LEDs Magazine News & Insights 10 January 2020 - Editor's Column

Jan. 10, 2020

Welcome to the LEDs Magazine News & Insights newsletter for Jan. 10, 2020. Earlier in the week, I mentioned the CES show and automotive applications. It turns out I have found the autonomous vehicle exhibits at CES the most compelling area of the show, although I haven’t seen anywhere near everything with exhibits now spread over three different venues in Las Vegas. Indeed, CES could use a better way to move people with some major speeches slated far across town from the biggest exhibit areas. And the main convention center will soon get a huge addition on the west side of Paradise that’s under construction. There are rumors of a subway to run underneath, and of course Elon Musk is building one of his transport tunnels in the area.

But back to autonomous vehicles. The North hall at the main convention center is packed with the major US, Japanese, and European automakers. All are showcasing some of their most advanced current features, but the focus is clearly the future. In the middle of these auto maker exhibits stands a booth from Bell of helicopter fame. Some of you may have seen this on the news. But Bell was showing a full-size mockup of a quad-copter/plane hybrid that would ferry people and cargo around a smart city of the future using a Mobility as a Service (MaaS) business model. Now that would be the way to see CES.

Still, there were many nearer-term technologies on display. Obviously, the big TVs are always news. We will have an article in our Jan/Feb issue in a couple of weeks covering the mini/micro LED advancements in TV displays.

Meanwhile, Osram had a projector TV technology advancement in its booth – again a booth full of autonomous vehicle technology. The company announced some new Ostar packaged LEDs that can enable very small projectors which deliver greater than 3000 ANSI lumen output. The color packaged LEDs could spur the home market to renewed interest in projection TV with screens beyond 10 ft in size and also serve in corporate conference-room applications.

There was also smart lighting at CES, although some of the major consumer electronics companies talked about smart home technology somehow with lighting not being a part of that picture. Earlier in the week, we covered announcements by WiZ Connected, which is a company owned by Signify. Now we have a story about Signify and the latest moves with the Philips Hue smart lamp technology. The major advancements are related to voice control.

In our Wednesday newsletter this week, we announced the finalists in our 2020 Sapphire Awards product, technology, and application categories. We have since posted the finalists for our most prestigious Illumineer of the Year award that will cap our awards ceremony. Cree Lighting, Nichia, and Heliospectra are represented.

And as I have mentioned several times, the Sapphire Awards ceremony is a true bargain this year and affords our guests a chance to visit a museum ranked top ten in the US. There will be no tuxedos or heels required this year. Join us on the flight deck of the Midway aircraft carrier. Not only will you get to celebrate the Sapphire winners, but you won’t find a better deal in San Diego for a night of drinks and tapas, and awards, while looking over the town skyline and San Diego Bay.

Also, I know the Strategies in Light team was set to close Early Bird registration for the conference today. They may extend that offer a couple of days. But you should register now.

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]