April 20, 2024  

5 Things to Know:  Week Ending April 20

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Cree LED's revenue growth streak pauses. Plus, activists for responsible lighting celebrate this latest victory.


Here's a roundup of some of the week's happenings curated to help lighting people stay informed. 


1.  Cree LED Revenues

SMART Global Holdings, Inc., the company that owns components brand, Cree LED, last week reported a moderate increase in their overall financial performance for the second quarter of fiscal year 2024, with total net sales reaching $284.8 million, a 3.9% rise from the previous quarter. Despite a slight decrease in GAAP gross margin to 28.8% from 30.2%, the company continued to see growth, particularly in its Intelligent Platform Solutions (IPS) sector which surged by 19% sequentially. This comes alongside the company’s strategic focus on becoming a leader in high-value enterprise solutions, emphasizing high-performance computing and specialty memory solutions.

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The LED Solutions segment, which goes to market as Cree LED, specifically showed varied performance with sales at $60.1 million in Q2 FY24, down from $69.8 million in the previous quarter, reflecting a short-term decrease. Over the past fiscal year, this segment has experienced fluctuations, with sales peaking in Q1 FY24 after a steady decline in previous quarters. Despite these variations, the segment continues to contribute significantly to SGH's revenue stream, marking crucial transitions as the company aligns its operations toward emerging technologies like AI and high-performance computing under the leadership of newly appointed IPS President, Pete Manca.

NOTE:  Cree LED, a brand under Smart Global Holdings, operates independently from Cree Lighting, which is a brand of ADLT Lighting Group.


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2 A Victory for Those Adversely Affected by Certain LED Lights

The saying "You can't fight city hall" seems to be a uniquely American mantra, as a British woman claiming health issues from LED lighting has successfully challenged her city council and won, following a lengthy and costly dispute between a citizen and the local government.



According to Great Britain’s Daily Mail, a 70-year-old London woman, Sasha Rodoy, has successfully compelled Barnet Council to replace what was described as intensely harsh LED streetlights in her area with warmer alternatives after a four-year legal struggle. Rodoy, who suffers from photophobia due to previous eye surgery, initiated legal actions against the council in January 2020, citing the lights were so bright they caused her pain and disrupted her sleep. The council has now agreed to install 2200 Kelvin sources, more akin to traditional high pressure sodium lights, though the cost of this replacement has not been disclosed.

The agreement that Rodoy posted on social media spells out changes to streetlights' color temperature, but doesn't make a reference to lumen output or illuminance.


Rodoy's prolonged dispute cost her approximately £50,000 ($61,855 USD), a sum she described as significant for her financial situation. Despite the council's initial resistance and an attempt to silence her with a non-disclosure agreement, Rodoy persevered, believing her case could set a precedent for others affected by the harsh glare of LED lighting. The local authority has received hundreds of similar complaints since 2018, indicating a broader discontent with the new lighting system's impact on community well-being.

This victory has resonated widely, with various individuals and organizations on social media applauding the outcome as a hopeful precedent for further similar reforms in both the U.S. and Europe.


3.   Detroit Gets Lit for Upcoming NFL Draft


In preparation for next week's NFL draft, Detroit has implemented dynamic RGB lighting enhancements in its downtown area. As reported by 7 Action News WXYZ-TV Detroit, the city has adorned its people mover columns and installed a custom illuminated "DETROIT" sign along Interstate 94. These improvements are designed to dazzle visitors and offer long-term benefits to the city beyond the draft event.

The new LED displays on the people mover columns, which not only accentuate the infrastructure but also provide versatile lighting for future special events. The initiative has been met with mixed reactions from locals, with some criticizing the aesthetic of the new installations while others appreciate the positive attention they bring to the city. Five more "Welcome to Detroit" signs will be placed along other roads leading into the city, further brightening the approach to the draft stage.


4.   Signify’s Golden Dragon Threepeat

This week’s news about Signify’s new and ambitious Net Zero emissions reduction targets wasn’t the company's only green news story of the week. As VnEconomy reports, Signify Vietnam's notable achievements in green technology were highlighted by the prestigious Golden Dragon Award, highlighting the company's leadership in promoting sustainable development through innovative lighting solutions.

Ms. Nguyen Minh Phuong, Marketing and Communications Manager at Signify Vietnam, proudly received the award, emphasizing Signify's commitment to quality products, systems, and services aimed at ecological benefits. This recognition marks Signify's third consecutive year receiving this honor, placing it among the top foreign-invested enterprises in Vietnam.


5.   DarkSky Influences New Lighting Ordinance

More and more U.S. cities and towns are implementing ordinances to ensure that businesses and residents light their properties responsibly. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that in Oceanside, California, an ordinance expansion now requires single-family homes, in addition to apartment buildings and businesses, to use shielded outdoor lighting fixtures. This measure aims to address concerns that artificial lighting, which increases night sky brightness by about 10 percent each year, impacts astronomers, disrupts wildlife, and affects human health.

The revised ordinance in Oceanside, a city of approximately 170,000 people, mandates that all outdoor lighting be shielded or angled to prevent direct illumination beyond the property lines. Exemptions are made for holiday and seasonal lights. This change comes as low-cost LED bulbs make controlled lighting more feasible, highlighting the broader push across the nation to combat light pollution. According to the International Dark Sky Association, simple fixes like adding a shield or adjusting the angle of light fixtures can significantly mitigate these issues.


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