LEDs Magazine News & Insights 18 Nov 2020 – Editor’s Column

Nov. 18, 2020

Welcome to the LEDs Magazine News & Insights newsletter for Nov. 18, 2020. Our final magazine issue of the year — the combined November/December issue — is available for your perusal. And I’m pleased to tell you that the issue marks the return of our LED & Lighting Industry Guide that is a directory of key technologies and companies that participate in the LED and solid-state lighting (SSL) sectors.

I’m sure many of you remember our guides from years past, but we did not publish one on our typical schedule. As we went through the process of serial acquisitions and then finding stability as part of Endeavor Business Media, we simply lacked a web platform to produce the online component of the Industry Guide. Moreover, we were occupied with strategic direction forward. Thankfully, all of that is behind us, and Endeavor has emerged as a leader in North American business media.

Each time we deploy an issue, I recommend that you might find it a pleasing experience to read the issue using our digital magazine platform. I will double down on that suggestion for this directory-oriented issue where the serial listings can be skimmed easily. Of course, the online guide is also easily searchable.

All subscribers get seamless access to the digital platform and our archives. Also, we have launched a new subscriber drive and existing subscriber renewal program. If you get an email that says the new issue will be your last, please act on that and update your subscription data for us.

I used the 2021 Industry Guide issue as the platform for a column looking back a bit at the year we all want to forget and a bit forward to next year. I don’t have all of the answers. But I hope you will find some of my thoughts compelling, including the excitement that continues to build in some vertical applications.

In terms of news, we have a story covering new outdoor lighting research. When I first started writing for LEDs Magazine, street and area lighting was something I covered a lot. Those applications had never been served by sources that delivered good light quality. So even cold-CCT SSL with relatively low CRI was rapidly penetrating the application because of energy efficiency and maintenance savings tied to long LED life. Of course, that story would change over the decade with demand growing for warm-CCT outdoor lighting and higher CRI, and the industry moving in that direction.

But what I probably remember most about the early days were the complaints that LED street lights were going to exacerbate light pollution issues. There were a lot of people that did not want the SSL transition to happen.

Now, a research team from the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences based at the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam has documented that LED street lights are responsible for only 20% of the uplight and sky glow in Tucson, AZ. That low percentage seemed to have surprised even the researchers, but directional LED fixtures generally produce little or no direct uplight. And even the International Dark-Sky Association was represented on the research team.

A decade or more ago, many environmentalists were worried about what has been called a rebound effect or the LED Paradox a theory positing that more efficient LED lighting and lower power bills would simply result in far more artificial lighting being installed and used at night, thereby increasing light pollution and intertwined adverse environmental impacts. I can’t say that none of that happened, but I’m proud of our industry in that it has generally been a good citizen of society and the environment.

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]