LED has always been a widely talked about subject in the interior and exterior home improvement sector, but only recently has it become the center of attention for home improvement companies and consumers alike. Restructuring efforts in LED manufacturing companies have made it possible for a higher level of investment and capital to flow into this growing product category, allowing for a wide range LED products - kitchen and dining LED tape, LED filament bulbs, outdoor LED strips and more, to enter the market at affordable prices. LED lighting has become the talk of the town in 2015, and it shows no signs of slowing down in popularity. Here are 5 LED trends to watch for in 2015 and very likely 2016 that holds high potential for mass-market adoption and shape the future of the lighting sector in home improvement.
1. Cloud-based Smart LED Lighting
Since the introduction to the Internet-of-Things (IoT), home improvement companies have one by one been quick to adopt smart technology into their designs and likewise, technology companies have come up with with products that work with many aspects of the home - lighting, security, kitchen appliances, air ventilation, garden and more. The results are app-based developments like NEST and interactive goods like Bosch's Home Connect Smart Fridge and the Parrot Flower Power H20 Smart Sensor. In the world of lighting, technology and smart-design has brought us Cloud-Based Smart Led Lighting, where users will be able to control their lighting remotely and more importantly, on a very large scale. Users will also be able to collect valuable data on ongoing lighting usage and save on energy and repair costs in the long term. In general, this type of LED lighting will in large be limited to large enterprises and sold within the B2B marketplace instead of the mass market, and adoption rates are predicted to proceed slowly. However when implemented it will provide have huge implications for current and future commercial real-estate developments.
2. LED in the kitchen
According to the US Department of Energy, today LED lighting is six or seven timse more efficient than conventional lighting and can last up to 25 times longer. When you look at the numbers, it hard not to want to switch to LED, and that is exactly what is happening, and it starts in the kitchen and dining area where lighting serves an important and dominant role. Many home experts predicted the emergence of LED lighting in the kitchen at the start of 2015, but while it is still in its infancy today, many expect that we will see it grow steadily, gaining traction as more information become available and the growing number of LED manufacturers cause LED prices to become more competitive.
3. OLED lighting
A step up from LED lighting, OLED lighting, which stands for 'Organic Lighting-Emitting Diode' offer the same benefits of LED lighting with the addition of a natural component, where unlike LED, OLED is produced by a film of organic compound responsible for emitting light that appears more relaxing and natural than LED lighting. The downside is that OLED lighting are several times more expensive than LED, and currently in 2015 is primarily sold as custom and designer pieces. The popularity of OLED will remain limited as long as it is priced at a premium, but advances in technology, such as 3D printing capabilities, is expected to bring down the prices of OLED over the next few years.
4. Outdoor LED Lighting
The durability, energy-efficiency, versatility and affordability of LED lighting today has brought it outdoors, where consumers are easily able to decorate their outdoor space and fully enjoy it from day to night. Where lighting is heavily used in indoor kitchens and dining areas, so is lighting for outdoor decks and patios. This has caused an emergence of outdoor LED strips that connect easily to your outdoor railings, fencing and even eavestrough system/gutters! The sky's the limit for LED it seems.
5. LED Application in Automotives
Although the penetration of LED lighting in the form of LED headlamps still remains low in 2015, it has been increasing since 2014 at a projected rate of 8% and forecasts has shown LED headlamps shipments to increase by 70% this year. Soon more and more consumers might be seeing more LED headlamps and LED-powered dashboards installed in their cars that will likely be integrated with smart technology to provide customers with more functionality, control options and a greater user experience in their vehicle.