Chief Executive Officer
Location: Gentbrugge, Belgium
Number of employees: 10
Year founded: 2009
EcoNation produces the LightCatcher, a revolutionary design of domed skylight. The LightCatcher has a solar-powered sensor system that tracks the lightest point in the sky and controls a mirror that optimizes the amount of daylight coming in. The LightCatcher also diffuses light and reflects heat, avoiding the traditional disadvantages of skylights – excessive heat and blinding light on sunny days.
Customers face no upfront cost, and start saving immediately: EcoNation funds the installation of LightCatchers on customers’ premises, and charges for them in monthly instalments that are guaranteed to be lower than the customers’ previous electricity bills.
This is made possible by technology that enables EcoNation to automatically monitor light levels in its customers’ premises, and remotely switch off artificial lights when enough light is coming in through the LightCatchers. Energy cost savings typically range from 50% to 70%.
LightCatchers have been installed in factories, airports and nuclear power stations. Other places include sport halls, where traditional skylights are unsuitable as players can be blinded by the sun when they look up; and chicken farms, where the combination of safer, indoor rearing with natural daylight rather than artificial light is reported to have resulted in fewer illnesses and greater productivity.
EcoNation is expanding internationally, with offices in China and Morocco and installations in 12 countries. Profits are reinvested into research and development, with potential applications for residential use and multi-storey buildings in the pipeline.