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Lightwave Labs: The Global Chip Shortage

29 October 2021 | Greig Silvester

Global Impact

You may have already heard the advice to start shopping early this year for Christmas because there are massive stock shortages on the horizon. Well, this is one of the main reasons. Microchips are at the centre of the tech industry; they are an integral component of any modern electronic device. There is currently a global shortage of microchips that is making a significant impact within every sector of the tech world. This involves car manufacturers, medical equipment providers and consumer electronics companies. As a leading pioneer of the Smart Home sector, Lightwave is also affected.

Many multinational and global firms were able to stockpile microchips at the beginning of the shortage, but the situation is dire for SME’s that aren’t in the same position. In some cases, chips that used to cost less than one US dollar have increased by over 2000%, and many are becoming increasingly scarce. Whether you’re producing a £60,000 SUV or a £60 Smart Dimmer, absorbing these exorbitant cost increases poses a challenge for any company. The most resilient tech firms now have to review their approach and make changes, which we’ve done at Lightwave.

Our Response

This shift has impacted our overall strategy, and most importantly – our product roadmap. We are ready to launch several of our most requested Smart Series devices including some very unique products. However, the current supply chain issues are causing the manufacturing process for these highly sought-after products to be stuck in limbo until the correct microchips can be sourced.

The shortage has hit the L2 Link Plus hub in particular. Each of its several microchips is dedicated to a specific function within the Lightwave system and our proprietary wireless protocol. Two of the L2 Link Plus chips are components that allow backwards compatibility with our first generation Connect Series devices. Due to chip shortages and cost increases, we have been forced to create a new variation of the Link Plus (the LP2). This version does not include the microchips needed for Connect Series backward compatibility.

Upgrading Connect Series Users

This temporary issue has the potential to alarm many of our existing Connect Series users who have yet to upgrade to the Smart Series. We want to assure our long-time loyal customers that there is no cause for concern. Although our remaining stock of L2’s is limited, we will allocate these backward compatible hubs specifically for those who wish to upgrade from Connect to Smart. In addition, we plan to continue producing the L2 once the availability of microchips increases. The LP2 variant will be dedicated to new Lightwave users.

If you are a Connect Series user who is considering upgrading at any point in the future, we’d appreciate registering your interest here. Depending on the demand, we will manufacture backward compatible hubs for those who are eager to upgrade.

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