SSL Technology Stories – Fact or Fiction Industry News

SSL technology advancements are constantly marketed to promote the range of benefits SSL provides. Driving these marketing efforts is SSL industry executives interested in obtaining a return on investment and other stakeholders whose livelihoods depend on the sale of LED merchandise.

Pathways that significantly support marketing exposure are the internet and social media. Sometimes factual information is clouded by less than authentic reporting. Presented in February 2017 edition of SSL magazine is an article “News vs Noise” by Kevin Wilmorth that provides clarity to three topics that receive press with various degrees of accuracy.

Doping Light for Circadian Effect

Periodic articles or posts state LED lighting can be designed to address the flow of circadian rhythms. The Wilmorth article provides insight about SSL technology and circadian rhythms referencing the NIH manuscript “Effect of Light on Human Circadian Physiology” and Lighting Research Center guide titled “Designing and Circadian Stimulus”.

To date evidence is non-definitive about the reported effects of circadian rhythm control via SSL technology. Ongoing research performed by the technical committees at CIE and IES are working to advance the science of light effects on the human body. “What is known is Spectral Power Distribution (SPD) and illuminance levels are critical factors, which may or may not relate to CCT directly.” A false assumption is high CCT values always deliver more light in the circadian response efficacy region.

The Controls Revolution

SSL technology is catching up with older technologies such as dimming drivers and line voltage products working on conventional control interfaces. Emerging news is digital controls and inter-connectivity with other building systems along with improvements in wireless technologies is advancing lighting use. The current technology challenge is control integration and uniformity of standards with manufacturers. On the horizon is the Internet of Things (IoT) but that is years away before the world is accepting of such a technological leap. At present IoT is more noise than news.

“What is news is Power over Ethernet (PoE), promising to eliminate expensive line voltage distribution with low voltage wiring from centrally located servers.” PoE been in use for years with security cameras and other IT applications and in now integrating with SSL technology. Integration of PoE systems will take time. From a practicality perspective only 2.2% of commercial buildings are over 100,000 square feet. Large building spaces benefit from PoE systems and the cost of system integration is easier to justify. Smaller spaces are more difficult to invest in. The result is a significant gap in demand for system integration on smaller scale properties.

Color Rendering Metrics – a new standard?

Recently Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) recommended a new metric tool TM-35-10 to address color fidelity and saturation (gamut). The recommendation does not produce significantly different results from Color Rendering Index (CRI). Until an international standard is established any expenditure in retesting or recalculating lighting color performance is premature. New standards are coming but work remains before accepted as industry norms.

Separating Fact from Fiction

Too often noise is presented as fact so buyers beware. In many instances what starts as noise evolves to fact making it news worthy. Presentation of SSL technology brings the notion of rapid advancement but systems are complicated. Integration with other technologies and standardization takes time to research, scientifically test and negotiate standard between industry connected organizations. Remember news is verifiable; otherwise, its noise.