Earlier this year Centrallite filed for bankruptcy, and now post-CEDIA we have a clear understanding of how that affects consumers. Most of the Centralite assets were purchased by EZLO, a company that is rolling up several smart home brands and has just released a small smart home hub product. However, the founders of Centralite have formed their own company, called Dragon Technology to service existing installations and eventually build new smart home products.
Jim Busby, the founder of Centralite and now Dragon, says that he and his son Jimmy Busby, are starting their business to support and service several older Centralite brands. They include the Elegance lighting control systems, LiteJet and EleanceXL. They will also support ZigBee-based lighting systems sold such as the JetStream brand of lights. Finally, they will also support the Entrexx systems that are installed in roughly 80 hotels around the world. Jim Busby says he hopes to modernize those hotel systems and get back into the business of providing smart lighting, temperature control, and other products for the hotel industry.
“There is a pretty big pent-up demand for spare parts and service because the Centralite support line went unanswered for a long time,” says Busby Sr. in an email. “So we have started out with a nice bang based on suddenly being able to provide support and parts for the systems.”
Busby says the company has been in business for about four weeks, although he had been in negotiations with the bankruptcy court and EZLO for much longer, to try to bring this vision to fruition. In the near term, he says the focus will be building a national and international service and support network. The company is starting to contact former Centralite dealers to see if they want to work with the new entity. He also hopes to recruit new dealers.
Meanwhile, EZLO, which purchased the Centralite brand is building its own smart home-focused lineup. It has purchased Vera, which made Z-wave hubs, Fortrezz, which made leak detection devices, and MiOs which provides a platform for smart home development and deployment. Roger Gregory, a VP of product management with EZLO, says the company purchased Centralite to add to its smart home capability and is still determining which sensors and products it plans to keep in the brand. Overall the strategy for EZLO is to focus on five segments in the smart home: security, energy, property management, home automation, and water flow and shutoff.
The Centralite purchase added ZigBee lighting and sensors to that category, so the EZLO plans for a well-rounded smart home system are coming together.