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Product Monday: Alphabet by Artemide

Designed by Bjarke Ingels Group, Artemide’s Alphabet of Light is a new family of products that offers a “light font,” linear and round luminaire modules that can be combined to form letters, numbers, symbols, and more complex structures, with wall or suspended mounting. Very cool!

Designed by Bjarke Ingels Group, Artemide’s Alphabet of Light is a new family of products that offers a “light font,” linear and round luminaire modules that can be combined to form letters, numbers, symbols, and more complex structures, with wall or suspended mounting.

Click here to learn more.

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T8 Rules to Take Effect

In 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued new energy standards for general-service fluorescent lamps. These standards identify categories of lamps and impose minimum efficacies, expressed in lumens/W. Primarily impacting 4-ft. 32W T8 lamps and some reduced-wattage T8 lamps, the new standards are now set to take effect January 26, 2018.

Below is my contribution to the January 2018 issue of ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR.

In 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued new energy standards for general-service fluorescent lamps. These standards identify categories of lamps and impose minimum efficacies, expressed in lumens/W. Primarily impacting 4-ft. 32W T8 lamps and some reduced-wattage T8 lamps, the new standards are now set to take effect January 26, 2018.

The Energy Policy Act of 1992 regulated general-service fluorescent lamps and granted DOE rule-making authority. In 2009, DOE expanded coverage to include 8-ft. T8 and 4-ft. T5 lamps as well as a broader range of wattages of 4-ft. T8 and T12 lamps. Effective July 2012, these rules eliminated a majority of T12 lamps. Lower-color rendering (700 series) 4-ft. T8 lamps also did not comply, but DOE granted a two-year exemption to manufacturers that requested it.

The 2015 rules tightened existing energy standards for 4-ft. linear T8, 2-ft. U-bend T8, 4-ft. linear T5, and 4-ft. linear T5HO lamps. Minimum required efficacy for T8 lamps increased one to four percent, a modest increase but up to the maximum technology level. Minimum required efficacy for T5 lamps increased seven to 10+ percent. Eight-foot lamps saw no increase. DOE extended the range of covered wattages for 8-ft. single-pin lamps and 4-ft. T5 and T5HO lamps.

Existing exemptions will continue to apply, including 1) lamps designed to promote plant growth, 2) lamps designed specifically for cold-temperature applications, 3) colored lamps, 4) impact-resistant lamps, 5), reflectorized or aperture lamps, 6) lamps designed for reprographic applications, 7) UV lamps, and 8) lamps with a CRI of 87 or higher.

The regulations provided a three-year window for manufacturers to evaluate their products and either discontinue or reengineer them to comply. Eliminations were expected, which may affect lamp availability and cost, though popular models may continue to be available. After January 26, distributors may continue to sell lamps manufactured or imported before that date until inventories are exhausted.

Four-foot linear T8 lamps: At the time of regulation, a majority of these lamps passed the new standards. These were primarily 25W, 28W, and 30W lamps, however; basic-grade 32W T8 lamps did not comply and would need to be redesigned or discontinued. Similarly, 32W lamps designed to offer extended life. Lamps with lower color temperatures were disproportionately affected.

If the installation uses continuous-dimming ballasts, the end-user will have to determine whether the ballasts are rated for reduced-wattage lamps. Operating reduced-wattage lamps on incompatible dimming ballasts will produce unsatisfactory performance. If the ballasts are not rated for reduced-wattage lamps, the end-user must replace the lamps with compliant full-wattage lamps or replace the dimming ballast with ballast rated for reduced-wattage lamps.

Two-foot U-bend T8 lamps: As with 4-ft. linear T8 lamps, a majority initially complied with the new standards, though again these are low-wattage models. Many 32W models did not comply and would be discontinued or reengineered. It is expected that popular 32W models will continue to be available.

An issue with substitution centers on whether the lamp has 1-5/8-in. or 6-in. leg spacing. A majority of users of 6-in. leg spacing use full-wattage lamps on control systems so they can be dimmed, while users of lamps with 1-5/8-in. spacing use reduced-wattage lamps.

Four-foot T5 and T5HO lamps: A majority of 4-ft. T5 and T5HO lamps comply. At the time the regulations were announced, major manufacturers expected that their existing product lines would satisfy the energy standards with limited reengineering, resulting in a minimal impact on availability.

In 2010, DOE estimated that 20 percent of all commercial building sector lamps and 44 percent of industrial sector lamps were 4-ft. T8, representing some 532 million 4-ft. linear T8 lamps and 14 million T8 U-bend lamps. In its justification for the new standards, DOE estimated that over the next 30 years, end-users would receive an average payback of 3-4 years and cost savings with a cumulative new present value (factoring energy cost savings and higher purchase cost) of $2-5 billion based on a respective discount rate of seven and 3.3 percent.

Energy savings are only gained, however, if the end-user switches from a full-wattage T8 to a reduced-wattage T8 lamp or operates a compliant full-wattage T8 lamp on dimming controls. Alternately, they may make the switch to LED to achieve higher energy savings and potentially increased capabilities. Options include LED replacement lamps, retrofit kits, and new luminaires.

Overall, the 2015 rules represent another regulatory step in removing the least-efficient and lowest-cost lamps from the market. Electrical contractors may benefit from consulting with lamp manufacturers about availability and advising their customers about the regulations and impact on their lighting systems.

End-users, meanwhile, should consider the benefits of a comprehensive upgrade rather than replacing non-compliant lamps individually as part of maintenance. A comprehensive upgrade can ensure lighting quality is maintained or improved, reduce the risk of matching incompatible components, and consider all options, such as LED and advanced controls.

For more information, contact the lamp manufacturers.

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Masters of Light: Rune Nielsen on Mixing Light and Media

In “Light and Media in Architecture,” Rune Nielsen, Kollision explores the idea of a language of light, a dialogue between dynamic and interactive lighting systems and users.

Episodes of the UK’s LIGHTING Magazine’s “Masters of Light” webcast series are now available for on-demand viewing. In this series, lighting designers, artists and architects talk about their work, methods and philosophy in one-hour retrospectives hosted by the magazine’s editors.

In “Light and Media in Architecture,” Rune Nielsen, Kollision explores the idea of a language of light, a dialogue between dynamic and interactive lighting systems and users.

Click here to check it out. Registration required.

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Ted Konnerth on Lighting Disintermediation

Our industry is facing significant changes … LED has transformed lighting, which has typically been a 15-20% category for most distributors. The lighting market is fragmenting rapidly; with the advent of Smart Lighting, IoT and specialty lighting market growth (UV, Horticulture, Agriculture, Biological, etc.). So, where does that leave the legacy alliance model of traditional electrical distributors and manufacturers? The answer is simple… it’s changing, and the key to preserving the legacy relationships is the agreement for both partners to craft a new way forward.

By Ted Konnerth, Egret Consulting Group, reprinted from The Buzz

Disintermediation.

A $2 word for cutting out the middle man.

We’ve talked a lot about the changing channels throughout the electrical industry. Changes are not particularly new to the industry. In those way back years, electrical distributors sold appliances, Grainger created the catalog model for industrial supplies, Anixter created a major disintermediation by specializing in wire as a stand-alone category, etc. In more recent days, ‘structured wiring’ moved from an electrical distributor product line to data/com distribution. IOU’s moved away from distributor support decades ago and most buy directly from the manufacturers.

The trend isn’t unique to the electrical industry; here are a couple of current disintermediation models:

Uber eliminates the need for taxi dispatchers, cash payments and hailing a cab or standing in a cab line. Key to their success; it allows you to communicate directly with the driver, prior to being picked up. You see the driver name, vehicle and a rating system.

Tesla has slowly eliminated the auto dealer experience; state by state.

Most large equipment manufacturer dealerships; John Deere or marine boat supply companies have eliminated a parts counter or inventory. The ability to cross-reference a tractor or boat part based on the exact year and model, from your home and have it delivered 1-2 days later, and be accurate has changed the dealership experience for large equipment dealerships.

And in ultimate irony: Sears invented the concept of direct to consumer marketing via catalog, which is the exact equivalent of Amazon’s business model, except the internet communication medium is faster and more robust than mailing catalogs and receiving orders via mail.

Our industry is facing significant changes. Solar and wind generation have become one of the fastest growth markets for distributed energy sources; but both largely bypass the traditional distributor. LED has transformed lighting, which has typically been a 15-20% category for most distributors. The lighting market is fragmenting rapidly; with the advent of Smart Lighting, IoT and specialty lighting market growth (UV, Horticulture, Agriculture, Biological, etc.).

So, where does that leave the legacy alliance model of traditional electrical distributors and manufacturers? The answer is simple… it’s changing and the key to preserving the legacy relationships is the agreement for both partners to craft a new way forward.

Lighting is now a $30+B market in the US alone (compared to $7B in 1998). LED has created markets that have never existed before, and that implies the channel partnerships to foster those new applications and markets have to be different. Different can mean traditional partners have agreed to mutually target the new markets and create a training program and a commitment to investment to attack and grow those new markets. Different can, also, be the mutual decision to simply admit you’re not interested in making the investment in boot-strapping a new market. Distributors will have to decide how to align their capabilities, investments and talent to achieve the desired outcome. An electrical distributor functions on a local market basis. Hiring an IoT specialist or indoor farming expert to grow a new business model may never make sense on any given local level. But there should be a mutual discussion and agreement that this is not the business model you desire.

We regularly hear from lighting manufacturers that the market is ‘soft’. Those companies are almost unanimously legacy manufacturers. Our clients that have entered new markets are growing aggressively. And they don’t carry the adhesion of 50 years of legacy channel relationships to either help springboard their products; or detract them from their focus.

Most legacy manufacturers have moved into a near 100% project based model of business; get specified, bid and bought for new construction. The days of a brisk and profitable stock and flow business for lighting have diminished rapidly. Most of the larger manufacturers have abdicated that business to smaller manufacturers.

The challenge moving forward is to identify where you want to play. As a national manufacturer, it’s a strategic move to define your product plan, sales plan and talent structure based upon a guiding market channel strategy. No manufacturer will play in all of the new emerging markets; so choose wisely and determine how that strategy correlates or impacts your legacy relationships.

For distributors; the issue is much bigger. Do you want to stay in lighting? Currently, most distributors have become project management specialists for lighting reps. Those project management skills can easily be absorbed into the rep firm; or absorbed into the manufacturers’ customer service responsibilities. The only residual adhesion may be the credit function extended to contractors. In these days of cheap capital; don’t be surprised to see a manufacturer, or rep emerge that will finance a lighting project. If lighting eludes you; then your strategy needs to focus on the products, relationships and services that make money. If I were a distributor; I’d be spending significant time devoted to my strategic plan for the next 2-5 years.

Smart Lighting, IoT, ESCO and emerging markets all require training. Many will likely require different personnel to achieve your goals. There is very little time to craft the plan for growth, or abandonment of your lighting vertical.

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DOE Publishes New Lighting Market Characterization

In November 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) released its new 2015 U.S. Lighting Characterization report. The 135-page report, which follows similar reports issued in 2001 and 2010, estimates the total installed lighting stock in the United States by light source and building sector. Dense with tables and graphs, it provides data useful for business planning while clarifying trends.

Below is a recent contribution to tED Magazine. Reprinted with permission.

In November 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) released its new 2015 U.S. Lighting Characterization report. The 135-page report, which follows similar reports issued in 2001 and 2010, estimates the total installed lighting stock in the United States by light source and building sector. Dense with tables and graphs, it provides data useful for business planning while clarifying trends.

In 2015, lighting consumed 17 percent of all energy used in the United States. Accounting for 37 percent of energy, the commercial sector was the biggest lighting energy user, followed by outdoor and residential. The residential sector, however, had the most lamps—an estimated 6.2 billion out of a total of 8.7 billion, or 71 percent. Most of the lighting stock added since 2010 was in this sector. At 2.1 billion lamps, the commercial sector ranked second (24 percent).

The report confirms and helps quantify several significant trends recognized in the lighting market during the time period:

LED enjoyed rapid growth.
LED penetration increased from nearly 70 million lamps, or 1 percent of the lighting stock, to about 700 million lamps, or 8 percent, in 2015. Adoption was greatest in the outdoor sector (23 percent), followed by the commercial (10 percent), residential (7 percent), and industrial (4 percent) sectors. This trend is currently accelerating.

Incandescent lamps declined. Obsolescent, highly regulated incandescent lamps declined from 45 percent of the total lighting stock in 2010 to 25 percent in 2015. The installed base of incandescent lamps declined 40 percent.

Halogen enjoyed big growth.
While overall, traditional technologies saw little growth in installations from 2010 to 2015, halogen got a big boost by offering a compliant alternative to incandescent general-service A-lamps being phased out. Halogen’s share of the installed lighting stock increased from 4 percent in 2010 to 12 percent in 2015, with installations increasing from 28 million to 693 million, an increase of 350 percent.

Linear fluorescent saw flat growth.
While compact fluorescent lamps increased from 19 to 26 percent of the lighting stock from 2010 to 2015, linear fluorescent stayed at about 2.3 billion lamps, with various winners and losers among the category’s subgroups. Four-foot T8 lamps, for example, gained 38 percent, while obsolete, highly regulated 4-ft. T12 lamps declined 30 percent.

HID saw flat growth. HID lamps also stayed at about 140 million lamps. Metal halide was the sole winner, increasing 11 percent, while high- and low-pressure sodium suffered small declines. The installed base of obsolete, highly regulated mercury vapor lamps, meanwhile, declined 68 percent.

Efficiency is increasing. The net effect of all this was steadily growing average lighting efficacy. National average lighting efficacy increased from 39 to 51 lumens/W between 2010 and 2015. From 21 to 28 lumens/W in the residential sector, 62 to 86 in commercial, 78 to 90 in industrial, and 73 to 80 in outdoor.

Lighting controls show modest adoption.
Adoption of lighting controls is about 18 percent in the commercial sector, including occupancy sensors (10 percent), energy management systems (5 percent), multi-strategy systems (1 percent), timer-switches (1 percent), daylight-responsive controls (1 percent), and dimmers (1 percent). In the residential sector, 11 percent of lamps, the majority controlled by dimmers.

Overall, the report indicates that between 2010 and 2015, lighting in the United States underwent a phase in an ongoing major technological shift to highly energy-efficient light sources, with accelerating emphasis on LED. To get the full report, available as both a PDF and XLS spreadsheet, click here.

Inventory, energy consumption, and lumen production in 2015 by building sector. Image courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Average lighting efficacy by building sector for 2001, 2010, and 2015. Image courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy.

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Product Monday: Configurable Narrow Linear LED Luminaire by LaMar

LaMar Lighting’s ALN Aluminum Narrow Linear LED luminaire has a narrow footprint of 2 in. width, making it readily adaptable into various configurations.

LaMar Lighting’s ALN Aluminum Narrow Linear LED luminaire has a narrow footprint of 2 in. width, making it readily adaptable into various configurations.

When installed in a single row, the ALN luminaire can be connected end-to-end in a continuous run of up to 24 linear feet. This makes the luminaire well-suited to illuminating hallways, warehouses, or aisles of a grocery store—anywhere great lengths of continuous light are needed. In addition, the ALN module can also be mounted in parallel arrays, either two units side-by-side or three units stacked separately, in a wider array, to deliver up to 20,000 lumens, well-suited for workbench or inspection area lighting.

Each luminaire is powered by an internal power supply that accepts universal voltage input, from 120V to 277V AC, and is suitable for indoor and outdoor locations. The ALN can be specified in 2- or 4-ft. lengths, corresponding to 20W or 40W tubes. The fixture features a beam angle of 120° and just over 130om/W (2600Lu/20W or 5200 Lu/40W).

Click here to learn more.

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Hubbell’s Joe Engle Talks LED High-Bay Lighting

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Joe Engle, Product Manager, New Product Innovation, Hubbell Lighting. The topic: trends in LED high-bay lighting.

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Joe Engle, Product Manager, New Product Innovation, Hubbell Lighting. The topic: trends in LED high-bay lighting. I’m happy to share his responses with you here. The interview informed an article I wrote for the February 2018 issue of tED Magazine.

DiLouie: How would you characterize the high-bay lighting market in terms of size, and current demand for high-bay lighting products?

Engle: Changes in energy codes and regulations are having a positive impact on demand for high-bay lighting products. A good example is EISA, which continues to push out legacy fixtures and certain ballasts. There are effectively no remaining untapped areas where LED technology is not widely accepted and embraced.

DiLouie: In what key areas have LED high-bay luminaires improved over the past three years, and what benefits do they offer?

Engle: Manufacturers are offering significant improvements in lumens per watt and ambient temperature suitability.

DiLouie: How would you characterize current LED high-bay luminaire offerings in terms of light output, sizes, optics, wattages, CRI, color temperatures, service life, and compatibility with or integration of lighting controls?

Engle: There is a vast range of LED high-bays available on the market today that feature a variety of options for light output, size, optics, wattages, CRI and CCT. Controls integration and compatibility continues to progress quickly and we’re now using drivers with 0 to 10v control leads to ensure they can be control enabled.

DiLouie: What are typical energy savings for replacing HID or fluorescent versus LED high-bay lighting in an existing building, assuming an equivalent maintained light level?

Engle: Lumens per watt is the best measurement. A large volume of existing HID or florescent highbays emit about 20,000 lumens of maintained light. If the replacement LED fixture features an LPW of 125, the resulting wattage to produce 20,000 lumens is 160 watts. Typical HID systems are 460 watts and typical linear fluorescent are roughly 200 watts.

DiLouie: What are the top trends in high-bay building construction, and how are they affecting demand and design of high-bay luminaires?

Engle: Consider one of the fastest growing construction sectors is for logistics and warehouse buildings. In these applications exterior fixture lensing was critical in the past to protect legacy type lamps. This is not as critical with LED. However, there is a trend toward lensing with LED to thwart direct glare cast from fixtures in lower mounting heights. Fixtures with a smaller footprint are also in demand to fit within the structure of the ceiling, sprinkler systems, and HVAC work.

DiLouie: What are the top 5 trends in LED high-bay luminaire design?

Engle: Improved lumens per watt, integrated controls, affordability, uplight and smaller sizes.

DiLouie: What are the main attributes of an LED high-bay luminaire that electrical distributors would be looking for? How do they confidently select a quality product?

Engle: Electrical distributors want performance and reliability in a fixture that is affordable and available. The preferred method to confidently select a product is to purchase a DLC listed LED high-bay from a manufacturer that has proven it will stand by its product.

DiLouie: What are the control capabilities of LED high-bay lighting? What control strategies are possible and typically implemented?

Engle: On one end of the spectrum LED lighting can be easily controlled to both dim and turn on and off. In this scenario integral occupancy and daylight sensors can be used. At the other end of the spectrum sophisticated users are looking for scheduled control, load shedding or other system wide control schemes. Most manufacturers today are primarily concerned with either dimming down or turning off the LED high-bays when it is not needed.

DiLouie: In retail high-bay, issues such as color and sparkle come to the forefront. How competitive is LED compared to ceramic metal halide and similar sources in these applications? What does LED bring to the table that’s unique?

Engle: LED high-bays designed for retail applications can feature equal or greater “sparkle” thanks HID high-bays. The use of a clear acrylic or glass reflector will enhance this effect for the retailer.

DiLouie: What impact is the proliferation of LED products having on electrical distribution business practices in general?

Engle: LED highbays have opened up many retrofit opportunities based on the large energy and maintenance savings these fixtures offer. These LED fixtures have convinced electrical distributors to evolve from the traditional HID and fluorescent lamp replacement business. Most LED high-bays, if they need any service at all, use dedicated LED boards and drivers.

DiLouie: If you could tell the entire electrical industry just one thing about LED high-bay lighting, what would it be?

Engle: It’s likely there is an efficient, reliable and affordable LED high-bay for every application.

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

Engle: Controls don’t have to be tricky. Ask your preferred LED manufacturer for educational materials and consider attending a non-commercial class to learn more about the technology.

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MIT Engineers Induce Plants to Glow for Nearly Four Hours

Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have been able to induce plants to produce a dim light for about four hours, the result of injecting an enzyme into the plants causing them to glow. They believe this could be a solution to street lighting and possibly even become bright enough to serve as indoor lighting.

Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have been able to induce plants to produce a dim light for about four hours, the result of injecting an enzyme into the plants causing them to glow. They believe this could be a solution to street lighting and possibly even become bright enough to serve as indoor lighting.

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Register for the Next DOE R&D Workshop

You can now register for the 15th annual DOE SSL R&D Workshop, where experts and thought leaders from universities, labs, and manufacturers come togther to share the latest on SSL technology advances and explore new directions in lighting. The event will be held January 29–31, 2018 in Nashville.

You can now register for the 15th annual DOE SSL R&D Workshop, where experts and thought leaders from universities, labs, and manufacturers come togther to share the latest on SSL technology advances and explore new directions in lighting.

The event will be held January 29–31, 2018 in Nashville.

Click here to learn more and register.

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