Union City, Calif.

Founded: 1991
Employees: 108
2009 revenue: $42.8 million

Finelite manufactures energy-efficient lighting fixtures and systems.

Finelite is very conscious of its environmental impact, but also of the high cost of living its employees face because of its Bay Area locale. As a result, when gas prices soared in 2008, the company allowed workers to take a vote for a four-day, 10-hour workweek. After implementation, employees changed their minds because of difficulties with scheduling and daycare, but Finelite's experimental spirit remains. The company also tries to keep its workspace environmentally friendly; its facility uses 56 percent less power for lighting than that allowed by the strictest building code in force.