LEDs Magazine News & Insights 23 Dec 2020 – Editor’s Column

Dec. 23, 2020

Welcome to the LEDs Magazine News & Insights newsletter for Dec. 23, 2020. We’ve spent space in all our newsletters of late looking back some at what we published in 2020. My colleague Carrie Meadows capped off most of our look back in this newsletter with a review of the top blog posts for 2020. Of course a disinfection-oriented post was number one.

But when Carrie selected the content for this newsletter, she also chose to include a link to a feature article that I wrote for the first issue of 2020. I think she may have just wanted to reveal how out of touch I was with what would transpire this year. 😉 Although I’d ask who predicted in January that the pandemic would be the story across the popular and trade press? Baseball to the arts or personal electronics to communications, COVID-19 has stolen headlines.

The article I am talking about was a feature piece on mini and micro LED technology. I had written on the topic a few times in 2019 and I thought the technology would really become important in 2020 and soon become the leading consumer of LED epitaxial real estate. Maybe that title will instead go to UV-C LEDs over the course of next year.

I still believe that mini and micro LED technology is a sector ready to explode. The best displays and TVs on the market now use mini LED backlight units. I believe 2021 will bring smart watches with micro LED displays to market. A year or two further along we will see the price of directly-emissive LED video walls fall. And ultimately micro LEDs will enable another revolution in lighting form factors. Alas, I will not be traveling to Las Vegas in January to CES to get a look at the latest technologies. The pandemic still wins for now.

You can see the reality of COVID-19 in our news again this week. I wrote a news article on a new alliance between Honeywell and Signify. This partnership could have happened with no pandemic. At its core, the deal is a smart buildings play between two companies coming at the problem from different angles with little overlap in their portfolios. But the chronology of the deal was driven by germicidal UV-C and deactivating viruses.

Our Mark Halper wrote another story about Signify and the company’s plan to shrink its office footprint. The planned restructuring has been attributed to business conditions and in part the pandemic. But what Signify didn’t say explicitly is that, like many other large organizations, it has learned that it just doesn’t need so much office space. Remote work is working and that’s one long-haul effect of COVID-19 on the business world.

I do have to say that I hope the germicidal push of COVID-19 has a somewhat lasting impact. Society should have been more proactive for years in driving technologies to the mainstream that can eliminate pathogens in the spaces we are exposed to daily. One area we have written about previously is the need for germicidal technology in gyms and locker rooms. And we have an interesting case study on such a UV-C project.

Have a great long holiday weekend.

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]