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MONDO ARC

Paul James - Editorial Comment

Issue 55 Jun / Jul 2010


Two months and two momentous occasions for the lighting industry. Firstly, a watershed event with Light+Building in Frankfurt.

The proliferation of white LEDs at the show (remember the RGB attack two years ago?) was quite staggering and it is now inevitable, based on what was on show, that this technology has already reached the point of mass commercial viability - in terms of design, performance and cost. Those that say they are still a long way off are simply putting their heads in the sand. Of course, it is not time to throw away all the other light sources and nor should we ever do that, but we have now reached the point where LED performance is beginning to exceed even the most efficient fluorescent tubes.

Most intriguing of all was the invasion of the (mostly Japanese) electronics giants who all made a big impact at the show. Battle lines are currently being drawn by traditional lighting companies like GE, Philips and OSRAM and these global brands such as LG, Panasonic, Verbatim (Mitsubishi), Samsung, Sharp and Toshiba. There was even a battle cry from Toshiba - ‘We will have a 20 per cent share of the European lighting market by 2020!’ We are of course moving from lamps to electronics and these brands know all about that industry. You may say that the lighting industry is a different animal, that distribution channels and networking are based on different relationships, that they don’t have the right personnel. But this is to forget the ability to learn... fast... and to make the changes to dominate this industry in the not too distant future.

One month later, on an emotional night in Las Vegas on May 13th, Jonathan Speirs accepted the Radiance Award at the IALD International Lighting Awards on behalf of Speirs and Major Associates for the third year in a row. This unprecedented achievement is honoured by mondo*arc by featuring the winning project, the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, on the front cover even though we wrote extensively about the project in issue 50. However, you will recall that was also our tenth anniversary edition dedicated to 50 Lighting Designers with the front cover reflecting that special feature. Normally, the Grand Mosque would have trounced the competition to win the front cover slot so I’m happy to bend the rules here to make amends.

Best of luck to you Jonathan.

 

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