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

Updated: A new lighting control startup, Enlighted Inc., has launched with a splash and $14.2 million from high-profile investors Intel Capital, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Enlighted Inc. says its lighting control tech can individually measure and manage lighting at each light fixture and can cut energy consumption from lighting in office and commercial buildings by 50 to 75 percent.

I’m not entirely clear how it works, as the company’s website is rather cryptic, but Enlighted Inc.’s press release says that there’s no wiring installation needed and that the installation process only requires a change of lightbulbs and fixtures. The company’s first customer is green carpet company Interface Services, which used Enlighted Inc.’s tech for its 35,000 square foot facility located in Acworth, Ga. Update: The tech uses wireless sensors at each fixture.

Other lighting control startups include Redwood Systems, which sells a control and sensor system for LEDs that runs over an optimized version of Ethernet cables; wireless lighting management startup Adura Technologies; and wireless lighting control company Daintree Networks. The potential opportunity for lighting controls in commercial buildings could be large: As Daintree Networks CEO Danny Yu wrote for us recently, only 1 percent of buildings use smart lighting control systems, and just 7 percent of lighting in commercial buildings is controlled by a smart control system.

The commercial building owners are looking for tech that has a relatively short return on investment, is easy to install and provides enough control and functionality to reduce monthly energy costs. Also, standards are a good thing, as building owners don’t want to be stuck with one tiny vendor. These Valley-backed startups will eventually benefit from partnering with the big building automation companies like Honeywell (s HON) or Johnson Controls (s JCI).

Enlighted Inc. says that its tech has a return on investment of 18 months. The company was founded in just 2009 and is based in Sunnyvale, Calif.

Check out our report on An Assessment of the Lighting Control Market Segment, on GigaOM Pro (subscription required).

Image courtesy of OLR2004