Solid-state lighting: The benefits, challenges + misconceptions

In a recent interview with our Senior Product Designer James Thomas, we asked him to weigh in on the benefits and challenges of solid-state lighting. In our Q+A, Thomas shared his perspective on the effects that the move towards LED sources has on the industry as a whole.

Here’s what he had to say.

“For the first time since Edison introduced the first commercially viable incandescent lamp in 1879, we have a light source that is not based on an inefficient vacuum tube (better at producing heat than light). As a designer, I am excited by this major change in the industry, which I think is comparable in importance to the switch from gas light to electric.

Without the constraint of a bulb, designers can create fixtures with completely new form factors.

We will soon be able to tie a home’s lighting in with other electronic systems and control everything from a smart phone or tablet. Variable colors and color temperatures will be easy to control as well, allowing much more user customization than just dimming.

As exciting as the opportunities are, I think that all of these disruptions of the status quo can be seen as challenges as well.

Tradition can be comforting and change isn’t always easy to accept, which explains why we still see so many candelabra chandeliers and coach lanterns that are based on gas light designs more than a century after the switch to electric.

Many people will continue to adhere to traditional lighting forms as LED becomes our primary light source, even though the new technology allows for functional, efficient, and beautiful designs that were never possible before.”

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