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Lighting between your toes

Nov. 22, 2013
It’s hard to imagine an electrical distributor expanding into carpeting, wall-coverings or clothing, but if that’s the way the market moves, what will the traditional electrical industry do to keep its hand in the game it invented?

By now, saying that LED lighting is bringing radical change to the electrical industry has become a truism, a statement of the obvious. The efficiency and longevity of LED lighting are already changing customer expectations, and the still-unexplored form factors made possible by OLED technologies promise to push what we think of as lighting further away from the fixtures in the walls and ceilings that we know. But now and then a technology pops up that highlights just how easy it would be for lighting to slip out of the grasp of the traditional electrical supply chain entirely and become a whole different category of home and office furnishing.

For example (via the website dvice.com), how about lighting your carpet?

Philips is already going there:

Philips, makers of those awesome smartphone-controlled LED light bulbs has teamed up with Desso, a leading carpet and flooring company to "light transmissive carpets."

The carpets are exactly what you think they are. They have LEDs right underneath their soft tops, which can display different types of digital signage or information or enhance interior spaces.

It’s hard to imagine an electrical distributor expanding into carpeting, wall-coverings or clothing, but if that’s the way the market moves – if customers in a generation come to think of lighting not as an electrical product but as a fashion product (even more than they do now) - what will the traditional electrical industry do to keep its hand in the game it invented?