The New York Times has a piece today detailing the growth and emergence of LED lighting. LEDs remain a small 3 percent of the market but have the significant advantage of the fact that consumers actually like them. That hasn’t been true of compact fluorescents where consumers have complained about the narrow spectrum of light, the time to dim and turn on, and even suggestions that they are not living up to their advertised lifespan.
LEDs, however, have largely garnered positive reviews and can last almost a decade. In market terms, there’s actually some concern that the long lifespan will drive sales down as consumers won’t need to replace the bulbs as often. IMS Research has forecasted that by 2016 LEDs will beomce the most popular A-type lighting technology.
One interesting tidbit in the Times article was that the Phillips Hue LED light bulb, on sale at the Apple store for the next month, can tie into the Nest Thermostat. It’s not clear what reporter Diane Cardwell means when she writes that the bulb can “tie into the Nest thermostat” and comments at the Apple store online merely suggest that the Philips Hue and the Nest can coexist on a wireless network together.
But presumably in the future it might be possible to develop mobile apps that could tie lighting usage to heating and cooling behavior, making it possible to do potentially interesting things like change the lighting color during the day, integrating humidity and weather data from the Nest. Or just do basic stuff like make sure lights are off when no one’s in the house.
The other major selling point about LEDs is that they come from chips, making them easy to network and control with software. And I can see us heading toward a point where lighting is far easier to control on a network. Now to lowering the price of those fancy bulbs.