CommScope acquires Redwood Systems

Acquisition of LED lighting specialist Redwood is intended to strengthen CommScope’s ability to provide intelligent building infrastructure platforms.

Jul 9th, 2013

To meet growing demand from business enterprises for full-scale intelligent infrastructure platforms, CommScope has acquired Redwood Systems, Inc., a provider of energy-efficient facilities lighting solutions and integrated sensor networks for data centers and buildings. Redwood, a privately-held company with offices in the US and UK, is a specialist in light emitting diode (LED) technology that helps facilitate lower cost and higher-performing workplaces.

The acquisition is intended to strengthen CommScope’s position in intelligent building infrastructure solutions, enabling the company to provide a more comprehensive automated infrastructure management platform. With upcoming enhancements to optimize its operation over twisted pair cabling, the Redwood Systems platform can be deployed over CommScope's presently available standardized structured cabling infrastructure. The acquired technology is expected to help CommScope's data center and intelligent building customers maximize their investment in cabling infrastructure and move towards more integrated IT and building systems, thus reducing installation costs and ongoing operational expenses.

See also: Are intelligent buildings NATO or a go?

The terms of the acquisition are not being disclosed. According to a press release, CommScope funded the acquisition from cash on hand and funds available under its revolving credit facility.

Redwood is known for its development of what is believed to be the world’s first smart building platform that powers and controls lights with a high-density sensor grid. The platform provides energy savings that the company claims typically averages 75 percent improvement over traditional fluorescent lighting systems for office buildings and 90 percent improvement for data centers, with granular monitoring of space utilization, temperature and power consumption. The company says this award-winning approach uses its patented networking technology and low-voltage direct current, or DC, architecture for low-cost, highly reliable and scalable installation.

“By adding Redwood’s innovative solutions, we expect to better meet our customers' desire for improved energy efficiency and provide a cost-effective platform for enabling truly intelligent buildings,” comments Kevin St. Cyr, senior vice president of enterprise solutions at CommScope. "Tremendous insight on building usage can be obtained from analyzing the centrally stored data from the sensor network, enabling additional efficiency improvements and enhanced capabilities well beyond efficient lighting.”

Related coverage: Redwood's lighting system now part of CommScope's intelligent-building offering (Mar. 2012)

More: Anixter to distribute Redwood Systems' building-performance lighting products (Sept. 2011)

Integrating with CommScope will provide Redwood Systems customers with infrastructure management software and cabling solutions to help meet their unique needs in implementing efficient asset management solutions. “Redwood Systems brings a legacy of pioneering systems and offerings that make commercial facilities more intelligent and efficient,” notes Dave Leonard, chief executive officer, Redwood Systems. “We share in the values, such as innovation, held by the people at CommScope and feel it is the best fit for us to leverage their global capabilities as a leader of intelligent infrastructure solutions.”

The benefits of LED technology for use in intelligent buildings are numerous, contends CommScope. LED technology has been around for multiple decades and is used for communications on enterprise local area networks over multimode fiber. The LED efficiency of converting electricity into light has advanced tremendously in the last decade to the point that it has become of interest for general lighting applications. In addition to improved energy efficiency, LED lights also last longer, thus decreasing operating costs relative to other lighting technologies. Pricing for LED lights continues to drop as the market matures, with expectations that the vast majority of general lighting will be LED technology by the end of the decade.

In addition to energy savings, the Redwood Systems smart building platform monitors energy usage, room occupancy, motion detection, temperature and environmentals, giving a much clearer view of how building space is being utilized. This data is stored and available for graphical review, detailed analysis, or use by building management systems. The Redwood platform also uses sophisticated techniques such as “follow-me lighting” and daylight harvesting to further reduce energy consumption. Notably, Redwood Systems is recognized as a Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) Building Performance 2013 award winner. The company says its selection as the top solution in the Energy-Using Product category underscores Redwood’s unique approach to delivering improved building performance and reducing energy consumption through lighting.

See also: LED lighting promises opportunity for structured cabling professionals

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