LEDs Magazine News & Insights 17 Jul 2020 - Editor's Column

July 17, 2020

Welcome to the LEDs Magazine News & Insights newsletter for July 17, 2020. The past few months will be incredibly instructive for historians going forward. Hopefully, the pandemic will leave lasting lessons. Maybe masks will be forever ingrained in global society even though many of our states here in the US don’t have politicians willing to mandate them.

Really the point I wanted to get to is the relative responses of the US to COVID-19 and those from the rest of the world, and the forward-looking programs — one of which we actually have a story on today regarding the European Union (EU). Generally, I think the European Union has handled the situation very astutely, perhaps with the exception of one country. And now the EU is poised to launch a major infrastructure deal. Meanwhile, we argue over mask usage in the US.

I began to contemplate this situation after our Mark Halper, who is in the UK, wrote the article on lobbying being undertaken by the UK-based Lighting Industry Association. The EU is considering a massive Green Deal to spur a post-COVID-19 recovery. And the LIA wants to make sure the lighting industry gets included in the programs.

I agree with the LIA perspective on the solid-state lighting (SSL) industry. It should be included. It is a bit ironic that the industry group doing the lobbying is in a country that’s no longer a part of the EU. I’m surprised the lobbying did not come from LightingEurope, the continent-wide organization of which LIA is a member. Still, the messaging is on point, as is the idea of the Green Deal. Green policy and renewable energy is clearly the right path forward today, although it may not be the path the US takes.

I was very pleased to see, however, that the US Department of Energy has a new initiative focused on connected lighting and the Internet of Things (IoT). The agency wants to encourage the SSL sector to be prepared for a connected future, even if most LED lighting being sold and installed today lacks such capability.

The new DOE program will encourage lighting manufacturers to add a socket to their luminaires that’s easily accessible and that can be simply populated in the future with a connectivity/sensor module. We now have standards that enable such designs and ensure interoperability. I look forward to the design challenge that the DOE is contemplating.

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]