Specifiers require clear guidelines to understand LED capabilities (MAGAZINE)

Providing useful information, managing client expectations and cutting down the hype remain key tasks for the LED lighting community, says TIM WHITAKER.

LEDs already exert a major influence within the lighting industry, and represent an exciting opportunity, but there is a risk that their reputation will be undermined if they do not perform to client expectations in the early years of market penetration. Lighting specifiers are still struggling to understand the capabilities of LED lighting, and it is important to manage the expectations of LEDs versus other lighting technologies. These were some of the key messages that came across from a recent one-day seminar entitled “LED Lighting Solutions and Applications Today,” organized by the UK’s Lighting Industry Federation (LIF). Eddie Taylor, LIF’s Chief Executive, explained that the aim of the seminar was to provide an update on the current practicality of LEDs, looking at realistic product and lighting performance, as well as current applications.

In presenting a “Designer’s view on lighting with LEDs”, Martin Lupton talked about what lighting designers want, and also what they don’t want. Lupton is the lighting director of BDP, the largest interdisciplinary practice of architects, designers, engineers and “urbanists” in Europe, and is also the current president of the Professional Lighting Designers’ Association (PLDA). “This is what I want; a dimmable lamp, producing lots of light, with a long lifetime,” said Lupton, holding up an MR-16 lamp. What he doesn’t want, he said, is the “massive amount of hype” which is often associated with LEDs. Citing the “ultra-efficient catch phrases” used by manufacturers, he said that if over-selling continues, the industry will start to enjoy the same reputation as used car salesmen.

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This article was published in the Jan/Feb 2010 issue of LEDs Magazine. To read the full version of this article, please visit our magazine page, where you can download FREE electronic PDF versions of all issues of LEDs Magazine. You can also request a print copy of LEDs Magazine (available by paid subscription) and sign up for our free weekly email newsletter.

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