About Bits LTD

Our Back Story

 

BITS Ltd was formed as a New York corporation on March 26,1986. The name BITS was an abbreviation for Barton International Technical Services, stemming from the last name of the two founders, Russell and Bruce Barton, and the services that they provided. The company initially specialized as a medical technology services company, repairing and maintaining very sophisticated medical equipment such as CAT Scan and MRI machines in various countries, primarily in South and Central America.

It was during this time that the Barton brothers wanted to come up with a way to save energy while running certain types of equipment that did not need to be on continuously but only when a primary (control) piece of equipment was on. They invented the first intelligent power strip in 2004, called the Smart Strip™ and this product gained a lot of success when it was featured on Oprah in 2006. A new product category was born – the “Advanced Power Strip” (APS). BITS initially focused on the retail channel as there was significant consumer demand for Smart Strips® – but there was another market that saw the potential of passing energy savings on to consumers and commercial users: the Utility market. BITS began to supply many players in the Utility market with Smart Strips™ and expanded the product line to include several new versions with different numbers of outlets and other features such as PC communication.

About 10 years later, in 2015, the Barton brothers were approached by a team of industry veterans with an offer to acquire the company and they decided that the timing was right for them to sell the business. The new company—based in California—was named BITS Smart Strip LLC (dba BITS Limited) and focused on the Utility market from the start. The new owners brought a variety of new strengths to BITS including a deep knowledge of sourcing products (primarily in Asia).

2015 to 2022

Directly following the acquisition/reformation, we were asked by our customers to source new types of products, starting with an LED night light, which we introduced in 2016 (and we later patented our proprietary night light design in 2019). In 2017, we introduced 2 entirely new products lines – the BITS Bulb™ line of LED light bulbs and the Eco-Logical™ line of water efficient plumbing fixtures that included shower heads and several types of aerators.

It wasn’t long before we were asked about putting our products into Kits, to be supplied either in bulk to one of our utility distributor customers or directly to consumers. We decided to put more focus on these types of kits and added other energy saving products such as insulation, door sweeps, timers, temperature cards, etc. With our extensive sourcing knowledge, we are able to supply just about any related product to our kits, as well as adapt kits to other industry models such as Natural Disaster Relief, Emergency/Safety and Education.

In 2017, we partnered with a local non-profit organization whose primary mission is to “support individuals with diverse challenges in shaping distinctive, meaningful lives.” People with a varying range of disabilities assemble the kits in our facility–directed by trained leaders—they piece together the kits, sealing and organizing them onto pallets ready for shipment. We believe they have impacted our lives far more than we have theirs, helping us to see them for the ‘ABLE’ individuals they are. Unfortunately, this organization closed in 2022 due, in part, to the impact of the pandemic but we remain committed to working with similar organizations should the opportunity arise.

The pandemic was a challenging period for everyone on a global level. We were fortunate to be in an industry that is considered essential and we were able to use our sourcing capabilities to source PPE for local front-line workers at a critical time. In addition, our business adapted to providing more kits directly to consumers, small businesses, and K-12 students while most “installation” oriented utility programs were put on hold.

2022 Onward

In early 2022, we started to work with our team in Asia to source a heat pump water heater as we could see that this product would soon become an essential item to help the US reach its clean energy objectives. This was reinforced with the passage of the IRA bill in August of 2022, which specifically calls out heat pump technology for both home heating and water heating. This technology is not new and has been used for many years around the world but it is still relatively new to the US market and we want to be a part of the team of companies helping to supply this technology to consumers in America. BITS is introducing ECO-LOGICAL™ branded heat pump water heaters in 2024, manufactured by one of the largest global manufacturers of heat pumps and related types of appliances.