LEDs Magazine News & Insights 19 Jan 2022 – Editor’s Column

Jan. 19, 2022

Welcome to the LEDs Magazine News & Insights newsletter for Jan. 19, 2022. One of the things I find most intriguing about LED and solid-state lighting (SSL) products is their ever-growing reach and emergence into non-traditional illumination applications or non-visible uses.

Allow me to explain. One of the key shifts we have been seeing is producers of light-emitting technology applying LED-based devices to scenarios that don’t involve general or ambient illumination — sometimes they’re relying on non-visible wavelengths. As many readers know, our Mark Halper has a keen interest in Li-Fi using visible-light communications devices to transmit data and provide Internet or network connectivity, rather than the radio waves delivered by Wi-Fi. Recently, though, he learned of a school installation that uses infrared (IR)-based Li-Fi tech to supplement its conventional Wi-Fi connectivity. Integrator June Lite installed Signify Trulifi LED transceivers into luminaires at Lawrence Woodmere Academy but did not opt for visible-light SSL fixtures in the scope of the project. Involved parties say the coverage and speed of the Li-Fi is enhancing the students’ experience during their daily projects and studies.

And while the long-percolating OLED technology is certainly visibly emissive, it may be carving its niche in the automotive arena. The lack of bright pinpoint sources, thin form factor, and optical efficiency of OLED panels (in a broad range of sizes) makes them compelling for forward-thinking auto makers, who can now implement display warnings into OLED-based tail lights with designs from OLEDWorks. The company has reportedly been working its programmable OLED tail lights into high-end auto concepts released in 2020 and 2021. (OLEDWorks doesn’t typically confirm its customers yet features their end products routinely in its marketing content.) Furthermore, OLEDWorks director of experience Kathleen Vaeth noted last year that the recreational vehicle (RV) market was an unconventional lighting application space to watch, where the performance advances and cost decreases in OLEDs could deliver a big boost in RV experience for modern road trips in style and comfort. So visible light, yes, but in an entirely different occupied space.

Has the general lighting market left its OLED expectations in the dust? I’d love to know what you in the audience think.

A business insider viewpoint in our lineup, from guest blogger Bill Plageman, does swing toward the general lighting supply chain. The Amerlux VP has five important tips for distributors, buyers, and specifiers of lighting products — but SSL manufacturers should take note that his overall premise is how to “delight” the customer under challenging conditions. Check it out.

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]