Greetings from San Diego, California, the (not frozen) site of the U.S. Department of Energy's workshop on R&D in Solid State Lighting. Following a morning meeting today of the NEMA-housed Next Generation Lighting Industry Alliance (NGLIA), three NEMA and NGLIA member companies lead off the 3-day DOE event by challenging participants to "think outside the bulb".

Leading off, Greg Merritt of Cree, Inc., challenged a packed house of over 400 participants to debate whether DOE's R&D targets and roadmaps are right. Merritt also offered his thoughts on how to accelerate market adoption of LED lighting.

Mark Hand of Acuity Brands Lighting provocatively asked whether, when one looks at the challenges of light distribution for LED pole-mounted outdoor lighting, whether dimmer fixtures might end up being more cost-effective than bright ones.

Jim Anderson of Philips Color Kinetics challenged the audience to think about "smart lighting" which involves not only integration and operation of sensors and controls to maximize energy savings opportunities but also to solve networking problems that now inhibit linking lighting control systems to building energy management systems.

Additional speakers from NEMA and NGLIA members Acuity, GE, OSRAM Sylvania and Philips Lumileds will hold the floor for periods on days 2 and 3 of the workshop, which is intended to allow stakeholders to advise DOE on the priorities it should adopt for 2011-2012 in terms of funding SSL research and development. 


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