Daintree Networks got its start in lighting controls (first attached and then embedded), and now it is moving beyond lighting to control more services in the enterprise.
We have been following Daintree for more than a year. Now the company is emerging as a leader in the movement I mentioned in the Lightfair preview a couple of weeks back: broadening beyond lighting controls to address the larger problems of building-level devices and systems. Remotely controlling thermostats, fans, air conditioning, and things that can be plugged into sockets ("plug loads") seems a lot like how the Internet of Things is often described. Indeed, Daintree refers to this broader cope of control as the Enterprise Internet of Things.
Like Digital Lumens, which we've also been following, Daintree relies on open standards to power its controls, in particular the ZigBee family of standards from Light Link to Smart Energy to Building Automation.
Daintree has partnered with LG Electronics, as we noted back in March. Now a project arising from that partnership is rolling out at a National Bank of Arizona branch in Prescott. In the 3,000-square-foot facility, Daintree's ControlScope software will manage 13 lighting zones, consisting of LG LED troffers, along with nine thermostats controlled by LG VRF systems.
I spoke with Daintree's CEO, Danny Yu. He said that the Arizona installation was the first fruit of the partnership with LG, but not the first installation the company has been involved in that called for controls beyond the lighting sphere. Yu alluded to a number of other projects, some with large banks (which he would not name), in which control of thermostats and plug loads are important components.
According to numbers Yu quoted, the commercial lighting control market has a penetration rate of only 7%, so it's a wide-open field. The older space of HVAC controls is only 30% covered. Much of that represents new construction of large industrial spaces of at least 100,000 square feet, and established companies such as Siemens and Johnson Controls dominate at that scale. The 70% of industrial and commercial HVAC not yet covered by controls is mainly a retrofit market made up of smaller concerns, where Yu believes Daintree has wide opportunity.
As California goes
On July 1, new energy regulations (Title 24) will go into effect in California, requiring certain nonresidential additions and alterations to include stringent energy-saving measures for plumbing, electrical, lighting, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. Yu told me that the company has been talking for six months about its readiness to assist in these areas.
"We have always had the view that software platforms are the key to driving value, not only in lighting control, but across the wider control landscape," he said.
I'll look forward to seeing the Daintree and LG systems in operation at Lightfair.
— Keith Dawson , Editor-in-Chief, All LED Lighting