|The Solid State Lighting Industry Trade Association (SSLITA) is currently forming an international organization to help speed the worldwide adoption of solid state lighting sources for the full range of lighting applications. SSLITA will serve as a global facilitator for technical education, public policy guidance and overall market understanding of the benefits, capabilities, and applications of solid state lighting. SSLITA will hold a webinar on March 10, 2008, from 2:00pm to 3:00pm Eastern Standard Time.
While the mainstream media in recent months has picked-up on LEDs as the technology to replace the incandescent light bulb, consumers may get the impression that it only takes a LED-based retrofit bulb to get the maximum benefits of the technology. And without having seen the technology in action, consumers may also get the impression that LED lighting will look almost exactly the same, but use less energy.
To date, LED fixtures rarely have exactly the same light dispersion and brightness of the bulbs and fixtures they are supposed to replace. Few consumers other than a handful of self-educated early adopters have any idea what solid state lighting technology is, what it can do, and what its limitations are. Even fewer consumers have any idea how to compare an LED bulb or fixture with a conventional bulb or CFL bulb.
The conventional bulb was simple, with only three pieces of information consumers could understand what they needed to about a conventional incandescent bulb. What is the wattage, how bright is it in lumens, and how long does it last before it burns out. Even with this information most consumers generally disregarded the number of lumens as some technical thing that they didn’t have to worry about.
For this reason, widespread adoption of LED lighting will require that the industry change the way it markets and packages its LED bulbs and fixtures. Also the industry will need to educate the public about the technology and help them compare it to what they generally know and understand, the incandescent bulb.
This type of education of the general public and government officials can only be achieved through cooperation among companies in the industry. It is only through cooperation and collaboration in education, marketing, and advocacy through an organization such as the SSLITA that the industry will be able to make the world ready to adopt the technology. The greatest asset for the future adoption of the technology is an educated consumer.