Solid state lighting (SSL) systems are set to begin competing with a number of mature lighting technologies in mainstream markets for narrow- and wide-area illumination. The paper provides a summary overview of the present state of the established illumination lighting sector in terms of its scale and global energy usage, and its core technologies and their major performance characteristics. The established technologies are themselves still evolving in response generally to growing, world-wide, legislative and environmental pressures, and also, no doubt, to the stimulus provided by the rapid advances in the performance of white-LED modules. Several promising new thermal and discharge lamp technologies are identified and discussed briefly.
2008 The Illuminating Engineering Institute of Japan