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GE snaps up LED startup Albeo

Posting in Energy

GE's lighting division announced it is buying Albeo Technologies, a Boulder, Colo.,-based startup company that makes LED fixtures and control systems for industrial and commercial markets.

GE didn't disclose the purchase amount.

Albeo, one of 10 companies that won Global Cleantech Cluster Association's 2011 Later Stage Award, has grown considerably in the past several years, in terms of revenues and customers.

Albeo started out focusing on the residential market, but switched gears in 2007 to commercial and industrial, a decision that accelerated the company's growth, CEO Jeff Bisberg told The Denver Business Journal earlier this year.

Since then, Albeo has landed a number of major commercial contracts. Albeo's lighting was used for a major tech company's data center and Caterpillar installed the company's lighting at its large engine manufacturing facility in Lafayette, Ind.

The move to industrial and commercial markets paid off. The company's revenue skyrocketed 430 percent from $2 million in 2009 to $10.6 million in 2011, The Denver Business Journal reported.

The falling cost of LED lights for commercial buildings is driving quite a bit of change within the lighting industry. It's also encouraging major companies, like GE, to acquire smaller businesses and startups that serve the commercial and industrial markets.

Cheaper LEDs have spurred re-lamping projects in commercial buildings, according to a report released this month by Pike Research. And because LEDs are particularly well-suited to digital control, many building owners will decide to incorporate additional lighting intelligence, such as photosensors, dimming ballasts, dimming controls and the communications and interfaces needed to tie controls to a building's management system, the report said.

— By on November 27, 2012, 7:39 AM PST

Kirsten Korosec

Contributing Editor

Kirsten Korosec has written for Technology Review, Marketing News, The Hill, BNET and Bloomberg News. She holds a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is based in Tucson, Arizona. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure