E’s demand response program.