January hits an exciting cross-section of SSL topics

Jan. 29, 2021
Regardless of a slow start to business in 2021, this month racked up a well-rounded list of hot topics in our top articles of January — plus a ‘bonus item’ conversation starter.

Although the cycle of news in the LED and solid-state lighting (SSL) sector had been slow to trickle in, it has begun steadily ramping up since the second week of January. And we have been busy working on bringing in additional online exclusives from industry contributors. Let’s look at the top four articles published on our website in January.

1. Signify CEO eyes $2B agricultural lighting market

We’ve been observing for some time that the general horticultural and agricultural sectors, including cannabis, will be a big driver of LED technology, leading the way in controlled environment agriculture (CEA) in particular. Due to its lower heat output and beam directionality, LED-based SSL can be placed precisely where plants need it most. Moreover, the latest studies on spectral response can shape the indoor agricultural operation in ways farmers and growers couldn’t have imagined 60 years ago. You can read about advances in plant science in our HortiCann Light + Tech virtual event coverage as our January/February issue just went live. All of this is to say, it’s a smart play and a good sign that Signify CEO Eric Rondolat recently revealed that the company finds itself in good position to capitalize on the ~$2B horticultural/agricultural lighting market over the next two years.

2. Portable UV-C canisters provide take-it-with-you coronavirus zapping

Despite commentary about whether the coronavirus vaccines will reduce demand for other tools to defend against pathogens, interest in ultraviolet (UV) disinfection technology shows no signs of slowing down. This month, our Mark Halper looked into UV germicidal irradiation (UVGI) devices from Osram that use a 253.7-nm mercury-discharge tube to deliver UV-C energy to both purify and disinfect air within a small area, such as an office, home, or vehicle. Two versions of the AirZing canister product are available currently in Europe only. As we are especially concerned about the safety of products marketed directly to consumers, we can report that the UV-C tube is shielded from the user inside the device. While consumer-oriented devices can be useful when designed and operated properly, the larger market opportunity as well as the ability to positively impact public health will likely lie in the commercial & industrial sectors. You’ll find a UV special report series launching in our current issue that starts with context on applications in educational settings.

3. IES turns an editorial eye to the state of the lighting industry

A couple of weeks back, I wrote a blog in advance of the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) webinar that featured an editorial panel discussion. After attending the webinar myself, I was intrigued by the ideas that the editors shared. I hope that open conversation continues to shed light on what technologies bring added value to the SSL sector, what needs to be approached differently, and how the LED and lighting community can move in a positive direction to cultivate skilled professionals who apply creative solutions to lighting the world around them.

4. Existing incumbents stand to benefit from the energy transition

One of our recent online exclusives made the top articles of the month, and here’s why I think it resonates: The authors approached a region-specific market with an eye to what factors have grown that market, including regulatory agencies, utility programs, and investment in developing local manufacturing and distribution channels. Consultants Rajiv Khosla and Sanjoy Sanyal present a clear picture of the penetration of LED lighting in India, which shows how other emerging markets might consider similar strategies.

As for that “bonus item” I mentioned above, chief editor Maury Wright recently reported on a far-UV-C product employed in a senior living environment that has created a bit of buzz, and we’d like to see how the discussion continues to unfold. Far UV-C is certainly on our radar, but we believe that research on 222-nm wavelengths will continue to bring new findings to the table and it should continue in order to prove out long-term safety when people are exposed to far UV-C radiation, and that guidelines on proper dosage of all UV-C wavelengths will emerge from standards and regulatory organizations to help both product developers and end customers.

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About the Author

Carrie Meadows | Editor-in-Chief, LEDs Magazine

Carrie Meadows has more than 20 years of experience in the publishing and media industry. She worked with the PennWell Technology Group for more than 17 years, having been part of the editorial staff at Solid State Technology, Microlithography World, Lightwave, Portable Design, CleanRooms, Laser Focus World, and Vision Systems Design before the group was acquired by current parent company Endeavor Business Media.

Meadows has received finalist recognition for LEDs Magazine in the FOLIO Eddie Awards, and has volunteered as a judge on several B2B editorial awards committees. She received a BA in English literature from Saint Anselm College, and earned thesis honors in the college's Geisel Library. Without the patience to sit down and write a book of her own, she has gladly undertaken the role of editor for the writings of friends and family.

Meadows enjoys living in the beautiful but sometimes unpredictable four seasons of the New England region, volunteering with an animal shelter, reading (of course), and walking with friends and extended "dog family" in her spare time.