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.


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Good News for the Environment: Americans Have Embraced LED

Osram Sylvania has released their seventh annual socket survey and I, Dr. Bulb, believe the results are encouraging. It seems that the speedy development of LED technology has helped raise it to the top of the lighting market. Osram’s report shows that 78% of Americans surveyed have made the switch from incandescent to LED.

LED lighting has, since its inception, made a slow but steady climb to the top of the lighting market. At first, the high cost of production made LEDs more expensive than most people could afford. Despite the long term savings, many were not willing to make the initial investment. For a time it was the compact fluorescent (CFL) bulb which held dominance over the energy efficient lighting market. However, for both the LED and the CFL, the bright blue-white light was an off-putting factor that sent many traditionalists running for the incandescent bulbs.

Now, advancements in LED technology have reduced the initial price point with more efficient materials that are easier to produce and better CRI that is friendlier to the human eye. As the “human centric lighting” movement gathers speed, LED products are currently in production that are able to change their color temperature to suit the consumer’s needs. LEDs have gained ground in other aspects of technology as well. Recent developments in Visual Light Communication (VLC) have made incredible smart lighting technologies possible.

The Osram Socket Survey indicates that 62% of Americans are aware of innovations in smart lighting, though only 10% have actually purchased smart bulbs for their homes. Although the latter number is small right now, Osram’s findings indicate the the smart lighting trend will continue to grow: 83% of Americans surveyed believe smart lighting is a great start to home automation with 72% believing that smart lighting will soon replace all traditional lighting technologies.
The outlook for the future of energy efficiency is, pardon the pun, very well lit. The majority of the consumers surveyed who use LED bulbs belong to the Millennial generation, demonstrating in clear numerical facts that the ‘kids these days’ are doing their part to help the environment. The continued trend in LED adoption and development of home automation via smart lighting innovations could be a turning point in the way the US uses energy.