Who doesn’t wish they had invested in Apple when it was $16 a share? Quite often, timing the market is more intuition than science. Those who know analog to digital inflection points are watching LEDs. Get it right, and enormous wealth can be created. Time it wrong and you’re left in the dust, like Polaroid.
It’s easy to look back on digital film, the Internet or mobile phones to see when the perfect conditions of cost, demand and technology converged to make the switch from analog to digital obvious. Looking at the landscape today, energy-efficient lighting, namely LEDs, is the next major market to reap the benefits of going digital.
Historically, such inflection points have proved to open a wide array of new markets, business models and product capabilities. Just consider what digital music did for the entertainment industry. The first manufacturer of an MP3 player Eiger Labs has been forgotten to history, because Apple was the one that got it right.
Even Steve Job’s former counsel Randall Sosnick is betting on LEDs. Now CEO of NEXT Lighting, he’s producing highly-innovative, reliable and affordable LED replacements for commercial florescent lighting, which are commonly T8 tubes. Just as the iPhone did for mobile computing, NEXT Lighting’s innovative design can serve as a platform for a new wave of lighting applications without the need to completely replace fixtures. At the same time, Cree has managed to get its consumer LED bulbs down below $10 a piece and Phillips isn’t far behind. These are just a few of the many market convergences that indicate the tipping point for LEDs is here and about to gain mass market appeal rapidly.
The writing on the wall
Over the past 10 years, LED lighting as grown at a tremendous pace. The LED manufacturer Cree witnessed over 150% growth rate since 2007, according to Forbes. Even small start ups like Albeo Technologies have seen revenue climb 620 percent since 2009, to over $10.5 million in 2011. Their recent acquisition by GE Lighting is just another indicator that the tipping point is near. When the big bulb manufacturers get in the game, you know something’s about to go up.
Since 2011 alone, the LED industry has seen a nearly 30% drop in prices. Couple that with increasing market demand, higher energy costs, and improved technologies and you have a perfect storm, symbolic of classic inflection points.
Niche LED markets like automotive, exit signs, flashlights and stage lighting have already hit the S-curve and hold majority market share. This benefits other markets such as architectural lighting and street lighting. Both are just now trending upward, with around 45 percent and 25 percent market share respectively, according to Vrinda Bhandarker’s report LED: Lighting the Clean Revolution.
Street lighting is considered a gateway application. Its deployment is critical to unlocking the energy saving benefits of LEDs and driving overall market adoption. The potential energy savings of LED is upwards of 40 percent for most municipalities, according to Bhandarker. Plus, the cost of installing an LED street light is very similar to sending a bucket truck to change a bulb. It’s numbers like these that Pike Research says will cause unit shipments of LED street lights to rise to more than 17 million by 2020.
After street lights, commercial/industrial applications will follow. Here light bulb maintenance and down time is a major pain point. Rising energy costs also eat into profits. LED can save this market 80% or more on energy.
Once commercial markets make the switch the residential market will blow the space wide open. The less than $10 bulbs from Cree, and soon from Phillips, coupled with the availability of the Next Lighting T8 commercial replacements are early signs savvy investors are acting on today to get in on this pending technology revolution.
Lighting represents 19 percent of global electricity. According to McKinsey & Company nearly $25 billion (conservatively) is expected to go LED by 2020. Palatable consumer bulb prices might just be the juice the industry needs to rocket up the S-curve. Unlike the sheer luck of investing in Apple when it was $16 a share, the writing is on the wall for LED market expansion. That is, if you are willing to look.
Tuesday June 4, 2013
5:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Spending hours networking means nothing, if you don’t follow up with the people you meet. While it’s easy to forget to complete this important step of networking, there are also just as easy tips and tricks you and implement to make the process simple and fun.
In this class we will cover the steps to successful follow up and how to turn interesting contacts into valuable connections and will further your career.
Class is open to men and women and lead by networking and PR speaker Lisa Ann Pinkerton, founder of Women in Cleantech & Sustainability.
- 5:00pm-6:00pm – Networking lesson
- 6:15-6:30pm – Travel to Green Drinks location
- 6:30-8:30pm – Live practice
Due to the high level of instruction, the fee for these classes is $25 online/$30 at the door.
A bulk price of 5 classes for $100 is also available. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to take advantage of the bulk price.
- For most sessions we will practice a module privately, then walk as a group to a cleantech networking happy hour where we can practice the skill that was taught.
- Classes will be from 5:00pm-6:15pm with networking starting around 6:30pm.
- Classes are held in San Francisco, on the 1st Tuesday of each month @ EEFG 3rd and Mission
About the Facilitator:
Lisa Ann Pinkerton is an award-winning former NPR/PBS journalist, consultant to national and international technology organizations, a keynote speaker and a skilled facilitator/moderator. She specializes in topics related to clean technology, renewable energy, public relations, social media, networking and the rise of women in leadership. Meeting planners enjoy working with Lisa Ann because her energetic delivery and dynamic personality make events lively and memorable. Lisa Ann is Founder of Technica Communications and Women in Cleantech & Sustainability.
About the Networking Powerhouse Series
Have you ever felt awkward, frustrated or just plain scared about networking? I have. On a summer night, in 2009 I sat in my parked car on a street in San Francisco attempting to gather up the courage to go into a networking event and talk to total strangers. I was terrified, stubborn and resistant. I started the car twice to leave. Only to turn it off, knowing I had to go meet new people if I wanted to succeed in my dreams.
After psyching myself up for 20 minutes, I finally walked into the event. I spent the next few hours hopelessly attempting to connect with people who didn’t care who I was or the value I had to give. I stumbled over my words, endured uncomfortable silences and felt simply miserable.
It was that night that vowed to never let that happen to me again. I learned all I could about networking skills, reading books and watching videos. I attended 2-3 events a week until I felt fully confident and comfortable at events. Today, I can walk into a room and tell you exactly who the highest leverage people are. I can jump in and out of conversations with ease and keep conversations going long after the event is over.
From speaking to WCS members, a lack of confidence in networking skills is a main hindrance to their success in the field. That I why I have organized a monthly networking series as a way for you to learn these same skills in a controlled, safe environment first, then at a live cleantech networking setting that same night. You will learn the same techniques, tactics and tricks that the pros use to make networking, easy, fun and most of all effective. I’ve studied many networking masters and distilled the main points down for you.
Saturday, June 1, 2013
11:00 AM to 3:30 PM
Microsoft Silicon Valley Campus; SVC Building 1
1065 La Avenida, Mountain View, CA
*Signing up here does not register you for the free event.**
Call open for abstracts for science poster presentations from Jr. scientists and innovators. Deadline March 1st.
The goal of the Green Kid’s Conference is to educate kids and their families on environmental issues, make them aware of available resources and opportunities, and also to promote, encourage, and reward new innovative ideas.
Check out the video from the the child founder Pavan Raj Gowda. His mother Shanti Balaramanis a WCS member.
Come and explore the latest developments and opportunities in
the following areas:
1. Education and Research
2. Clean Technology and Alternative Resources
3. Climate Science
4. Waste Management
5. Air Quality
6. Land / Nature Preservation
7. Energy / Water Conservation
For more visit, www.greenkidsconference.org