Osram, the digital lighting unit spun out of industrial giant Siemens, is buying Boston-based Digital Lumens.
Nine-year-old Digital Lumens started out making fixtures and hardware for use in “smart” lighting systems for commercial and industrial use. It has more recently positioned itself as a provider of software to run such systems. Smart lighting, in which the actual lights are connected to each other and to a controlling hub via the Internet, is a subset of the growing Internet of Things phenomenon.
Digital Lumens claims 2,500 installations, mostly in industrial settings. It had taken in just over $55 million in venture funding from backers including Nokia Growth Partners and Flybridge Partners.
As former Fortune senior writer Stacey Higginbotham put it a while back: “Lighting, like everything else, has gone digital. Instead of creating light with wires and gas inside a hot enclosure, we now use semiconductors known as light-emitting diodes, or LEDs.” They are more energy-efficient and durable than their forebears.
But the market has been a battleground with industrial giants Siemens (SIEGY), Philips (PHG), and General Electric (GE) duking it out. It seemed inevitable that smaller players like Digital Lumens would be acquired or gone.