LEDs Magazine Weekly Newsletter 18 December 2019 - Editor's Column

Dec. 18, 2019

Welcome to the LEDs Magazine weekly newsletter for Dec. 18, 2019. This will be our last weekly newsletter for this year. We will be back at you in early January. This, our main newsletter, will come to you next as the LEDs Magazine News & Insights newsletter, and we will be moving to a twice-a-week frequency. Since we won’t publish next week, we wish you all a Happy Holiday Season and New Year.

The last event I attended in 2019 was a first for me. Given our commitment to the horticultural lighting market, and other horticultural technology, we visited the MJBizCon event in Las Vegas. You might envision the Las Vegas Convention Center full of characters such as the one played by Sean Penn in the movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High. In reality, there were mostly business executives, lawyers, investors, and other professionals wandering the aisles. Make no mistake, this cannabis industry is big business.

There were upwards of 75 lighting companies at MJBizCon, including stalwarts such as GE Current and Signify. There were also dozens that I had never heard of before including many direct from China. There was an unmistakable gold rush aura present. But there were also some truly questionable products on display in terms of how I might judge a reliable design. As I discussed in an article on GE Current, the difference was startling when visiting the exhibit of an established LED lighting company, although there were some smaller companies present with innovative ideas.

What MJBizCon lacked was the technology and science details available at more-focused events. We plan to continue filling that gap with our HortiCann Light + Tech Conference. We will have more news for you on the 2020 event in the coming weeks including more expansion of scope, but retaining a technology and science edge. For now, I’ll just reveal the venue. We will be going to Silicon Valley hosting the event at the San Jose Doubletree Hotel located adjacent to the San Jose International Airport.

Every year around this time, we publish a number of “top of the year” articles and we will culminate that process with this newsletter. We reveal our top 20 articles of the year. And as our Carrie Meadows writes, the articles that got the most web traffic confirm that 2019 has been a “business re-building year.” It has indeed been a year of upheaval from a business perspective, even among some of the largest players in the LED and solid-state lighting (SSL) sectors.

I’ve been told many times that change is good. Let’s sure hope so. The companies we cover the most all went through major changes this year, as did our own organization becoming part of Endeavor Business Media. We all need a more normal 2020 with positive momentum. Indeed, we published a column in our most recent issue from Lumileds executive Steve Barlow on just that prospect.

Even our last weekly newsletter of the year comes with more change, although hopefully it’s a sign of things settling back into a steady rhythm. In that same story about GE Current linked above, we wrote that the company has named Manish Bhandari as their new CEO.

In other news, we have a story about some very interesting research projects at the Lighting Research Center. That organization has done some solid work on metrics for lighting for health and wellbeing. You can hear firsthand about some of that lab’s work at the upcoming Strategies in Light slated for Feb. 11–13, 2020 in San Diego. And remember our Sapphire Awards on the aircraft carrier Midway when you make your conference plans.

You will find many more stories of interest in the body of today’s newsletter. Please note my relatively new email address. And always feel free to contact me to discuss content we post or to pitch a contributed article.

- Maury Wright, (858) 748-6785, [email protected]