MAY 2015 | ISSUE 45 | www.luxreview.com
Is there anything lights can’t do? Now they’ve joined the internet of things, it looks like the answer is no
Target’s LED-powered location system
TRIED & TESTED: LED BULKHEADS
We test out 10 LED replacements for 2D ﬁttings
O THE GRAPHENE BULB O LIGHTING FOR ART OLIGHT AS A SERVICE O POWER OVER ETHERNET OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF
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EDITOR’S COMMENT 05
Welcome to the future
ROBERT BAIN EDITOR
KATHRINE ANKE DEPUTY EDITOR
ooking back, it’s hard to pinpoint the moment when the lighting world went completely bonkers. If you’d said a few years ago that your lights could be controlled remotely from a mobile phone, or could track people around a shop, or could sense demand on the grid and switch to battery power automatically, you’d have been burned as a witch. But now all these things are happening, and plenty more besides. Of course, ever since LEDs appeared, the lighting business has gone a little bit crazy – startling new product designs; energy savings of 70, 80 or 90 per cent; tunable colour... But the latest changes in lighting take things to a whole new level. As we were putting together this special edition of Lux x focusing on the technology behind lighting, there were moments when I wondered if it was actually a magazine about lighting, or something more. Because light is just one of the things that today’s lighting products can do. Companies are now bringing connectivity, sensing and intelligence into LED products. It’s all part of the emerging ‘internet of things’, in which all sorts of everyday devices, including lights, are connected to the internet. What’s exciting about this isn’t just that it will make our lights more efﬁcient and more useful, but also that the light ﬁttings in our ceilings could become the
ALAN TULLA TECHNICAL EDITOR
MARK HALPER ONLINE NEWS EDITOR
RAY MOLONY PUBLISHER
GORDON ROUTLEDGE CONTRIBUTOR
DAVE TILLEY CONTRIBUTOR
LIZ PECK CONTRIBUTOR
MAY 2015 | ISSUE 45 | www.luxreview.com
Is there anything lights can’t do? Now they’ve joined the internet of things, it looks like the answer is no
Target’s LED-powered location system
TRIED & TESTED: LED BULKHEADS
We test out 10 LED replacements for 2D ﬁttings
O THE GRAPHENE BULB O LIGHTING FOR ART OLIGHT AS A SERVICE O POWER OVER ETHERNET OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF
Cover: Lighting and the internet of things – see page 39
backbone of a network of sensors and cameras that will make our buildings smarter and safer. In this issue, we look at how the internet of things will change the lighting industry (see page 39). If you’re bafﬂed by all this internet of things talk, skip straight to page 124 for Lux’s handy Jargonbuster. We also check out some of the latest lighting technologies and innovations, including the graphene LED bulb, power systems for lighting that take drivers out of the picture (page 52), and location systems based on visible light communication (page 18). New technology is inﬂuencing the business models behind lighting too – and on page 44 we look at how light can now be delivered on a ‘pay as you go’ basis. And don’t forget to stay tuned to Luxreview.com, which is where you’ll ﬁnd our latest breaking news, exclusive analysis, standout case studies, product reviews, practical advice and video reports. And if you haven’t already, sign up for our regular e-newsletters. Enjoy the issue. Robert Bain Editor
Upcoming Lux specials Transport, outdoor and industrial – June LuxLive preview – October
– For us, every year is the international year of light ROBERT BAIN Editor email@example.com 020 3283 4387 07720 677 538
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06 IN THIS ISSUE
IN THIS ISSUE 07
Target leads the way with in-store location systems â€“ powered by LED lights Page 18 www.luxreview.com
08 IN THIS ISSUE
IN THIS ISSUE 09
Daylight and artiďŹ cial light in balance at this Sydney warehouse Page 55 www.luxreview.com
10 IN THIS ISSUE
IN THIS ISSUE 11
How LEDs are changing the way we see art Page 66 www.luxreview.com
7 Lux Technology Special, 2015 Features
News and views News News analysis Your views Opinion Gordon Routledge Ray Molony Interview: Alan Mitchell Interview: Paul Glennie Named and shamed Batwing
16 18 22 24 30 32 34 36 110 130
THE 11 BIGGEST TRENDS
COVER STORY THE INTERNET OF THINGS
ALAN MITCHELL, SOUTHAMPTON UNI
How this Belgian police station has adopted an innovative power system for its lights
PROJECT: MONTFORTHAUS, AUSTRIA 61 39
New LED lighting at a cultural centre
LIGHTING FOR ART
Seeing the world’s most famous artworks with fresh eyes under LED lights 44
Amsterdam’s airport adopts a pay-as-you-go lighting solution
The most difficult An LED reﬁt at the UK supermarket saves thing to deal with in 52% on energy bills my job is that people PROJECT: JUMET POLICE STATION don’t like change”
PROJECT: YUSEN LOGISTICS How this Sydney warehouse adopted energy-saving lighting
...and how it’s about to turn the lighting world on its head
We reveal the hottest trends running through the world of lighting technology right now
THE HISTORY OF LIGHTING
The story of light, from prehistoric times to the present day 48
WILL LIGHTING SAVE THE WORLD?
Niels Carsten Bluhme and John Bullock go head to head on the topic 52
RECYCLING LEDS How can we better extract and reuse the rare materials that go into LEDs?
83 Hands on WHICH CITIES ARE SMARTEST?
...and how is lighting helping them do it?
POWER OVER ETHERNET
The latest technology offering to make lighting control cheaper and easier
OPEN INNOVATION IN LIGHTING
Design clinic: laboratories Design clinic: breakout areas Lighting economist Reviews
90 92 106 112
New products Jargonbuster Lux videos Upcoming events
121 124 126 128
What if LED innovators pooled their resources?
LED DIMMING: DOS AND DON’TS
Dimming LEDs can be pretty hit and miss...
The 7 graphs that tell you everything you need to know about lighting
The 14 key pieces of information you should expect to ﬁnd on a product datasheet
LIGHTING FOR LARGE ESTATES
A preview of our upcoming conference
pivotal trends in lighting technology
There’s so much going on in lighting these days that we couldn’t ﬁt it all into a standard list of 10. So sit back and bone up on the technology trends to watch
With LEDs comprehensively in the mainstream, the next frontier in lighting is controls. Call it smart, call it connected, call it what you like – the point is that your lights can be controlled. Dimmers and sensors have been around for donkey’s years, but the challenge now is to make them more sophisticated, get them to communicate with other devices and make sure people use them. Energy saving is only the start of the potential beneﬁts – connected lighting also promises to make us safer and pave the way for…
THE INTERNET OF THINGS
The internet of things is the term used to describe what happens when it’s no longer just computers and smartphones that are connected to the web, but also your fridge, your coffee cup, your heart monitor and your LED lights. Lighting is an ideal network for internet-of-things services to be built on – because it’s already there in the ceiling of every building, looking down at us, wired up and ready to go – you only have to add a few sensors or cameras and some kind of data connection.
BUILT-IN LIGHT SOURCES – GOOD IDEA?
Because LED light sources don’t have to be replaced very often, and because no standards have emerged for what they should be like, manufacturers have got used to building them into ﬁttings, rather than designing new luminaires around replaceable ‘lamps’. But what happens if they fail early? Or a better, more efﬁcient module comes on the market? Organisations such as Zhaga have sought to address the issue by coming up with agreed designs, but integrated modules are becoming the norm. Will we regret lumbering our clients with light sources they can’t change?
NEW POWER TECHNOLOGIES
Until now, LED luminaires have typically come with a ‘driver’ that converts the mains electricity supply into a form the light can use. But now new power technologies are appearing, with a range of beneﬁts. Drivers are often the ﬁrst component of a lighting system to fail, so some companies are taking them out of the equation – Iviti has a lamp with a DC LED chip that needs no driver at all, and Isotera
sells a power system for lighting using a central hub, with each ﬁtting connected directly to a bus cable. The latest innovation is power-over-Ethernet, which provides electricity through data cables (see page 83).
RETROFIT LAMPS – ON BORROWED TIME
According to Timee magazine, 2013 was the year of the LED lamp. That now seems a long time ago, as manufacturers begin to wonder what happens once the market for these long-lasting lamps is saturated. There are two ways they can go: up or out. Either move upmarket by adding value to this commodity product (internet connectivity, colour-changing and so on) or leave the market completely. Osram, Philips and Samsung all tried option one, then opted for option two – Osram is selling its general lighting business, Philips is selling a big stake in its own, and Samsung pulled out of lamps completely.
Light inﬂuences how productive we are at work, how well we learn and how quickly we recover from illness. The rise of LEDs means it’s gradually getting easier and cheaper for lighting manufacturers to
saving energy. But the Wild West of the LED market is being tamed, and even those who had their ﬁngers burned in the early days are coming back wiser, with a renewed focus on quality.
Nobel Prize winner Shuji Nakamura has moved from blue to violet LEDs. Nakamura’s violet LEDs put the gallium nitride on a base of some more gallium nitride rather than sapphire – ‘GaN-on-GaN’ in technical parlance. Not only do they render colours better, they also open up the possibility for longer lives and greater efﬁciency. Also set to revolutionise the world of LEDs is wonder material du jourr graphene, which its proponents would have you believe will be used in everything from phones to buildings to water ﬁlters (see page 20). Researchers at the University of Manchester say graphene’s high conductivity will make for brighter, longer-lasting and more efﬁcient sources, and they hope to have a graphene LED lamp on the market soon.
Lighting isn’t just about light any more. It’s about data. Technologies such as Li-Fi (like Wi-Fi, using light) and indoor positioning (that tracks people’s position using LED luminaires and their smartphones) are both based on visible light communication. It’s set to transform our shops, museums and indoor spaces, and to turn the industry on its head as lighting products are used for completely new purposes.
LOOK, NO WIRES
Everything’s going wireless these days, and lighting control is no exception. It’s particularly appealing for retroﬁt projects. As well as radio-frequency-based systems, there are technologies such as power-line communication, which uses mains power lines to carry data to and from your ﬁttings. And even for traditional wired control systems, it’s going to be more and more common for the user’s control device to be a tablet or phone that’s not wired to anything.
put this knowledge into practice, and make products that promote health – usually by adjusting the brightness and colour of the light during the day to mimic natural light.
THE LAST FEW APPLICATION AREAS FALL TO LED
‘LEDs aren’t for every application…’ That’s something we’re hearing less and less. Some areas have been slower to adopt them than others – the efﬁciency of T5 has been tough to beat in ofﬁces and LEDs have struggled to match the output of ﬂoodlights until recently – this year’s Super Bowl took place under LED light. In the past 12 months, manufacturers who had clung to old technologies such as metal halide and cold cathode have had to embrace LEDs.
THE FLIGHT TO QUALITY
We’ve all seen examples of poorquality LED retroﬁts that make a shop, café or ofﬁce look dreadful, all for the sake of
Europe delays halogen ban until 2018 The European Commission has listened to the arguments of the conventional lighting industry and voted to postpone a ban on halogen lamps until September 2018. It did not, however, extend the ban until 2020, which lighting industry body Lighting Europe had lobbied for. The decision will be unpopular with newer LED specialist companies such as Neonlite and its Megaman brand, which had argued against any extension. The EC set the 2016 date in 2009, giving the industry seven years to prepare for it. Halogens are a form of incandescent lamp – the EC has already banned others – and are highly inefﬁcient compared with newer LED and CFL energysaving lamps. But the industry lobbied hard in recent months to delay the ban, saying that seven years was not long enough. It argued among other things that Europe would face a lamp shortage because there would not be enough quality LED lamps to meet demand. It also said the industry needed more time to develop LEDs with features to which consumers
are accustomed – such as dimming as standard, multi-directional light beams, and good colour rendering – at an affordable price. The commission said: ‘Postponing the phaseout will bring more efﬁcient products to the market and give consumers the possibility to choose the best performing lamp for their needs.’ ‘Switching from an average halogen lamp to an energy-efﬁcient LED will already save approximately €115 ($129) over the LED’s lifetime of up to 20 years, and pay back its cost within a year,’ the commission added. ‘This will increase further by 2018 with lower LED prices and better LED performance.’
Incandescent bulb ban on the cards in Qatar Qatar is considering following other Gulf countries in banning incandescent lamps. Arabic daily paper Arrayah quoted Mohamed Saif Al-Kuwari, an ofﬁcial in charge of testing and standardisation at the Ministry of Environment, saying: ‘The decision to ban tungsten lamps is being made as they are found to be at least 30 per cent more energy consuming and studies have found the lamps are making enormous amounts of thermal emissions which contribute to harm the environment.’ The country is looking to adopt standards for energy-efﬁcient lighting as part of its new construction code. The warmth and sparkle of incandescent has proved popular in chandeliers and decorative ﬁttings in the Middle East, where energy costs are relatively low. But a renewed push for energy efﬁciency, and the rise of LED alternatives to traditional light sources, has turned the attention of governments in the region to the advantages of banning inefﬁcient lighting technologies. Bahrain is considering steps to phase out incandescent and halogen this year, and an incandescent bulb ban in the UAE came into effect on 1 January. Saudi Arabia is also considering regulations for light sources as part of its national energy efﬁciency programme.
Paris rejects LEDS but goes smart Paris is forsaking LED streetlights, for now, in favour of a traditional look. But that’s not stopping the city from implementing intelligent controls. It’s working with Californian ﬁrm Silver Spring to expand a pilot programme that connects trafﬁc lights and a variety of existing streetlight technologies – including high-pressure sodium – into a wireless control network. Evesa, the body responsible for public lighting and light signalling in Paris, has already deployed the network on a small scale and will roll it out across the city. Brandon Davito, Silver Spring’s vice-president of smart cities, said: ‘While they do not beneﬁt from the more advanced adaptive lighting and dimming schemes that LEDs offer, implementing a controls network gives a services provider or utility the ability to monitor light performance and outages, provide proactive maintenance, and reduce energy use by more precisely managing the lighting schedule.’
Outdoor lighting lab heads indoors to evaluate power over Ethernet The Danish Outdoor Lighting Lab, which tests and develops smart streetlighting in a suburb of Copenhagen, is to open an indoor lab to evaluate smart ceilings and power over Ethernet. The indoor lighting lab, which is expected to be ready next summer, will become a test bed for lighting systems powered and controlled through data cables, known as power over Ethernet. City planners, lighting manufacturers and researchers will work at the lab to develop technology for the ‘smart cities’ of the future. ‘We’re developing applications for smart things you can do inside buildings, based on lighting technology,’ said Niels Carsten Bluhme, director of city, environment and employment at the municipality of Albertslund, one of the
public sector partners of the lab. ‘The lab will have an intelligent ceiling with power over Ethernet, where you replace the traditional light installations based on electricity with a data cable. ‘Then you add sensors to the luminaires so you can register mobile phones and control not only installations in the house but also functions – meetings, bookings, and so on,’ Bluhme said. He added that the indoor lab will also create biodynamic lighting – that simulates daylight – using a system based on data cables. The lab will be the home of Gate 21, an organisation that fosters public-private partnerships to develop green technology. O For more about power over Ethernet, turn to page 83.
DLR eyes ‘smart’ emergency lighting East London’s Docklands Light Railway (DLR) is considering deploying a ‘dynamic’ emergency lighting system that would intelligently illuminate the fastest and safest exit route from stations. Paul Meenan, electrical and mechanical engineer for the DLR, told the Lux x Emergency Lighting Conference: ‘We generally just do plain old functional lighting, but in the past year or so we have been looking at where there could be an opportunity to do some dynamic lighting, and we
are looking at new canopy concepts.’ The DLR has included the lighting in its ‘railway of the future’ review, which spans the gamut of digital technologies including touchscreens for passenger information and
advertisements. ‘Part of that would involve some dynamic lighting,’ Meenan said. ‘Not just normal discreet lighting [but] also some sort of emergency wayﬁnding that you don’t see unless it’s an emergency.’ Meenan said dynamic emergency lighting at DLR is, at the moment a ‘concept,’ that will require ‘ﬁnding the right approach and the will to want to do that’. He told Lux that DLR is considering Royal Victoria station for a possible ﬁrst installation.
Egypt ﬁghts blackouts with solar streetlights The Egyptian government is ﬁtting entire cities and villages with solar LED streetlights in a bid to ease the load on the electricity network and prevent power cuts. The transition began in 2013 with the installation of solar streetlights throughout Cairo’s major districts, bef extending to the seaport city of Suez in 2014, where they light the 8km Misr-Iran Road.
By early 2015, numerous streets in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el Sheikh, 15km in length, had been ﬁtted with solar LED lighting by the state-owned Arab Organization for Industrialization (AOI), with an nvestment of around $2.1 million. day, similar work is taking place in Alexandria, New Valley, Ismailia, and Kom Ombo in Aswan.
Lighting by numbers
3 YEARS UNTIL THE EU BANS HALOGEN LAMPS
$124 SAVED BY SWITCHING FROM A HALOGEN LAMP TO LED, OVER THE LED’S 20-YEAR LIFETIME
ENERGY REDUCTION PARIS IS HOPING TO MAKE WITH STREETLIGHTING CONTROLS
13,000 LIGHTS INSTALLED IN SCHIPHOL AIRPORT ON A ‘PAY-AS-YOU-GO’ BASIS
ENERGY SAVED BY A GRAPHENE LED LAMP, COMPARED WITH A NORMAL LED LAMP
18 NEWS INDOOR POSITIONING
EXCLUSIVE: US retail giant Target pioneers in-store navigation systems based on light
S retail giant Target, a self-confessed long-time technology laggard, is on a mission to catapult itself into the digital vanguard both inside and outside its stores. Top of its list: an in-store mobile phone navigation system that guides customers around its cavernous ﬂoors using what could become the hottest information delivery mechanism in brick-and-mortar shopping since the barcode – lights. Lux has learned that technology based on digital lighting – most likely visible light communication (VLC) – is almost certainly a key component of what $73 billion (£48 billion) Target is trumpeting as its new, customer friendly, transformative, ‘mobile in-store experience’. A bouncy promotional video on Target’s website shows a happy, conﬁdent, digitally-enabled young shopper entering a Target store where her smartphone – for much of the time mounted on her shopping trolley facing up toward the lights – invites her to have a free cup of Starbucks coffee, shows her the fastest route to the Tide laundry detergents, and sends her comparison information on a variety of soaps once she gets there. At the end of her journey, the phone app helps her pay at the checkout. The same LED The video doesn’t mention lights, technology that but the supplier of the system, Point Inside, says the technology it has slashes energy provided to Target enables location and maintenance solutions based on a number of costs can now technologies, including lighting. ‘Target has integrated our play a role in IT” StoreMode platform into their mobile app,’ a Point Inside spokesperson said. ‘The StoreMode platform supports a range of indoor location solutions that augment our core product location services. These include beacons, WiFi, mobile phone sensors, lighting technology, and other emerging technology.’ The spokesperson declined to elaborate on the lighting deployment, saying: ‘We can’t comment on the speciﬁc elements or technology that are included in our partner implementations.’
Getting in position The technology is believed to be VLC, a ﬂedgling tool that could become an invaluable means for retailers to engage customers. VLC has many possible applications, but the one expected to take off ﬁrst is ‘indoor positioning’, in which LED luminaires pinpoint a smartphone’s exact location in a store so retailers can send shoppers information on nearby products.
VLC taps the digital nature of LEDs, encoding data in light by tweaking the frequency of light emission, a variation that can be detected by the camera in a smartphone. It works much the same way as a remote control sending a signal to a TV using infrared light – except it uses visible light from lights are already on. An app on the phone uses the data to pinpoint the phone’s position. The technology is a potentially excellent ﬁt with retail infrastructure because all stores have lights. The same LED technology that slashes energy consumption and maintenance costs can now play an role in information technology operations – the same idea that drives the deployment of intelligent, internetconnected LED streetlighting in cities such as Los Angeles. Vendors of VLC include US ﬁrms GE, Acuity, ByteLight and Scottish startup PureVLC. GE has been partnering with ByteLight, although that relationship will likely change with the acquisition of ByteLight by Acuity, which itself has partnered with Qualcomm in developing VLC. Philips has also championed the technology.
Starting small It is not clear how many of Target’s nearly 1,800 stores use VLC. The number is thought to be small, but is expected to grow this year. Minneapolis-based Target declined an interview, and would not conﬁrm that it uses lighting as part of its in-store navigation. At Target’s recent corporate analyst meeting, the company’s chief strategy and innovation ofﬁcer Casey Carl described the in-store system as part of an overarching plan to embrace digital technology and the ‘internet of things’ so customers – Target calls them ‘guests’ – can shop, buy or browse from home, remotely or in-store using their digital devices. The scheme puts a heavy emphasis on mobile phones – Target says nearly all of its customers use mobiles to shop – and on making shopping easier. ‘We’ve seen nothing short of explosive growth in mobile,’ Carl said at the analyst meeting. ‘If you look at our guests and how they want to shop, mobile is truly the new front door to Target. Now, this is a staggering statistic. Ninety-eight per cent of Target guests shop digitally, and the vast majority of that shopping occurs using a mobile device. From a routine trip for groceries to creating a wedding registry, almost everything begins on mobile. Last year mobile trafﬁc grew 44 per cent and conversions shot up 69 per cent.’
Mobile, mobile everywhere The in-store navigation system marks an ambitious attempt to extend Target’s mobile offering. ‘We’re going to continue to improve on the mobile experience in
a number of ways this year,’ Carl said, ‘evolving the user experience by improving our in-store location and navigation capabilities, greater mobile payments integration, and testing new technologies like iBeacons to make shopping even more personalised.’ He did not refer to lighting technology. An iBeacon is Apple’s version of a technology called beacons, which transmits data using low-energy bluetooth technology. They are typically used indoors where GPS doesn’t work too well, or just isn’t precise enough. Target chairman and CEO Brian Cornell was similarly imbued with the spirit of smartphoneism. ‘We will be a brand that separates itself from others based on merchandising authority and experience, centred on ease and on inspiration,’ he told analysts. ‘We’ll enable mobile to be the front door to all of Target. Importantly, we’ll reassert our cultural leadership to build unparalleled guest afﬁnity. And we will be a more agile, a more efﬁcient, and a more guest-focused headquarter team.’
growth in physical stores, although Target has now combined digital and physical world sales into one ‘single-segment’ business. ‘Many of you ask us to isolate the economics of our digital business,’ chief ﬁnancial ofﬁcer John Mulligan said at the annual analyst meeting. ‘It’s a natural question, because we have some online-only competitors and some other brick-and-mortar competitors who treat the digital channel as a distinct business. ‘However, given our operating model and our strategic plans, we don’t think of our digital channel as separate. At the highest level our goal is to grow both top line and the bottom line by creating proﬁtable retail relationships with guests, and we are agnostic to the channel in which a guest chooses to interact with our brand.’ The VLC-linked ‘mobile in-store experience’ puts teeth into that combined digital/physical approach. For instance, shoppers who arrive at a store with shopping lists and product information already prepared on their Target app can then tie into the navigation system to ﬁnd their items.
Reversal of fortune? The company’s born-again technology movement is an attempt to reverse years of digital dawdling, according to Target executives. ‘As consumers rapidly embraced digital, we reacted too slowly,’ Carl said. ‘We played catch-up, and we treated the businesses separately while competitors who doubled down their investments and moved to integrate their organisations grabbed market share. We learned a lot, and we will not be caught ﬂat-footed again.’ Target has been on the ﬁnancial mend over the past few years. Its troubles have included a massive breach of credit card data security in 2013, for which it ended up paying $19 million (£13 million) as a settlement to credit companies. In 2013, sales dropped by 0.9 percent and it suffered a slump in same-store sales for four consecutive quarters, until it reported a rise in November last year.
Blurring the line Digital sales grew 30 per cent and represented 0.9 per cent of the comparable growth in 2014. They are expected to outpace sales
Anything that can be digitised, will be Target is also developing other digital technologies that link into a user’s app, such as the Zero Click programme in which intelligent sensors note when someone is running low on a product such as nappies and prompts the customer accordingly. To hasten development of all of these technologies (and perhaps to address privacy concerns), the company created a ‘transformation ofﬁce’ last year, headed by Carl. It hired a new chief information ofﬁcer, Mike McNamara, formerly of UK retail giant Tesco. ‘We have been aggressively hiring data scientists, engineers, product managers, and visual merchandisers,’ Carl noted. That crop of new hires almost certainly includes lighting engineers, whose job description will go well beyond simply illuminating the shop ﬂoors. Light for light’s sake? That’s so last year. Next time you walk in as a Target ‘guest’, you might not know it, but they could be welcoming you to the era of converged lighting and data.
20 NEWS ANALYSIS
Analysis: Is the graphene lamp the next big thing? The new wonder material will boost efficiency and longevity, and it’s available in a few months. Mark Halper reports
uestion: how is deﬂation like an LED light bulb? Answer: both discourage you from buying now, because if you wait just a little longer, the deals will be better. For LED lamps, that means not only that prices are coming down, but also that the lamps themselves keep getting better. The latest example: in a few months you’ll be able to buy a lamp that incorporates everyone’s favourite miracle material, graphene. Graphene is a one-atom thin sheet of carbon with exceptional strength and conductivity (see box). The graphene LED lamp, from a UK startup called Graphene Lighting, ‘is expected to perform signiﬁcantly better and last longer than traditional LED bulbs,’ according to the UK’s University of Manchester. Perhaps the most telling thing about that statement is that they’re already referring to ‘traditional LED bulbs’. ‘It is expected that the graphene light bulbs will be on the shelves in a matter of months, at a competitive cost,’ the university said. That’s a lot of expectations from the university, which is excited because, among other reasons, it has a ﬁnancial stake in Graphene Lighting. The company is a spin-out from the UK’s National Graphene Institute, founded at the university with British and European government funding to advance commercial applications of graphene. Graphene Lighting will coat a lamp’s LED chips with graphene, so heat will be removed from the lamp more effectively, a university spokesperson told Lux. x (For those who need reminding: LED lamps give off light from semiconductors known as light-emitting diodes. And although LEDs are far more efﬁcient than incandescent sources, they’re still inefﬁcient enough to generate heat that must be dissipated.) According to the press release, the graphene leads to ‘lower energy emissions, longer lifetime and lower manufacturing costs’. The university would not quantify those improvements. A BBC C story suggested that the graphene will cut the lamp’s energy consumption by 10 per cent over other LED lamps because it enhances electrical conductivity. The Financial Times, which appears to have broken the story, also suggested a 10 per cent improvement. The university told Lux x that ‘it’s too early to say’, whether the 10 per cent ﬁgure is accurate. The BBC C story said the lamp uses a ﬁlament-shaped LED source. The FT T said it will be priced lower than the ‘£15 and
more’ that it said is typ for comparable dimmable LED lamp. The University of Manchester is the birthplace of graphene. Scientists Sir Andre Geim and Sir Kostya Novoselov ﬁrst isolated the material there in 2004, an achievement that earned them the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics. While the wonder material originated in the UK, at one point China had shot ahead in the graphene intellectual property race. Potential uses span from building materials through energy and electronics, including semiconductors, solar cells and of course, light bulbs. The BBC noted that it is already used in tennis rackets and skis. Two years ago, researchers in South Korea and Vietnam said graphene would help dissipate heat from LED lamps, and that would help make the lamps brighter. Prof Colin Bailey, one of Graphene Lighting’s directors, says the ‘light bulb shows that graphene products are becoming a reality, just a little more than a decade after it was ﬁrst isolated – a very short time in scientiﬁc terms’. Graphene Lighting appears close to delivering a graphene lamp. They’ll be under pressure to come through, lest they fail to meet expectations.
WHAT IS GRAPHENE? Graphene is a real-life material with such magical properties that it makes schoolboys ﬂying on broomsticks seem quite ordinary. As you probably know, diamonds are made of carbon. But the black graphite used in lubricants and pencils is also made of carbon. It’s the same stuff – the difference is in the way the atoms are bonded together. In the scientiﬁc parlance, diamond and graphite are both allotropes of carbon. Graphene is another allotrope of carbon, developed in the last decade or so. What makes graphene special is that it is just one atom thick – it’s sometimes described as a ‘two-dimensional solid’. This makes it the thinnest compound known to man – and it has other remarkable properties: it is the best conductor of heat at room temperature and the best conductor of electricity, which is why it’s of interest for lighting. It’s also extremely light, yet 100 times stronger than steel – a one-square metre graphene hammock would support a 4kg cat but would weigh only as much as one of the cat’s whiskers. Wow.
22 YOUR VIEWS
Chemist customers have a ghastly pallor Today I walked into a chemist that I know was recently reﬁtted. They have had 40W+ LED square panel ﬁttings installed, and they proudly told me they were energy-efﬁcient LED ﬁttings proposed by a lighting professional working with the shopﬁtting company. It is good that these people are at the chemist because the light from these ﬁttings suggests the healthiest person is near death. Then the coup de grace of LED energy efﬁciency: the luminaires are installed on a 1.2 x 1.2m grid with a ﬂash of design brilliance – there is an LED accent light in every tile around the perimeter, accenting nothing. MARK CUNNINGHAM Managing director, Trinity Lighting
Don’t rush to market I am an electrician and have supplied LED lamps to a few customers – replacing standard GLS and GU10/MR16 halogen. I have had some serious problems with the GLS. One manufacturer’s lamps were failing after just a few weeks – a 40 per cent failure rate. This reputable manufacturer did respond appropriately, ceased the production of the particular model and reimbursed the cost. Another make of product failed on initial installation where the nature of the fault would in my view render the product a potential hazard.
The most difﬁcult thing to deal with in my job is that people don’t like change” Alan Mitchell, University of Southampton, page 34
Lux snapped this picture while visiting iGuzzini’s headquarters in Recanati, Italy – this is the company’s Lux Award-winning Trick luminaire, casting shadows on tiny metal buttons attached to the wall.
I raised this with the supplier but had no response. I feel that there has been too much of a rush to market on the part of the manufacturers without really considering the effect of the environmental temperature and light ﬁtting that LED is installed within. Also I don’t believe that the manufacturers or designers have
Graphene products are becoming a reality – just a little more than a decade after it was ﬁrst isolated” Prof Colin Bailey, Graphene Lighting, page 20
considered the potential danger where internal circuitry uses a heatsink that forms the external body of the LED lamp as is the case with many GLS versions. I am now reconsidering supplying LED lamps to customers. GES via www.luxreview.com
When is a warranty not a warranty
if so would they need a copy of readings taken at the time of installation?’ None has answered, so my guess is that ﬁve-year warranties aren’t worth the paper they are written on. The best I got was that it should be returned to the manufacturer and a replacement would be sent, but this does not answer the question of related installation/return/transport and labour costs. Fluorescent ﬁttings were basically a tin box and reﬂector and the light source was a ‘consumable’. Unless manufacturers can show that LED sources can be replaced then I don’t think we will still be seeing ﬁve-year warranties for much longer. GRAHAM YOUNG via www.luxreview.com
Dirty talk I have asked many manufacturers how they would honour a ﬁve-year warranty on an LED product if after four years I came back and said the light output of the LED was no longer appropriate for the application – it was, say, 70 per cent or less of the initial output. I asked: ‘Would I need light level readings from the installation to compare, and
In response to ‘Lighting’s dirty secret’, a column in which Ray Molony said that ofﬁce regulations on lighting are a big screw up. Tell that to the electrical consultants who write generic speciﬁcations copied from the last project, quoting Cibse guide this, EN number that, UGR this, CRI that, LG5, LG6, energy this,
YOUR VIEWS 23
LED that. They have no idea what it all means, but they can use this against the design-and-build contractor if they want to prove their worth. NIGEL SMITH
WHAT’S HOT ON TOP TWEETS paul bracciano @paulbracciano @LuxReview EU:”Great new LED products - BIG future EU savings” But “Big Savings” = noone WOULD buy without ban =Not-so-great products!
In general, I’ve been very satisﬁed with ‘general’ ofﬁce lighting through my entire career. I had louvred luminaires in the ﬁrst ofﬁce I was in back in the mid 1980s, and have ever since. I have never had any complaints. There is no more economical and efﬁcacious way of providing a practical solution to the functional visual requirements in the application area. Don’t get me wrong, I hate box-ticking and the increased bureaucracy involved with engineering-driven lighting design. However, most projects are ‘boring’, are conceived speculatively, and do not warrant elaborate planning and equipment. Thankfully there are de facto standards, or market forces would further erode what quality we have. Look at developing countries with little standardisation; lighting there can be dangerous, glaring and tiring, they would aspire to be boring.
Ray Molony’s article on ofﬁce lighting standards is an eyeopener. Companies are selling a solution that is uniform for all without considering the varied requirement based on age or work requirement. The focus is always on lighting the ﬂoor. Liked the view that the mantra should be ‘light the walls, not the ﬂoor’.
HAVE YOUR SAY firstname.lastname@example.org LinkedIn linkd.in/lightingtalk
James Poore @JamesTPoore @Lux_magazine It must be established from day 1 who’s taking ownership of the emergency lighting design & who’s independently signing it off Massimiliano Guzzini @maxguzzini Lights that talk. Smart-retailers using #LED to engage customers. #Socialinnovation through #lighting @Lux_magazine Invisua Lighting BV @invisua Lux Review: branding with light is the second biggest trend in retail lighting. We couldn’t agree more! goo.gl/2NXKcK
GRAPHENE LIGHTING – SMOKE AND MIRRORS OR THE REAL DEAL? I can’t help but wonder if this ‘disruptive’ approach to technology is just another way of not allowing things to mature – as if maturity is a bad word, so the best thing to do is to keep heading off in all sorts of directions. John Bullock, Lighting designer
As a lighting grandad I welcome graphene as a solution to not just lighting enhancement but all the beneﬁts of a superconducting super strong, lightweight material. Really excited to see development in light-emitting objects. George DeLights Ashley-Cound, lighting consultant, Light Fantastic
We do not need anything more than a view of a development pipeline on graphene because it is not about to hit our markets in the next year. So let’s quell the hysteria of lighting’s new brave new world because we haven’t fully dealt with the old brave newish world yet. Mark Cunningham, managing director, Trinity Lighting UK
Twitter @lux_magazine and @luxreview
If our lighting industry/galaxy expands outwards too quickly without solid sage guidance, like the universe’s big bang theory, it could also retract imploding into a black hole (pun intended), if there is no foundation for longer term investment. And I mean investment in totality, not just funding. If the ROI is constantly undermined by disruption then we will have problems. Mark Cunningham, managing director, Trinity Lighting UK
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NIGEL HARVEY CEO RECOLIGHT
STEVE HARE GENERAL MANAGER HBW LIGHTING
Make sure you recover all those rare earths
Don’t get hung up on nostalgia
o ensure rare earths can be recovered from waste LEDs, it is essential to collect LEDs separately from other waste. Without a distinct LED waste stream, it will be harder to recover the rare earths – the concentration would be diluted by scrap metal or general electrical waste. The Environment Agency has pragmatically agreed that waste LED lamps and gas discharge lamps can be placed in the same recycling container. That makes sense: many end users cannot distinguish LEDs from other lamps, most LED lamps are processed in the same way as ﬂuorescents, and producers must record both in the same WEEE category anyway. So we should encourage end users to put ﬂuorescent and LED lamps in the same container. Over time, the proportion of gas Collectors discharge lamps will fall, and that of LEDs will rise. This way, must view an we ensure a distinct LED waste LED lamp as a stream for the long term. lamp, not an item When LED recycling becomes economically and technically of general metal feasible, we may have to separate waste” LED and non-LED lamp waste. The best way may be to co-collect and separate at the recycler. Or a second collection container may become viable. Either way, for collectors to continue to view an LED lamp as a lamp – and not an item of general metal waste, is vital for the long-term success of LED recycling. In the same way, LED luminaires and conventional luminaires should be co-collected to ensure the LED light sources are identiﬁable as a separate waste stream. But in 2014, less than one per cent of waste luminaires were separately collected. Most luminaires were probably recycled along with the millions of tonnes of scrap metal collected each years. To address this, two key actions are needed. First, producers of LED luminaires should join a WEEE PCS that separately collects waste luminaires. Second, end users must return waste luminaires through the WEEE system, and not as scrap metal. Until these changes take place, the opportunity to recover rare earths from LED luminaires will be more limited.
et engines are amazing. They are unbelievably simple and supremely efﬁcient. Thanks to Sir Frank Whittle we enjoy the beneﬁts today. But there’s nothing exciting about them anymore. I recently ﬂew in a small propeller plane. Now that was exciting. The raw sound of the engines. I could see the pilot – I could even see out of the windscreen. As we embarked on our journey, the small plane turned on to the runway and the engines were set to full throttle, lifting the plane into the air. The sound of the engines engulfed the cabin. And then the excitement diminishes, your headache sets in and you can’t wait to land. It becomes clear why jet engines are so proliﬁc in aviation. In 20 years, or maybe even 10, there will be similar comparisons between LED and HID sources. We will be so used to LED lighting that coming across a high-pressure sodium or a tungsten halogen lamp will be exciting. Like the jet engine in comparison to the internal combustion engine, LEDs offer many beneﬁts over traditional light sources. But like any transition to a new technology, there will be hesitation, scepticism and caution. As in any But LED lighting has developed considerably over the past ﬁve years. transition to new Problems with colour shift and technology, there ‘binning’ have been largely solved. will be hesitation, Efﬁciencies are increasing beyond those of traditional light sources. scepticism and Many luminaire manufacturers are caution” beginning to understand the heat and voltage sensitivities of LEDs. So conﬁdence can be had in the installation of LED luminaires. Even the price is coming down. Glare and good colour rendering are two of the few remaining technical barriers to LED adoption, and glare can be minimised with well-designed optics. Pin this to your fridge, or to the shortcut bar if you’re reading the online version, and look back in 10 years to see how we’re going.
WILL GILBERT LIGHTING SOLUTIONS PRODUCT MANAGER SOLID STATE SUPPLIES
LANCE STEWART MANAGING DIRECTOR CREATIVE LIGHTING
Not all LED drivers are created equal
LEDs: I didn’t see that coming
ED lighting is growing fast as customers buy into the beneﬁts. At the same time, luminaire manufacturers are being pushed to provide longer warranties with fewer operating conditions. The driver is typically the most complex part of an LED luminaire and the most critical component upon which a warranty is built. Research has shown that most luminaire failures Manufacturers can be attributed to the driver. But in the race to reduce costs, driver need to take lifetime is often misrepresented. a ‘don’t trust Should failures begin to occur the datasheet’ early, and manufacturers start to read the small print, they may ﬁnd approach. they don’t have the comeback Be wary. Ask they expect on the driver supplier. questions” This is not helped by the fact that there is no industry standard yet published on LED driver testing, nor is there a standard datasheet format or a rigorous checklist for driver manufacturers to follow. The lighting industry needs to wake up to this ticking time bomb and challenge driver manufacturers to lift the lid. Lighting manufacturers need to take a ‘don’t trust the datasheet’ approach. Be wary. Ask questions. Perform your own tests. Check the conditions under which lifetime guarantees and warranties are made. Is the lifetime given in hours (of continuous operation) or in years (based on an average use per year)? Is it stated at full load, over the entire power range? What about operating temperature? The biggest threat is heat. Check whether the stated lifetime on the datasheet is at maximum case temperature. If not, look for the graph that shows how lifetime decreases as temperature rises above ambient. Look for products that provide surge protection, short and open circuit protection and overload protection. There are many other factors to be considered, but lifetime at what operating temperature is the most critical of all.
he lighting world is in a spin. But is it a whirlwind of activity taking us to new heights? Or a whirlpool that threatens to drag us down to our doom? I have been saying for years now that the LED revolution would see suppliers and their customers competing with each other, ‘dogs and cats living together’, carnage and mayhem. Lighting controls companies would expand into LED luminaires and LED and luminaire manufacturers would try to ‘own the space’ of lighting controls. The distinction between clients and competitors would become uncomfortably blurred. At the big end of town, Philips, Osram, GE, et al had, been largely supported by ongoing income streams from replacements for their consumable light sources. How, I wondered, could they achieve a payback for the massive investments required to develop LEDs? I think it’s great that they did this. Or was it the relatively new players at that time, like Cree, who gave them no choice? Unsurprisingly then, these companies have been trying to move into other areas, such as lighting control systems. Now we hear that ‘Big Data’ is interested in the information that can be gathered by lighting and sensors. And LEDs are simply electronic components, how long will it be before electronics manufacturers outside the lighting industry decide there’s money to be made by making lighting and controls themselves? The advent of LEDs has already Is it not pushed us in one direction, big data time that threatens to push us in another. Is the lighting it not time that the lighting industry took back control of its future? industry took In the rush to adopt new back control of technologies and ﬁnd new revenue its future?” streams, have we forgotten that our senses derive most of the information about the world around us from our vision? Is it about time, in this Year of Light, that we talk more about lighting’s primary beneﬁts to humanity and less on the beneﬁts, challenges and complexity of light sources? If only we could have seen all this coming. Wait….
Opinion A bright future Marcus Brodin, commercial director at Future Energy Solutions, examines what the future holds for this LED technology and those using it
he lighting industry has changed signiﬁcantly over recent years thanks to LED technology. Its long life, low carbon emissions, efﬁciency and quality of light have helped it gain an ever-growing market share. The Electronics and Optoelectronics Research Laboratories at the Industrial Technology Research Institute has suggested that the global LED lighting market value was worth $30.5 billion (£20.3 billion) in 2014 and will increase to $51.6 billion in 2018. Clearly it has a bright future, but it is a constantly evolving market that is set to see further signiﬁcant changes over the next few years as the technology matures. In the early days, the biggest barrier to widespread adoption of LED lighting was its price. This changed in 2012 when increased competition and lower production costs resulted in improved return on investment. At present, most LEDs offer an average of 115 lm/W, yet some leading manufacturers have already demonstrated the capability to produce 200 lm/W sources, which LED need less than 5W to produce the lighting is on same amount of light as a traditional the radar of 60W incandescent lamp. Some manufacturers say their everybody from products could last up to 100,000 homeowners to hours, based on design and operating multinational temperature. Such claims about product lifetimes are now under corporations” scrutiny and independent testing will separate fact from ﬁction. The ‘life’ of an LED is the period after which the luminaire emits only 70 per cent of its original output. This L70 rating is a measure of lumen maintenance, the term used to measure the light produced by a light source at a certain point in the future when compared with its output when new. If a light source emits 1,000 lm when new and 700 lm after 60,000 hours of use, it has a lumen maintenance of 70 per cent at 60,000 hours. In other words, it has an L70 of 60,000 hours. L70 is used because the human eye cannot detect the difference until output has declined by 30 per cent.
MARCUS BRODIN commercial director, FUTURE ENERGY SOLUTIONS
Interchangeability of LED lighting products will be important in the years ahead, and the Zhaga consortium is leading the way. Its members include hundreds of companies from around the world and it is developing speciﬁcations that will enable users to replace LED light sources from one manufacturer with those from another. In December 2014 it signed a liaison agreement with the International Electrotechnical Commission to help deﬁne standards in this area, and it should be published over the next few years. This is a positive step, but the lack of recognised and enforced standards has resulted in a dramatic variation in the quality of products on the market. One of the biggest problems has been the proliferation of low-cost and poor-quality lighting products from China. These products usually have poor colour rendering – an indication of the way objects will appear under the light source, on a scale from 0 to 100. In September 2013, a European eco-design regulation, DIM2, came into force and LEDs with a CRI below 80 are now banned from sale in Europe. DIM2 sets minimum performance requirements and has created a more level playing ﬁeld by banning low-quality lamps from the market. LED luminaires sold on the European market should, by law, also carry the CE mark, which is a statement by the manufacturer that the product complies with all relevant EU legislation, including product safety standards and directives. As the market matures, the amount of low-quality products should diminish further. With LED lighting becoming mainstream, the next generation of solid state lighting technology is already creating interest. Organic LED lighting works by passing electricity through one or more thin layers of organic semiconductor material. Massmarket adoption of OLED lighting is not expected to occur for at least two years, but it is already being used in TVs and phones. The return on investment argument for using LEDs involves a number of considerations including energy, maintenance, life, colour quality, colour consistency and using best available technology. However, LED lighting is on the radar of everybody from homeowners to multinational corporations and will become more attractive and affordable as time goes on.
Analysis: Halogens – the third way As Europe’s ban on halogen has been postponed to 2018, Mark Halper argues that the halogen lamp should stay on the market – but be taxed like alcohol or cigarettes
hereby announce that I will not run for political ofﬁce. I can’t. I’m about to advocate a tax, which is something any politician with a survival instinct is supposed to avoid like the plague. Even worse, in the eyes of some, my tax would be a ‘green’ tax. Yup, a save-the-planet, Kumbaya, we’re-all-in-this-together, jackup-the-price intervention in free market economics. But it would spare something precious that otherwise soon faces a certain demise: the halogen lamp, which faces extinction by European mandate. A quick review. The European Commission decided back in 2009 to ban the sale of halogens from September 2016 under a planned phase-out of energy-hogging lamps that has already banished many other incandescents. The idea is that LEDs and CFLs, with their 80 per cent or greater reduction in electricity consumption (it’s closer to 90 per cent for LEDs these days), will help Europe meet its mandatory carbon-reduction targets. There are Recently, the ban has been postponed to 2018. The a few places conventional lighting industry where I still wants to push it until 2020. LED want the glow companies say that’s ludicrous, and see no reason to change a ban for that, to my eye, which the industry will have had LED does not many years to prepare. provide” I propose a ‘third way’: tax the halogens, and put the money toward ‘green’ objectives. The extra dosh could fund eco-friendly low-carbon electricity generation, such as renewables or nuclear. I’m personally a fan of developing a new generation of advanced nuclear reactors that depart from the old-fashioned ways of today’s nuclear power. There are a half dozen or so potentially safer, cheaper and more useful approaches to nukes, and although China is putting signiﬁcant amounts of money into these, most Western countries are not. I’m writing this opinion column for an end-user focused lighting magazine, so forgive me the little digression in the previous paragraph. But please do keep in mind that as obsessed as we are here at Lux with lighting efﬁciency, we are
not oblivious to the big picture that includes supply of energy as well as demand. Back on the demand track: the tax funds could help develop more efﬁcient LED sources. LEDs might be 90 per cent less energy-hungry than incandescents, but they could be improved. Correct me if I’m wrong, but they convert less than half of the electricity they consume into light. That’s one reason they require reliable heatsinks that dissipate the heat that builds up in the grinding process of converting electrons into photons. Even the recently heralded graphene LED lamp will make only a small improvement in efﬁciency, according to various reports. Surely we can do better.
The heart of the matter Or, getting to the heart of why I’d like to continue to have a halogen option: there is nothing like halogens in the LED or CFL world for creating that warm glow that those of us who grew up with incandescents – that is, all of us – expect from our lighting. LED manufacturers will dispute that. They’ll say that’s an old argument, that they have warmed up their wares from the early days of icy blue light to light that is now the equal of ﬁery hued incandescents. They even stamp their LED packaging with a ‘2700K’ label, a ‘colour warmth’ metric that is statistically equivalent to the old cosy incandescents. But, like beauty, warm light is in the eye of the beholder. And I’ve been beholding the difference since the Christmas buying season. On a whim, I had purchased a simple halogen table lamp from John Lewis for £65 (about $100 at the time). The lamp’s stylish and tactile ‘touch control’ allows me to tap it into three different brightness settings. At the two lowest – the two I use most – the visual ‘warmth’ radiates like ﬁreplace embers, at least compared with any LED or compact ﬂuorescent lamp in my house.
Having it both ways Let me be clear: I’m all for LEDs. I’ve been buying them for a few years now. I like them for saving energy, I hope they last the 20 years that manufacturers claim, and yes, they are getting ‘warmer’. I very much look forward to continued progress in that area. It’s safe to say that I already willingly use LEDs more than I do halogens or any other lingering incandescent lamp in my house. But there are a few places where I still want the glow that, to my eye, LED does not provide – claims of ‘2700K’ nothwithstanding.
We tax beer and cigarettes, why not halogen lamps?
And I’m willing to pay a little extra – a tax – to have the option. Goodness knows I’m paying a premium for LEDs. Yes, prices are coming down rapidly, but even at, say, £8 for an item that was once about £1, we’re all still adjusting. A little green surcharge on my halogens would be okay by comparison.
full refund for my LIFX future, but I also found myself drawn back to the halogen touch lamps on display. So much so that I purchased another. It was a modern day consumer epiphany. If I was impressed enough to welcome two relics of the past into my home while rescheduling the future, then could I put my hand on my heart and say ‘to hell with halogens’? The answer was ‘no’. That’s not to say we should ignore their environmental consequences, hence the tax. Consider halogens as cigarettes or alcohol or marijuana (in, say, Colorado) and let people enjoy them for a little levy. I would even propose limiting the numbers per individual or per household, although I have no idea how that could be policed. Some of the other arguments in favour of keeping halogens alive veer towards specious. The conventional lighting industry, for instance, has noted that banning halogens would confuse the consumer. With due respect, that is a disingenuous remark; the industry largely has itself to blame for confusing consumers with misleading and inconsistent language regarding the ‘eco’ nature of various lamp types (old-timer Osram recently recognised this and decided to stop referring to halogens as ‘eco’).
Accidental halogen hailer As I scribble these words, I realise I might be surprising some readers, colleagues, acquaintances and sources. In fact, I’m surprising myself. Had I written this column in mid-December – as I almost did – I’d have dashed off a diatribe about how foolish it would be to give energy-guzzling halogens one more breath of life than they were due. Then I switched on my accidental halogen lamp after Christmas. And something else happened that made me think twice about banishing these halogen things: on that same whimsical family gift shopping excursion to John Lewis, I had also came home with an £80 (about $125 at the time) all-singing, all-dancing, all app-controllable LED smart bulb, from Silicon Valley vendor LIFX. Not the bog standard expensive LED, but the really, really, really expensive LED with all the intelligent, smartphone-connected bells and whistles. Yes. One bare bulb, eighty pounds sterling, one hundred and twenty-ﬁve dollars. ‘Ah, but it’s Christmas, and I will buy my family the future of lighting,’ I said to myself. When the excitement of rum pudding and tinsel wore off, I came to my senses. I had overspent. Something had to go back. I decided it was the future. The highly intelligent light bulb could wait until prices tumb time-honoured glow of light would sta (after all, humankind has been lighting homes with ﬁre since cave days, and incandescents are, essentially, the ﬁre of a burning ﬁlament).
Halogen in wonderland And in a chequered case that gets curiouser and curiouser, LightingEurope – which represents venerable vendors such as Philips and Osram – contends that the LEDs that the industry implores us to buy now are not quite ready to replace halogens, and won’t be until 2020. It has made the questionable assertion that consumers would face a shortage of bulbs if the EC sticks with a 2016 halogen ban. I think consumers would basically manage just ﬁne should the 2016 hammer fall. But they would have less choice. As the conventional industry rightly says, LEDs don’t yet do everything that halogens do. They don’t dim reliably, for example. They also don’t give off that glow that halogens do, although, ironically, the conventional industry seems loath to admit that. The case for a halogen extension has a whiff of Wonderland, but it also includes nuggets of merit. It would be more convincing if the industry were to come around to a third way, and agree to a tax. The views expressed in this column are those of the author, not of Lux. x He was not smoking anything when he wrote it
Give me another hit In fact, on my return trip to the retailer, not only did I receive a
30 OPINION GORDON ROUTLEDGE
Reality check It’s lighting’s turn to be converged Gordon Routledge, lighting expert and publisher of Lux
turned 40 last year, and I now feel really old. I’m So what has this got to do with lighting? A host of starting to sound like my father when talking companies have worked out that the LED light in the to my kids or an old boss when discussing ceiling can transmit data to smartphones through business with colleagues. the forward-facing camera. You can surf the net at I remember the days when, if you were driving super-fast speed or apps can pinpoint you indoors to a city you’d never been to, you’d buy an A-Z to within 10cm. If I were 10 years younger I’d be street atlas to ﬁnd the street you were going to, and packing up my desk drawer now, and heading off to pull over to consult it again when you got lost. Or start ledatalighting.com. you might wind down the window and ask a local As the organiser of the LuxLive lighting event, resident: ‘Where the hell am I?’ what if we could plug our visitor data into the Then satnav came along and overnight my lighting system at the ExCeL exhibition centre? You impressive collection of A-Zs was consigned to could download an app and check in by walking the bin. An entire generation has lost the skill of under the lights. You could be guided around the reading a map while driving, and venue to the exhibitors you’ve understanding directions delivered expressed an interest in, or those you in a broad range of regional visited last year. Or we could use your A host of accents with pubs or churches as online search history to steer you companies have way stations. towards products you might like. worked out that Then satnav merged with We could let exhibitors know you mobile phones and the internet have arrived, and that you aren’t the LED light in and the makers of satnavs became planning to visit their stand. We the ceiling can software providers. At a stroke, could use information about how transmit data to satnav took away the skill required long you spent on stands to tailor the to be a taxi driver. Finally, the information we send you in future. smartphones” converged mobile phone/ But what about privacy, I hear you satnav/internet device cry. Well, all this is exactly the kind revolutionised the very business model of of information you hand over in the online world, taxis in the form of Uber. whether you are aware of it or not. Black taxis in London are great until So what does this scenario do to the business you need one, when they all vanish. After model for lighting? Well the venue could charge us waving in the middle of the road like an to access the data that has been gathered, and we idiot for half an hour you ﬁnally get one, but in turn could sell the services and data on to our chances are they don’t take credit cards, or if exhibitors. The lighting in the venue becomes a money-earning tool and not an expense. they do you will be charged a king’s ransom. Think about how this scenario works out in your I ﬁrst used Uber late last year, it’s great. Open up the app, enter where you want to go, business. The crowded underground platform choose the type of car you want and sit back, with users hungry for the internet, the busy airport ﬁnish your meal and you’ll get a message when with missing passengers delaying the ﬂight, the the car arrives. Take the journey, get out and the university where the Wi-Fi is too slow. bill is charged to your credit card and the receipt In retail this is a reality. Target in the US is using is emailed. The only downside is that you feel like light in a micro-location initiative (see page 18). you are crossing a trade union picket line as a line Just as businesses today get paid to have mobile of black cab drivers stare daggers at you as you phone transmitters on buildings, companies will soon open the door of the pristine Mercedes E Class. be greedily eyeing up your lighting infrastructure…
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32 OPINION RAY MOLONY
Ray Molony Has lighting run out of ideas? Ray Molony, publisher, Lux magazine
or Lux’s sister publication, Lighting and which everyone seems to love. Then there’s the magazine, we recently compiled a list of Belgian ﬁrm Kinetura, whose luminaires actually the 40 greatest designs of all time. Simply change physical shape as well as light distribution. because, these lists are fun to write and fun to read. But let’s face facts. Groundbreaking stuff has The editorial team considered hundreds of classic been a bit thin on the ground. Especially when you luminaires and after much debate and argument in compare what’s happening in other industries. Think the ofﬁce came up with the list of the ones that we of the sophistication of modern cars, smartphones, believe will stand the test of time. computers and music. In the lighting industry, we’ve It was only after the list had been written up and just got rid of the incandescent light bulb. After, oh laid out that we realised that we hadn’t included let me see, 136 years. And that has been a battle – many light ﬁttings from recent years. In fact, I because customers think we’ve nothing decent to checked and discovered that we had included just replace it! one from the last decade: the Caravaggio pendant from Lightyears. A golden age? You may not be familiar with it, but The advent of LEDs should have unleashed a golden you’ve certainly seen it in a age of design but it’s been a big hundred cafes and shops even if disappointment. In theory, you’d you don’t know its name. It’s an expect the size and controllability I defy you to instant classic, and it well deserves of the light source to lead to a its inclusion. But it’s an elegant whole new generation of awesome name ﬁve truly and clever design, not really a products, but no. original ideas technological advance. Steve Jobs is on record as saying from the lighting that people over thirty develop Original ideas tram-track thinking that inhibits true industry in the So where are the big innovations of invention. Of course, like a lot of the last decade” recent years? I defy you to name ﬁve utterances of this undeniable genius, truly original ideas from the lighting the statement doesn’t stand up to industry in the last decade. scrutiny (Leonardo, anyone?). But OK, I’ve got one: the CoeLux artiﬁcial hey, you get where he’s coming from. skylight. It’s certainly the most If we in the industry don’t step up, then your groundbreaking product I’ve seen this Apples and your Googles (both of whom have people millennium. Others appear to agree; our video working on lighting projects by the way!) will come of the product has accumulated over a million in and do our innovation for us. views on YouTube. That would be terrible wouldn’t it? We’d be like But here’s the thing. CoeLux was developed the school on special measures which has a know-itin an Italian university by a professor who was all headteacher from the local Ofsted ‘outstanding’ interested in whether we could replicate Rayleigh school parachuted in to ‘advise’ us on where we are scattering – the phenomenon that makes the sky going wrong. blue – in the lab using nanotechnology. He’s from Personally, I believe we have talent and the technology to do it ourselves. I want the future to be outside the industry. So, in my view, it doesn’t count. Next! shaped by the great brands and companies in the OK, there’s been some special stuff from lighting sector. I have hopes that a new generation iGuzzini recently which have won a couple of of product designers and R&D guys, who are Lux Awards: the Laser Blade linear ﬁtting which entering the lighting business without any baggage gives a circular beam distribution, and the of the traditional technology, will point the way. Let’s Trick, which emits a 360-degree beam of light get to work.
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