Mar 2014

Current Trends in the Lighting Industry

Here is an example of what is happening in the the world of lighting today and what will continue to happen in the foreseeable future. LED’s are all the rage and designers are finding all sorts of new ways to incorporate them into light fixtures. The reasons are clear: LED’s consume far less energy than incandescent light bulbs, LED’s are cool to the touch, LED’s have better color temperature than they did in the past, LED’s have a super long life, and LED’s are small so fixture design can be very creative. In addition to LED fixtures like this one, LED light bulb design is evolving very quickly also. Technicians are finding ways to make them more attractive and more like the good old fashioned incandescent light bulbs. Some of the new LED light bulbs even grow warmer in color temperature as they are dimmed, just like incandescent light bulbs do. Additionally, new, more efficient heat sink materials are being developed which allow LED light bulbs be more streamlined and closer in appearance to both A-lamps and candelabra bulbs. Pretty soon you will be able to use LED bulbs in chandeliers and not notice a difference between them and the candelabra bulbs they replace. Best of all, LED’s are becoming less expensive all the time as manufacturing becomes more efficient and more manufacturers enter the marketplace. As with anything though, I urge you to be careful when buying any LED product as there still are huge quality differences among the myriad of products and producers out there. Try to see the product before you buy it to make sure the color of the light is acceptable to you. I recommend buying dimmable LED light bulbs and fixtures – some LED’s are not dimmable. I also recommend caution in using dedicated LED recessed lighting fixtures. Once you install them they are in the ceiling a long time and the quality of the light might not be satisfactory for you. Instead, consider buying a regular recessed fixture and using an LED light bulb. That way you are not locked in. Please visit our website www.fogglighting.com and like us on Facebook. You also might be interested in the Underwriter’s Laboratory app, LightSmart, which can be downloaded from the App Store. It has all kinds of great information about lighting…and its free.

Aug 2013


I have borrowed some quotes from the above mentioned article that appeared in “enLIGHTenment” magazine’s July, 2013 issue written by Ted Konnerth, CEO of Egret Consulting Group. A lot of this article is technical so I have selected passages that pertain to consumers.

Given the recent attention our industry has paid to solid-state lighting, I am sure it is hard for you to believe that fluorescent, high intensity discharge (HID), and incandescent products still represent 85 percent of all lighting sales. I’ve attended and led innumerable discussions at industry gatherings on the emergence of LED. And from what we’ve heard, the future is now. However, new technologies always take time to gain full acceptance. The legacy lighting manufacturers have millions of capital dollars invested in tooling, machinery, and processes that limit their ability to make wholesale changes to their companies. The new entrants have no embedded capital limitations, but they don’t have the channel relationships to push LED adoption at a greater pace. And, their limitation of lighting expertise limits the ability to match LED’s benefits with lighting application expertise.

According to a Department of Energy Report from last year, LED lighting will reach a predicted market share of 74 percent by 2030. I believe the rate of adoption will be far faster than that; but the limiting factor will be centered on design.” (My emphasis).
“Lighting Will Look & Feel Different
To move the industry forward, it’s imperative to have a robust exchange of ideas between fixture designers and lighting designers. Given that lighting will interface within the overall electronic control systems of buildings, the migration of lighting and all things information-based will be crucial. The benefits of LED are proven, so now the discussion has to move to the proper application of LED as a light source and designing lighting systems that incorporate proper lighting into an overall efficient design. LED has created so much discussion that we have largely lost the emphasis on “lighting.”
“Proper lighting involves so much more than brightness. Glare, comfort, uniformity, color rendering, accent, layering, and “feel” are the fundamentals of quality lighting.” (My emphasis).
“The design community needs to take over the discussion of LED from this point forward. The current efficiency and brightness of LED is sufficient for meeting lighting needs in most applications now. Future efficiencies will contribute additional cost reductions and system modifications; but “brightness” needs to disappear from our vernacular. The day of a 300 lumen/watt emitter is within feasibility; but that doesn’t mean that we will require that level of power for all applications. Technological improvements in efficiency should be encouraged, but we have the lumen packages to create amazing lighting designs today; let’s get back to being a lighting industry again.”
“A careful blend of old and new ideas is needed to accelerate the lighting renaissance.
There is no doubt SSL will change the future of the lighting world and, in turn, how our entire world is lit. Unfortunately, many individuals and companies within the lighting industry will not survive the change. They will be too slow to adapt and will simply lose their relevance and/or market share. But those who do survive the change – and especially those who move it forward on the design side – will reap the rewards. It is truly an exciting time to be alive and active in the lighting industry.” 
Mr. Konnerth certainly has gotten it right. LED is here, but the fixtures needed to make LED feasible for most applications are still evolving…somewhat slowly it seems. The knowledgeable consumer is a wise consumer.  
Please visit us at www.fogglighting.com and like us on Facebook.