LEDs Magazine News & Insights 8 April 2020 - Editor's Column

April 8, 2020

Welcome to the LEDs Magazine News & Insights newsletter for Apr. 8, 2020. I hope all of you remain safe, well, and most of all optimistic and upbeat in this trying time.

Had you told me a few months ago that I would have not ventured beyond my local grocery and pharmacy in almost a month, I would have frankly laughed in disbelief. Now after almost a month sheltered here in California, I’m realizing how lucky I am to have the outlet of the LED and solid-state lighting (SSL) industries. I get to communicate with so many participants in our industry every day, and I feel very lucky for that privilege. I sure hope I don’t bore or offend with my musings.

Last week in our Apr. 1 newsletter, I hinted at a couple of April Fools' gags played out in the technology press over the years. Dave Bursky, who was for years an iconic editor at Electronic Design Magazine (ironically now a part of our Endeavor Business Media portfolio), and a friendly competitor of mine when I was at EDN, wrote to tell me that first credit for a Dark Emitting Diode should go to Silicon Valley PR stalwart Roy Twitty from his National Semiconductor days. Bursky further recalled that Twitty actually hooked some technology journalist with a Fools' Day release on a Write Only Memory (WOM) that provided a really secure storage option.

Once again, I can’t seem to separate from the coronavirus in terms of our top news stories. NEMA has published a press release advocating that the lighting industry should be considered critical manufacturing at every level of government and allowed to continue to operate in these trying times. A Department of Homeland Security document on critical manufacturing did not explicitly mention the lighting sector.

We also published an item on the mini LED display industry as that technology comes to mainstream commercial deployment in a notebook PC. Taiwan-based MSI has perhaps the highest-quality display going. I continue to believe that mini and micro LEDs are going to be important to our sectors in many ways including ultimately in general illumination.

There are a couple of things happening with which I would again ask for your participation. For starters, we have a very brief poll on how you and your organization are operating relative to the coronavirus. Responses will take just a minute. Again, I apologize for the number of surveys we have fielded in the past year, but this one is really simple and I suspect that all of you will be interested in the results that I will share.

And while not actually a survey, several times I have asked for your participation in identifying the next generation of leaders in our industry through our new 40 under 40 program. Clearly, we picked a lousy time to launch the program but what’s done is done. Please help us find your colleagues, competitors, conspirators, and more that are making a difference. It’s free and easy to make a nomination. 

You will find many more stories of interest in the body of today’s newsletter. 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]