During 2016, the LED lighting industry saw the adoption of LED lighting expand across all segments. More and more companies began producing LED lamps and luminaires. This increased competition drove down the prices for LED lighting resulting in reduced profit margins, especially for the well-established firms.LED chip makers were the most affected. Both Philips and Osram are attempting to divest their LED l portion of their businesses
Philips attempted to sell Lumileds, Philips’ automotive lighting and LED producer to a Chinese firm. Also, Osram is looking to sell its LEDvance business to MLS another Chinese company.
At the same time connected LED lighting became more common in street, residential, and office lighting applications.
For some time, office buildings and industry have increasingly used IoT connected lighting. Some of such IoT applications go well beyond lighting controls into other value-added functions such as indoor orientation, smart parking, air quality analysis in offices, temperature, humidity.
Data analysis from lighting based sensors has also increased. In addition to providing insights, that can improve overall efficiency. Such data analysis has the potential to point to ways to improve worker productivity including adjusting color temperature to a reddish white for relaxing, and to a bluish white for mentally and or physically vigorous activities.
Other potential productivity improvements include looking examining air quality, temperature, and humidity and relating them to worker productivity.
Another application that saw increased adoption is the use of color adjustable LED lights to for improved health and sleeping, patterns.
Another application that recently just entered the market is light-based communication (LiFi). The pioneer in this realm is professor Harald Haas the founder of the company, PureLiFi. (Ref: article).
According to Haas, the current bandwidth of the Internet, WiFi, and 4G LTE, and even 5G LTE will not be enough to handle the expected exponential explosion in connected devices. He suggests that LiFi can meet the bandwidth needs of even billions of connected devices.
LED Lighting Industry Predictions for 2017
Connected lighting will become more common along with platforms for voice control of residential functions such as Alexa.
During 2017, IoT devices will begin to be hacked, both benevolently to show reveal security holes and detrimentally resulting in compromised data and user information. It will take several substantial incidents before the industry begins to fully addresses security concerns.
The ZigBee Alliance has just introduced its new language for IoT, dotdot (Ref: article) that will likely be readily adopted by the alliance’s 400+ industry partners; Also, the number of industry partners will increase significantly through the year. It is not clear at this early stage, what if any security concerns will remain with dotdot. If there are any security flaws they will likely be found and publicized this year.
LiFi, and indoor Lighting-based direction/orientation functions will see increased adoption, and at least one grocery store chain will take the leap to offer. Cities and municipalities will greatly expand their adoption of connected street lighting and IoT related applications.
Lighting controls that go beyond just on/off and dimming will become more common in offices. Offices will also continue to more fully embrace connected LED lighting with IoT features and data analytics. Schools will use more LED lighting, and color tunable lights may get installed in some public, and private schools, as well as at colleges and universities.
More health related studies will come out showing the health and sleep benefits of mimicking sunrise and sunset color temperatures for circadian rhythm regulation.