Bridgelux, a company that produces low-cost LED light bulbs, announced today it has raised $25 million in funding from Chinese lighting company Kaistar Lighting.
“We want people to think about lightbulbs and the innovation behind them, we want you to throw away lightbulbs because ours are better and more energy-efficient,” Bill Watkins, Bridgelux chief executive and former Seagate CEO, told VentureBeat.
The company produces solid-state lighting, or light bulbs made of light emitting diodes (LEDs) that are more energy-efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs. LEDs are typically found in TVs, computers, and even car headlights, but the technology has previously been too expensive to be used in a simple consumer light bulb. Bridgelux changed that by releasing cheaper and more energy-efficient light bulbs that can be used in lamps and overhead light fixtures. The company backs up its products with a five-year warranty.
Bridgelux holds more than 600 patent filings worldwide and has developed many LED products including light bulbs that can be easily replaced when a diode burns out.
Bridgelux will use the fundraising to research and develop LED chips with silicon, which can be used in a larger LEDs for more light emission. Kaistar is teaming up with Bridgelux as a manufacturing partner for these new LEDs. The company also has several programs that the funding will go towards.
“We’ve recently rolled out a pilot program to give thousands of businesses and homes five free light bulbs that connect to a smart meter and be monitored by a utility company. The power company can then adjust the amount of energy flowing to the light bulb during peak and off-peak hours,” said Watkins.
Bridgelux is based in Livermore, California and has more than 130 employees. The company has been heavily funded in the past, with a $34 million investment in 2009 and $21 million in 2011 from Vantage Point Venture Partners, VC firm DCM, Chrysalix Energy, and El Dorado ventures.