Month: March 2010

AIA Reports Modest Rebound in Architecture Billings Index

Following a drop of nearly three points, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) nudged up almost two points in February. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects…

Following a drop of nearly three points, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) nudged up almost two points in February. 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. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the February ABI rating was 44.8, up from a reading of 42.5 in January. This score indicates a continued decline in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry score was 52.0.

“We continue to hear that funding dedicated for construction projects in the stimulus package has not yet been awarded, resulting in a bottleneck of potential projects that could help jumpstart the economy,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “That, coupled with a persistently rigid credit market for private sector projects, is a key reason why the design and construction industry continue to suffer at near historic levels in terms of job losses.”

Key February ABI highlights:

Regional averages: Midwest (49.4), Northeast (44.1), West (43.6), South (40.7)
Sector index breakdown: multi-family residential (47.3), institutional (44.2), mixed practice (43.3), commercial / industrial (43.2)
Project inquiries index: 52.0

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Lunera Lighting Expands Sales Representative Network

LED company Lunera Lighting has announced the expansion of its sales channel to include a comprehensive regional network. Lunera’s sales network is now nationwide and includes the following companies; The…

LED company Lunera Lighting has announced the expansion of its sales channel to include a comprehensive regional network.

Lunera’s sales network is now nationwide and includes the following companies; The Dulanski Group (New York), Associated Lighting Representatives (N. California), Sesco Lighting (Florida), Chicago Lighting (Illinois), and Performance Lighting Systems (S. California).

Click here to learn more.

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The Long Night

Earth Hour got me thinking about getting this post up. In February, parts of Los Angeles’ Echo Park neighborhood experienced a blackout. A 2HeadedHorse filmmaker climbed onto his building’s roof…

Earth Hour got me thinking about getting this post up. In February, parts of Los Angeles’ Echo Park neighborhood experienced a blackout. A 2HeadedHorse filmmaker climbed onto his building’s roof and produced this video for “The Long Night,” a song by Patrick Park.


The Long Night from 2HeadedHorse on Vimeo.

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EPA and DOE Recognize OSRAM SYLVANIA with 2010 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) have awarded OSRAM SYLVANIA a 2010 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award in recognition of the company’s continued leadership…

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) have awarded OSRAM SYLVANIA a 2010 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award in recognition of the company’s continued leadership in protecting the environment through energy efficiency. It is the ninth consecutive year the company has received an ENERGY STAR award. OSRAM SYLVANIA’s accomplishments will be recognized at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. on March 18.

In 2009, the company introduced 40 new ENERGY STAR-labeled lighting products and launched the first compact fluorescent flashlight application in the Apple Store.

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Product Monday: Downlights by Renaissance, Nora, Prescolite

Renaissance Lighting’s architectural-grade 4- and7-in. RGB LED downlights utilize the company’s Rhapsody Color Management System, which enables the creation of intelligent color effects from these luminaires. Nora Lighting’s new LED…

Renaissance Lighting’s architectural-grade 4- and7-in. RGB LED downlights utilize the company’s Rhapsody Color Management System, which enables the creation of intelligent color effects from these luminaires.

Nora Lighting’s new LED recessed downlights, designed for light commercial and residential applications, include three 120V models: a 4-in. 11W luminaire and 5- and 6-in. 15W luminaires. All three are offered in 3000K and 4200K color temperatures with an 86 CRI rating.

Prescolite’s 6- and 8-in. vertical and horizontal VirtualSource55 compact fluorescent downlights provide a 55-degree cutoff in all lateral planes, offering a discreet, consistent appearance and even distribution.

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DOE Posts LED R&D Workshop Presentations

The seventh annual DOE Solid-State Lighting R&D Workshop, held February 2-4 in Raleigh, NC, drew 350 attendees sharing updates, including stakeholders from industry, academia, research institutions and government. Both speakers…

The seventh annual DOE Solid-State Lighting R&D Workshop, held February 2-4 in Raleigh, NC, drew 350 attendees sharing updates, including stakeholders from industry, academia, research institutions and government.

Both speakers and attendees offered insights on key issues inhibiting SSL technology and how to move past current limits of SSL efficacy and performance, which will inform DOE planning.

Click here to download the workshop presentations free.

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Earth Hour: How Did You Spend It?

After we put our daughter to bed, my wife and I curled up and watched Up in The Air on her laptop. For us, it was Earth 2 Hours.

After we put our daughter to bed, my wife and I curled up and watched Up in The Air on her laptop. For us, it was Earth 2 Hours.

The Egypt skyline showing The Sphinx and The Pyramids are seen before the lights are switched off for Earth Hour, 2010 in Cairo, Egypt. Credit: ©Jason Larkin

The Egypt skyline showing The Sphinx and The Pyramids are seen after the lights are switched off for Earth Hour 2010 in Cairo, Egypt. Credit: ©Jason Larkin

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Herman Goldman Approaches 70th Year with Capitol Lighting

The Star-Ledger recently reported the story of Herman Goldman, a 96-year-old who has worked for Capitol Lighting, one of New Jersey’s oldest family-owned lighting stores, for nearly 70 years. Four…

The Star-Ledger recently reported the story of Herman Goldman, a 96-year-old who has worked for Capitol Lighting, one of New Jersey’s oldest family-owned lighting stores, for nearly 70 years.

Four out of five days a week, he can be found rebuilding luminaires as Capitol Lighting’s clearance manager.

Check out the story here.

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How to Get the Most Out of Your LIGHTFAIR Innovation Awards Entry

This week, I helped lighting industry and LIGHTFAIR Innovation Awards veteran Mark Roush edit the manufacturer entries. I can’t say how many there were, but trust me when I say…

This week, I helped lighting industry and LIGHTFAIR Innovation Awards veteran Mark Roush edit the manufacturer entries. I can’t say how many there were, but trust me when I say it was a lot. By the end of the process, my head was spinning.

Manufacturers should take note, however, that while we’re happy to do this, they can better control their message if they provide descriptions of their products that require minimal or no editing, not to mention giving the judges more content to review when assessing the product.

Here are five simple tips for manufacturers to write a good product entry:

1. Choose facts over fluff. Avoid assertions that aren’t backed up by numbers. Load your submission with facts, and more content will survive the editing process. Think of your entry as a spec sheet in a paragraph, with emphasis on what makes it innovative.

2. Emphasize facts that specifiers need to evaluate the product. For example, for an LED luminaire, describe its lumens, wattage, CCT, CRI, rated life, etc. Focus on what makes it innovative, with factual evidence of that innovation. For example, if the product is very compact compared to its competition, give some numbers backing that up.

3. Avoid language such as, “At long last,” “first,” “best,” “most,” etc. The description should be a very concise statement about how the product performs, without hyperbole or “marketingese.” Do not try to sell the product or write an ad; simply describe the product.

4. Avoid assertions that we can’t verify. Some manufacturers claim their product is the first to do such and such. Since we can’t verify this, those assertions are typically cut.

5. Avoid the non-essential. Generally, descriptions of how a product is made and what goes into it are cut in favor of facts expressing how the product performs, unless the feature is essential to understanding its performance. Similarly, avoid including listings (such as UL), where the product can be purchased, referencing users (e.g., “now, specifiers and designers can …”) (that is, unless the product is intended for the OEM channel), application laundry lists (“great for retail, office, industrial”), patents, warranty, etc.–unless one of these items is specific, non-standard and essential to understanding how the product performs, with that performance factually expressed.

Good luck in the Awards. See you at LIGHTFAIR!

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