DOE Publishes GATEWAY Report on Tunable Lighting in Three Texas Classrooms

The U.S. Department of Energy’s GATEWAY program has released a new report on a trial installation of tunable-white LED lighting systems in three classrooms in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District in Carrollton, TX, which provides valuable insights into the use of this technology in a real-world setting.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s GATEWAY program has released a new report on a trial installation of tunable-white LED lighting systems in three classrooms in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District in Carrollton, TX, which provides valuable insights into the use of this technology in a real-world setting.

The LED systems were installed in August 2016 and provide the ability to vary the spectral power distribution (SPD) across four preset conditions associated with nominal CCTs of 3000 K, 3500 K, 4200 K, and 5000 K. The controls also provide for preset scenes to vary the on/off status and dimming level of different luminaire zones within the room, to better support such classroom functions as audiovisual presentations.

Among the findings:

• The reduction in input power for the tunable-white LED lighting system was estimated to be 58% relative to the incumbent fluorescent system, and was attributable to the higher efficacy of the LED luminaires and a reduction in illuminances, which previously exceeded IES-recommended levels.
• Dimming furthered the energy savings in each classroom.
• While the teachers’ usage of the controls varied widely as recorded by the monitoring system, in each case the lighting consistently operated with all or some of the luminaires turned off or dimmed for portions of the school day.
• When the control locations were more easily accessed by the teacher, the dimming level was varied more regularly.
• The teachers used the scene controls regularly but used the SPD controls infrequently.
• Color consistency for the tunable-white LED luminaires was very good, even over the dimming range, with only minor variations in CCT and Duv.
• The two teachers interviewed by DOE appreciated the ability to tailor the lighting to different classroom needs, and felt that the lighting and controls allowed the students to be engaged in choosing the settings for various classroom activities. Both teachers stated that the lighting system improved the overall learning environment.

Click here to get the report.

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LEDVANCE’s LaSpina on Upgrading Troffers to LED

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Alfred LaSpina, LED product group marketing manager, LEDVANCE. The topic: options for upgrading fluorescent troffers to LED.

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Alfred LaSpina, LED product group marketing manager, LEDVANCE. The topic: options for upgrading fluorescent troffers to LED. I’m happy to share his responses with you here. The interview informed an article I wrote for the May 2017 issue of tED Magazine.

DiLouie: What basic choices do building owners have to upgrade existing troffer-based fluorescent lighting systems to LED?

LaSpina: Building owners who want to upgrade existing troffer-based fluorescent lighting systems to LED have two options – using direct lamp replacements with the existing ballast or using retrofit kits which include their own driver and require ballast bypass.

DiLouie: How would you categorize LED troffer/panel products aimed at replacing fluorescent troffers?

LaSpina: LED troffer/panel products aimed at replacing fluorescent troffers can be easy to install, with some troffer retrofit kits done in under 4 minutes. They offer a variety of décor choices, meaning you can maintain the same look or create a new one, both while having the same light quality. These LED solutions can also easily give you dimming functionality and eliminate ballast incompatibility issues.

DiLouie: What are typical energy savings and other advantages of replacing fluorescent troffers with LED troffers/panels?

LaSpina: LED Panels and Troffer Retrofit Kits are energy-saving, environmentally-preferable LED alternatives for retrofitting traditional fluorescent lens troffers with an average energy savings of around 45 – 50 percent and cost savings between $300 – $400 over the lifetime of the product, depending on the existing system. These can also offer building owners the opportunity to change the look of the space if desired.

DiLouie: What are the disadvantages of replacing the troffer with an LED luminaire compared to TLED lamps and retrofit kits?

LaSpina: One of the main disadvantages of replacing a fluorescent troffer with an LED luminaire compared to an LED lamp or retrofit kit is cost, not just the higher initial cost of the luminaire but also labor costs. If you are replacing just the lamps, it can be done quickly and easily by following the instructions. Replacing the whole luminaire requires an electrician as you would need to bypass the existing ballast and wire in the new luminaire.

DiLouie: What are conditions under which replacing the luminaire would be ideal as opposed to replacing the lamps?

LaSpina: Replacing a luminaire would be ideal as opposed to replacing the lamp when you have an aging fixture that has reduced lumen efficacy because the fixture is absorbing more of the light. Replacing the luminaire is also an easy way to jump start the décor of the space and deliver a modern aesthetic. Another reason would be if you have ballasts that are reaching end of life possibly making it more cost effective to replace the entire luminaire.

Depending on the space and light needed there are multiple options including Edge-Lit Panel luminaires with a slim design for tight ceiling spaces or more traditional looking luminaires.

DiLouie: How would you categorize TLED lamps and retrofit kits aimed at replacing fluorescent lamps in fluorescent troffers?

LaSpina: TLED lamp and retrofit kits are energy-saving replacements for fluorescent T12 or T8 lamps with innovative optical and mechanical designs that achieve a light distribution pattern that minimizes lumen loss when installed in fluorescent luminaires.

TLED lamps and retrofit kits are have three UL categories – Type A which are the replacement lamps which offer energy savings and minimal labor costs; Type B are the internal driver lamps that offer low long term maintenance and energy savings; and Type C which are the External Driver lamps (or Retrofit Kits) where you would replace both the lamp and ballast at the same time and typically have a higher LPW and longer life as well as low maintenance. Building owners would need to review their energy, design and budget objectives for the space to decide which option would work best for them.

DiLouie: What are typical energy savings and other advantages of replacing fluorescent lamps with TLED lamps and retrofit kits?

LaSpina: TLED lamps have a long rated life of up to 60,000 hours (L70), reduce energy usage by up to 40 percent, contain no mercury or UV emissions, and provide instant light. Direct replacements for traditional fluorescent T8 lamps with no ballast replacement, like the SYLVANIA SubstiTUBE IPS LED T8 lamps, are plug and play, offer the quickest installation, and don’t require electrical or structural modification of the existing fixture.

LED Troffer Retrofit Kits are energy-saving, environmentally-preferable LED alternatives for retrofitting traditional fluorescent lens troffers with an average energy savings of 49 percent and $329 of the lifetime of the product. The kits also last up to 2 times longer than traditional fluorescent sources. The advantages of replacing fluorescent lamps with an LED troffer retrofit kit are that it utilizes the existing troffer which saves money, bypasses the existing ballast to eliminate ballast compatibility issues, and avoids the need to work above the ceiling. These factors make it an economic and fast replacement option. The best applications for this are existing and new construction settings when you don’t want to change the aesthetics.

DiLouie: What are the disadvantages of replacing the lamps in a fluorescent troffer with TLED lamps instead of replacing the luminaire?

LaSpina: One potential disadvantage of replacing fluorescent lamps with LED lamps instead of replacing the luminaire is the ballast compatibility. Working with a lighting manufacturer that provides an extensive ballast compatibility list for their TLEDs will ensure you have lamps that work with the existing ballasts.

DiLouie: What are conditions under which replacing the lamps with TLED lamps instead of replacing the luminaire would be ideal?

LaSpina: If you are trying to maintain your current look in a space, are looking for a fast and easy installation, have budget restrictions, or are spot relamping in a massive building, TLED lamps are a great option. Our goal is to always find ways to better serve our distributor and contractor customers when they want to replace traditional tube lighting with LED.

DiLouie: What control options exist for TLED lamps and retrofit kits?

LaSpina: TLED lamps can offer 0-10V dimming when using a dimmable ballast, and LED retrofit kits have wireless, 0-10V and phase cut dimming.

DiLouie: If you could tell all electrical distributors just one thing about retrofitting fluorescent troffers to LED, what would it be?

LaSpina: Know the goals of your customer. Are their main priorities energy savings, a new look for the space, or ROI options and total cost of ownership at end of life? This will help you pick the right solution for the application. If you tie it to utility rebates, it is even better for customer.

LED lamps are now being produced with optimized glass optics that mimic the light distribution and looks of traditional lamps. This offers customers the look they’ve come to know with the energy-saving features of LEDs.

LEDVANCE has expanded its award-winning SYLVANIA SubstiTUBE LED product line making it even easier for companies to save money by either replacing traditional tubes to reduce their energy costs or in new construction that want the latest lighting products, in addition to lower labor and recycling costs. SubstiTUBE LED solutions have a long rated life up to 60,000 hours (L70), reduce energy usage by up to 40 percent, contain no mercury or UV emissions, and provide instant light. New additions include a dimmable glass LED T8, a LED T5HO which offers the highest efficacy on the market of its kind, an LED Ubend replacement for traditional fluorescent T8 lamps, and DULUX L LED TT5 lamps. These are ideal for a wide range of applications including general illumination, cove lighting, display cases, parking garages, warehouses and tunnels.

DiLouie: Is there anything else you’d like to add about this topic?

LaSpina: Make sure you are working with a supplier with a proven history of quality and lighting expertise. As more and more startups are pouring LED lamps and retrofit kits into the market, it is easy to be overwhelmed or be tempted to have price be the deciding factor. Take into consideration warranty, quality of service, and commitment to your business.

Inventory control continues to be something to be mindful of in regards to LED products. While you are working with your end users, tie in your sales rep early to work together to make sure your supplier has the right products and qualities at the right time.

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Presentation Proposals are Being Accepted for LEDucation 2018

LEDucation 2018 planning is in full swing and you are invited to share your knowledge and expertise on subjects related to and about LED Lighting. Speaking proposals are due November 19, 2017.

LEDucation 2018 planning is in full swing and you are invited to share your knowledge and expertise on subjects related to and about LED Lighting.

Speaking proposals are due November 19, 2017.

Click here to learn more.

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Networked Lighting: Changing the Game

The energy savings potential of networked lighting controls has attracted interest from utilities, prompting the DesignLights Consortium (DLC) to develop a market transformation program that may prove a game changer in the industry.

Below is my column published in the October issue of tED Magazine on the topic of the DesignLights Consortium’s networked lighting controls program. What’s new this year: an updated specification and new rebates centered on this technology. Reprinted with permission.

A networked lighting control system consists of an intelligent network of individually addressable luminaires and control devices. Potential advantages include cost-effective application of multiple control strategies, programmability, building- or enterprise-level control from a single point, zoning and rezoning using software, and measuring and monitoring.

First developed for fluorescent lighting, these systems were inhibited by interoperability, lack of familiarity, complexity, and cost issues. As a result, the Department of Energy (DOE) estimated current market adoption in the installed lighting base at <1 percent, focused mostly in larger commercial buildings.

The controllability of the LED source, coupled with falling costs related to integrating sensing, micro-processing, and networking, resulted in renewed interest in networked lighting control. Today, it is a major product trend among lighting manufacturers, with a wide range of solutions on display at LIGHFAIR 2017 in Philadelphia. These systems may be wired or wireless; interior or exterior; focus control on the luminaire, room or building or enterprise; and stand alone or integrate with other building systems. These systems have developed to reduce complexity, commissioning, and installed cost, positioning them as suitable even for small projects.

DOE regards connected lighting as a major energy savings opportunity that will eventually replace traditional single- and multiple-strategy controls as well as energy management systems. In its 2016 Energy Savings Forecast of Solid-State Lighting in General Illumination Applications report, DOE forecasted market penetration in the installed lighting base to reach 15 percent in 2020, 31 percent in 2025, and 59 percent in 2035, with the commercial building sector leading adoption. This translates to connected controls accounting for one-third of all LED energy savings by 2035.

However, DOE recognized issues inhibiting adoption of connected lighting, such as interoperability. If industry does not address these inhibitors, DOE significantly downgrades its adoption forecast. In 2015, DOE announced the Connected Lighting Systems Initiative, through which it is working with industry on energy reporting, interoperability, system configuration complexity, and new features. More recently, DOE also launched the Connected Lighting Test Bed, which provides a platform offering testing and data to industry to facilitate development.

The energy savings potential of networked lighting controls has also attracted interest from utilities, prompting the DesignLights Consortium (DLC) to develop a market transformation program that may prove a game changer in the industry.

Qualified Products List

Billions of dollars each year are allocated to lighting rebates, making them influential in the lighting market, particularly in existing construction. With some 100 utilities as members, the DLC maintains the Qualified Products List (QPL), a list of LED products that satisfy strict performance criteria. Utilities use the QPL to qualify products for rebates.

In May 2016, the DLC released a specification for networked lighting controls that formed the basis for a dedicated QPL. In turn, this positioned networked lighting controls for rebate programs. Utilities already promote lighting controls but are looking for ways to save energy beyond energy codes, resulting in interest in high-performing LED products and networked controls.

Recognizing standardization among products is lacking, the DLC developed a flexible specification. Systems are listed with “required” and “reported” capabilities. Required interior networked control system capabilities include luminaire and device addressability and networking; continuous dimming; zoning; and occupancy sensing, daylight harvesting and high-end trim control. Further, the solution must be commercially available and supported by a minimum five-year warranty.

Reported capabilities provide additional information. These include control persistence; building automation system integration; energy and/or device monitoring (and remote diagnostics); user interface type; operating and standby power; and scheduling, load shedding, personal, and plug-load control.

In June 2017, the DLC released version 2.0 of the specification, which built upon V1.0 to add requirements for exterior lighting control systems and adding new information such as application program interface (API), color tuning, start-up and configuration, and security information. The most significant change is in differentiating interior and exterior systems with separate required and reported features. For example, the DLC requires interior systems to have occupancy sensing but requires exterior systems to have either occupancy- or traffic-sensing capability.

Required and reported networked lighting control system capabilities for interior systems (top) and exterior systems (bottom).

The result is a list of products utilities can use for rebate programs and distributors can use as a tool to compare highly individualized solutions from manufacturers in a standardized format. As of August 2017, the QPL listed 19 products from 15 manufacturers; these products were in the process of being re-qualified based on the new specification.

“For building designers, specifiers, distributors, contractors, and end-users, the new QPL provides a valuable tool to identify and compare potential control systems for their projects based on their capabilities and characteristics,” said Gabe Arnold, PE, LC, Technical Director, DLC. “All of the listed systems have been carefully reviewed to meet minimum performance standards, will provide significant energy savings, and are pre-qualified for utility rebates.”

Rebates

Arnold said more than 20 energy efficiency programs now require networked control systems be on the QPL. His main goal, however, is for new rebate programs to be created promoting the technology.

As of August 2017, about a dozen rebates had been created by utilities and programs such as Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE), EVERSOURCE, Mass Save, National Grid, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), and Wisconsin Focus on Energy. Though a DLC goal is program standardization, there is currently no consistent approach among utilities as they experiment with models.

“We are excited about the momentum we are hearing about from the utilities and energy efficiency programs,” Arnold said. “Most of them are actively looking at how to incorporate the technology and QPL resource. They see this technology as essential to achieving their current and future energy efficiency goals. That said, it will take time for some utilities to develop these new rebates because this technology is not as simple as incorporating an LED light fixture measure into a program.”

Baltimore Gas & Electric, for example, takes a simple prescriptive approach. It awards $50-80 for a DLC-qualified LED troffer. Customers can earn another $40 per luminaire if they incorporate DLC-qualified luminaire controls.

PG&E’s LED Accelerator Program bases its networked lighting control rebates on energy saved. It awards $0.17 per kWh and $150 per kW if DLC Premium luminaires are installed. The rebate increases to $0.24 per kWh and $150 per kW if DLC-qualified networked lighting controls are also installed.

Wisconsin Focus on Energy, meanwhile, rolled out a rebate based on an entirely new approach. Customers can receive either a $0.125 or $0.25 per square foot rebate if a DLC-qualified networked control system is installed, depending on the application. An additional $0.05 per square foot can be earned if the system features energy monitoring capability and the customer agrees to share energy data with the utility or energy efficiency program.

“We see the utilities serving a critical role in accelerating the adoption of the technology, both near and long term,” Arnold said. “As they did with the introduction of LED, many utilities will offer higher-than-normal rebates at the early stages to jumpstart the technology adoption. This will in turn help drive greater volume, and with this greater volume will come lower costs, more utilities and rebates, and ultimately widespread adoption. In a few short years, we even expect some utilities to begin requiring networked lighting controls to be installed in order to access any lighting rebates.”

Other tools

Arnold pointed out that the DLC has launched two additional support programs to facilitate adoption of networked lighting controls.

The DLC is currently developing an energy savings database using energy savings data collected from more than 120 commercial buildings. The first report will be published in September 2017.

“The report will provide estimates of energy savings by building type, and, as the dataset allows, by more granular characteristics such as space type, geographic region, control strategy, etc.,” said Arnold. “It will be essential for rebate programs to able to plan, justify, and build new programs and rebates for networked lighting controls. For industry, this dataset and report will provide a credible third-party resource that can be used to estimate the savings from advanced control systems.”

Finally, the DLC developed channel training about networked lighting controls specifically aimed at electrical distributors and contractors.

“This is an important group to reach since they are the trusted experts for a huge numbers of buildings,” Arnold said. “When customers ask, ‘What should I install?’, their recommendations decide what does and doesn’t get installed. In addition, many of them are unfamiliar, even wary, of some of these new networked lighting control technologies.”

A goal of the training, in fact, is to convey that newer networked control systems have solved old problems such as complexity, confusion, and high cost of installation and commissioning.

The training will become available through several utilities in the spring of 2018 as a pilot program before becoming widely available both as face-to-face sessions and as an online program by end of spring.

Networked controls

With rebates, third-party energy savings estimates, and training, demand for networked lighting controls in existing commercial buildings is expected to increase. The DLC’s goal is for these control systems to go from controlling a small minority of installed lighting to widespread adoption.

For more information and to view the QPL, visit www.designlights.org. If you have networked lighting control energy savings data you would like to share with the DLC, contact them at info@designlights.org.

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Product Monday: LED Flat Panel Retrofit Kits by Espen

Espen Technology’s 2X2 and 2X4 VersaKIT LED Flat Panel Retrofit Kits offer DLC listing, even light distribution and a five-year warranty. Featuring Espen drivers and modules, the flat panel retrofit comes completely assembled, utilizes the existing troffer housing to reduce labor time & expense, and can be installed from below the ceiling.

Espen Technology’s 2X2 and 2X4 VersaKIT LED Flat Panel Retrofit Kits offer DLC listing, even light distribution and a five-year warranty. Featuring Espen drivers and modules, the flat panel retrofit comes completely assembled, utilizes the existing troffer housing to reduce labor time & expense, and can be installed from below the ceiling.

The 22W 2X2 edge-lit kits deliver 2750 lumens, while the 36W 2X4 models provide 4500 lumens. These kits are suitable for damp locations and are 0-10V dimmable.

Click here to learn more.

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IES Announces the Indispensable Lighting Series

The Illuminating Engineering Society recently announced a new webinar program designed to give members, educators and the general public access to information about quality lighting. The video recordings in the series can be used for IES Section Meetings, as an instructional supplement for introductory lighting courses in post-secondary settings, and for those who are interested in knowing more about lighting.

The Illuminating Engineering Society recently announced a new webinar program designed to give members, educators and the general public access to information about quality lighting.

The video recordings in the series can be used for IES Section Meetings, as an instructional supplement for introductory lighting courses in post-secondary settings, and for those who are interested in knowing more about lighting.

The first presentation in the Indispensable Lighting Series is a two-hour, two-part video entitled Architecture for Light by Kim and Paul Mercier. In Part One, Heirloom Ideas, Modern Semantics and Current Realizations, Kim and Paul examine design considerations for creating the built environment that embrace light. In Part Two, Lighting Design in the Era of Energy Codes, the authors discuss the lighting design process, integrated design, and explore case studies involving these concepts. Theses videos do not require a technical background or previous knowledge about lighting.

For IES Sections and other approved lighting education providers offering this video in face-to-face educational settings, attendees are eligible for 2 IES Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

Kim and Paul have authored a book by the same title as the video. For those who prefer having content in a tangible format, Architecture for Lighting is available in the IES store.

Click here to learn more. Click here to learn about other IES webinars.

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Solemma to Present Circadian Lighting Design Software at DIVA Day 2017

Solemma is working with sleep scientists at the Alertness CRC in Australian to develop circadian lighting design software geared to architects and lighting professionals. Called ALFA, the software will be demonstrated as a prototype at DIVA Day 2017 on October 27 at the University of California – Berkeley.

Solemma is working with sleep scientists at the Alertness CRC in Australian to develop circadian lighting design software geared to architects and lighting professionals. Called ALFA, the software will be demonstrated as a prototype at DIVA Day 2017 on October 27 at the University of California – Berkeley.

Click here to learn more.

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Architecture Billings Index Continues Growth Streak

With all geographic regions and building project sectors showing positive conditions, there continues to be a heightened level of demand for design services signaled in the latest Architecture Billings Index (ABI). The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the August ABI score was 53.7, up from a score of 51.9 in the previous month.

With all geographic regions and building project sectors showing positive conditions, there continues to be a heightened level of demand for design services signaled in the latest Architecture Billings Index (ABI). 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 August ABI score was 53.7, up from a score of 51.9 in the previous month. This score reflects an increase in design services provided by U.S. architecture firms (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 62.5, up from a reading of 59.5 the previous month, while the new design contracts index eased somewhat from 56.4 to 54.2.

“The August results continue a string of very positive readings from the design professions, pointing to future healthy growth across the major construction sectors, as well as across the major regions of the country,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “Given the focus and discussions around the infrastructure needs of the nation, we expect strong growth in design activity for the coming months and years.”

Key August ABI highlights:

• Regional averages: South (55.7), Northeast (54.3), Midwest (52.5), West (51.3)
• Sector index breakdown: commercial / industrial (57.6), multi-family residential (53.8), mixed practice (52.5), institutional (50.1)
• Project inquiries index: 62.5
• Design contracts index: 54.2

(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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Tackling Flicker

Flicker is an old lighting issue diminished by the mass adoption of fluorescent electronic ballasts and returned with the advent of LED sources. Photometric flicker is the modulation of light source intensity or output over time. Here’s an update on industry efforts to tackle the challenge, with a focus on the recently published NEMA standard.

Below is an article I wrote for the October issue of tED Magazine about industry efforts to tackle the challenge of LED flicker, with a focus on the recently published NEMA standard. Reprinted with permission.

Flicker is an old lighting issue diminished by the mass adoption of fluorescent electronic ballasts and returned with the advent of LED sources. Photometric flicker is the modulation of light source intensity or output over time.

Flicker may be external or internal to the lighting system. It may be visible (present in an immobile light source observed by an immobile observer) or stroboscopic (visible or invisible, and perceptible if the light source or observer is in motion). And its effects range from irritating to impairment, in some cases even if it is not perceptible by users. Studied have linked it to eyestrain, blurred vision and impaired performance. A small percentage of people is particularly susceptible and may suffer headaches and migraines. Flicker may also be problematic for videoconference applications, which use cameras.

The problem with LEDs is that, unlike traditional sources, they have no persistence. This means changes in forward current results in a nearly instant change in light output, potentially making flicker more pronounced.

Dimming LEDs is particularly concerning. Phase-control dimmers, which chop the AC waveform to produce dimming, may cause LEDs to rapidly cycle and produce flicker. If flicker is present, dimming may also make it more visibly pronounced, as flicker is more noticeable at lower light levels.

Generally, LED products featuring high-quality drivers that are properly paired with compatible controls will not produce objectionable flicker. These drivers are typically larger and more costly, however. In particular, digital controls generally do not induce flicker in the LED lighting system. So to minimize flicker, the electrical installation should minimize potential for electrical noise (external cause), feature LED products with high-quality drivers, and feature dimming controls are that are either digital or confirmed as compatible with the LED product. For maximum assurance, a test installation may be beneficial. Flicker can be measured in the field using specially designed handheld meters.

Due to the importance of this issue, the lighting industry required metrics and guidelines to help electrical professionals evaluate and specify appropriate products. In 2015, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) published IEEE PAR1789-2015, providing recommendations for minimizing flicker based on existing flicker metrics. These recommendations can be summarized as three major application needs: prevent seizures among light-sensitive people, limit other biological effects, and prevent these other effects. For each, IEEE recommends maximum percent flicker based on frequency.

After IEEE published its recommendations, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) released a position paper stating the IEEE recommendation is overly stringent for many applications, which could result in unnecessary additional cost to products due to more robust electronics required. In April 2017, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) published NEMA 77-2017, a new standard recommending a method for quantifying visibility of temporal light artifacts such as flicker and recommending application-based limits. The measurement methods and recommendations are applicable to all types of lighting (lamps, luminaires, etc.) and controls, though control methods and recommendations are limited to phase-cut dimming. It addresses visibility among human observers with limited speeds of motion. It does not address interference with equipment such as cameras, nor stroboscopic flicker.

Standards provide manufacturers a basis for testing and reporting and electrical professionals a basis for product evaluation, comparison and application. Recommendations give electrical professionals guidance to properly select products. This is important to the industry because if a lighting installation suffers from objectionable flicker, and that flicker is part of the LED product’s normal operation, typically the only recourse is product replacement. For this reason, distributors should vet LED products as posing a low risk of producing flicker before commitment. New methods and recommendations provide valuable tools to facilitate this vetting.

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Product Monday: Emergency Control for 0-10V Dimming by IOTA

IOTA’s ETS-DR emergency lighting control device for auxiliary generator and inverter supplies features the company’s “DR” dimming relay feature for 0-10V dimming applications. The ETS-DR allows for local switching or dimming controls on designated fixtures powered by an auxiliary supply. This eliminates the need for night lights or “always-on” fixtures.

IOTA’s ETS-DR emergency lighting control device for auxiliary generator and inverter supplies features the company’s “DR” dimming relay feature for 0-10V dimming applications. The ETS-DR allows for local switching or dimming controls on designated fixtures powered by an auxiliary supply. This eliminates the need for night lights or “always-on” fixtures, resulting in increased energy savings and regained control of interior lighting conditions without compromising emergency egress lighting requirements.

The 0-10V dimming relay allows the ETS-DR to accommodate both the local switch and the dimming control leads. In the event of a power loss, the ETS-DR will bypass the local control and dim settings and allow the fixture to operate at full brightness from the auxiliary or generator supply. Traditionally, applications such as this required two control devices – one for the normal circuit and one for the dimmed circuit – however, the ETS-DR eliminates the need for a second device, making it simpler to maintain Life Safety codes for these types of lighting scenarios.

The IOTA ETS-DR is qualified for loads up to 3A per NEMA 410, UL Listed for field and factory installation, and designed and manufactured to RoHS standards.

Click here to learn more.

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