Ode to Diodes
April 14, 2009 - 12:00pm

Self-help types say it’s best to live “in the moment.” I agree that it’s never good to dwell on the past, but perhaps I’m too Type A not to anticipate and plan for the future. And it seems you concur. When we looked at which of our articles over the past year bred the most reader interest ("The Top 100"), a showcase of LED novelty lamps ranked highest. It was quite a surprise.

   But a pleasant one. It means you’re excited about light-emitting diodes and intend to keep up with their rapid evolution. I think that’s a wise decision. In our tech-savvy industry, we have to prognosticate if we want to preserve our reputations as experts and innovators. And rising energy costs, increased interest in earth-friendly living, demand for tomorrow’s technology today—everything points to a public embrace of this efficient new light source.

    More LED products drew interest, but since items from that novelty feature (“Get the LEDs Out,” October 2005) practically dominated the Top 100, it’s safe to say the rapidly emerging technology is still entering the home mainly as a color-changing party decoration, kids’ room diversion or safer alternative to candles.

    I’d like to think that anything that raises consumer awareness and acceptance of LEDs is a good thing. But if that novelty reputation lingers for too long, we may be hard-pressed to upsell the category later on. Homeowners who have been twining LEDs around their Christmas trees for years may find it difficult to associate the light source with a high-end chandelier. And those fixtures are coming.

    Swift, significant improvements in white LED technology have already brought the light source to task and architectural applications. Larger, more decorative options are not far behind, thanks to the efforts of some pioneering manufacturers and the organizations behind the Lighting for Tomorrow design competition, which recently added an LED segment to its award slate.

    Your response to our past LED coverage proves you’re already ahead of the game. I’d like to pat you on the back but also encourage you to consider planting the seed early among your customers for the product range now sprouting and soon to blossom. Make this your moment.

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