2020 Keynote & Plenary Session Information Coming Soon


Thursday, February 28, 8:30 am - 10:00 am

Robert Steele, Founder and Co-Chair Strategies in Light
Keynote Session
8:30 AM - 9:00 AM
Twenty Years of Strategies in Light: Reflections on the Evolution of the LED Industry Robert Steele PhD, Founder and Co-Chair Strategies in Light

When the first Strategies in Light conference was held in February 2000, the worldwide high-brightness LED market had just reached $820 million in annual revenue. It had experienced a remarkable average annual growth of rate of 61% since the commercial introduction of high-brightness GaN and InGaAlP LEDs in 1995.  However, greater things were in store for this fledgling industry.  For example, lighting was hardly a factor in the market at that time, being limited to a few specialized applications. The largest market segments were outdoor signs and automotive applications. In 2018 the market had grown by a factor of 20 to $16+ billion, with lighting as the dominant market segment. This presentation will explore the dynamics of the LED industry over the past 20 years in terms of market growth, application evolution, and supplier shares.

Robert Steele, Founder and Co-Chair Strategies in Light
Bob Steele is the co-chair of Strategies in Light. He retired in March 2010 as the Director of the LED Practice at Strategies Unlimited, where he had been responsible for all of the company’s activities in the area of LED market research and consulting since 1994. He was a founder of the Strategies in Light conference in 2000, chaired it from 2000 to 2011, and served as co-chair from 2012 onward. Bob also chaired Strategies in Light conferences in Japan and China. From 2012 to 2015 he was the chair of Strategies in Light Europe. Since 2010 he has consulted with LED lighting startup QuarkStar. He has written regularly for industry publications on LED markets and applications, and has given invited presentations at major conferences around the world. Bob has a B.S. in chemistry from MIT and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley.

John Edmond, Co-Founder – CREE
Keynote Session
9:00 AM - 9:30 AM
Beyond Efficacy and Cost: The Next 20 Years of LED Innovation
John Edmond, Co-Founder CREE

The last 20 years of LED adoption were fueled by exponential gains in efficacy and cost-effectiveness, as predicted by Haitz’s Law. The types of innovation that will drive the next 20 years of LED technology will look significantly different than the first 20 years. John Edmond’s keynote will look ahead to the key application trends on the horizon that will shape the future of LED innovations and point to how LEDs will continue to transform the world around us.

John Edmond, Co-Founder – CREE
Dr. John Edmond graduated with a BS in ceramic engineering at Alfred University in 1983 and a PhD in Materials Science at NC State University in 1987. Upon graduation he co-founded Cree, Inc.  Since its founding, Dr. Edmond has worked on the development and production of blue, green and white LEDs from SiC and the Group III-Nitride materials.  In 2007, Edmond earned a place on Business 2.0s ‘50 Who Matter Now’ list. The distinction placed him alongside business celebrities such as the late Steve Jobs, founder and CEO of Apple, and the chiefs of Amazon, Cisco and Google. In 2012, he received the Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award from NC State. In 2014, he received the Charlotte Business Journal Energy Leadership Award. Today, his research is focused on SiC materials for power semiconductor device applications and advancing the performance of LEDs to enable the next generation of high efficiency solid state lighting solutions.  He has 160 issued and 8 pending patents in the US, with an additional 264 issued and 24 pending foreign patents in these fields of research.

Nancy Clanton, CEO Clanton & Associates Inc.
Keynote Session
9:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Memories, Reality, and Dreams
Nancy Clanton, CEO Clanton & Associates Inc.

Memories: The learning spiral was fast and furious with solid state lighting. Designers and manufacturers were experiencing failures and successes together. Remember when consistent color, controlling flicker, reliable drivers, and heat management issues were daily occurrences?

Reality: Currently, many of the memory issues have been solved at least for quality products. As we all gain more experience in the application of SSL, more questions are arising such as LEDs not lasting as long as promised, legacy lamp replacements, glare control, driver specifications, white tuning versus spectral tuning, blue pump alternatives, and other application questions.

Dreams: SSL is the future in lighting technology with legacy light sources disappearing. Will there be an affordable and reliable OLED? Will laser diodes be the next SSL technology? Will we be able to spectrally select each nanometer?  How will luminaire and optical designs evolve? What else can we dream about?

Nancy Clanton is CEO of Clanton & Associates, a lighting design firm specializing in sustainable and regenerative design. Nancy is a registered Professional Engineer in Colorado and Oregon. Nancy is a member of the National Academy of Science committee on the assessment of solid state lighting. Nancy is International Standards Organization (ISO) 205 WG 7 leader. Nancy received the 2018 Edison Report Lifetime Achievement Award, 2014 ACEC Colorado Outstanding Woman Engineer Award and the International CleanDesign Award. Nancy is a member of the WellBuilding “Light” advisory group, has served on the USGBC LEED Environmental Quality Technical Advisory Group, was lighting group leader for Greening of the White House, led the lighting workshops for the C40 conference in Seoul, and was twice awarded the IES Presidential Award.


Friday, March 1, 8:45 AM - 9:15 AM

Dr. Eric Bretschneider CTO QuarkStar and EB Designs & Technology
"From Black Death to White Light": The LED Revolution That Almost Didn’t Happen
Dr. Eric Bretschneider, CTO QuarkStar and EB Designs & Technology

The historical timeline for the key breakthroughs of solid-state lighting is well known, but totally unknown is the fact that the path to this globally transforming technology is littered with accidents and forgotten shortcuts abandoned for years. This talk presents some of the historical accidents and events that both slowed and accelerated the development of LED technology. In the process these stories illustrate the illogical, serendipitous, emotional, and organizational (human) politics that invariably underly any global transformation. Many improbable and accidental events will be described that similarly affected the fundamental development of solid-state lighting. Transcending the serendipitous, it also underlines the role of ‘luck’ in the discovery process, and the need for each one of us in technology to be open-minded and creative enough to take advantage of the manifold unforseen opportunities perpetually disguised as ‘accidents’.

Dr. Eric Bretschneider CTO QuarkStar and EB Designs & Technology
Eric Bretschneider has over 25 years of experience developing technology related to high brightness LEDs. He is a noted expert in many fields including: LED package design, phosphors, LED measurement/reliability and IP matters. Eric currently works as an independent consultant in the LED industry and is a member of the IES, MRS, SPIE and OSA. He holds 30 US patents related to LED technology.


Friday, March 1, 11:45 AM - 12:00 PM

Philip Smallwood, Director of LED & Lighting Research Strategies Unlimited
CLOSING KEYNOTE: LED Lighting Market Review and Forecast
Mr. Philip Smallwood, Director of LED & Lighting Research Strategies Unlimited

Philip Smallwood is the Director of Research for the LEDs and Lighting Group at Strategies Unlimited, where he oversees the creation and completion of the group’s market research reports and is the author of several of the groups worldwide lighting reports. He has been invited to speak at several lighting and LED events in the US and Europe and was quoted in several periodicals, including The Economist, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. He has authored several leading lighting market reports that cover the overall lighting industry, from LED lamps to connected (smart) and horticultural lighting.