Month: June 2009

Effective Date for CA Title 24 Energy Code Pushed Back to January 1, 2010

The California Energy Commission has announced that the effective date for the 2008 Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Title 24, Parts 1 and 6) has been changed to January 1, 2010….

The California Energy Commission has announced that the effective date for the 2008 Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Title 24, Parts 1 and 6) has been changed to January 1, 2010.

california

The reason: delays in completing the public domain compliance software.

The California Energy Commission adopted the 2008 Standards on April 23, 2008, and the Building Standards Commission approved them on September 11, 2008. The Standards were scheduled to become effective on August 1, 2009.

This gives lighting practitioners doing business in the state more time to prepare for the new energy code.

Around the beginning of next year, check out the Lighting Controls Association’s website, where I’ll be writing up a summary of the major lighting changes from the 2005 version.

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Are CFLs Net Emitters of Mercury?

“Incandescents are better than CFLs because CFLs contain mercury.” There are many arguments against favoring CFLs over incandescents, and I agree with many of them, but this one doesn’t wash….

“Incandescents are better than CFLs because CFLs contain mercury.”

CFL-versus-incandescent

There are many arguments against favoring CFLs over incandescents, and I agree with many of them, but this one doesn’t wash.

Click here to read this article I wrote for Electrical Contractor that makes a clear case that incandescents are actually the true net emitters of mercury, not CFLs.

As for what happens if a lamp breaks in your house, treat it as you would any of the many toxic substances we have in our homes–with caution and according to recommended guidelines.

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May 2009 AIA Billings Index Shows No Significant Improvement in Business

There has been a recent moderation in the downturn in design services billings, but the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Architecture Billings Index (ABI) reveals that an economic recovery has…

There has been a recent moderation in the downturn in design services billings, but the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Architecture Billings Index (ABI) reveals that an economic recovery has stalled.

As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate 9- to 12-month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending.

AIA reported the May ABI rating was 42.9, nearly identical to the 42.8 mark in April. This score still indicates an overall decline in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry score was 55.2, the third straight month with a score in the mid-50s.

“The design and construction marketplace is extremely competitive right now,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “Prospective clients are casting a wider net causing numerous firms to bid for the same project, which is why the high level of inquiries is not necessarily translating into additional billings for project work at many firms.”

Key May ABI highlights:

Regional averages: Northeast (48.3), Midwest (41.5), South (41.3), West (39.4)

Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (45.5), mixed practice (44.5), commercial / industrial (43.1), institutional (38.0)

Project inquiries index: 55.2

aia billings index

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Studio Italia Design’s Magnetita LED Table Light

Venetian lighting company Studio Italia Design commissioned self-taught artist, Denis Santachiara to create Magnetita, a contemporary, fully adjustable LED table light. The product features an advanced balancing system in which…

studio italiaVenetian lighting company Studio Italia Design commissioned self-taught artist, Denis Santachiara to create Magnetita, a contemporary, fully adjustable LED table light. The product features an advanced balancing system in which magnets maintain the luminaire’s equilibrium for precise movement.

I checked on Studio Italia Design USA and the product wasn’t listed there as of June 17. Stay tuned here.

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IES Announces 28th Annual Street and Area Lighting Conference September 13-16, 2009

The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES) has announced that the 28th Annual Street and Area Lighting Conference–the only conference of its kind–will be held September 13-16, 2009 at…

The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES) has announced that the 28th Annual Street and Area Lighting Conference–the only conference of its kind–will be held September 13-16, 2009 at Loews Philadelphia Hotel in Philadelphia, PA. The day prior to the conference sessions (Sunday) is devoted to outdoor lighting courses: introductory, intermediate, computer-aided exterior lighting design and LED outdoor lighting (new this year).

A three day conference is planned. Day one begins with an address by Jim Brodrick from the DOE, followed by sessions such as LED technology update, plasma lighting, legislative issues, white light design, and bridge lighting. Day two: elevated contact voltage, sustainability update, case studies (e.g., remote monitoring, lighting a university campus, utility rebates and funding sources, and Minnesota DOT), and a utility perspective of outdoor lighting. Day three: an urban lighting master plan, the affects of lighting on human health, the DOE parking lot lighting project and an update of IES roadway documents.

Rounding out the presentations are networking breakout discussion groups, exhibits, luncheons and evening events.

For additional information about the conference, click here or contact Valerie Landers at 212.248.5000, x117.

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Electroindustry Future Business Confidence Highest in Nearly Four Years

Good news and bad news in June from NEMA’s Electroindustry Business Confidence Index (EBCI). The EBCI rating for current North American conditions retreated slightly in June, but the EBCI for…

Good news and bad news in June from NEMA’s Electroindustry Business Confidence Index (EBCI). The EBCI rating for current North American conditions retreated slightly in June, but the EBCI for future conditions (six months ahead) climbed to its highest level in nearly four years.

The current conditions EBCI slid 6.6 points to 41.3, remaining below the key 50-point mark associated with conditions supportive of industry growth. It’s been under 50 since November 2007.

On a positive note, however, the EBCI for future North American business conditions rose in June for a fourth month in a row, increasing nearly 3 points to 68.2, the highest level since August 2005.

Let’s hope they’re right!

ebci_june_2009

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GE CEO Jeff Immelt: America’s Competitive Edge Has “Slipped Away”

Hat tip to Michael Mandel, Business Week Magazine’s award-winning chief economist, who published the below excerpts from GE CEO Jeff Immelt’s Detroit speech on June 19. Check out Mandel’s economics…

Hat tip to Michael Mandel, Business Week Magazine’s award-winning chief economist, who published the below excerpts from GE CEO Jeff Immelt’s Detroit speech on June 19. Check out Mandel’s economics blog here; it’s always worth a read.

What do you think? Do you agree with Immelt?

“Throughout my career, America has seen so much economic growth that it was easy to take it as a given. We prospered from the productivity of the information age. But, we started to forget the fundamentals and lost sight of the core competencies of a successful modern economy. Many bought into the idea that America could go from a technology-based, export-oriented powerhouse to a services-led, consumption-based economy – and somehow still expect to prosper.

“That idea was flat wrong. And what did we get in the bargain? We’ve seen a great vanishing of wealth. Our competitive edge has slipped away, and this has hit the middle class hard.

“As a nation, we’ve been consuming more than we earn, saved too little and taken on far too much debt. Growth in research and development has slowed. Our country has made too little progress on some of the defining challenges of our time – like clean energy and affordable health care. Our budget and trade deficits have reached levels that are clearly not sustainable.

“While some of America’s competitors were throttling up on manufacturing and R&D, we deemphasized technology. Our economy tilted instead toward the quicker profits of financial services. While our financial services business has performed well, I can’t tell you that we were entirely free of these errors. We weren’t.”

That, and more excerpts, here.

Click here to read the complete speech at the Wall Street Journal website (must be a subscriber).

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June Issue of LightNOW Newsletter Published

Check out the month’s stories here. The newsletter typically goes from around the 25-28 of the previous month to the 25-28 of the current month, depending on how on where…

woman getting lightnow on her computerCheck out the month’s stories here. The newsletter typically goes from around the 25-28 of the previous month to the 25-28 of the current month, depending on how on where the dates fall. We like to send out the newsletter on a Monday for best response.

Click here to join the more than 11,000 lighting professionals who receive LightNOW in their in-box every month.

Subscription is free, takes moments, and we strictly respect your privacy.

There is also an option to subscribe to the Lighting Controls Association’s lightingCONTROL newsletter, which offers a monthly whitepaper about a lighting topic plus new products from leading manufacturers of controls and controllable ballasts.

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Should Lighting Quality Drive Upgrade Decisions?

Writing for the February 2009 issue of Electrical Contractor Magazine, I make the case that lighting quality should be an equal partner to energy savings in an upgrade of an…

Writing for the February 2009 issue of Electrical Contractor Magazine, I make the case that lighting quality should be an equal partner to energy savings in an upgrade of an existing building. In fact, doing so can can result in a larger project and more work for the contractor. The article includes references to the IES’ Guidelines for Upgrading Lighting Systems in Commercial and Institutional Spaces, differentiates redesign from retrofit, and includes a list of questions that can help determine whether a project is a good candidate for redesign.

Click here to read the article.

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LightNOW Editor Craig DiLouie Launches New Website

I’m pleased to unveil my new website here. My old website did its job for eight years. It was time for a major update. I hope you’ll give it a…

I’m pleased to unveil my new website here.

My old website did its job for eight years. It was time for a major update.

I hope you’ll give it a quick visit and let me know what you think!

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