LED business news: LEDvance has another new CEO; L+B, LRC, and DOE

May 5, 2020
The chairman of LEDvance’s parent MLS will take over as CEO with the departure of Lawrence Lin, while L+B cancels the rescheduled 2020 event, and LRC surveys lighting for health.

LEDvance has announced that Lawrence Lin has left the position of CEO of the solid-state lighting (SSL) manufacturer and that Qinghuan Sun, chairman of parent company MLS in China, will take over as CEO and managing director. Organizers of the mammoth Light + Building (L+B) event have decided to cancel the already-rescheduled trade fair and will next hold the fair in 2022. The Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the US Department of Energy (DOE) are each seeking input from participants in the LED and SSL sectors.

LEDvance leadership

The past few years have been exciting times, and sometimes unsettling times, for LEDvance after what was formerly the lamps business of Osram was carved out as an independent company and ultimately sold to MLS and partners in 2017. Subsequently, MLS gained total control of the company. A year after the initial acquisition under new CEO Jacob Tarn, the company had moved well into a transformation process toward becoming a global lighting manufacturer.

But Tarn’s time at the helm was short and Lawrence Lin, an MLS insider, took over in late 2018. Lin would deliver one of the keynote addresses at Strategies in Light 2020, but has now left the position. Ironically, Lin touted LEDvance’s TruWave technology for uniform spectral power distribution (SPD) in that address and that is the one technology LEDvance mentioned in a brief statement about Sun taking over. Presumably, TruWave is one of the “transformational” milestones in the company’s move toward being a leading lighting manufacturer globally.

From the outside looking in, it’s impossible to discern the internal politics and climate of a large organization. But in interviews, both Lin and Tarn seemed happy and committed to the transformation process. Now the entrepreneur that they both worked for will directly lead the organization.

The company further announced that Erol Kirilmaz, chief sales and marketing officer, will take the position of managing director for the North American business unit on an interim basis. Kirilmaz has held similar responsibility in Europe. Sun, meanwhile, will remain in China as the new CEO.

L+B final answer

Moving to the event space, it isn’t surprising that L+B could not be held even after the planned delay to the end of September. The fair was first postponed back in February after Signify indicated it would not participate. Then in late March, Signify said it would pass on the rescheduled event also.

In reality, the global lighting business is unlikely to be back into travel mode by the early fall, so even if the event was held attendance would have been dismal. And while Germany has managed the pandemic response relatively well, it’s not clear a large gathering would be allowed in the planned timeframe. Bavaria, for instance, cancelled Oktoberfest in the same timeframe.

L+B organizers attributed the action to the safety of the visitors. L+B will next be held March 13–18, 2022 in Frankfurt.

They need answers

The LRC has launched a survey entitled “Light Exposures at Home – Impacts on Health” that is specifically seeking to gather data on daily light exposure with the coronavirus having driven many people into a work-at-home scenario. The survey is intended to study impacts on sleep quality and psychological health. The LRC said it will only take ten minutes to complete the survey.

Meanwhile, the DOE issued a Request For Information (RFI) seeking public input on a potential funding opportunity related to research on grid-interactive efficient buildings. And connected LED lighting would be part of that scenario. If you have input to offer, responses are due May 12.

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About the Author

Maury Wright | Editor in Chief

Maury Wright is an electronics engineer turned technology journalist, who has focused specifically on the LED & Lighting industry for the past decade. Wright first wrote for LEDs Magazine as a contractor in 2010, and took over as Editor-in-Chief in 2012. He has broad experience in technology areas ranging from microprocessors to digital media to wireless networks that he gained over 30 years in the trade press. Wright has experience running global editorial operations, such as during his tenure as worldwide editorial director of EDN Magazine, and has been instrumental in launching publication websites going back to the earliest days of the Internet. Wright has won numerous industry awards, including multiple ASBPE national awards for B2B journalism excellence, and has received finalist recognition for LEDs Magazine in the FOLIO Eddie Awards. He received a BS in electrical engineering from Auburn University.