Using Light to Create Dancing Figures

For the 2016 Spiral Independent Creators Festival, Akinori Goto created a wire wheel that creates dancing figures when illuminated. The project won Runner-up Grand Prix and the Audience Award.

Lighting Energy Consumption Falls 46% from 2003 to 2012

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration has released summary tables providing energy consumption estimates from the 2012 CBECS.

The data show that despite a 14% increase in total buildings and a 22% increase in total floorspace since 2003, energy use in the estimated 5.6 million U.S. commercial buildings was up just 7% during the same period. Slower growth in commercial building energy demand since 2003 is explained in part by newer construction that is built to higher energy performance standards, occupied by less energy-intensive building activities, and more often built in temperate regions. The improved efficiency of key energy-consuming equipment is also decreasing demand. Since 2003, for example, space heating and lighting are each down by 11 percentage points in their share of energy use in buildings.

Electricity consumption, however, has increased significantly, driven by new electricity-using equipment. Electricity increased its share of total energy consumed from 38% in 1979 to 61% in 2012 in commercial buildings. But not for lighting. The total amount of energy used for lighting decreased 46% from 2003 to 2012, driven by energy codes and more-efficient technology.

Click here to read the summary report.


NEMA Publishes NEMA LSD 74-2016 Considerations of Field LED Driver Replacement

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has published NEMA LSD 74-2016 Considerations of Field LED Driver Replacement.

This whitepaper discusses issues related to the field replacement of drivers in LED luminaires and how several aspects must be considered to ensure that the replacement driver will function the same as the original driver.

Developed by the NEMA Ballast Section Technical Committee, NEMA LSD 74 is available at no cost here.

“Going Beyond the Lumen?” by Jim Brodrick

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

Light sources are typically evaluated in terms of how much light they produce (in lumens) relative to how much power they draw (in watts). From lighting designers to building owners to consumers, we’re encouraged to choose the most efficacious light sources appropriate for the task at hand — those with the highest lumens per watt (lm/W). The numerator of that expression is a measure of light output, based on human visual sensitivity under standard viewing conditions. That makes sense: we want to know how much light the source is producing that will help humans to see and function in the world.

But what we’re also starting to understand is that light has other impacts — and potentially great benefits — that are unrelated to human visual sensitivity. In fact, these other benefits, such as improving productivity, have been receiving an increasing amount of attention. But many potential benefits, especially those that depend on the ability to tune the spectrum of SSL products, can’t be accurately conveyed solely in terms of lumens — which means that we may end up needing additional metrics in order to do them justice.

That’s because the lumen is a measure of light output, where emitted light of various wavelengths is weighted in accordance with humans’ visual sensitivity to those wavelengths. But as we’re still learning, the effect of light on humans (and other living creatures) extends well beyond enabling us to see. Researchers have discovered that the human eye contains at least five different types of nonvisual photoreceptor cells — that is, cells that detect light but that play no role whatsoever in visual perception. We’re still learning about the various functions of such cells, but we know that one thing they do is help regulate the production of melatonin, a hormone that plays a key role in regulating the sleep-wake cycle and affects our health in many other ways as well.

We also know that the peak sensitivity for melatonin suppression is for light at around 464 nm, which is in the blue range. And because LEDs — far more than other light sources — are highly tunable, they can be carefully tailored to adjust their emission around 464 nm, or in any other portions of the spectrum the manufacturer desires. They can also be made to be tunable by the user, so that the spectral power distribution can change with the turn of a dial or the touch of a keypad, in accordance with whatever effect is desired.

While much more research is needed to understand how this spectral flexibility can best be used, the potential benefits range from normalizing our circadian rhythm, to promoting relaxation, to improving mood and concentration, to speeding convalescence, to promoting the optimal growth of plants and animals. Further, spectrally adjusted light can help protect sensitive wildlife that live in areas where outdoor lighting is used. And all of this is to say nothing about visual value that’s not captured by the photopic lumen — such as tuning the spectrum to emphasize certain colors or provide contrast for retail, inspection, and high-value fine-manual work applications such as surgery.

Given that we now have a type of light source that can be spectrally tailored to suit our needs, wants, and whims — visual and otherwise — and given that our knowledge of the nonvisual functions is growing by leaps and bounds, it stands to reason that we may need to more carefully consider additional metrics to capture the full range of gifts SSL has to offer, and develop new metrics as science advances.

Product Monday: Cree Expands LED Troffer Portfolio

Cree’s ZR FD LED Series, a commercial spec-grade troffer that delivers superior energy efficiency of 130 lumens per watt, expands the company’s ZR series of LED troffers. This provides customers a choice: ZR Series offering 90+ CRI and 90 lumens/W or the new ZR FD Series offering 80+ CRI and 130 lumens/W.

The full family of ZR FD Series products is available in 2’x4’, 2’x2’ and 1’x4’ sizes and packages of 3300 and 4000 lumens at CCTs of 3500K or 4000K at 80+ CRI. The troffers feature a new matte reflector finish for improved product aesthetics, reduced glare and uniform illumination. An emergency backup option is also available.

Backed by a 10-year warranty, the product has a projected 75,000-hour lifetime at 35°C. Additionally, future SmartCast Technology-enabled options are planned, which will amplify energy savings and provide a more personalized light experience without the added complexity of traditional controls.

Click here to learn more.




LED A-Lamps Capture 26% of Consumer Lamp Market

LED A-line lamps posted another strong showing to start 2016, surging 375.9% during the quarter on a year-over-year basis.

Meanwhile, halogen A-line lamps posted a year-over-year increase of 7.4%, while incandescent A-line lamps decreased by 14.2% and compact fluorescents lamps (CFL) dropped 49%.

Compared to 2015Q4, LED shipments rose 38.5%, while halogen A-lines decreased 13.3%. CFL shipments saw a quarter-to-quarter decrease of 24.3% and incandescent A-line lamp shipments decreased 21.3%.

LED A-line lamps increased their sales share by nearly nine percentage points between the end of 2015 and 2016Q1, and now comprise 26.1% of the consumer lamp market. Halogen A-line lamps accounted for almost half of all consumer lamp shipments in 2016Q1, at 46.5%, but saw their share decline in the latest quarter. CFLs captured a 19.2% share and incandescent A-lines an 8.2% share.


Lighting and the Internet of Things: Optimism and a Call for Caution

Lighting is being touted as a delivery platform for Industrial Internet of Things strategies. I recently wrote an article for ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR that describes the potential role for lighting in the IIoT. Check it out here.

The article prompted a letter from Mark Schuyler, LC, principal, lighting design, MSLD, LLC. The letter criticized the approach of the article, stating it does not include a caution about the larger issues involved with IIoT implementation. I felt the issues Mark raises are important and wanted to share them with you. His letter is published below with his permission. We’re hoping it generates some discussion.

Hello Craig DiLouie,

I am a principal in a lighting design and integration firm that designs not just lighting but lighting control systems, A/V, and physical layer security design. Our clients are major North American firms, where we act both as part of a design team for facilities as well as in advisory roles.

I read your article in the June 2016 issue of Electrical Contractor. I am a long time reader of your work and a have learned a great deal from your reporting in the past.

I was disappointed in your approach to the issue of IIoT and lighting. Nowhere in the article do I find a cautionary note to the reader that explains the greater issues related to such interoperability.

Since my firm designs and oversee the actual construction of large complex projects, I understand with direct knowledge the failure of IIoT in lighting. We see that proprietary standards can succeed, but that the interoperability among many makers using an open standard that has been promised in reality does not work yet, and likely will never will.

There are significant issues related to the deployment of this interoperability. There are legal issues both for the “owners’ of such lighting systems [which may put system owners in the middle of legal discovery cases related to customer movements inside a facility]; actual ownership of data, software or even the physical devices; operating conditions which notify the manufacturer that conditions may exist onsite which void the warranty. And so forth.

Electrical contractors and system designers are put in real jeopardy in the future because of the possibilities that the system will be bricked due to a firmware upgrade; future interoperability problems, and the fact that electrical contractors are not IT departments.

The cadre of people required to maintain this type of system doesn’t currently exist. There are conflicts between the communications union and electrician unions. Most of our clients will never allow a product on site that is in control of a third party, that could capture data about anything at all regarding the Client/ Owners’ operations. Retail operators have enough trouble maintaining staffing as it is; finding an extra staff person to maintain these systems is unlikely for smaller retail operators. Actual and useful specification language needs to be developed.

Apple iPhones work because the Apple ecosystem is entirely controlled by Apple. Except for the small very specialized industrial interoperability, where engineers, designers and technicians are creating a custom machine to make things, or where analog sensors are replaced by digital ones, this ecosystem can only be built through the extremely unusual coordination of the design and build teams for these projects. This requires lots of time, cash, and a seriously motivated Owner/ Client. It requires a great deal of time to educate all the parties up and down the supply, design and build chain.

I think that there is a lot to be explored on this subject, but the solutions will not arise from the manufacturers, who are scrambling for market share and need to create a buzz for the next big thing, or in hearing from PR firms and others who have never wrestled with these issues. The designers and builders of these systems in response must now become IT managers, risk assessment managers, and educators in order to serve their clients and customers properly.

I see from your blog that you speak to a large number of industry people about the new new things. New new things are great. This is an exciting time. But it’s also time to speak frankly with the developers, engineering middle management and the real people who do this work.

Mark Schuyler

Shirley Coyle Assumes Presidency of the IES

Shirley Coyle, LC has assumed the office of President of the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES).

Coyle is President of Cree Canada, a business unit of Cree, Inc. During her career, she has worked for several international lighting companies and has been Lighting Certified since 2000.

Coyle has been a member of the IES for 31 years and has served in several responsible capacities in the past: President of the Toronto Section, District Chair and Board of Directors. She serves on several IES committees including Roadway Lighting, Outdoor Environmental Lighting, and Street & Area Lighting. Coyle is also a committee member for several CSA Group standards committees on lighting including Roadway and Solid State Lighting.

President-Elect, 2017 – 2018:

Cheryl English, LC, Acuity Brands

IES Board of Directors:

Mark Roush, LC (Past President), Experience Light, LLC
James Radi, (Treasurer), Shat-R-Shield
Boyd Corbett, Lumato Lighting
Jeffrey J. Davis, LC, System Design Consultants
Dawn DeGrazio, Lighting Analysts, Inc.
Antonio Garza, Iluminacion Total, SA de CV
Antonio Giacobbe, Acuity Brands
Jennifer Jaques, Lighting Application Sciences, LLC
Francois-Xavier Morin, LC, LightFX
Susanne Seitinger, PhD, Philips Lighting

Designer Pages Acquires eLumit

In a letter to eLumit users, President Jeremy Nesse announced the site has been acquired by Designer Pages, an online product selection and specification solution for commercial architectural and interior design firms. The site will shut down by July 15.

From the letter:

This consolidated effort will provide:

• eLumit users with a suite of new features including the ability to create custom documents (spec packages, budgets, schedules, etc.), personalized collections, vendor management and sample ordering
• a more sophisticated search platform with up-to-date product listings that will more easily help specifiers find what they want
• access to industry newsletters, blogs and additional content produced by Designer Pages

We are planning to shut the site down by July 15. Now would be an ideal time to review your project folders and download any content that you do not wish to lose. If you wish to transfer your project folders to Designer Pages, please contact me (jeremy [at] designerpages [dot] com) for more info.

Historically, eLumit has been a ‘free’ platform for specifiers to source lighting products and to organize their projects. Moving forward, while Designer Pages is free to search for products, the specification functionality is part to a ‘paid’ environment. Please visit Designer Pages PRO for pricing information and available options.

Product Monday: Olessence Luminaires from Acuity Brands

Acuity Brands’ Olessence luminaires by Peerless offers a high-performance architectural linear suspended lighting solution for commercial and professional office spaces. Olessence luminaires balance OLED and LED lighting technologies to maximize beauty and performance in lighting while optimizing energy savings and cost.

Olessence luminaires feature Duet SSL Technology, a design concept that optimizes the performance of OLED and LED light sources in a single luminaire. This contemporary luminaire features a 7.25 x 0.5 inch profile. Direct-view OLED downlight panels provide soft and calm diffused lighting for comfortable perceived brightness. LEDs add high-lumen performance and precise optical control of the uplight batwing distribution serving as the primary source of ambient illumination. Flicker-free dimming is provided by a remote eldoLED driver. Both the uplight and downlight components may be dimmed separately with optional dual-circuit switching.

Three lumen packages are available with 3000K, 3500K and 4000K CCT and 80+ and 90+ CRI options. Multiple control options. Available in 4-, 6- and 8-ft. sections–white, black or painted aluminum.

Click here to learn more.