Strategically Blogging

Revolution vs. Evolution

Philip Smallwood 01/22/2015

At the 2014 Strategies in Light Europe conference, there was one recurring theme that I thought was very interesting: evolution vs. revolution. I think it is very important for people in the lighting industry to understand that LEDs in themselves are not a revolutionary (disruptive) technology that is changing the industry, but rather a natural evolutionary progression of light emitting materials/methods to create usable light. As presented by Dr. Thomas Knoop, the Managing Director of INTEGRATED, a technology is disruptive in an industry when it attacks the market by offering a different value driver (usually convenience or price) and not when it just fulfills the need of the average customer. The two charts provided below are visualizations of these ideas. 

Lighting Industry: 2014 in Review and What to Expect Next

Shonika Vijay 01/19/2015

As the year 2014 recently ended, I thought now would be a good time to review what the lighting industry has gone through along with what lighting trends we anticipate in the near future. 2014 was an amazing year for LED lighting. Here a few recent key things that LED lighting experienced in 2014:

A 2014 Laser Market in Review

Allen Nogee 12/31/2014

With 2014 ending and 2015 starting, it is a good time to reflect on the year that has passed and look ahead to the year which is starting. Total worldwide laser revenue grew 6.5% in 2014 to $9.2 billion, which is a quite strong gain overall, despite the fact that prices of many laser types continue to drop.

There was not a single region or laser type which accounted for much of the gain (with the possible exception of fiber lasers, which had a great year), but rather 2014 was strong due to the lack of any significantly bad areas or segments.

Confessions of a Lighting Analyst: I Have Never Bought an LED Bulb

Stephanie Pruitt 12/22/2014

I have three large ceiling light fixtures in the middle of three rooms in my apartment. They each have three light bulbs in them, and one bulb in each fixture was burnt out (they are currently a mix of mainly incandescent with 1-2 CFLs). So, I decided I was going to finally purchase some LED bulbs. 

Having studied the LED and lighting market for two years now, attended multiple lighting trade shows and conferences, and spoken with numerous people in the top lighting companies, I always felt slightly guilty for not ever actually buying LED bulbs myself. I have done more research on LED lighting than your average consumer; I know all about the different types of lighting technologies, how they differ in wattage and lumen output, and CRI and CCT.

China Pricing War II

Martin Shih 11/17/2014

We recently took a trip to China to interview top manufacturers of LED components for our upcoming China Quarterly Updates Report. According to these major LED players, we are convinced that several LED trends we predicted in my blog at the beginning of this year did and are continuing to happen.

Why Net Neutrality is above your job grade

By Tom Hausken
As a supplier in the photonics or telecom food chain, should you care about the landmark decision this week over the FCC vs. Comcast ? In short, no. It’s above your job grade. Here’s why.

Much is made about this kind of thing at the carrier level, since it impacts how they do their business. And what the carriers do—who wins and who loses—impacts the optical equipment vendors. And that passes on to the component vendors, who win or lose depending on their customers . So far, that’s all true.

But these kinds of decisions are really for policy wonks and legal nerds. I know, because I’m a recovering wonk myself. I once worked on telecom policy for Congress.

It’s not that technologists are above policy issues, or have nothing to contribute. Technologists are notoriously aloof in policy debates, but badly needed.

Rather, the neutrality debate is irrelevant to the optical networking community because it’s mostly decoupled from the day to day business of the network. There are so many other factors that are also very important. Think of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Each has a regulatory agency. There are municipal agencies. Federal courts. The FCC. Congress. European countries. The European Commission. Japan. China. India. And a hundred other countries. Think of Google, iPhones, Facebook, Youtube. Think of refrigerators with IP addresses. (Then again, let’s leave that out.)

While policies get worked out, traffic just keeps on going up and up. And no one really has a good grasp just exactly how fast the traffic is growing, much less how much it will grow in the future. And even when big policy decisions are made, the consequences take years to work out. There will be more appeals, reactions by competitors, possibly legislation.

It’s important to take an interest in Net Neutrality as a citizen. It’s about whether you think broadband service should be a regulated utility, or if it should be a competitive service. And yes, the consequences do trickle down to the equipment and component vendors. But the ones who stand to gain the most from these debates? Lawyers and government affairs officers (also known as lobbyists). That’s a certainty.

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