Building Better Illumination

Building Better Illumination

Greetings from San Francisco on the final day of U.S. Department of Energy's research and development workshop for solid-state lighting (SSL) — lighting that uses light-emitting diodes (LED) as the light source. Despite the title, the workshop's attendance cuts across the spectrum from researchers, designers, distributors, chip manufacturers, and luminaire manufacturers to utilities and policy folks.

I just finished hearing from an accomplished lighting designer who politely but forcefully challenged the SSL industry to create commercial product platforms that can not only be consistent in terms of light color from unit to unit but also supported over the long-term, since even LEDs will wear out eventually and need to be replaced without breaking any drywall. Yesterday we saw presentations and posters on all of the productive LED research going on around the country with support from the DOE. Right now we are hearing from award-winning companies who are leading the way in designing and producing recessed ceiling fixtures, task lights and undercabinet systems.

The overall message and purpose of the event is boosting the quality of SSL fixtures to make sure they can satisfy and provide a positive experience to customers who may not be quite ready for or aware of this new generation of lighting. All of the presentations will be available soon at the DOE SSL website, A separate DOE workshop on LED manufacturing is being planned for April.

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