Bring up energy-efficient lighting and it's usually more apt to make people yawn than sit on the edge of their seats. But Element Labs is making lights that are positively entertaining.
The Santa Clara, Calif.-based startup, which uses light-emitting diodes for things like entertainment, architecture and signs, has closed a $12.75 million venture-capital round for LED technology.
Investors in the Series B round included Expansion Capital, which said it has invested $10 million, as well as Sierra Ventures and Gold Hill.
Rather than using LEDs to make regular lights more energy-efficient, the company uses them to make visual effects snazzier. The company uses special mounting systems and electronic software controllers to create complex color patterns and video display effects.
Clients include Led Zeppelin, the Spice Girls, Madonna, The Police and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, among other bands. The company also has supplied lighting effects for BMW, Porsche and Microsoft events, Super Bowl halftime shows, the Emmy Awards, the X Games, American Idol and the Grammy Awards.
"Element Labs … has built a strong reputation for creativity, cutting-edge technology, high-impact visual results and dedicated customer service," said Bernardo Llovera, a general partner at Expansion Capital, in a written statement. "We are impressed with Element Labs' team, products and market strategy."
The company plans to use its new-found cash to expand its sales team, grow internationally and enhance its line of creative lighting products for applications like concert-tour and music-video staging, film and TV production lighting and media-wall installations on large buildings.
In other lighting news, CeeLight announced Thursday it has raised $4 million from The Musser Group for what it calls light-emitting capacitors, or LECs. The capacitors are a type of electroluminescent panel -- the lights used in cell phones, watches and control panels -- that the company says give off brighter light, use far less energy than fluorescent lights and can expand lighting into new markets.