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Bridgelux Receives $60 Million Funding for LED Lighting Research

Bridgelux Inc., a maker of light-emitting diode, or LED, lighting technologies, received $60 million in financing led by Craton Equity Partners.

Bridgelux will invest the funds in research and development, concentrating on products such as gallium nitride on silicon, or GaN-on-Si, and LED “chip-on-board” technology, Los Angeles-based Craton said today in a statement. The financing brings Bridgelux’s total funds raised to $180 million.

Prices for LEDs may fall 90 percent by 2015 as they replace less efficient incandescent light bulbs in many countries and compact fluorescent bulbs, which contain mercury. Bridgelux expects the market for so-called solid-state lighting to triple this year to more than $3 billion, Chief Executive Officer Bill Watkins said in the statement.

Governments are promoting the use of LED lighting in a bid to save energy and reduce polluting emissions. The U.S. Energy Department said today that if every 60-watt incandescent bulb in the U.S. was replaced with a 10-watt LED bulb, the nation would save about 35 terawatt-hours of electricity, or $3.9 billion, a year and avoid 20 million metric tons of carbon output.

Existing investors including VantagePoint Capital Partners, El Dorado Ventures LP, Novus Energy Partners LP, Invus Group LLC, Harris & Harris Group Inc. and Passport Capital LLC also took part in the funding round, Craton said. David Asarnow, principal of Craton, will join the Bridgelux board as an observer.

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