LEDs Magazine News & Insights 1 April 2020 - Editor's Column

April 1, 2020

Welcome to the LEDs Magazine News & Insights newsletter for April 1, 2020. I’ve known a lot of business/technology journalists over the years that live for this day and the chance to use their creative powers. My all-time favorite was back when I worked at EDN, a magazine for engineers covering the broad electronics industry. The late Bill Travis wrote that since satellite communications were usurping the purpose of the original transatlantic cable, Guinness had struck a deal to pump its product to the US through the cable.

Another friend of mine, Lee Goldberg, wrote of Dark Emitting Diodes just a few years ago The so-called ZeDED components were said to deliver ten times more dark per watt than competitive components. If you read something strange today, think twice.

Moving to some actual news and trends, we are definitely seeing a trend in LED driver architecture. Now there will always be low-cost drivers with few advanced features and absolutely zero communication or networking capabilities. But luminaire manufacturers increasingly want the option of adding network support and smart lighting features to their general lighting portfolio.

One way to support such capability, and even keep use of it optional, is through a bi-directional intra-luminaire interface. We published a feature article on that topic last year.

Signify had long offered such capability in its SR (Sensor Ready) driver family. Now, however, the company has moved its design to the D4i interface being promulgated by the DiiA (Digital Illumination Interface Alliance) as an industry standard. Signify’s drivers will now be interoperable with connectivity and sensor modules from other vendors.

And Signify is not the first major solid-state lighting company to make the move. Osram had a D4i driver certified interoperable late last year, and we covered such a product from Acuity’s eldoLED unit just a few weeks back.

We also have some packaged LED news for you. With the coronavirus uncertainty and a supply chain in disarray, Lumileds has said that it will raise packaged LED prices by 4% in two weeks. We’d certainly wish that the increase was coming for vastly different reasons, but a slight rise in LED pricing is not all bad for the industry.

We also covered Cree in the story linked above. The company has begun binning its brightest LEDs in a manner specifically defined for high-quality TV camera capture of things such as sporting events. I know that many of those cameras have their aperture closed completely today, but have faith that they will be back in action soon.

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]