LEDs Magazine News & Insights 15 Dec 2021 – Editor’s Column

Dec. 15, 2021

Welcome to the LEDs Magazine News & Insights newsletter for Dec. 15, 2021. Just recently, we had a virtual end-of-year gathering with our colleagues in the Lighting Group here at Endeavor Business Media. It was gratifying to hear that the overall view of our year in business was positive, even with pandemic-driven constraints to connecting in person. Still, we continue to see excellent attendance on our webcasts and virtual events, and engagement from you in the audience, as evidenced by a very active Q&A after the Dec. 9 circadian lighting presentation by Lumileds. If you missed that webcast last week, catch the on-demand archive.

Moving on to new content for this week, our Mark Halper added to our roster of Li-Fi stories with a supply deal between Scotland’s pureLiFi and the US Army. Internally, the editorial team has had its discussions about the potential of Li-Fi. Is it a game changer? Will it render Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other connectivity options obsolete? I’ve said my piece on that in a past blog, and two years haven’t changed my perspective much. I do see immediate value in lightwave-modulated data transmission for military operations, which an Army spokesperson described as “an extremely survivable form of communications.” The security and expanded communications spectrum of Li-Fi appear fit for duty.

In a broader sense, it feels like the lighting and controls markets have been waiting for smart lighting technologies and smart building systems to emerge as a big payoff for some time. The obstacle of cost and return on investment for building owners and managers remains. We’ve highlighted a guest blog by Toggled COO Daniel Hollenkamp, who drives home the environmental impacts, energy cost savings, and flexibility in functional space utilization that smart lighting and controls can now quantify.

I’d also like to draw your attention to an announcement that we posted in our Company Newsfeed on our website, celebrating the in-person presentation of the 2021 Queen Elizabeth Prize (QEPrize) for engineering to honorees Isamu Akasaki; Shuji Nakamura; Nick Holonyak, Jr.; M. George Craford; and Russell Dupuis. The pioneering work in LEDs and SSL by all the QEPrize recipients remains part of engineering history while being fundamental to a sustainable SSL future.

That transitions nicely to a policy story reported by yours truly late yesterday. In the US, special interest groups have joined efforts in support of a Vermont regulation that would effectively phase out the sale of mercury-containing lamps in the state. Advocates say sufficient LED alternatives exist that are accessible, affordable, and comparable or better in performance than mercury-containing fluorescent lamps across all form factors. However, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has stated in its response to the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation that while NEMA agrees compact fluorescents can indeed be replaced with LED alternatives, other form factors still present cost and performance challenges such as the abundantly-installed linear fluorescent lamp or tube. The responses open up a dialog about how cost and performance are compared. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

You’ll find more of interest in the body of today’s newsletter. Please keep in touch about content we post or to pitch a contributed article.

- Carrie Meadows, (603) 891-9382, [email protected]