This Week’s Sponsor

Product Monday: Healthcare Light by Focal Point

A collaboration with Curbell Medical Products, Focal Point’s Apollo 8 LED is an 8” x 4’ linear recessed LED luminaire available in three configurations to support common considerations for healthcare design: comfort, function, safety, sustainability, and health and wellness.

A collaboration with Curbell Medical Products, Focal Point’s Apollo 8 LED is an 8” x 4’ linear recessed LED luminaire available in three configurations to support common considerations for healthcare design: comfort, function, safety, sustainability, and health and wellness.

Its clean form with soft curves imparts visual appeal, while its durable construction meets clinical requirements. A smooth acrylic diffuser with internal ribs provides even illumination and easy wipe down. The secure lens, silicone gasket, and antimicrobial finish ensure protection from contamination and inhibit microorganism growth. Utilizing an asymmetric focusing optic, the exam function delivers shadow-free, uniform illumination onto patient beds. Meanwhile, the reading light is strategically angled for optimal surface plane illuminance and patient comfort.

Apollo 8 LED provides flexibility with various color temperatures (3000K – 5000K), standard options of 80 and 90 CRI, and efficiencies greater than 100 LPW for all configurations. As part of the Right Light™ program from Focal Point, Apollo 8 LED contains tunable drivers to allow for custom wattage and lumen outputs to be specified within the standard range.

Click here to learn more.

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ACTLD’s Koert Vermuelen Talks Lighting and Architecture

In this video, Koert Vermeulen, principal designer and founder of ACTLD, talks about lighting and architecture, touching on subjects such as emotions and context.

In this video, Koert Vermeulen, principal designer and founder of ACTLD, talks about lighting and architecture, touching on subjects such as emotions and context.

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LRC Study Evaluates the Blue-Light Hazard From Solid-State Lighting

The increasing popularity of LED technology has raised concerns about retinal damage via a mechanism known as blue-light hazard. Research conducted by the Lighting Research Center demonstrated in a majority of cases LED lighting does not present a greater risk of blue-light hazard than traditional sources such as incandescent.

LED technology has ignited widespread interest in the ways that lighting can offer benefits to people, including improved visibility at night, enhanced perceptions of brightness and security, and spectral tuning for management of circadian rhythms. Yet, as illustrated in a recent report from the American Medical Association (AMA), the increasing popularity of LED lighting is also raising new questions and reviving older concerns about unwanted impacts of these light sources, such as light pollution, discomfort glare, circadian disruption, and retinal damage via a mechanism known as blue-light hazard.

A new study from the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute takes a practical, quantitative approach to evaluating light sources for blue-light hazard. Results of the study are published in the International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, in an article titled, “Evaluating the Blue-Light Hazard from Solid State Lighting.”

In the study, LRC researchers John Bullough, Andrew Bierman and Mark Rea evaluate the spectral radiant power characteristics of incandescent, fluorescent, LED and daylight sources in terms of current blue-light hazard calculation procedures from the Illuminating Engineering Society and the Commission Internationale de l´Éclairage. The paper provides comparative data to allow meaningful and quantitative comparisons among light sources commonly experienced indoors and outdoors. Particular attention is given to use cases that could potentially affect blue-light hazard.

The study results showed that in the majority of use cases, LEDs do not exhibit greater risk for blue-light hazard than other light sources, including incandescent. LEDs present no special concerns for blue-light hazard over other common light sources in typical use cases because our natural photophobic responses, such as squinting and averting the gaze, limit exposure to bright light. Where photophobic responses might not occur, such as during eye surgery or with premature infants, caution is needed.

Some organizations, such as the AMA, have advised against using LEDs with correlated CCT exceeding 3000K, however, the LRC study found that avoiding blue-light hazard is primarily related to controlling the radiance of light sources, and much less related to spectral distribution, particularly when expressed in terms of CCT.

The LRC study authors note that CCT should not be used as a metric for characterizing the potential for blue-light hazard, citing the fact that an incandescent filament at 2856K within a clear bulb is associated with a greater risk for blue-light hazard than any white LED source, including one of 6500K. The spectral radiance distribution must be known to estimate blue-light hazard, particularly for those cases where photophobic responses might not occur. In these cases, and indeed for general lighting applications, the study authors recommend the use of lenses, baffles, and diffusers to mitigate glare as the primary methods for reducing the risk of blue-light hazard.

Click here to learn more.

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National Lighting Bureau Launches 38th High-Benefit Lighting Awards Program

The 38th annual High-Benefit Lighting Awards Program is now underway. Sponsored by the National Lighting Bureau, this unique program is open to lighting practitioners associated with a new or upgraded illumination system that provides substantial benefits. Entries must be received by the no later than December 31, 2017.

The 38th annual High-Benefit Lighting Awards Program is now underway. Sponsored by the National Lighting Bureau, this unique program is open to lighting practitioners associated with a new or upgraded illumination system that provides substantial benefits.

The Bureau coined the term High-Benefit Lighting to connote “function-focused” electric-illumination systems that are designed to fulfill the specific purposes for which they will be used, especially to maximize bottom-line returns for those who own, manage, and/or rely on the lighting.

For consideration in the 2017 High-Benefit Lighting Awards Program, an entry must be received by the National Lighting Bureau no later than December 31, 2017. An entry should document how modification of an existing lighting system or installation of a new one achieved some of the many bottom-line benefits of High-Benefit Lighting, such as improved productivity, increased retail sales, or fewer accidents.

Click here to submit an entry.

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Architecture Billings Index Dips into Contractionary Territory

After seven months of steady growth in the demand for design services, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) paused in September.

After seven months of steady growth in the demand for design services, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) paused in September. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate 9- to 12-month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the September ABI score was 49.1, down from a score of 53.7 in the previous month. This score reflects a slight decrease in design services provided by U.S. architecture firms (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 59.0, down from a reading of 62.5 the previous month, while the new design contracts index eased somewhat from 54.2 to 52.9.

“We’ve seen unexpectedly strong numbers in design activity for most of 2017, so the pause in September should be viewed in that context” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “Project inquiries and new design contracts remain healthy, and the continued strength in most sectors and regions indicates stability industry-wide.”

Key September ABI highlights:

• Regional averages: Northeast (56.9), South (54.0), Midwest (50.4), West (48.8)
• Sector index breakdown: commercial / industrial (54.0), mixed practice (52.2), multi-family residential (51.0), institutional (51.0)
• Project inquiries index: 59.0
• Design contracts index: 52.9

(The regional and sector categories are calculated as a 3-month moving average, whereas the national index, design contracts and inquiries are monthly numbers.)

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Product Monday: Disinfectant Technology LED Downlight by Kenall

Kenall’s MEIC series of ceiling-mounted luminaires kills harmful bacteria, including MRSA, in emergency departments, procedure/exam rooms, pharmacies, and waiting areas.

Kenall’s Indigo-Clean™ continuous environmental disinfection technology has expanded its range of solutions into critical healthcare applications beyond the Operating Room. The new MDLIC6 Series downlight features technology proven to kill 70% of C.diff in 24 hours (SGS Lab Report # – 09S17053798), making the downlight ideal for patient bathrooms, a particular hotspot for the bacteria. The MEIC series of ceiling-mounted luminaires kills harmful bacteria, including MRSA, in emergency departments, procedure/exam rooms, pharmacies, and waiting areas.

Unlike UV technology, these luminaires combine white ambient light with safe 405nm Indigo light to continuously and automatically kill harmful bacteria, including MRSA, C diff, and ESKAPE pathogens. They are part of a comprehensive portfolio of lighting products developed exclusively by Kenall that utilize this new technology.

Click here to learn more.

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Marine Veteran Ran Against Virginia GOP Incumbent Because of Experience with Lighting Control System

Tuesday’s elections had a number of upsets, one of which was Democrat Lee Carter winning a 9-point victory over a Republican incumbent for a Delegate seat in the Virginia legislature. His decision to run for political office was inspired by his experience installing a lighting control system connected to a miswired lighting control panel.

Tuesday’s elections had a number of upsets, one of which was Democrat Lee Carter, a Marine veteran and Democratic Socialist, winning a 9-point victory over Delegate Jackson Miller, a Republican incumbent who is the House Majority Whip. His decision to run for political office was inspired by the aftermath of an injury he received installing a lighting control system connected to a miswired lighting control panel.

New Republic has the story here. Here’s what he said:

“I was installing lighting control systems and I got shocked because the lighting control panel I was working on was miswired by an electrician,” [Carter] told [the article’s author] in Manassas last month. “I got a 245-volt shock—in one hand, out the other—right across the chest.” He blew out his back in the incident. He could barely walk for months. His frustrating battle with the state to get workers’ compensation for his injury inspired him to enter politics. “When I was able to walk again … I decided I’m not just going to walk. I’m going to run for something because nobody should have to go through this.”

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Rebates for Networked Lighting Controls

My lighting column in the October issue of ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR describes the DesignLights Consortium’s market transformation program aimed at networked lighting controls and describes the first utility rebates promoting the technology.

Based on utility interest in increasing energy savings by using networked lighting controls, the DesignLights Consortium (DLC) launched an ambitious market transformation program focusing on a specification for networked lighting controls that utility rebates programs can use to qualify products, channel training focusing on contractors and distributors, and providing reliable data to guide energy savings estimates. These efforts are starting to germinate.


My lighting column in the October issue of ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR describes the DLC’s program and the first utility rebates targeting the technology. Read it here.

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New Buildings Institute Releases Model Stretch Building Code

The New Buildings Institute (NBI) recently released a model stretch building code that targets 20% better efficiency than current national building energy codes.

The New Buildings Institute (NBI) recently released a model stretch building code that targets 20% better efficiency than current national building energy codes. The new 20% Stretch Code offers jurisdictions a set of energy-saving building strategies that cover design aspects such as envelope, mechanical, water heating, lighting and plug loads.

The 20% Stretch Code is one of a set of building codes being developed by NBI that provide increasing stringency. The set gives cities and states the basis for maximizing energy savings in both commercial and residential projects over the course of several code development cycles allowing the market to prepare and gain experience with new efficiency practices and technologies.

The stretch code is designed as an “overlay” code to integrate with existing national model energy codes for residential and commercial construction, such as the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 90.1. Cities and states can choose to adopt the entire stretch code or parts of it through their existing code review process. It generally takes legislative action, or state or local code council approval for new building codes to be adopted. State and local governments can also make stretch code adoption voluntary, and incentivize owners and builders to follow the code.

The model code was designed to exceed 90.1-2013 by 20%, but I’m not sure how it fares compared to 90.1-2016, which achieved energy savings, with a significant lighting contribution.

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Jim Brodrick on LED Outdoor Area Lighting

Outdoor area lighting is a major contributor to nationwide energy use, and the market segment has been an important player in the transition to SSL. DOE’s CALiPER program has released a new Snapshot report on outdoor area lighting that covers LED area/roadway luminaires, parking garage luminaires, and canopy luminaires.

Republication of Postings from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solid-State Lighting Program

by Jim Brodrick, SSL Program Manager, U.S. Department of Energy

Outdoor area lighting is a major contributor to nationwide energy use, and the market segment has been an important player in the transition to SSL. DOE’s CALiPER program has released a new Snapshot report on outdoor area lighting that covers LED area/roadway luminaires, parking garage luminaires, and canopy luminaires.

Snapshot reports draw from DOE’s LED Lighting Facts database, which now includes more than 52,000 registered products. LED outdoor area lighting has been a major component of that database since the LED Lighting Facts program’s inception, consistently being one of the categories with the most products. The new Snapshot shows that as of August 29, 2016, area/roadway products alone comprised 15% of the entire database, with the other two product categories featured in the report comprising approximately 4%.

Lately, outdoor area lighting has been making news because of concerns about the difference in spectrum between conventional and LED sources (see June 21st Posting on that topic). Although LED Lighting Facts does not capture data for products’ spectral power distributions, which limits examination of these issues in the new Snapshot, understanding the basic characteristics of available products is more important now than ever before.

LED outdoor area luminaires now easily outclass conventional products, such as fixtures using high-pressure sodium (HPS) lamps, in terms of energy efficiency. Some LED products offer the same amount of light for one-third of the power of an HPS-based luminaire, more so for lower-output versions such as 70W HPS. At the same time, they can provide superior color rendering, which can improve visibility. As the energy efficiency of LED outdoor area lighting has improved, there has also been a shift toward products with a warmer color temperature, which is perhaps a response to concerns about glare, uplight, and the health effects of nighttime lighting.

The three types of luminaires discussed in detail in the new Snapshot report are the core products used to light surfaces or large areas outdoors or in parking garages, and are categories where LED technology has made significant inroads. According to the DOE report Adoption of Light-Emitting Diodes in Common Lighting Applications, LED outdoor lighting accounted for 10.1% of installed stock in 2014. By 2015, that number was 17.9%.

Roadway lighting was one of the first major product categories to see competitive LED products, with GATEWAY demonstration projects dating back to 2007. While those early products are inferior to what’s available today, they provided an important starting point for a product type that’s now seeing widespread deployment and providing substantial energy savings. Using the LED Lighting Facts database, it’s possible to track and understand how performance has changed over time. As with the broader set of products, the efficacy of LED outdoor area products continues to improve. Mean efficacies for the three product categories are between 93 and 98 lm/W, with some products as high as 150 lm/W. This has occurred simultaneously with decreases in mean CCT. While many early LED area lighting products were 5000K or higher, there’s been a measurable shift toward 4000K products, and there is now a sizeable percentage of products available at 3000K or lower.

Looking at comparative changes in efficacy, output, and power indicates some differences in the state of development for the three product types. For area/roadway lighting, average output and power continue to increase, perhaps reflecting the emergence of LEDs in applications where greater output is needed, such as high-mast lighting. In contrast, the average output for parking garage and canopy luminaires has remained relative steady over the past few years, indicating that LED products can already meet all demands of the application.

Across the board, LED luminaires offer an energy-efficient alternative to luminaires using HPS lamps, and they simultaneously offer improved color-rendering characteristics. Numerous LED products with a nominal CCT of 3000K or less are available with an efficacy greater than 100 lm/W. Although it’s not analyzed in the new Snapshot report, LED products often require fewer lumens to produce equivalent illuminance levels on the surface they are lighting, thanks to better luminous intensity distributions than lamp-based luminaires. All these trends indicate a broader range of choices for specifiers, which allows improved balancing of competing needs.

For a closer look at the findings, download the full report.

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