LED Effects acquired, appoints Govi Rao as CEO

June 21, 2007
A majority stake in LED lighting specialist LED Effects has been acquired by a private equity firm, with plans for growth.
Pegasus Capital Advisors has acquired a majority interest in the business of LED Effects, a designer and manufacturer of LED lighting products. The Sacramento, CA-based company is one of the few to offer true digital control technology with in-house design, and provides custom lighting solutions for architectural and artistic projects alongside its core business in the gaming industry (see Related Stories at right).

LED Effects also announced the appointment effective July 1 of Govi Rao as president and CEO. Rao is currently vice president and general manager of the North American Solid State Lighting Luminaries business at Philips Lighting Company. (This Philips unit will be merged with Color Kinetics following the latter's acquisition by Philips - see News).

"I am thrilled to be joining the business at this exciting time," said Rao. "The company’s people, intellectual property and technology leadership are the cornerstones of a solid foundation, and I believe this combination will enable us to bring unique and innovative solutions to our customers worldwide."

Rao says that Philips has worked with LED Effects in the past 2 years as one of its suppliers and integration partners for LED-based lighting projects such as last year's Saks Fifth Avenue snowflakes display – see www.ledsmagazine.com/news/3/11/25.

"LED Effects intends to continue working with Philips," says Rao. "Collaboration is essential to help develop a SSL 'ecosystem' where multiple players can be successful."

LED Effects was founded in 1993 before LEDs were considered lighting devices and initially developed LED products for the gaming industry. Kevin Furry, co-founder and current president of LED Effects said, “This is an incredibly exciting development for us and provides the support we need to outpace market growth. Since 1993 we have been visionaries in the use of LED lighting before there was an industry, and now we have the resources for the tremendous opportunities ahead.”

The company has about 35 people and sales of about $15 million. Rao says that Pegasus has made the acquisition with a view to growing the company. As well as continuing to work in the gaming industry, LED Effects will work on custom lighting projects and develop a portfolio of lighting products, as well as video walls, using its expertise in intelligent digital control and integration.

“LED lighting is clearly the wave of the future, and we are thrilled to be partnering with the market leader in this field,” said Richard Weinberg, a partner at Pegasus. “LED lighting has enormous benefits over traditional lighting technologies – lower energy consumption, longer life and enhanced flexibility in design and controls – and we believe the company is extremely well positioned to capitalize on this transition.”