14 Feb 2012
LED manufacturer Bridgelux has announced a $25
million investment from Kaistar Lighting, and an SSL project in Tulsa, Oklahoma,
that uses luminaires from Amerlux.
Bridgelux has raised an additional $25 million dollars in investment capital
to further its development and manufacturing of LEDs for general-illumination
applications, with the new funding coming from Xiamen, China-based Kaistar
Lighting. The company also announced a new Tulsa, Oklahoma SSL street- and
area-lighting project that it has undertaken in partnership with Amerlux.
New Bridgelux investor Kaistar Lighting is a joint venture of Epistar Corp.
and Shenzhen Kaifa Technology Co. Bridgelux said it will use the funds to
further accelerate its R&D efforts.
"This investment marks the beginning of our cooperation with Kaistar to lead
the transition to solid-state lighting," said Bridgelux CEO Bill Watkins.
"Kaistar’s cost-competitive manufacturing capabilities combined with Bridgelux’s
high-performance packaging solutions will continue to drive down the cost of
solid-state technology for general lighting, helping to more rapidly expand the
market for LED."
The statement in the above paragraph certainly implies a partnership between
Bridgelux and Kaistar. Partnering with a Chinese lighting maker could certainly
provide an avenue for success to Bridgelux in supplying LEDs into the Chinese
market. Moreover, a manufacturing partner with low-cost and high-volume skills
could also benefit Bridgelux in terms of supplying its LEDs into the global
The Kaistar investment comes on the heels of two significant investments that
the company announced last year. First, Craton Equity Partners announced a $60 million investment in
August, and then existing investors added $15 million in funding in
October. Bridgelux is using the funds to optimize a gallium-nitride-on-silicon
(GaN-on-Si) manufacturing process that it believes can lower LED costs.
Tulsa street lights
Meanwhile Bridgelux is finding success with its existing family of
sapphire-based packaged LEDs and arrays including the ES series that is used in
the Amerlux D142 and D154 decorative street lights.