LED light fixture company gets $16.5 million

LEDs consume far less energy than incandescent bulbs; push to bring light-emitting diodes to the home gains momentum.

North Carolina's LED Lighting Fixtures has received a $16.5 million injection as the push to bring light-emitting diodes to the home gains momentum.

The company makes light fixtures for commercial buildings and homes around LEDs. LEDs consume far less energy than incandescent bulbs--LED Lighting Fixtures, for instance, sells a lighting unit, the LR6, that puts out 650 lumens but only consumes 12 watts. One or more LEDs can be combined into a single light fixture as well.

Individual LEDs are beginning to challenge compact florescent bulbs in lumens per watt. LEDs also last longer--some go as long as 50,000 hours before burning out--which reduces maintenance costs. You also don't have the messy mercury recycling problem you do with CFLs. Toronto, Ann Arbor, Mich., and Raleigh, N.C., have all launched initiatives to replace conventional light fixtures with LED fixtures and some builders are incorporating LED fixtures into new homes.

LEDs, however, are more expensive than CFLs or incandescent lamps. The price will go down over time because LEDs are chips and will take advantage of the economies of scale that come from mass manufacturing. Still, a five pack of LR6s goes for $130.

Other companies making LED lighting fixtures include Lemnis Lighting.

LED Lighting Fixtures gets its LEDs from Cree, which is also in North Carolina. The lead investor was Digital Power Capital.

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