LEDs Magazine News & Insights 6 May 2020 - Editor's Column

May 6, 2020

Welcome to the LEDs Magazine News & Insights newsletter for May 6, 2020. We’ve had a busy start to the week in terms of news relative to events, executives, and M&A. We’ll be more encouraged when we see an uptick in new product announcements, but the LED and solid-state lighting (SSL) sectors seem to be on a slight positive vector.

We’ll start by noting that our friends at the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are asking for help with a survey. There is a coronavirus angle, but the survey is generally a positive undertaking. With so much of the workforce setup in a temporary office at home, the LRC is gathering data on the lighting environment in which people are working and the psychological and circadian impacts of that lighting. We’d encourage you to take ten minutes and complete the survey.

The biggest business news of the week came from a deal between GE Current and Ubicquia. Current has sold the CityIQ platform to Ubicquia and along with it contracts to support projects such as the video-centric installation in San Diego that we’ve covered. A significant number of Current employees will also move to Ubicquia. It could be a win-win deal because CityIQ may fit better with Ubicquia than with Current.

In executive news, Lawrence Lin is out as CEO at LEDvance. Compared to the tenure of prior CEO Jacob Tarn, Lin’s position running LEDvance was relatively long at about eighteen months. But clearly the company is churning through management even as it appears to be succeeding in a transformation to a broad and global lighting manufacturer.

In the same article with the LEDvance news, we also covered the ultimate cancellation of Light + Building (L+B) for 2020. Coronavirus is simply too stiff a challenge. L+B will see four years pass between fairs with the next event slated for March 2022.

We’ll close today with mention of a story by our Mark Halper that speculates on what may or may not be happening in Osram relative to connected lighting. The company has woven a twisting path in the past few years. Mark specifically was speculating on the Lightelligence Internet of Things (IoT) platform that was launched with much fanfare at the last L+B. It’s indeed perplexing and maybe we will learn more soon. I will add a thought to what Mark wrote. I do believe the Osram Innovations group where Lightelligence gestated is still active even as some brands come and go.

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]