Strategically Blogging

Lasers in Medical Imaging: The Forecast Looks Very Bright

Allen Nogee 07/11/2014

Almost all medical imaging to date has used one of three technologies: X-rays, magnetism (MRI), or ultrasound. X-rays alone have been used for almost 120 years now, and although today’s imaging technology has improved vastly over the many years, the fact remains that x-rays, ultrasound, and magnetism are all technologies that, due to many factors, produce coarse images, at least by today’s standards. But what if a very coherent light source was used instead, maybe a laser?

Actually, Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), which produces images based on the reflections of coherent light, is not a new technology. OCT has been used since the early 1990s, especially in the area of ophthalmology, where the images produced by OCT are 100 times finer than standard images produced by ultrasound. In just the last five years, OCT has become one of the most important retinal imaging techniques used today.

The Impact of the Epistar Acquisition on the LED Industry

Martin Shih 07/09/2014

Epistar (2448.TW) announced a plan to fully acquire Forepi (3061.TW), the second-largest chipmaker in Taiwan, through a share swap (1:3.448), implying 18% share dilution to Epistar. The effective date will be the end of 2014, and Forepi will be delisted from the TAIEX.

After the merger, Epistar will become the world’s largest LED chip maker in terms of capacity with a global market share of 15%, which will better position the company to lead in future technology development.

EPA's New Emissions Cutting Plan Could Have an Effect on LED Lighting

Philip Smallwood 06/30/2014

On June 2nd, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a rule designed to cut carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal plants by as much as 30 percent by 2030, compared with 2005 levels. The EPA will finalize the proposal in mid-2015 and then give states a year to design their own plans to meet targets. The organization will let states meet emission targets for power plants in several ways, including through plant upgrades, by switching from coal to natural gas, by improving energy efficiency, or by promoting renewable energy outside the plant site. This approach will give states greater flexibility in designing plans to meet the EPA’s targets.

Where's the Glare?

Shonika Vijay 06/13/2014

LIGHTFAIR, the world’s largest annual architectural and commercial lighting trade show and conference, took place in Las Vegas last week. I wanted to share my thoughts on what I saw that was of the most interest. The 3 main things I saw were: a lot of LED luminaires, more use of optics in products, and lighting controls being present in nearly every booth. To read up more on controls, please see our blogs: Let's Talk Controls and Lightfair International Gets Smart. I will focus on what I saw in terms of optics and LED luminaires.

Lightfair International Gets Smart

Stephanie Pruitt 06/10/2014

At Lightfair International 2013, it seemed only a handful of companies had a booth with a smart lighting solution - Philips, TCP, and Samsung were among the more recognizable ones that I noticed. Fast forward one year and it seems that smart lighting could be found at almost every booth; even the non-name brand booths seemed to have some sort of solution. Whether this was wireless controls to dim lights or change color through your smart phone - or even gesture control...

LED replacement lamps: new regulations and 100+% growth

By Tom Hausken
Most people are not aware that new energy regulations in Europe and the U.S. will progressively ban incandescent lamps from the market, creating a huge market opportunity for LED replacement lamps just as they improve in performance and price. Our new market report anticipates growth rates in this product of over 100% per year for the next several years, thanks to the new regulations, continuing declines in prices, and the unique features that only LEDs provide. That’s great news for LED makers, who see the lighting market as the ultimate application for LEDs.

It’s not quite so simple as that, however. For one thing, LED replacement lamps are too expensive today for widespread use, so they are relegated today to special applications, such as hard-to-reach places. Manufacturers have yet to realize economies of scale. In the meantime, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are more prominent. Also, customers have to be educated to think in terms of cost of ownership, rather than the initial price. Even the government regulations aren’t set in stone, given the big change that it entails.


What's so great about LEDs? LED lamps are directional and can be adapted to fit different lamp profiles not possible with other light sources. They come in all possible shades of white, last for a long time, can be dimmed and controlled easily. And unlike CFLs, LED lamps contain no mercury.


The LED is in many ways the ideal lighting technology, but actually developing that market is still surprisingly challenging. That's why the new energy regulations will prove so pivotal for the LED business.

Oh, and in case you missed the hint earlier, we do have a new market report on this topic.

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