Signs of the Times - June 2013 - (Page 28)

LED UPDATE By Dr. M. Nisa Khan As president of IEM LED Lighting Technologies, Dr. M. Nisa Khan consults in the solid-state lighting industry and educates consumers about LED lighting. She has a bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics, and master’s and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering. Email her at Lightfair 2013 Lighting industry continues with unprecedented growth and change L ED lighting is boldly staring in the face of the lighting industry and, literally, anyone who cares to examine it. Such was the proof at the 2013 Lightfair Intl. (LFI) tradeshow, held this year at the Philadelphia Convention Center, with more than 24,000 lighting aficionados in attendance. The interest was so huge – the show comprised more than 500 exhibitors, of which 80 were first-timers – that tradeshow sponsors added floor space. There, as elsewhere with LED lighting, opportunities brightened and, interestingly, the pronounced intensity was both literal and figurative because light from the LED lamps at Lightfair was also extremely bright. LED-lighting introductions, and the attendees’ accompanying energy and interest, seemed more heightened than in previous years. Almost all exhibitors’ highlighted products and services encompassed LED-lighting’s supply chain. Other lighting technologies or products were barely visible. With few exceptions, LED lamp or luminaire designers swept most of the LFI Innovation Awards (governed by IES and IALD). Undoubtedly, the lighting industry’s focus is on LEDs, despite the lamps’ capture of a small marketshare from the overall illumination industry – a fact not recognized by many industry participants. Almost everyone appeared reluctant to speak against LEDs’ future. More so, companies seemed eager to devote additional (and significant) monies to expand their LED lighting business. The success LED lamps have found in the backlighting and signage industries has encouraged people to believe similar change will come to the greater illumination market. LED backlighting has dominated the display market; it’s now nearly saturated. However, I expect the signage and entertainment LED industry to continue sustainable growth. Question: Will the illumination market that surrounds residential and commercial segments adopt LED lighting as a primary choice? And, will it be sustainable? Fig. 1: To display plausible LED lamp uses, Samsung, at Lightfair, illuminated its exhibited products with LED lamps and luminaires. It also employed LED-based spot, downlight and area illumination throughout its tradeshow booth. 28 SIGNS OF THE TIMES / JUNE 2013 / Boom times In recent times, we’ve all seen unprecedented boom and bust in other industries. New (and often disruptive) technology’s enormous growth can be natural and necessary – but channeling extraordinary capital and resources to support plausible technologies, without proper planning and timing, can lead to painful scenarios. So how can we carefully handle the current boom in the LED industry? Part of LED lighting’s success relates to quickly gained performance improvements in lamp-color properties and efficacy – coupled with LEDs’ compatibility with high-speed electronic drivers that allow for intelligent, lumen-consumption control. LED lighting’s disadvantages remain. However, these shortcomings are not readily recognized by consumers – or, in some cases, by LED and lighting professionals. The prevalent drawbacks include glare, excessive heating (due to inadequate thermal management) and lumen degradation. Such weaknesses will unfurl over time, as consumers continue to buy and use LEDs. Just as the concerns of such engineered, financial-derivative products as collateralized debt securities (CDS) were ignored in 2008, many LED-lighting-industry investors are overlooking certain disadvantages or sustainability issues. For example, numerous companies are relying on LED lighting’s success in the general illumination market and, in the near future, because significant lamp sales are already a reality in such countries as China, South Korea and Japan. These countries also have the most LED lamp and luminaire manufacturers, and they believe

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Signs of the Times - June 2013

Signs of the Times - June 2013
ST Update
Tech Update
Profiling Media for Purpose
Vinyl Apps
Strictly Electric
LED Update
Software Update
Technology Review
Technology Review
Sign Museum News
New Products
Enter ST’s 7th Annual Vehicle Graphics Contest!
The Reality of Your Surroundings
The Great ’scapes
Digital Printers at ISA
It’s a Jungle in Here
Advertising Index
Editorially Speaking

Signs of the Times - June 2013