PM (product manager) is somehow crucial to development of a company, who decides what to do and what not to do, when to do and how to do. It seems that PM spends the most, it's also why, generally speaking, the PM is boss himself in most companies.
Go to ask your PM/boss: what will be the "next hot" after backlit panel? But, maybe the real situation in life is your boss/PM go to you to ask: what should we do for next product? Well, positioned as "lighting consultant", my answer would be: maybe "Linear Light".
But why "maybe linear light", not for sure? As "maybe" here means a lot, in a word, linear light is too complicated and very professional comapred with panel light/tube light/bulb.
But it could be a good potential to replace panel if one can really handle the "headaches":
1. Linear is not a single product, it's a lighting system, which consists of profile, strip (rigid / flexible), and driver; or the other trunking system type by light source module and trunk rail. This means: investment is huge, and it requires long term and focus, which are the exact reasons why many factories failed for their linear light project (Linear came to pepole's attention in 2016 due to Light+Building Show in Frankfurt, initially lauched by the international brands -> many factories rushed to show linear lighting solutions in Guangzhou Lighting Show in 2016 2 months later -> sereve fighting for this "small volume, but hot topic" segmentation market -> many new players in, but many more players out -> and noadays, real focused and professional players left, and serious new players in......)
2. Solution for endless persuit for seamless and full connectors, and menwhile, easy installation. Do you really have enough capability to work out such a solution? If yes, still far not enough, as it was only the first stage playing shreshhold for linear light! The market need more!
3. Smart mechanical and structural design is only the basics nowadays for linear lighting products, factories do have to explore more possibilities upon the changing market situatuon.
such as: water-proof to extend linear lighting applications