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What’s the Future of Light?

What’s the Future of Light?

By Scott Costa, Publisher, tED magazine

The season unofficially changed to winter here at our home office in St. Louis a week or two ago. By that I mean it wasn’t December 21 yet, but the temperature was cold enough for me to go outside and remember that I hate winter.

When I put on my heaviest sweat pants to wear around the house in the cold, I found a $20 in the pocket. It’s always nice to find something unexpectedly good once in a while.

When tED magazine decided to create and launch “lightED,” we were really thinking the key word about the future of light was “expansion.” It started with a Department of Energy study from September of 2014. At the time, many of us were thinking we were in the middle of an LED lighting explosion. Sales were strong, retrofits were taking off, and we were seeing new manufacturing across the globe. Many of us were thinking this was as big as it would get for the LED lighting. But the DoE report said something completely different.

“LED lighting is projected to gain signifcant market penetration. It is expected to represent 48% of lumen-hour sales of the general-illumination market by 2020, and 84% by 2030.”

So, here we sit at the brink of 2018, and LED sales are still not going to hit 50% of the general illumination market. And, according to the report, we won’t be at 50% two years from now. Even more surprising, 12 years from now, we will still “only” be at 84%. We still have a lot of opportunities at LED lighting sales expansion over the next 12 years. We thought it might be important to provide you the information you need to be successful at selling LEDs during that time, so we expanded our digital news to provide “lightED.”

It took almost a year to get from a “lightED” concept to actually launching the website on July 24, 2017. Truth be told, we were hoping to have the website done and ready for you on January 1, 2017. We missed our target by 204 days. But during that time, a lot was going on in the lighting world.

And that’s when we found a $20 bill in our pocket.

Google “The future of LED lighting” and one word repeatedly appears. It’s not “expansion.”

It’s “change.”

Change is leading to a great situation for “lightED.” We are seeing change in leadership and management at many lighting manufacturers. We anticipate some major changes in the near future at companies like GE, which has already put the wheels in motion, and other LED companies as they re-shape themselves for the next decade and beyond. Having the opportunity to follow those strategies on a daily basis is an added bonus we weren’t really anticipating when we launched “lightED.” We will be following the mergers and acquisitions, plus the changes in management as they happen.

That’s not the only change we are seeing. Technology is creating change in how LED lighting is being used. And that change is coming fast. Whether it is changing color temperature to get the correct light for the correct situation, change in the controls that will connect to the lighting, or change in how your lighting will be connected to everything in a room, change is going to be a big story on “lightED” in 2018. How are you going to adapt to the change to get the maximum possible out of lighting sales? What will everyone you work with, whether it is a sales person or a warehouse worker, need to know about the future of light? How deep will you dive into a lighting showroom? How many lighting specialists will you hire? How will you work with lighting designers to make sure the correct light is installed in every situation? How will you teach your contractor customers about all of this change in the next year?

We are thrilled to have this new platform called “lightED” to help answer those questions in the future, along with any others that come up. We also hope that you will be not just reading our stories, but commenting on them and letting us know what works for you, and what stories would provide more information for you and your co-workers.
Rather than wait for change and try to figure it out, let’s work together to get the best news and information that we can provide. Let’s find that next $20 together.

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