General Lighting Future of technology LED

Tribute to Founding Father of LED: Roland Haitz

The lighting community lost one of its most brilliant minds this past summer when solid-state lighting advocate and researcher, Roland Haitz, passed away in his California home. Haitz was active in the world of light-emitting diodes until his final days, having signed on to work with QuarkStar four years ago, at the age of seventy-six. As an early supporter of LED technology, Haitz predicted that LED lighting would become the technology of choice as materials and methods of production improved. His predictions were so accurate they became known as “Haitz’s Law.”

Paying Tribute to a Mind with Universal Appeal

Roland Haitz worked for decades to bring this innovative lighting technology to the mainstream. His vision was to create a world where traditional lights, like fluorescent and incandescent bulbs, were seen as inefficient, substandard options. Haitz foresaw the global transition to solid-state lighting, long before LEDs began to penetrate the wider lighting market.

At the Strategies in Light conference in 2000, Haitz announced his prediction that the cost per lumen for LEDs would fall by a factor of ten every decade, while the amount of light generated per LED would increase by a factor of twenty. His work also predicted that LED lighting would reach an efficacy of 100 lumens per watt (lm/W) by 2010, with a cool 150180 lm/W efficacy achievable by 2020. Haitz discussed the exciting prospect of super-efficient lighting and the wide range of its possible applications, including LCD backlighting, mobile-phone flashlights, and more, which prompted a surge of investment into LED research.

light emitting diodes


A Proper Memorial

Thus far, Haitz’s Law has proved to be infallible, with LED technology advancing past the 2010 benchmark of 100 lm/W. The scope of LED lighting applications has surpassed the already-broad scope Haitz and other researchers foresaw. LED lighting has become integral to the development of technology trends such as visual light communications (VLC), the Internet of Things (IoT), and human-centric lighting (HCL).

LEDs have radiant potential thanks to the advocacy of researchers like Roland Haitz. His work motivated the lighting community to fund the development of more-efficient LEDs, which can now be found in myriad expanding applications. With LED lighting, users can control the intensity, the color, and even the direction of their light sources. With wireless communication devices and VLC, controls can be accessed via smartphone or remote. Light-emitting diode streetlights can be fitted with sensors to relay information about traffic, parking availability, humidity, and air quality. Adaptive LED car headlights can automatically sense approaching vehicles and dim when appropriate.

There is a seemingly endless number of purposes for light-emitting diodes in a variety of emerging technologies. Thanks to researchers like Roland Haitz, the future will certainly be bright—and energy-efficient.


General Lighting Human Centric Lighting

The Benefits of Human-Centric Lighting

Studies about lighting have traditionally focused on issues such as energy use, cost, and visibility. Only recently have we begun to understand the effect of lighting on the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of humankind. The development of lighting technology has exposed humans to unnatural light patterns that interrupt our circadian rhythm (sleeping patterns) and can negatively affect our moods and cognitive abilities.

Big Data Comes to Light Science

While there have been several studies conducted on human-centric lighting (HCL), they have mostly taken place on a small scale. Now researchers are expanding the scope of their observations and have been collecting large amounts of data that can actually quantify the benefits of HCL in environments such as schools, factories, and hospitals.

The lighting industry in Europe has been the first to sponsor this research. Recent studies by LightingEurope, AT Kearney, and the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association (ZVEI) are the first to provide quantitative data on HCL. For example, researchers have analyzed how upgrading old fixtures to HCL can affect worker productivity and electrical costs. They have also reviewed how the use of HCL in medical facilities has increased patient well-being and decreased insurance expenditures.

New Technology Allows for Varied Applications

The new research is assisted by improvements in lighting technology. The development of LED lighting technology enables control over the intensity and color of light. Thanks to digital lighting with LED, wireless connectivity is also possible, which can give individuals the power to set their own light levels, even in crowded settings like an office. Workers can control lighting from a smartphone app to provide light only where it is needed and desired.

Adaptive lighting technology also allows for easier data extraction; fixtures can be equipped with sensors that monitor a room’s occupancy, temperature, humidity, and more. In hospitals, HCL provides increased well-being in patients and new ways to provide optimum care.

HCL to Increase Market Penetration

As the benefits of HCL are discovered and the applicable technologies are perfected, we can expect to see an increased market share for human-centric lighting products. The studies from Europe predict that in the next five years, HCL will have the greatest market penetration in healthcare facilities, followed by offices and schools. Residential use will likely lag behind in the near future.

It was only at the beginning of this century that we started to learn about the benefits of HCL. With new technology and research to help us understand the impact of HCL, we may soon see its large-scale benefits.