Light sources have a significant impact on device design and operation in all industries. From backlit avionics in an aircraft to illuminated components in medical equipment, the brightness, color, temperature, and uniformity of lighting are essential for conveying visual information or helping users accomplish critical tasks.
LEDs & Lamps
The invention of the electric light bulb changed the world. It enables human activity at all times of day or night, and in all ambient light conditions. The first commercially available bulbs were released in 1880, manufactured by Thomas Edison’s company, the Edison Electric Light Company. The resulting demand for electric lighting propelled the building of vast electrical distribution infrastructure to bring power to homes and businesses in the following decades.
Do your childhood holiday memories include untangling long strings of tiny lights and going through a laborious process of elimination to identify that one burned-out bulb that was causing the whole string to malfunction? Well, lighting technology advances have solved that problem with long-lasting (10 year+) LED bulbs and strings that stay lit even if one bulb goes out.
There has been excitement in the display industry about microLEDs for several years and a few high-end microLED products (such as Samsung’s The Wall) have reached the market. MicroLEDs hold the promise of visually stunning displays with low power consumption, high resolution, quick response rates, and high luminance. They can also incorporate embedded sensors for added device functionality.
The 2016 Chevrolet Camaro was the first vehicle on the market to feature “dynamic ambient lighting.” Also known as “Interior Spectrum Lighting,” the Camaro’s system offered 24 different lighting effects throughout the interior of the car, including in the door panels, dashboard, and even the cup holders. The lights could be customized to emit different colors depending on the scenario, for example linked to different driving modes (e.g., Park vs. Drive).1
The electromagnetic spectrum of sunlight makes life possible—without it, earth would be a barren, icy ball of rock. From the weather systems that produce our temperate climates to the photosynthesis in plants that yields oxygen and food, light serves many essential functions. Lately, new uses for various wavelengths of light have been discovered or have risen to new prominence in the realms of healthcare, medicine, and well-being.