LEDs Magazine News & Insights 3 Jul 2020 - Editor's Column

June 30, 2020

Welcome to the LEDs Magazine News & Insights newsletter for July 3, 2020. I suspect that this column may be read by fewer people than any in my history of writing these missives. My friends in Europe will be signing off for their weekend soon. Many of our readers here in the US are taking today as a holiday since our Independence Day is on Saturday this year. Indeed, Carrie Meadows and I will just be in the virtual office long enough to go through the review and send process. We wish a good weekend to all and please stay safe.

July 4th is generally the happiest of US holidays, in my opinion. It won’t be this year for anyone that really takes notice of events. Too many may party like it’s 1999, even some of my family, and that’s created quite the squabble. My wife and I will remain sheltered and watch the TV presentation of fireworks from prior years. We definitely won’t watch the live programming from Mt. Rushmore, where social distancing seems to be discouraged, and which to my view is the definition of an unconscionable event.

What will bother me the most on this Independence Day is the fact that, as a citizen of the US, I’m no longer welcome to so many places in the world where I have friends and colleagues. I’ll admit to probably having an unearned feeling of privilege traveling in the past and being welcomed. I could have never envisioned a day where the US response to a situation such as the coronavirus would have been so poor that we are now "the forbidden." But I digress.

We did have one news story that broke on Wednesday which I did not have the chance to mention in the newsletter column that day. The ams acquires Osram saga continues. Austria-based ams is now issuing bonds to try and finally close the acquisition that could possibly take place next week, although our Mark Halper reported there are still potential financial and regulatory hurdles.

Given the slow news week, we decided to present to you some of our top 2020 content based on readership. Unfortunately or not, we can’t escape coronavirus in the discussion as the pandemic factored into all of the top-read news stories. As we covered in recent newsletters, both Osram and Signify accelerated ultraviolet (UV) lamp development — specifically, UV-C-band lamps for disinfection applications.

A look at top content from our blog posts was a bit more uplifting. One of the posts on the list discussed what I originally called the "greenrush," referring to cannabis investments. But I must say that lately we have been seeing even more investments in vertical farms for vegetables than in cannabis. For example, Ospraie has invested in CubicFarms and Freight Farms.

Meanwhile, the science behind AgTech and horticultural lighting continues to advance for cannabis, vegetables, and other cultivars. Our HortiCann Light + Tech event will come to you over two days this October in virtual format, and the presentations will span plant science to comprehensive controlled environment agriculture (CEA) to energy efficiency.

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]