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172 TECHNOLOGY / LED


The Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh made the decision to refurbish all of their galleries with Xicato LED module-based Mike Stoane Lighting luminaires almost three years. By the time the project was completed recently, LED technology had advanced so much that they were able to get 500 lumens more per light fitting at no extra cost.


Pic: Andrew Lee


In the markets, incandescent collides with solid state, architectural with entertain- ment lighting, digital signage with architec- tural media facades, LED art with architec- ture, HPS streetlights and HID sources with LED sources.


The companies who can understand and use this paradigm shift in the technology and the market, who can move fast, who can be market-driven, who can come up with a strategy and a plan, who can execute and deliver, will be the winners.


THE APPROACH


There is a need for incumbent companies and individuals who recognise this to pro- vide help and education regarding LEDs and the associated technology to the customers, building owners and to the industry. Whether it is a large outdoor media facade integrated into a building curtain wall, or a custom video system hanging behind glass on the high-end shopping streets of world cities, or subtle backlighting in a retail interior, or LED lamps that must match the colour temperature of existing cold cathode or fluorescent lamps, or local authority streetlighting schemes, then the system provider and lighting designer must take the responsibility to specify and provide a prod- uct and solution that fits the purpose. Selling an LED product or solution is not about just getting the Purchase Order. It’s also about ensuring the specified solution


will perform according to the environment in which it is installed, with a committed service and warranty package. The sales process for LEDs does not need to exclude telling the truth about what can, and more importantly can not, really be achieved with them. The danger of overselling a new technology is all too easy a trap to fall into, and it has happened with LED lighting tech- nology in the past, as we know. The fixture and system manufacturers who can offer an ‘LED Specifier’ type of service, who provide advice, design input, and prod- ucts and solutions that perform as per the design specification without early quality or execution failures can quickly gain the confidence of the specification market after a few projects. Then repeat business and larger projects will follow.


These companies who recognise this should ensure their staff have the desire, knowl- edge and ability to execute and deliver. But none of this means anything without a top level market and brand strategy and an eye on the roadmap. This all applies to the manufacturers and the lighting design community.


STRATEGIES, CHANNELS AND PRODUCTS Unless you are an inventor, then the product and system providers’ market and product strategy needs to be defined by the market. It sounds obvious but it is not always under- stood, nor acted upon.


The lighting specification market has several sub-parts where a differing mar- ket approach needs to be recognised and defined, from custom designs that deliver the illuminated skyscraper facades of the world and act as leading edge R&D for the company, through to standard downlight product lines that will create flow business for the manufacturer.


The manufacturer has many new issues to consider. First of all as a manufacturer we have to decide if we want or need an LED-based line of luminaires and solutions. If we do, then we must decide whether we follow a peak design strategy for our LED luminaire portfolio, meaning we design the LED circuit board and all the other ther- mal, optical, mechanical and electrical interfaces ourselves. Or maybe we design in an ‘off the shelf’ module system, which means we can rely on ready-made compo- nent systems from some of the world’s top lighting brands. We have to decide if Zhaga is a good thing and will help us, or maybe not...? And if we use active cooling with a fan will this put off the specifiers and end users...


The specifier and lighting design communi- ties have just as many issues to consider. As specifiers and influencers, we have to get to grips with ‘new’ problems like colour shifting which was solved decades ago with traditional light sources. The MacAdam El- lipse and the Standard Deviation of Colour


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