Very efficient white LED bulbs are replacing inefficient incandescent bulbs and while there are many technical and market challenges to sort out, it is becoming clear that new capabilities and functionality beyond simple bulb/socket lighting systems will become the future of solid state lighting. These LED replacement bulbs will only be the first wave of solid-state lighting, and digitally controlled full gamut light sources, high performance light sensors and new control and communications methods will create what could be called the second wave of solid state lighting, or Smart Lighting. Smart Lighting systems are comprised of illumination technologies that fully utilize the spectral and temporal capabilities of LED technology to provide light, automatically adapt color and intensity to changing illumination requirements, and provide enhanced services beyond simple illumination. This evolution of lighting technology under the solid state domain will, in some sense, mirror the trends and patterns established by the penetration of the transistor into consumer electronics – first through simple applications of discrete devices to enhance existing product functionalities (like the transistor radio) and then gradually, through enabling transformative technologies through complex integrated systems never before possible (like smart phones). Solid state lighting is poised to be the logical evolutionary endpoint of illumination development, and Smart Lighting functionality will position illumination as a vital, interactive part of building, energy, information and even healthcare and entertainment systems. The key will be the development of lighting systems that can think, providing exactly the right light where and when it is needed.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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