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Quantum dot film impresses IHS at LuxLive 2015

Li-Fi versus Wi-Fi, quantum dot LED luminaires, and human-centric lighting upcoming trends for 2016

Last week's LuxLive show in London, Europe's biggest annual lighting event, was notable for new types of quantum dot technology and the slow evolution of smart lighting according to the latest research note from Fabian Hoelzenbein and Mike Hornung from market research company IHS.

In Hoelzenbein's opinion the most impressive product was the quantum dot (QD) film showcased by Marl and Nanoco. "Similar technology is already used in LED TVs, where a layer of QDs in front of the LED backlight provides colour gamut and contrast levels that rival those of OLED TVs, but at a much lower price. Similarly in lighting, the products shown at LuxLive used a layer of QD film in front of standard LEDs, to provide impressive colour rendering at high efficiency, as well as finely tuned coloured light that can be used in horticultural applications," he said.

Some of the more interesting parts of the show, says Horning, were talks on a variety of topics, including using colour temperature to help cosmetic product retailers, Li-Fi versus Wi-Fi, using quantum dots to create high-efficiency, high-CRI LED luminaires, and a case study demonstrating the use of colour-tuneable luminaires for a 'human-centric lighting system' in a geriatrics ward in Germany. All of these discussions provided insight into some of the upcoming trends to watch for in 2016.

Smart lighting was a major topic at the show. Following a trend noticed earlier this year at LightFair in New York, smart lighting is no longer a separate entity, but is increasingly becoming part of the Internet of Things (IoT). Now widely installed and wired, smart lights provide the platform for sensors and data analytics to work together for indoor location tracking, occupancy sensing, goods and usage pattern tracking, and many other services.

Although there were many new smart lighting products at the show, very few introduced new functionality, according to Hornung. "While new companies showed IoT products, they have yet to find a key application that will take them from a potential enabler, to a true leader of the market. For most companies 2015 has been about using existing products and technologies to improve the capabilities of existing systems, rather than introducing new ones", he said.

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