ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR Publishes Article on Light and Health

healthLight doesn’t only serve as the basis of vision. It can influence behavior and how people feel. Further, light plays an important role in human health. As researchers gain insight into the relationship between light and health, the lighting industry is beginning to consider health effects in product and lighting design best practices.

Click here to read a feature article I wrote on this topic for the December 2015 issue of ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR. The article is largely based on research by the Lighting Research Center.

Another Strong Quarter for LED A-Line and Halogen Lamp Shipments

LED A-line lamps posted another strong showing in 2015Q3, surging 237.2% during the quarter on a year-over-year basis.

Halogen A-line lamps posted a year-over-year increase of 33%.

In contrast, incandescent A-line lamps decreased by 31.5% while compact fluorescents lamps dropped 28%.

Compared to 2015Q2, LED shipments rose 17.2%, while halogen A-lines increased 4.6%. CFL shipments saw a quarter-to-quarter decrease of 16.3% and incandescent A-line lamp shipments decreased 16.5%.

As of 2015Q3, halogen A-line lamps accounted for almost half of all consumer lamp shipments at 48.6%, followed by CFLs with a share of 27.3% and incandescent A-lines at 9%. LED A-line lamps increased their sales share by two percentage points to 15.1% of the consumer lamp market.


Lighting for Tomorrow Launches 2016 Competition

Lighting for Tomorrow has launched its fourteenth consecutive annual competition recognizing high-quality energy-efficient residential lighting products on the market.

Winners are heavily promoted by Lighting for Tomorrow for a full calendar year. Award recipients will also be eligible to be promoted by energy efficiency programs across the US and Canada.

Lighting for Tomorrow is sponsored by the American Lighting Association (ALA), the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE), and Underwriters Laboratories (UL), as well as over a dozen energy efficiency and utility programs across the US and Canada.

The final submission deadline for this year’s competition is May 9, 2016. In June, products will be evaluated by a judging panel consisting of experts in lighting technology, sales, energy efficiency, lighting design and communications.

Winners will be announced during an award ceremony at the ALA Conference in Puerto Rico in September 2016.

Click here for complete guidelines and entry information.

lighting for tomorrow

Sales Increase with Limbic Lighting

I contributed this short article to the February 2016 issue of tED Magazine, published by the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED). Reprinted with permission.

Manufacturer Zumtobel recently concluded a field study with Gerry Weber that showed an increase in sales based on a lighting solution optimized based on the personality type of the fashion retailer’s target market.

The study, conducted in 2014, follows laboratory research during the previous year by Zumtobel Research and consultancy Gruppe Nymphenburg, which had developed the “Limbic® Model,” a tool for analyzing the complex emotional personality structures of consumers.

Eighty percent of buying decisions made at the point of sale are made unconsciously, mainly depending on influences addressing people’s emotions. Zumtobel wanted to know how influential lighting is in those decisions.

In the lab study, subjects were assigned to seven different personality or Limbic types using a questionnaire. These included Bon Vivants, Hedonists, Adventurists, Performers, Disciplinarians, Traditionalists and Harmonizers. These subjects then looked at 20 different lighting scenarios while their unconscious physical reactions, including brain waves and cardiac activity, were measured. The researchers were then able to identify which lighting scenarios triggered positive or negative emotions, stimulation or relaxation among the different Limbic groups.

While all Limbic groups did not respond positively to a single lighting scenario, there were individual lighting scenarios that multiple groups responded positively to. This allowed the Limbic types to be combined into three main groups:

• Balance (Harmonizers, Traditionalist and Bon Vivants), which responded particularly positively to moderate accent lighting.
• Stimulance (Hedonists, Adventurers), which responded most positively to lighting scenarios with relatively strong contrasts, created by accent lighting and a variety of different spot lights.
• Dominance (Performers, Disciplinarians), which responded negatively to extreme contrasts and responded most positively to balanced, moderate lighting scenes.

These ideas were put to the test in the field study, which was conducted at a Gerry Weber store in Herford, Germany. Zumtobel designed an LED accent lighting solution identified as specifically satisfying the preferences of Harmonizers, a key target market for the retailer. As shown above, Harmonizers belong to the Balance Limbic Type and therefore react positively to moderate accent lighting. The new look at of the Herford store was designed to generate a bright and friendly atmosphere with a warm 3000K color appearance.

General purchasing behavior before and after installation of the new lighting was measured and observed over two months. A sampling of customers was tested using the Limbic Emotional Assessment tool and also interviewed about their shopping experience.

Gerry Weber reported a 10 percent increase in sales compared to a reference store, with an even higher average sales increase among the specific target group for which the lighting solution was optimized.

Horschlager Martin, head of retail operations for Gerry Weber, concluded: “For us as an international fashion brand, it was fascinating to see clear scientific findings that prove the significant influence of light at the point of sale …We have seen how profitable the Limbic lighting concept proved in our Herford store, with a marked increase in sales during the test period.”

Gerry Weber store before installation of the new lighting. Image courtesy of Zumtobel.

Gerry Weber store before installation of the new lighting. Image courtesy of Zumtobel.

Gerry Weber store after installation of the new lighting. Image courtesy of Zumtobel.

Gerry Weber store after installation of the new lighting. Image courtesy of Zumtobel.

Product Monday: Cree XQ LED Family of LEDs

Cree Introduces Smallest LED for White and Color LEDs XQ-A_White_AngleCree, Inc. has added the XLamp XQ-A LED to the XQ LED family. The compact, ceramic-based XQ-A enables lighting manufacturers to quickly and cost-effectively expand their product portfolios by leveraging an LED design that is similar to that of the XQ-E.

The new LEDs leverage the XQ platform to provide optical symmetry, consistency across all colors and tiny 1.6mm footprint to improve color mixing and simplify the production process for lighting manufacturers.

The XQ-A delivers up to 89 lumens and is characterized at 85°C. It is available in white color temperatures ranging from 2700K to 6200K and CRI options of 70, 80 and 90. The LED is also available in red, red-orange, PC amber, green, blue and royal blue.

Product samples are available now and production quantities are available with standard lead times.

Click here to learn more.

Eaton’s Brad Garrett on LED Suspended Luminaires

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Brad Garrett, Director of Marketing, Architectural Products Group, Eaton. The topic: LED suspended luminaires. I’m happy to share his responses with you here. The interview informed an article I wrote for the February 2016 issue of tED.

DiLouie: How would you characterize the market for suspended general lighting luminaires? What would you estimate the percentage of commercial building general lighting is suspended versus other types?

Garrett: The market for suspended lighting has been consistently strong for many years and it’s a commonly desired general illumination solution, especially in spaces having higher ceilings combined with upscale interior finish. However, suspended lighting still remains a staple in educational facilities.

Suspended lighting represents a significantly smaller portion of the market compared to recessed general illumination but it’s still a high volume category given many recently built fortune 500 headquarters that have selected suspended linear as the “type A” solution.

DiLouie: Suspended luminaires may be direct, indirect, direct/indirect or indirect/direct? What is the most popular way to categorize direct/indirect and indirect/direct in terms of % uplight vs. downlight?

Garrett: With the advent of solid state technology in this category, the split of “indirect” vs. “direct” has been mostly downlight and the balance uplight. This has been due to cost and mechanical design constraints given the nature of linear LED PCBA’s having a 120-degree zone of luminous flux. However, LED components have become more affordable and product designers are now able to switch the industry back to accommodating a greater array of uplight and downlight variations, which is preferred. Percentage of uplight vs. downlight varies per the client and the lighting requirements of the application. Ideally you would be able to address any percentage up or down.

DiLouie: How would you characterize penetration and growth of LED lighting in this category? What would you estimate the percentage of current unit sales of LED suspended general lighting luminaires versus other light source types in 2015? How does that compare to five years ago?

Garrett: Significant growth has occurred in this category over the past five years.

DiLouie: Besides energy efficiency and longer life, are there any particular advantages of LED technology in this category?

Garrett: The primary benefits are optical, thermal and design in general. From an optical perspective you are not constrained like in a recessed troffer or a downlight, as you have more space to be creative and control the light. Thermally, these products are surrounded by air so the benefits are obvious. Finally, the solid state offers unique design freedom by allowing the manufacturer to design a light engine or lamp in any configuration necessary vs. the traditional approach of handing everyone the same lamp technology in terms of form factor, features, etc.


DiLouie: What typical energy savings are possible compared to linear fluorescent in a new construction scenario involving linear suspended luminaires?

Garrett: We can point towards recent cases where clients have saved 50 percent in annual lighting energy costs when retrofitting from fluorescent with LED luminaires.

DiLouie: LED lighting has been stratifying similarly to conventional lighting, with white goods and specification segments. How would you characterize LED suspended luminaires in each of these segments?

Garrett: The typical stratification has remained in LED suspended luminaires, however we have seen many instances where the client has a larger appetite to spend on LED suspended products purely based on the product’s design merit and its ability to make a statement about that clients position on embracing the latest, most sustainable technologies in their fixture selection.

DiLouie: What are the top three trends in LED suspended lighting?

Garrett: Tunable White, wireless control and small profiles.

DiLouie: With dimmable drivers standard or a standard option for a majority of LED luminaires, LED lighting in general offers good opportunities with lighting controls. One strategy that can increase occupant satisfaction is personal dimming control with dedicated workstation lighting. On LED projects, how would you characterize demand for designs with dedicated workstation luminaires and, separately, personal dimming control?

Garrett: We see this as a growing trend yet the majority of dimming on larger scale projects is still biased towards panel based 0-10v and DALI dimming systems that are monitored and controlled by the facilities engineers. Additionally we are seeing wired 0-10v applications being replaced with wireless 0-10v control systems at an increasing rate.

DiLouie: Advances in LED source technology have impacted luminaire design from optics to integrated control to smaller luminaires. Please describe the ways in which the LED source has impacted luminaire design and what benefits these developments present.

Garrett: I alluded to this [earlier]. The ability to create a light engine in any size or shape is the biggest upside to solid state technology in the lighting space. This design freedom multiplies when you couple this with state-of-the-art optical technology, giving the ability to make incredibly thin luminaires with glare control and significant lumen packages.

DiLouie: How would you characterize the retrofit opportunity for linear suspended luminaires replacing either fluorescent linear suspended luminaires or troffers?

Garrett: A one-for-one retrofit with a new LED fixture is a large opportunity. We’re not seeing much in the way of physical luminaire retrofits.

DiLouie: If you could tell the entire electrical industry just one thing about suspended LED luminaires, what would it be?

Garrett: Outside of all of the typical LED “value-prop” benefits, suspended luminaires provide a great way for clients to add value to their workspace and their brand above and beyond a space illuminated with recessed troffers or downlights. Continuous linear applications take luminaire brightness and evenly distribute along a continuous row, eliminating any concentrated glare that you may get with recessed downlights, high-bays and troffers. The value is in the look and feel of the space – walls and ceiling are luminous and spaces visually feel larger.

In addition, managing electrical components is a big upside for suspended luminaires. Wireless controls, occupancy sensors and daylight sensors requirements (wired or wireless) are simplified by moving much of the wire and sensors into the long continuous fixture runs. The fixture essentially becomes a conduit for all of this technology. We deal with this complexity at our factory and therefore, less of the wiring complexity happens in the ceiling, reducing labor cost on site. Often, this is an overlooked benefit.

Finally, they just look really cool.

California Regulates Small Directional and Consumer LED Lamps

California has adopted new regulations for small-diameter directional lamps (often used in track lighting) and general-purpose LED lamps. The new regulations establish a baseline for performance quality while promoting energy efficiency. Compliant lamps are already available.

California predicts consumers will reduces operating costs by $4 billion over the first 13 years after implementation, saving enough energy to power all homes in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

Small-diameter (<2.25-inch diameter) directional lamps

The new regulation, which go esinto effect January 1, 2018, requires these lamps to have an efficacy of at least 80 lumens/W or a CRI + efficiency score of at least 165 with a minimum efficacy of at least 70 lumens/W. The lamp must have a service life of at least 25,000 hours.

Currently, only LED lamps satisfy these requirements, which is expected to result in a switch to LED lighting for this lamp type popular in store, museum and other lighting.

California expects this will add $4 to lamp cost while saving nearly $250 in energy and lamp replacement costs averaged over 11 years.

General-purpose LED lamps

These include omindirectional lamps, decorative lamps and LEDs designed for retrofitting the covered socket types. The new regulation takes effect January 1, 2018, with amendments taking effect July 1, 2019.

Omnidirectional lamps must emit light in a pattern in alignment with ENERGY STAR requirements. The lamp must offer a minimum life of 10,000 hours. A minimum threshold for color quality must be met, and there is a limit for how much power an LED can use in standby mode. Additionally, manufacturers must satisfy certain performance requirements before it can make claims about dimmability and other qualities.

OSRAM Announces New Lamp Business Name: LEDVANCE

OSRAM continues to positioning the carve-out of its general lighting lamps business with rebranding to the name LEDVANCE. Jes Munk Hansen, who has already been at the helm of the lamps business for one year after previously heading OSRAM’s Americas business, is leading the company.

The product portfolio of LEDVANCE covers traditional lighting, modern LED lamps and standardized over-the-counter (OTC) luminaires, as well as connected and intelligent lighting solutions for smart homes and smart buildings.

The schedule for the formal carve-out of LEDVANCE remains unchanged: The organizational separation of the lamps business is to be completed as of April 1, 2016, while the legal separation is planned for July 1, 2016.

GE Breaks Up with the CFL

geGE has announced it will discontinue manufacturing compact fluorescent lamps for the U.S. market and focus its consumer lighting efforts on LED replacement lamps by the end of 2016.

According to GE, about 15% of consumers have tried LED. By 2020, with steadily declining costs and superior performance compared to CFLs, more than 50% of residential sockets in the U.S. are expected to make the switch to LED, while CFL sales are expected to decline threefold over the next few years.

Additionally, the new ENERGY STAR spec increases efficacy to a threshold difficult for today’s CFLs to qualify starting in 2017.

GE is now helping its retail partners like Walmart and Sam’s Club to lead the transition to LED. For example, Sam’s Club will be 100% LED by the end of the year.

Click here to read GE’s “breakup letter” to the CFL.

Product Monday: Zumtobel Spotlights

Zumtobel’s new LED spotlights combine European aesthetics with exceptional functionality and energy efficiency, for shop and retail applications. Both FACTOR and VIVO Medium are compatible with Zumtobel TECTON trunking system, and the full range is compatible with Eutrac.

Optimized for efficient accent lighting of shops and showrooms, the spotlight features unique optics, providing uniform lighting accents while providing a choice of beam patterns ranging from narrow to wide-flood. IYON is optionally available in 3000K, 4000K or with True Gamut Rendering (TGR) LED chip technology to ensure true representation of merchandise.


The VIVO LED spotlight provides high-power accent lighting in retail areas and supermarkets, providing an efficient alternative to 20-70W HID luminaires. Built with stable white technology, color temperature is held constant over operating life. IR and UV-free technology make it possible to illuminate sensitive products such as groceries. Optionally available in 3000K, 4000K or with TGR LED chip technology to ensure textiles show their full palette of colors, including white.


An extension of the DIAMO family , which includes downlight and wallwasher luminaires, the DIAMO spotlight delivers sparkle to pinpoint accent lighting for applications such as hotels, cafes and restaurants. Available with a color temperature of 3000K. The spotlight can rotate through 360° and tilt through 90°.


This modular LED spotlight is well suited for retail lighting. Available in color temperatures of 3000K and 4000K and with TGR LED food chip technology versions to ensure a presentation that matches the specific merchandise.


Click here to learn more.