LEDs Magazine News & Insights 13 Oct 2021 – Editor’s Column

Oct. 13, 2021

Welcome to the LEDs Magazine News & Insights newsletter for Oct. 13, 2021. It’s weeks like this that remind me of why I have found the LED and solid-state lighting (SSL) sectors so compelling. The content in the newsletter this week is truly broadly reaching. It’s great to talk light quality, which I am prone to do, but there are so many other interesting angles to these sectors.

With severe environmental concerns leading some mainstream news, let’s start with the environment, and a story tied to the lighting industry. We have a very compelling guest column written by Roger Baro, co-chair of the Minamata Convention on Mercury for African Regions. Using Signify as a stereotypical antagonist, Baro pleads with the lighting industry to end sales of mercury-containing lamps. We had run a story on Signify CEO Eric Rondolat’s advocacy for a more complete move to LED retrofits a few months back.

The Rondolat article was primarily focused on energy use and Signify selling products. Baro added the discussion of a toxic chemical that is having a disproportionate effect on the African continent that already has severe environmental issues. I would add my advocacy for elimination of mercury lamps even in areas such as the US that generally have readily-available recycling opportunities. Far too many of these lamps are still going into landfills.

Now let’s span the technology breadth I mentioned earlier. Our Mark Halper came across a story on OLED technology that is focused on machine vision. OLED remains something of a technology looking for a problem outside the mobile-device display sector. Still, I wouldn’t have thought machine vision, but an aspect such as uniformity is evidently critical. Mark also continues to be an advocate of Li-Fi communications, and there is a link for a story on Li-Fi down below.

We do have an outdoor lighting mashup story for you this week, although the story is more about connectivity, controls, and funding than about lighting. A company from the UK called Urban Control has a new Zhaga-compatible module that enables the addition of wireless connectivity to outdoor luminaires such as street lights from many vendors. The hook is that the company uses new flavors of 4G cellular technology to deliver the wireless link.

That same story also continues a theme that we touched on last week — interoperability in outdoor SSL networks. This week we cover how Dhyan Networks and Technologies has used the venue of a TALQ Consortium plugfest to demonstrate interoperability. Dhyan’s central management system was shown to interoperate with network gateways from five different vendors. There is also an interesting ESCO story about recent Ameresco projects including a story of a major solar project and battery system to support SSL lighting and other loads with microgrid technology. We have to do more coverage of microgrids. It’s going to be an incredibly important technology.

In closing, I’d remind again that we want to hear bout the LightFair International news broken by players in the LED and SSL sectors. Our Carrie Meadows posted on the subject on our blog. And here’s to a return to normal in-person events in 2022.

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) 208-9442, [email protected]