LEDs Magazine News & Insights 20 March 2020 – Editor’s Column

March 20, 2020

Welcome to the LEDs Magazine News & Insights newsletter for Mar. 20, 2020. The new normal is not a term I’m terribly fond of. Just getting old will introduce you to the new normal. Go a round or two with cancer and you will really learn to adapt. But heading toward Friday and the weekend, I now know that I only thought I understood the new normal.

Really, most of us in North America should not complain. Our citizens didn’t live through lockdowns, curfews, and food shortages during the World Wars. We are probably past due to have an interruption in our lifestyle. My family thought it was terribly constraining to deal with the San Diego-area wild fires in 2004 and 2007. And I can tell you it was an extremely scary and devastating experience. But again we, all of us around the globe, are suffering through a pandemic that still seems like it should be on a movie screen and not playing out in our cities. Sorry to bring it up again, but it’s hard to escape and plays into our LED and solid-state lighting (SSL) sectors news every day.

Indeed, this week two of the largest companies in our industry blamed the COVID-19 coronavirus for poor business conditions. Osram said the pandemic will lead to the company missing financial targets. And Signify told its customers to expect price increases. We will see how that plays out. I also understand that there is more news coming in the ongoing saga of ams acquiring Osram, but we don’t have the full details just yet.

Thankfully, there are some technology stories. I’m not sure how I missed this horticultural lighting competition before, but Wageningen University & Research (WUR) in Holland is holding the second in a series of Autonomous Greenhouse Challenges. The concept is intriguing in part because the technology being used is close to where I see our HortiCann Light + Tech Conference content headed as I mentioned in our Horticultural Lighting Newsletter yesterday. Alas, one thing changed overnight. The winner was to be announced at the Greentech 2020 event scheduled for June in Amsterdam. That event is now being pushed to the fall. We will try and find out what the new plans are for announcing the challenge winners.

We also have a very interesting story about an outdoor SSL project in Cologne, Germany. Ultimately, the city will connect 85,000 outdoor luminaires using Signify Interact technology. It will be a true smart city project and Signify will supply its Interact City platform but only a portion of the luminaires involved. Signify will deliver Zhaga-compliant modules to add the connectivity and intelligence to luminaires from third parties.

I also have to again remind you to nominate a coworker or industry colleague for our first ever 40 under 40 program. The process takes just minutes using our nomination portal. And it’s free to make a nomination! We hope to identify and celebrate the next-generation of leaders in our LED and SSL sectors.

You will find many more stories of interest in the body of today’s newsletter. Please note my relatively new email address below. 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]