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How LEDs are living up to bright expectations

17 Jun 2014  | Dennis McCarthy

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As a guy who works down in the trenches of the lighting industry, I'm doing my part to encourage this heightened product scrutiny and keeping manufacturers on their toes by doing more fact checking on their claims! Instead of being ambushed by rising expectations, I want to see industry players, of their own accord, to up the quality bar for their own products, and the standards which drive them.

To this end, I'll continue to be party to the rabble that want's a SSL vendor to show what the ITLs classified INFO shows. There are many of us who want to see the handful of over-zealous LED lighting companies making preposterous claims muzzled, either by market forces or peer pressure and, if needed, legal action. The recent Lights of America judgement for fraud was music to our ears but it was the tip of the CSI for the SSL iceberg. Many more false claims are being evaluated more effectively nowadays by smarter customers and an industry that's growing less tolerant of bottom-feeding mischief-makers. That's truly a plus for the industry as well as consumers.

I'm glad to be working in our industry at a time where people are increasingly likely to look into vendor's claims. I'm all for that and wonder if consumer awareness could be a valuable tool for bolstering the validation process for LEDs. Perhaps the comprehensive DOE-style testing regimen could be augmented with crowd-sourcing. Although standardised objective tests are important, they can miss things which might be important but fall outside the testing criteria. Equally important, they don't provide the subjective impressions that can be as important in product evaluation as any set of hard numbers.

What we really need is a moderated website that plays host to an army of unaffiliated enginerds who contribute to crowd-sourced evaluations of LEDs/OLEDs and SSL products. Imagine being able to compare products using both the hard numbers from industry-standard tests and Yelp style summaries of the wares and their performance.

OK, this might be a wonkish best case scenario dream – then again, it could be a promising start-up opportunity for some enterprising individual.

About the authors
Dennis McCarthy is a solid-state lighting technologist, gadfly and long-time denizen of the solid-state lighting industry who resides in the outskirts of Chicago. His passion for quality of light, human-centric lighting and tools for collecting accurate information on lighting performance has helped accelerate and shape the adoption of solid-state lighting throughout the greater Chicagoland region.

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