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Adding Intelligence to LED Lighting




Introduction

Imagine a marathon on a very hot, dusty day when saving every ounce of energy matters to the outcome. This race isn’t half over, but the winner seems certain. The lead looks insurmountable, because this runner can do more with less energy. This runner shines brighter. In the face of heat and competition, this runner stays cool.
Adding Intelligence to LED Lighting
So far, so good. Yet, will this competitor set the pace and hold the lead in the second half of the race? In a world of athletes who all train and compete intelligently, talent and potential only go so far. Great—and wasted—potential litters the road to success. Will the current leader dig deep, run a smart race, respond to the elements, and live up to expectations? Time, and intelligence, will tell.
Now you ask me, “What does a marathon have to do with LEDs? Do you really know what you’re talking about?” I think so. Like a strong runner leading a marathon, LEDs hold promise in the world’s race to produce more energy-efficient lighting. A major technological advance over both incandescent and fluorescent lighting, LEDs use less energy, last longer, and allow more control of color and direction of light.

LED Intelligence—Essential for Winning the Race

How will LEDs fulfill their tremendous potential? Undoubtedly, the first hurdle is price. LEDs currently cost an order of magnitude more than existing lighting solutions. Saving energy is often not enough to convince price-conscious businesses and consumers to make the more expensive purchase. Manufacturing savings and volume production will likely reduce prices over time, but will costs drop enough and can it come fast enough to win over users? Those trends are uncertain and entirely debatable. Admittedly, they are beyond the scope of this article. Consider also availability, which affects price.

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