LED Industry News: Orb Optronix, Gamma, Next, Lucibel, Barefoot Power

Lucibel and Barefoot Power have closed additional rounds of financing, Next Lighting has hired Steve Paolini as CTO, Orb Optronix is to supply KOPTI with LM-80 test equipment, and Gamma Scientific is now able to perform third-party Energy Star testing.

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Lucibel closes additional round of financing

Lucibel, a France-based LED lighting company, has closed a round of financing in addition to the EUR3.5 million ($4.3 million) round finalized in mid-June. The latest round was mainly funded Aster Capital, a major European venture-capital firm that is sponsored by Alstom, Solvay Rhodia and Schneider Electric, three global industrial leaders in the energy and environment markets.

Aster Capital has invested EUR1.5 million ($1.8 million) in Lucibel, which manufactures and sells a complete range of LED lamps and fixtures in 15 countries worldwide.

Jean Marc Bally, managing director of Aster Capital, said: “We have identified the LED lighting market as one of the key markets of the next years, whose dynamics will favor the emergence of new entrants who may ‘move the lines’ and challenge incumbent players. Lucibel managed to build a [high] quality and differentiated offer and we are convinced that this company will be one of the reference players on this market.”

Bally said that Aster would “make the best use of our industrial sponsors’ assets to speed up the development of Lucibel in the next years. The alliance of Lucibel’s and our sponsor’s know-hows, in particular Schneider Electric’s, will allow developing very innovative lighting solutions.”

Several commercial initiatives have already been launched, in particular the market launch in Asia of a first lighting solution jointly designed by Schneider Electric and Lucibel.

Frédéric Granotier, founder and CEO of Lucibel, added: “Schneider Electric is a major player in the Lighting Control sector and represents for us an ideal partner to support us in the development of solutions aiming at improving the energy performance of buildings.”

Barefoot Power raises funds, reaches low-income families

Barefoot Power, a Sydney, Australia-based social purpose business, has successfully raised Series B funding of A$5.8 million (US$6 million). In addition, the company has achieved a milestone of bringing affordable solar-powered LED-based lighting and phone-charging products to two million people across 20 countries.

The company believes that energy access is one of the key building blocks of economic development, and its first area of focus has been the need for clean and affordable lighting. It designs, manufactures, and distributes micro-solar lighting products that meet the needs of communities in disadvantaged regions of the world. This helps low-income families break their dependence on inefficient, expensive and harmful light sources by giving them cleaner and cheaper options.

The funding came from three leading social investment funds - d.o.b Foundation, ennovent and Insitor Fund – along with two existing shareholders – The Grace Foundation and Oikocredit Ecumenical Development Coop – and a number of private angel investors.

Next Lighting hires Steve Paolini as CTO

Next Lighting Corp., a San Francisco, CA-based developer of LED-based linear lighting products, has appointed Steve Paolini as Chief Technology Officer. Paolini will be responsible for overseeing Next’s strategic direction and intellectual property portfolio.

Most recently, Paolini was CTO of Lunera Lighting, an SSL commercial fixture company. In 2007, Paolini co-founded Telelumen, to develop novel technology for recording and playback of light. Prior to that he was with Philips Lumileds, having joined Hewlett Packard's Optoelectronics Division in 1981.

Orb Optronix helps KOPTI to bring LM-80 in-house

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Orb Optronix, the Kirkland, WA-based supplier of test & measurement equipment and services, has been chosen by the Korea Photonics Technology Institute (KOPTI) to provide lumen-maintenance measurement hardware. This will allow KOPTI to create a full IES LM-80 test and measurement lab facility in South Korea. LM-80 provides a standard for measuring the lumen output of high-brightness LEDs over time at specific temperatures.

KOPTI is an industrial technology research institute specializing in photonics technology, and shares its high-performance laboratory equipment and clean-room facilities with photonics companies for developing LEDs, precision optical components and many other types of photonics-based products.

Gamma Scientific able to perform third-party Energy Star testing

Gamma Scientific, a San Diego, CA-based manufacturer of precision testing equipment for light measurement, has been acknowledged as an EPA-recognized laboratory to perform third-party Energy Star certification testing for lighting products.

This recognition allows Gamma Scientific to provide Energy Star certification testing for a variety of lighting products, including LED lamps, luminaires, automotive lighting and street lights.

The Gamma Scientific laboratory has also been awarded accreditation by the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) under the Energy Efficient Lighting Products Program and is ISO 17025 compliant.

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