LED technology accepted but adoption remains slow

by Jim Greig, Global Sales and Marketing Manager Electronic Materials, LORD Corporation

Although the benefits of using LED technology are fairly accepted by now, adoption is still a slow process largely due to cost. Those manufacturing LED technology are feeling the pressure to continue to find cheaper alternatives and many are competing tenaciously to win market share.

Jim Greig, Global Sales and Marketing Manager Electronic Materials, LORD Corporation-photo

Jim Greig

For example, LORD is providing thermally-conductive materials that help components function at higher temperatures with lower cost materials. However, the price point for products is still a tough sell for many consumers.

While many of the big box retailers recognize the energy savings, enhanced lighting, sensing technology and other benefits of retrofitting to LED, most will argue that the industry hasn’t succeeded in getting the products to a price-point yet that will accelerate adoption.

Yet another challenge to consumer acceptance is the lack of consistency related to market approach. For example, while some manufacturers are touting greater lumen output through larger size, others are pushing performance in terms of efficacy.

Consumers are often left confused as they read packages that detail comparisons to wattage that don’t make sense or help them truly grasp the return on their investment. Even if they recognize the benefits of LED lighting, and are willing to pay a premium for the product, it is often cumbersome to figure out what to choose as the industry has not yet standardized the product offerings.

So, what is the solution? Although the roadmap is still to be developed, it is clear that key to industry acceptance is our supply chain working together to lower the price point.

We all want to see a more efficient cost structure as this results in lower prices for consumer goods such as light bulbs as well as reduced energy costs. The key is working together on optimizing materials supply across the whole supply chain to drive mass adoption.

Another key element of success is going to be the development of clear LED Lightand consistent labeling of essential performance in terms of lumen output, luminaire efficacy, power input, correlated color temperature, and color rendering index.

One such standard is the Lighting Facts program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (which supports industry standard, IESNA LM-79, Approved Method for the Electrical and Photometric Testing of Solid-State Lighting Devices and ANSI C78-377-2008, Specification for the Chromaticity of Solid-State Lighting Products).

 

Attendance at Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Tech Expo proves growing interest in this technology area

by Jim Greig, Global Sales and Marketing Manager Electronic Materials, LORD Corporation

Jim Greig, Global Sales and Marketing Manager Electronic Materials, LORD Corporation-photo

Jim Greig


 

The attendance at the recent Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Tech Expo held in Novi, Michigan proved that the interest in this technology continues to grow.

The show organizers noted that regulatory and environmental policies, consumer demands as well as technology advancements are forcing automotive OEMs, utility companies and the battery supply chain to address a number of challenges.

According to the show’s website, “…the entire supply chain is under immense pressure to improve efficiency, drive down cost and thereby make environmentally friendly, sustainable vehicle, power and battery choices a viable option for consumers and businesses. But meeting market demands at a price that makes sense for suppliers is no easy task, and calls for an understanding of issues impacting the entire supply chain.”

I couldn’t agree more. The change in drivetrains for automobiles is comingELECTRIC-CAR_INTERACTIVE-red3 and it is time for our industry to embrace it, as well as work together to bring this technology shift to the public in an efficient and economic manner.

One of the key focuses of discussion at the show was research showing that a potting or encapsulation process using high thermal conductivity material can dramatically decrease the operating temperature of an electric motors at a given load, resulting in higher output power, better reliability and a longer life system.

A recent feature in Charged EV magazine highlights this potential as well as outlines some new options for improving performance in electric motors using thermal potting solutions. The article highlights research conducted by a doctoral candidate related to the use of thermal management materials and their efficiency on electric motors.

Based on this research and the market need, it is likely that new developments in battery technology very well may continue to help with range anxiety.

LORD recently participated in a webinar detailing how to improve motor power density with thermally conductive materials. We invite you to watch this webcast or contact LORD for additional information