Sports in the 1990s – Era of Technology, Greed and Perseverance and Sports Lighting Decor

The decade of the 1990s was the decade of technology. The sporting world and their stars made it into everyone’s home instantaneously and sports fans did not have to wait until the morning newspaper to see the results from the before or to read about their favoring sporting event, team or player. By the click of a mouse and with high-speed technology, the sporting news made it into fans home almost as fast as it happened. Fans lighted their homes with sports-themed lighting d├ęcor. In addition, television reached out to Americans 24 hours a day, seven days a week with the start and growth of cable television and 24 hour news, sports, and entertainment channels. American, as well, enjoyed a decade of relative peace and prosperity and the economy did skyrocket on the heels of dotcom and technology-related stocks. However, this did lead to some challenges in the sporting world.

With this economic spur, athletes began wanting more. They were able to move more freely amongst teams who would pay them the most money and a team’s success was often judged on how much money the owners spent to get the best players than on the player’s themselves. Fans began rooting for the uniform rather than the athletes themselves since athletes switched teams in a blink of an eye.

Michael Jordan became one of the wealthiest athletes with his endorsements and sneaker. This sparked even high school and underclassman college athletes wanting to get in the act of making money. More kids than ever left school early to play professional sports. And, for the first time ever, the World Series was cancelled to the argument over how to spend the billions of dollars sports owners were so-call hoarding for themselves.

Scandal also hit both athletes and Americans. The decade saw former football runner, O.J. Simpson, running form the law and former boxer, Michael Tyson raging inside a jail cell. You saw President Clinton fight against Monica Lewinsky. This brought to light racial issues still remaining in the sporting world. The fuss over Tiger Woods in golf world reminded us of how golf was mainly a games played by white. But, on the other hand, Americans of all colors celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the baseball’s great Jackie Robinson. In addition, women began proving themselves in sports with Olympic medals in softball, soccer and volleyball and the United States women’s soccer team 2 World Cup Championships – one even on US soil.

And, as American began looking into the next century and the challenges that might occur, they, as they have always done, turned to sports and athletes for inspiration and courage. They found this in cycling’s great Lance Armstrong, who won the grueling Tour de France after surviving cancer and when one-handed baseball pitcher Jim Abbott threw for a no-hitter in baseball.

Show your passion for sports by displaying sports memorabilia in your home. You can also add sports lamps and accessories to provide that illuminating light while showing off your team spirit and loyalty.

At Big Boxes, LED Lights Still Reflect the Big Name Lighting Manufacturers

Philips, Osram Sylvania, and GE. These are the three big names in the lighting industry and have been the largest players for years. With the rise of LED light bulbs, and the ban of new manufactures of common 60-watt incandescents, there was a chance for smaller players to break into the lighting market.

At big box stores like Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Menard’s, though, the shelves are stocked with only the big brands. Does the reason for this boil down to a branding or a technology issue?

In terms of the technology, LEDs would make an almost-perfect fit for electronic components manufacturers to edge into the lighting market. After all, LED technology is all over computers, circuit boards, and all sorts of components. Companies that manufacture these items have the potential for vertical integration of a lighting division.

Samsung is a perfect example of a company that started making LEDs, and currently has a line of them, but they are nonexistent to most consumers since they are not on the shelf at Walmart or Menard’s. In addition to candelabra and reflector bulbs, Samsung also created a line of general service replacement LEDs for 40-watt and 60-watt incandescent bulbs.

This indicates that the big names in lighting are big because consumers recognize them, so big boxes stock their products almost exclusively. It has been uncommon for other companies — large or small — to generate buzz in the lighting industry, with the recent rise in popularity of Cree being the exception that proves the rule. The vast majority of products stocked by most home improvement stores reflect the lighting industry’s brightest stars.

While Philips, GE, and Sylvania make excellent products (which is why they are so popular), consumers at big box home improvement stores are offered an extremely limited number of options when shopping for LED lights. Now that LEDs are mainstream and coming down in price, the opportunity is huge online but seemingly limited in retail stores.

This is why LED shoppers have to go online and do their own research to find what are often very competitive options. Most manufacturers offer long warranties for their bulbs, from three to five years, making it attractive for consumers to switch from the older to newer technology. Besides tradition and name-brand recognition, there is little reason to shop blindly for LEDs through only the big three lighting companies.

At least in this first round of LED development, the big three remain at the top of the food chain. As lighting technology continues to increase, will we see more players jump into the market? Cree’s popularity indicates that there may be more room in the future for lighting companies to break through the mainstream and start appearing on store shelves.