Today, about one-third of the total global Energy consumption is caused by the buildings we live and work in. Among this, lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) accounts for more than 60% percent of a typical household’s and commercial building’s electricity bill. This can be immensely reduced by using energy judiciously. Energy efficiency in this sector is currently stressed by scientists and policy makers addressing the fossil fuel depletion and sustainable energy supply worldwide.
These productive improvements are a primary driver of long-term economic growth. Especially in developing economies, where cheap energy-efficient lighting will result in a faster growth of energy demand globally. However, energy efficiency has always been the last on the to-do list for landlords and tenants. Apprehending this predicament, LightFi created a smart building automation device for lighting and HVAC in all types of spaces.
An Eminent Leader
Alex Bak, CEO of LightFi, has always been a creative intellectual that challenges existing ways of thinking. After finishing his Ph.D. in Quantum Metamaterials at Imperial College, London, Alex became a change management consultant at MenKus & Associates, advising clients on how to deal with digital disruption.
“No concept is ever too wild to invent!”, believes Alex. He has written a thoughtful piece on megatrends at Siemens; studied innovation, entrepreneurship, and design at Imperial Business School. He has also directed and produced an environment-based documentary film in Peru, after experiencing firsthand the effect climate change was having on people.
After working with industry giants like Siemens, Alex founded LightFi with two other co-founders, who were postdocs from the Imperial College.
LightFi provides tech driven solutions for seamless automation of lighting and optimization of HVAC systems in commercial and domestic buildings. Through Wi-Fi based tech they deliver the ability to know what is happening in office space, lecture theatres, warehouses, homes and provide a more comfortable and convenient place to live and work, while saving energy in the background, unnoticed.
LightFi’s initial customers are energy managers and facilities managers that take care of offices and university buildings. LightFi knows how many people are using a space, and is able to automate lighting, and optimize the exiting HVAC infrastructure, making sure the people in the office, lecture or theatre get the right level of ventilation, tailored to the number of people in the room. And poor ventilation can cause the indoor CO2 levels to build up, and people start to lose focus and concentration, by as much as 50%. LightFi is perfect for any space that has dynamic occupancy, such as hot-desking, co-working spaces, lecture theaters. Their solution not only provides a smarter building, but also smarter staff and students. It only takes 10 minutes to install, and any electrician can do it. No prior training is needed.
Creating a Difference
There are a lot of companies out there trying to create products that save on energy spend: multi-sensors mesh, image recognition, or just simple motion sensors. LightFi stands out because it offers much more than energy saving – providing a better working environment – but it is also much easier to install, a true retrofit. LightFi’s mission is to create new ways of tracking and monitoring the improved health and well-being of its users, while saving energy. Their technology makes wellbeing, comfort, automation, and energy efficiency accessible in terms of cost and installation complexity, which improves the sustainability value of their buildings and also contribute to public good.
LightFi’s clients turn their buildings into sustainable and smart spaces that care for the people that use them. They get this without breaking any sweat, and without breaking the bank, promising a return on investment of 1 year, purely from the energy savings. Their technology tracks live occupancy levels, which gives them insight into what happens at 2 pm on Friday for example, or if they have too many desks, thus being able to optimize and improve their space. Beyond the numbers, at LightFi, they have a strong focus on public good and well-being which drives the company.
LightFi is currently focusing on making partnerships with distributors for commercial sectors to scale their HVAC solution to the UK and then globally. They are also investigating how technology can enable ‘smart home’ with University and Industrial partnerships, and is expected to enter the market with a global partner in a couple of years.
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