Cree vet's LED startup raises cash to reinvent the table lamp

TRIANGLE BUSINESS JOURNAL, AUGUST 11, 2016

An LED startup with Cree roots is raising cash in Cary, prepping to debut a table lamp its CEO hopes will be a game-changer in the competitive lighting industry.

Neeraj Lal, a former product marketing manager at Durham LED giant Cree, started Cary-based Purillume two years ago. The company, still technically in stealth mode, he says, is leveraging components from his old employer in new, programmable LED lamps.

And Lal says he is working on the final design to push into production.

The firm, which currently consists just of Lal, is trying to raise $600,000, according to a securities filing dated Monday. So far, the firm has raised $250,000 of the sum from nine investors via a mixture of debt and options, mostly friends and family, he says.

Lal says much of that money is earmarked toward the production of an LED product that will debut in the residential and hospitality space.

The technology, dubbed the Orchid LED Lighting System, is customizable “to individual preferences, activities or moods with the touch of a finger,” according to a product description. The first product, a table lamp, has two LED light sources working together to provide what Purillume characterizes as a “uniform omnidirectional lighting experience that can be customized by the user.”

And the light itself is just part of the technology. Lamps can be used individually or as part of a synchronized system, communicating via Bluetooth. And they can be programmed to dim as you fall asleep, or even wake you up with a “cool white light."

There are also plans in place to introduce a floor lamp “in the near future.”

Lal says he's already picked an undisclosed U.S.-based manufacturing partner and expects to hire his first employee in the next few months.

Cree confirmed Wednesday that its LEDs were being utilized in the new products.