Embracing The Next Big Thing

The “next big thing” has always raised a red flag for me. In my experience, that promise rarely holds a candle to the tried and true alternative. Compact discs had been out for years before I broke down and bought a CD player, and it was just last month that I donated my extensive VHF video collection to our local library. That said, there is at least one “next big thing” that is gaining steam exponentially in our nation and will soon be impacting every business, home, camping trip, and holiday. I’m talking about LED lighting.COMM AP BlogImage LEDs 2014 03

And for once, I’m 100% on board.

What started out as the humble Light Emitting Diode (LED) is quickly shifting from cutting edge to ubiquitous. LED lighting has the ability to reshape how we look at light and to redefine what we expect from electric lighting. Today, LED’s are efficiently and effectively lighting the way in hospitals, parking lots, manufacturing facilities, art galleries, jewelry stores, and every type of building in between.

It doesn’t end there: LED technology has the power to profoundly affect our home life as well. Imagine walking into your home at the end of the workday to a scene of warm, calming colors designed to help you relax and prepare for a great night sleep. In the morning the light can automatically emulate a sunrise to cue your body and mind that it is time for another fantastic day. Light affects our levels of alertness and triggers updates in our biological clock via our natural Circadian Rhythms. These “scenes” can even be set to provide colorful light for parties and be programmed to respond to the rhythm of music.

The more I learn about the impact light has on us and the potential it has to shape our experiences, the more I want to share this knowledge with folks we meet every day. Unfortunately, trying to spread the word can come across as a sales pitch for LED’s. Many business owners have had disappointing experiences with trying “new” technology like the Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) that was introduced to the market as an attempt to wean consumers off the incandescent light bulb. CFLs have many drawbacks (not the least of which is the fact that they’re filled with hazardous waste!). As a consumer typicallyCOMM APblog CFLvsLED Image 2014 03 resistant to change, I completely relate to the suspicion exhibited by customers. The message I want to leave folks with is this: LED lights are not the same as CFLs!

In short, LED’s are endlessly programmable little tools that we can use to enhance our experience of being indoors while dramatically reducing the amount of energy we use to generate light. While LED stands for Light Emitting Diode, I like to think it stands for Lots of Exciting Developments. Take it from a Luddite like me: In this case, don’t let an aversion to new technology hold you back from discovering and enjoying the multitude of benefits LEDs can provide.