This week: big market projections, a million solar LEDs in Africa, and why we illuminate cities.
Behind the trend of illuminating cities for art
Scott McQuire, a professor of media and communication in Melbourne, Australia, writes in The Conversation about the history and sociology of the ways we light cities: "How should we understand this growing global enthusiasm for spectacular urban illumination?" I've been wondering along these lines myself (see related posts, below, for some earlier coverage). McQuire's thoughtful piece is about large-scale video projection as much as it is about LED lighting, and cities are widely deploying both to attract tourists, to stand out, and to emphasize their unique attributes:
"Lighting the modern city has always had a strong commercial bias," McQuire writes, "and has been a key factor in tilting the contemporary city towards becoming a 'brandscape,' a spectacle that is consumed rather than inhabited in other ways."
McQuire also notes examples of "unauthorized" illumination projects worldwide, and introduces the terms "digital graffiti," "photon bombing," and "mobile guerrilla projection."
Shipyard cranes as lighting giants
As an example, consider the seaside city of Pula, Croatia, home to the Uljanik shipyard, one of the oldest in the world. Its eight cranes (variously capable of lifting 200, 150, and 45 tons) are lit by 73 Philips spotlights. The writeup in LiveDesignOnline.com doesn't specify, but they are probably Color Kinetics units. The display was conceived and executed by lighting designer Dean Skira.
After their debut in a festival of lights organized by the city's tourist board, the cranes continue to be illuminated for 15 minutes each hour from 9:00 p.m. to midnight.
Big market projections
To give a little perspective to last week's note of a $1.4 billion market for OLEDs used in lighting by 2019, here are a pair of projections of parts of the ILED market.
LED lighting in buildings will amount to $23 billion -- 16 times larger -- by 2018, according to Memoori. And MarketsandMarkets puts the size of the smart lighting segment at $56 billion in 2020, over twice again as large, and 40 times the OLED projection.
A million solar lights in Africa
We have written extensively about various efforts to bring LED light to the Dark Continent (see related posts below for some samples). Here's a milestone announced by SolarAid and its subsidiary, Sunny Money, which calls itself the largest distributor of solar lights in Africa. The organizations' web pages feature a counter that now stands at 1,080,003 lights sold in Africa. It increments every 37 seconds or so.
That rate is going to have to speed up if SolarAid is to meets its goal of eradicating kerosene lamps from the continent by 2020. There are 110 million African households without electricity, according to the organization, and selling a light every 37 seconds will get them almost to 5.1 million.
— Keith Dawson , Editor-in-Chief, All LED Lighting