LED Lighting – Crossing the Chasm

The lighting industry has been eagerly waiting for LED lighting to take off.  After taking a look at coverage of this spring’s industry shows, it is clear that LED lighting for consumers is poised for mass adoption.  Industry observers have been picking up on some positive signals from industry trade shows worldwide and even your local home improvement store shelves. Here’s a look at the LED lighting market at three shows from three continents.

Light Fair 2012 — According to LED Magazine, the big news at the Las Vegas-based show was 100W retrofit lamps.  At least three industry leaders had 100W-equivalent light bulb announcements for the show including Philips Lighting, Osram Sylvania and GE Lighting.  Osram Sylvania may be first to market with their 100W-equivalet lamp with plans to ship this summer.  They also have a 3-way lamp in development making consumers who love their 3-way bulbs happy.  The show moves to Philadelphia in 2013.

Light & Building 2012 — Industry Analyst Philip Smallwood wrote up the show for the IMS Research Analyst Blog.  Smallwood mentioned that he was, “first impressed, then overwhelmed by the sheer number of LED lamps on display at the show.”  His big take-away for the show held in Frankfurt, Germany:  consumers are going to have a difficult time selecting the right LED replacement for a 60W bulb.  He further covered the types of buyers (with a nod to Geoffrey Moore and Crossing the Chasm):  early adopters and general consumers. Visit Philip’s blog post for more.

Guangzhou International Lighting Exhibition 2012— A report from LEDinside indicates that the LED market in Asia is making moves towards maturity.  The show floor at the Guangzhou International Lighting Exhibition in China was full of companies focused on LED lighting with only a few vendors focused on incandescent.  “LEDinside believes the little amount of attention traditional lighting received at (the show) marked the beginning of LED’s wide adoption. Given LED technology’s ongoing improvement, the dipping cost and the increasing market acceptance, it may not be long before LED popularity sees a sharp surge,” concluded the author.

For Further Reading:

Light & Building 2012 – LEDs Need to Evolve from the Next Greatest Gadget into a Light Bulb, Philip Smallwood, IMS Research

LEDs Magazine, Lamp form remains important, SSL takes new shape at LFI

LEDinside.com, Guangzhou International Lighting Exhibition 2012 Report II: Exhibition Space Increase Marked LED Market’s Climbing Maturity

UK Turns On LEDs – Not Just for the Olympics


New LED Lighting System Lights Up London Bridge

New LED Lighting System Lights Up London Bridge

With just a few weeks to go before the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, we took a look at how London is preparing for one of the world’s premier sporting events.   It turns out that the country is taking to LEDs for more than just the big show.  Many venues around London and around the United Kingdom are switching to LEDs to reduce energy consumption and save money—and looking good while doing so.

London Bridge:  In celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 Summer Olympics, the 181-year old London landmark got a facelift with LED lighting.  The new system, using GE components and designed by French firm Citelum, consists 6,500 feet of LED linear lights, 1,800 LED lamps, and 1,000 junction boxes running some 16,500 feet of cable. The installation is expected to weather London’s rather rainy weather for the next 25 years with 40-percent energy savings.  This video from GE shows the new LED lighting system at work. The Olympic Rings aren’t up yet, but it shows off the lighting really well.

Hadrian’s Wall: As a part of the 2012 Olympic Festival, the historical Roman ruins will be illuminated by a series of LED-lit balloons.  Built during the Roman occupation of Britain, the 73-mile-long wall would have been lit by flaming torches made of pitch-filled bags during Roman times.  Designed by New York artists YesYesNo, the new lighting display consists of a series of tethered balloons lit by internal LED lights. Once put together, the installation becomes a line of pulsating colours that correspond to messages sent across the wall. The installation will be visible evenings and accessible to visitors at several locations along the wall. Messages sent across the wall can be made visible through smartphones and tablets and at a number of visitor sites.  The installation will be live from Friday 31 August to Saturday 1 September. You can see it in a story from the BBC.

London’s National Gallery:  The National Gallery is in the midst of a three year project to switch the entire gallery to LED lighting, making it the first art museum in the world to switch completely to LEDs.  It is expected that LED lighting will reduce the museum’s energy consumption for lighting by 85% and reduce maintenance costs.  As of now, LEDs have been installed in six picture galleries. The project is expected to be complete by 2013.

Retail:  UK jewelry retailer F. Hinds is making the switch to LEDs in 110 locations throughout the country.  The family-owned business has a keen eye on saving money and began installing LEDs to save on energy costs.  Over the next 10 years, the company expects to cut energy consumption by 57% for fluorescent lighting, 82% for halogen and 62% for metal halides.  The company says that payback on the switch to LED will take between two to four years for each location.

Tunnels:  The Transport for London, the public transportation authority in charge of tunnels, has installed LED lighting in the Upper Thames Street tunnel in Central London. It is the first tunnel in the UK to use LED lighting in an effort to improve safety, reduce maintenance closures and cut energy consumption and costs.  The tunnel opened in 1970 and carries 35,000 cars per day.

World Famous Buildings Go LED

New York's Times Square

While New York’s Times Square and Tokyo’s Shibuya Crossing have dominated popular culture with their flashy LED display advertising, famous landmarks around the world have been quietly turning to the energy saving lighting to illuminate their buildings including the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, the Brandenburg Gate, the Singapore Flyer, CN Tower, the Ericsson Globe Arena, and the Mercedes-Benz Super Dome (in New Orleans, Louisiana).

New York's Empire State Building

New York’s Empire State Building – famous for its ever-changing light display – is getting ready to deploy LEDs.  The team behind the landmark is installing an innovative computerized LED system that allows for a nearly endless array of color combinations, going from 10 under the old system to more than 16 million colors.  Currently, a team takes several hours to change 400 light fixtures. With the new system, the color changes occur automatically. The system installation is anticipated to be complete by September 2012.

The Louvre Museum in Paris, France, after already using LED lighting for exterior areas, is now beginning a second project with Toshiba to develop LED lighting for the interior of the museum. The project will illuminate some of the most famous exhibits including The Mona Lisa and the Red Rooms along Napoleon Hall in the Louvre’s main entrance.  To date, the Louvre says that the museum has reduced energy costs on the exterior lighting by 73%.

LED lighting has already been tested at other famous venues in the art world including the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC.