The power of innovation
Singapore, 5th November 2014
As I met with IGuzzini the other day I came to realise why some of the established companies (who mostly earned their stripes in conventional lighting technologies) are struggling to survive and others seemingly are making the transition to the new age of LED lighting seamlessly. Giants like Philips and Samsung are giving up on mass producing LED lighting to focus on more lucrative businesses. I understand that Philips, while selling their LED business will still hold a stake (and licences) in these businesses but will focus on lifestyle developments instead. As a sign of the future we had already noticed that the huge Philips sign that was adorning the Hong Kong island skyline had been taken down and replaced by one from LG. I am not clear about the Samsung strategy but I am sure it is all cost driven.
It is clear that one of the major drivers to sustained profitability and longevity as a lighting manufacturing company lies in innovation. While it is possibly ok for the new LED kids on the block, the new start-ups, to provide “me-too” quality solutions competing on price mainly, this is a very difficult proposition for the big established boys. Their existing overheads are way higher, many still based on the old conventional lighting manufacturing infra-structure. So while they transit to the new LED age with their infra-structure, only one key element keeps them alive and that is innovation, coming up with new innovative concepts and products. IGuzzini with the Laser Blade and Trick fixtures has shown us that. These products are the magnets that attracts designers and specifiers. Others are following their example. Likewise the new generation LED makers such as Cree, Xicato etc thrive by continuously setting the tone with bench mark products.
Add to that the seemingly unavoidable integration with smart technology and you can see how LED innovation is moving fast forward. I attended a presentation in Hong Kong last week talking about the evolution over time of LED technology referring to LED V1.0 and V2.0 with integrated smart technology announced as LED V3.0.
Light Watch 5-188: We may not realise it but the new LED technology is being integrated in practically any common application or product that we know…here are a few