NanoMarkets provides market research and industry analysis of opportunities within advanced materials and emerging energy and electronics markets
May 07, 2013 Category: Smart Technology
While smart lighting systems can trace their conceptual history back decades, today's systems are obviously a new breed; bringing together the latest sensing, control, communications and illumination technology. If smart lighting systems move toward being designed for influencing mood, health, human performance and even data communications, tomorrow's smart lighting systems will bear little resemblance to the lighting control and management systems of the past and the present.
As long as smart lighting systems don't display much change or originality in functionality, NanoMarkets believes that firms in this sector can rely on (1) branding strategies, (2) strong distribution channels to compete. Indeed, NanoMarkets believes that there are quite a few smart lighting firms that feel that such non-technical marketing strategies can carry the smart lighting business forward for an indefinite period of time.
In recent NanoMarkets’ reports on the OLED industry, we suggested that the OLED lighting industry, which has struggled to get off the ground recently, is in need of an “industry champion.” The thinking is that emerging technologies often need such a champion—a firm with both the will and the resources to invest heavily in product and business development and with a long-enough view and deep enough pockets to get into a business that might not be profitable for many years.
On the display side, Samsung clearly took on the role of industry champion, and the firm is today reaping the benefits. As we noted in the last chapter, Samsung’s market position in OLED displays today is dominant, and while increased competition will surely be the trend in the next couple of years, Samsung’s position is likely to remain secure for the foreseeable future.
May 02, 2013 Category: Smart Technology
• Energy efficiency is being pitched by smart lighting firms as the main reason why building managers and owners would want to buy into their systems. Switching and dimming not only provides enhanced energy savings, but can result in improved lifetimes for bulbs. In smart lighting systems energy efficiency can be achieved through scheduling, occupancy control or daylight harvesting
• Using a centralized control several kinds of energy efficiency modality can be deployed and this is one distinguishing feature between a modern smart lighting system and just a light fixture wired to simple sensor. In a sense, much of the product strategy for firms selling the latest generation of smart lighting systems consists in choosing (1) the right combination of dimming and switching features and (2) the right combination of sensors.
• While the arrival of SSL (and to a lesser extent CFL) lighting—may well go some way to promoting smart lighting systems by simply raising consciousness about energy-efficient lighting, NanoMarkets also thinks that the switch to SSL will put pressure on users to change their entire lighting infrastructure to meet the needs of the new types of lighting technology. The main pressure point here is probably dimming, since it is widely acknowledged that SSL lamps are incompatible in important ways with existing dimming controls. Dimming specifically for SSL is readily available, but flicker, so called "pop-on" effects and lower end drop-out are still apparent in some products.
May 01, 2013 Category: Advanced Materials
From the report Radiation Detection Materials Markets 2013
In the medical field, an aging population in North America, Europe, and Japan has created one source of increased demand for radiological imaging equipment, and thus demand for scintillating radiation detection crystals. In addition, economically emerging nations (BRIC nations and other similar economies) are creating demand for radiological imaging equipment in markets where there was previously little or no penetration of these advanced imaging techniques.
Scintillation materials for medical imaging will slowly transition away from some of the oxides, such as BGO, to some of the silicates and LaBr3 if crystal growth techniques can help bring prices down to justify materials changes for improved performance.
Thin-film scintillation materials for digital x-ray imaging represent a major area of growth over the next eight years. The transition from traditional film and phosphor plates is happening currently, and will accelerate as the cost of digital x-ray panel detectors based on CsI become the norm in the medical field.
April 23, 2013 Category: Smart Technology
• Generation 0 smart lighting consists primarily of systems that can provide occupancy sensing, daylighting and time clocking. Some Generation 0 systems are nothing more than occupancy sensors attached to individual lighting fixtures. At best, this is smart lighting in its simplest form. The sensing devices used for occupancy sensing are often infrared motion or ultrasonic detectors and cost from around $30 to $130.
• Electrical ballasts are designed to limit the amount of current in a circuit and are most familiar in a lighting context in the form of the inductive ballast used in fluorescent lamps. The emergence of electronic ballasts for both fluorescent and HID lamps has served as an enabling technology for so-called intelligent ballasts. Electronic ballasts can provide more control and are also smaller, lighter, quieter and more flicker free than magnetic ones.
• Electronic ballasts are evolving into true digital devices with the incorporation of microcontrollers. In such cases they can offer remote control and monitoring through standardized building automation networks. True smart ballasts are more than merely electronic. They may carry out a number of important functionalities, such as load shedding and dimming in response to a signal from an energy management system of some kind
March 14, 2013 Category: OLEDs
Without a champion from whichever country, NanoMarkets does not see there being sufficient capacity to support a ramp up of the OLED lighting industry in a few years. Certainly, there is no pent up demand for OLED lighting that will attract investment in the near future.
The OLED lighting firms worldwide are hoping that they can create a market from the supply side; this kind of thing can be very expensive. In addition, a skeptic might point to a number of facts and trends from the past year that tend to make the notion that OLED lighting will grow into a substantial opportunity to be very believable now