LED market consultant BOB STEELE tracks the evolution of LED technology, applications, and markets over 22 years with Strategies in Light.
The first Strategies in Light conference, sponsored by market research and consulting firm Strategies Unlimited, was held in February 2000 at the Hyatt San Francisco Airport. It was the first conference of its kind, addressing the technology, markets, and business opportunities in high-brightness LEDs. It attracted an international audience of 250, with managers, senior executives, and even CEOs from the US, Europe, Japan, and Taiwan. The high-brightness LED market was still in its infancy at that time but was experiencing high rates of growth that continued on for 20 years. As the market grew and the LED industry expanded to meet end-use demand, Strategies in Light grew along with it in terms of attendance and topics covered in conference sessions.
Arguably, the solid-state lighting (SSL) revolution, as it has often been called, began in the early/mid–1990s with the development of InGaAlP (indium gallium aluminum phosphide)-based, high-brightness red-orange-yellow LEDs by Toshiba and Hewlett-Packard, and the development of high-brightness InGaN (indium gallium nitride)-based blue and green LEDs by Nichia and Toyoda Gosei (for which the inventors Shuji Nakamura, Isamu Akasaki, and Hiroshi Amano received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2014). The introduction of these technologies opened up very large market opportunities for LEDs that had never been addressable before. These included full-color outdoor signs, automotive interior and exterior lighting, backlights for mobile device displays, traffic signals, specialized lighting applications, and many more.