We had an opportunity to participate in the U.S. Department of Energy 2009 DOE Solid-State Lighting (SSL) Manufacturing Workshops. http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/ssl/fairfax09_highlights.html With lighting consuming over 25% of US electric demand, efficient LED deployment can materially cut into this estimated $60-70B annual cost which will escalate in the future as carbon costs are added.
The workshops were key first steps in the launch of a new DOE SSL research and development (R&D) manufacturing initiative to enhance product consistency and quality and to accelerate cost reductions through manufacturing improvements. Participants included chip makers, fixture and component manufacturers, and others—to examine underlying issues related to materials, equipment, and other factors that influence SSL product quality and cost.
DOE is making great progress two-way partnerships with the Next Generation Lighting Industry Alliance, the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, and the International Association of Lighting Designers; and that DOE's national strategy to move SSL from lab to market, including R&D funding, CALiPER testing of commercially available products, GATEWAY demonstrations, the Quality Advocates initiative, the L Prize competition, and other key strategies are on the right path and being embraced by the industry. Download a PDF copy of the report.
John Dexheimer provided a perspective on the industry structure and a call to “out of the box” business models to gain penetration by addressing scaling and TCO. The challenge we presented and provided a roadmap toward is how to cross the economic chasm, maintain quality control, scale volume and develop a US based manufacturing business in SSL while embracing the best of breed off-shore sourcing and co-developments. The conclusion is the lighting industry is ripe for a massive restructuring led by semiconductor based cost effective innovative products and processes along with entrepreneurial business models that can re-shape the supply and distribution chains. http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/publications/pdfs/ssl/dexheimer_fairfax09.pdf
“Incumbents very seldom invent the future” -- Eric Schmidt, Google CEO