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LED lighting has to meet consumer needs, says TLLIA executive

Clicks:Updated:2018-09-10 09:09:08【Print】【Close】

It is already difficult to make a profit from the competitive general LED lighting market where there is little room for hiking luminous efficiency and prices have dropped to rock-bottom levels. But innovative smart LED lighting that allo
It is already difficult to make a profit from the competitive general LED lighting market where there is little room for hiking luminous efficiency and prices have dropped to rock-bottom levels. But innovative smart LED lighting that allows personalization and lighting ambience adjustments offers a "blue ocean," according to Hsiao Horng-ching, secretary general for Taiwan LED Lighting Industry Association (TLLIA). 
 
The development of smart LED lighting can be analyzed in terms of two aspects: application and component, said Hsiao, who is also an associate professor with the Department of Electrical Engineering at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology. 
 
Currently, 99% of so-called smart lighting products focus on smart control without addressing the fundamental concept of smart lighting. Smart lighting is both about control and health, the former referring to use of sensors to automatically adjust lighting and the latter to how to brightness adjustments can make it most comfortable and healthful for human eyes, Hsiao explained. Lighting and medical industries should undertake experiments to better understand the relationships between lighting and health. 
 
Therefore, smart lighting should be able to create the most comfortable and healthful lighting ambience via automatic adjustment based on users' activities, he said. The minimum illuminance for reading and writing activities, for example, is 500lux for young people and 800-900lux for the elderly. Most smart LED table lamps available in the market are unqualified for smart lighting products because the product designs are based on production costs and technological capabilties rathetr than on consumers' real needs, Hsiao pointed out. 
 
In terms of components, there are diverse specifications in power, and specifications in voltage and current are not standardized for lighting modules. Consequently, lighting modules and driving circuits produced by different makers cannot be mutually comptaible. 
 
Smart lighting needs to have driving circuits that can inspect and match connected lighting modules produced by different makers and thereby automatically adjust specifications. For example, a driving circuit with power capacity of 30W can make automatic adjustment to meet specifications required by lighting modules within power of 30W. This can not only simplify specifications of driving power supplies but also save R&D spending. 
 
To make an LED indoor lamp brighter, for example, it would need only to use a higher-power lighting module, without changing the other components such as driving circuit and ballast, Hsiao said, adding this is more environmentally freindly. 
 
International vendors such as Osram Licht and Signify and local governments in China are promoting standardization of lighting components, but they are trying to make others adopt their own specifications. 
 
For ZigBee, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, it does not matter which wireless technology is adopted, Hsiao said. Instead it is necessary to set a standard format for control signals transferred via ZigBee or Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Driving power supplies inspect the standardized control signals and make adjustments accordingly. 
 
Hsiao said commercial use is most likely to witness large growth first because demand for adjustable lighting in commercial space is big and operators of commercial facilities are willing to invest in lighting. 
 
For street lighting, smart LED lighting has the advantage of adjustable brightness to save energy. However, color temperatures should be adjusted along with change in illuminance; when illuminance is lowered from a regular level of 30lux to 15lux during 11pm-2am, the color temperature has to be hiked to over 4500-5000K, and when illuminance further decreases to 5-10lux during 2-5am, the color temperature should increase to over 6000K. Normally, street lighting should be adjustable at three or four levels in illuminance. 
 
In order for consumers to accept smart LED residential lighting, products should come in a few grades in function and price. For example, entry-level models have standard functions and prices acceptable by 60-70% of all consumers; mid-range ones feature personalized and healthful lighting to meet demand for better lighting ambience from 20% of consumers; and high-end ones come with special functions to satisfy the top 5-10% of consumers, Hsiao said.

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