Month: August 2013

Lighting Controls Association Publishes Webinar for Utilities and Energy Efficiency Organizations

The Lighting Controls Association invites the electric power industry into a partnership to advance education about energy-saving lighting controls. I recently produced a 16-minute webinar introducing electric utilities, independent system…

The Lighting Controls Association invites the electric power industry into a partnership to advance education about energy-saving lighting controls. I recently produced a 16-minute webinar introducing electric utilities, independent system operators and energy efficiency organizations to the Lighting Controls Association and its capabilities.

The webinar presents the case for the importance of lighting in energy policy, the role for controls, the risks of uneducated application, and the services the Lighting Controls Association provides to help create an educated market.

If you work for a utility or energy efficiency organization, check it out below. Sorry in advance for the slightly fuzzy audio.

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Interview with Stephen Blackman, President and Chief Design Officer for Blackjack Lighting

Stephen Blackman, President and Chief Design Officer, BlackJack Lighting, recently published a whitepaper about OLED technology that really got me thinking about its design possibilities. I enjoyed the opportunity to…

stephen blackman 2Stephen Blackman, President and Chief Design Officer, BlackJack Lighting, recently published a whitepaper about OLED technology that really got me thinking about its design possibilities. I enjoyed the opportunity to interview him about his vision concerning the potential for OLED as a lighting technology.

DiLouie: Why OLED?

Blackman: OLED is a very exciting, up and coming technology that works well for general illumination because the OLED surface evenly distributes light over a spread of 180 degrees. OLEDs do not need an optic lens or diffuser. I especially like the fact that OLEDs produce little if any heat and can be attached to many different materials. They are an incredibly thin light source that can lead to fixtures in sizes and shapes the industry has not seen before. And OLED efficiency is almost running parallel to the development cycle of LEDs. Their efficiency is about five to seven years behind LEDs, but I think have OLEDs the potential to match LEDs someday.

DiLouie: What do you feel OLED is best suited for in this stage of its development?

Blackman: That’s a good question. I’d say OLED are best suited for general illumination in applications that require close-up illumination like a task lamp, or areas that require lower light levels, like an outdoor paths. With halogen, you get a tremendous amount of light from one light source, but also a lot of glare. OLEDs put a lot of light in a task area without any glare because the light is spread over a wider surface. Outdoors, the light source is typically aimed directly at you. OLED illumination spreads across the panel evenly with little glare–even if you look straight at it. And that’s without a diffuser.

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DiLouie: Where do you see OLED product development headed in the near future?

Blackman: OLED product development is paralleling LEDs’ development cycle. The efficiency is going up, and lifetime is going up, too. Right now, I’d say OLED efficiency and its lifetime are comparable to a CFL. In a year or two, the efficiency will greatly increase.

The luminous output will also increase for OLEDs, but that’s a delicate balance because here is a light source with even illumination, and no glare. I predict some OLEDs will be brighter, intended for use with a diffuser or reflector. Then there will be glare-free OLEDs you can look at straight on without a diffuser.

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DiLouie: What are the new possibilities with light that this technology offers?

Blackman: The OLED light source is very easy to use. I don’t need I love the fact that I do not need a diffuser and optical lens, or a heat sink like LEDs do. But what I really think is great is that I can apply OLEDs to a variety of materials. I am experimenting with new designs that hold the light source with a solid piece of rubber. Due to heat, in the past you would never use rubber to hold most light sources. Now here is an opportunity to attach light sources to rubber, fabric, wood, plastic and more.

DiLouie: What lessons have you learned about OLED during your work developing luminaires around it?

Blackman: Product development from many different manufacturers and suppliers has created OLEDs in many sizes and shapes. Similar to the LED industry, where there are too many choices, there needs to be standard sizing and standard sockets. In terms of engineering, my OLED designs require solutions to how to support the panels and to power them. It is difficult to support this thin glass light source, and it is not easy connecting to it mechanically and electrically. Also, the technology is very expensive at this point. Due to current price points, manufacturers need to learn how to create extra value with the inherent design of the fixture. I want to come up with exciting new designs that make OLED lamps and chandeliers seem worth the asking price.

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DiLouie: If you could tell the entire lighting industry just one thing about OLED, what would it be?

Blackman: OLEDs are never going to replace LEDs, but the technology will become a very viable general illumination option. LEDs actually are not best suited to general illumination and they are not easily controlled. It can be difficult to make LEDs into a general illumination fixture, but OLEDs will do it effortlessly. Both technologies will become increasingly important, but for different applications: OLED for general illumination, and LED where you need more control over the light.

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Interview about Healthcare Facilities Lighting with Tony Sarti, Healthcare Sales Manager for Kenall Manufacturing

I recently had the opportunity to interview Tony Sarti, Healthcare Sales Manager for Kenall Manufacturing, for an article I wrote about healthcare facilities lighting for The Electrical Distributor (TED) Magazine….

I recently had the opportunity to interview Tony Sarti, Healthcare Sales Manager for Kenall Manufacturing, for an article I wrote about healthcare facilities lighting for The Electrical Distributor (TED) Magazine. The interview was extremely informative, and I wanted to share it with you complete here.

DiLouie: How would you characterize healthcare facilities as a market for lighting? What types of facilities characterize this market?

Sarti: Healthcare facilities present quite a challenge for light fixture manufactures. Infection control, EMC & MRI compatibility, multifunctional lighting requirements and circadian rhythm are just some of the elements which must be considered when designing lighting products for the healthcare industry. Whether it is a hospital, medical office building or small clinic consideration of these environments should be evaluated when selecting lighting products.

DiLouie: What are the basic lighting requirements in a healthcare facility, and how do they distinguish this market from other applications?

Sarti: Infection control has been such an important topic for a long time and has gained a concentrated focus over the past few years. With over 2 million new cases of hospital acquired infections each year contributing to nearly 100,000 fatalities annually, special attention to combat this epidemic has been a priority.

Manufacturers of healthcare light fixtures sensitive to the infection control battle have addressed this concern in a few ways. Anti-microbial additives have been added to paint finishes to inhibit the growth of bacteria, mold and fungus on the surface of luminaires. This approach addresses the exposed painted surfaces of the luminaire; however, this is not effective on the lense portion of the fixture. To address the entire luminaire against the transmission of infectious disease, a fixture with a NSF2 rating should be selected. This NFS designation ensures that the design is compliant with ease of cleaning, smooth wipe down surfaces and finishes that adhere to strict hospital cleaning protocols.

A second line of defense with regards to infection control involves inhibiting the transmission of airborne pathogens. In most operating rooms airflow is drawn through a hepa-filtration device designed to prevent pathogen cross contamination to adjacent areas throughout the building. This device is designed to filter any biological pathogens that may be present within the surgical area. If a breach or leak exists in any area within the system, the negative pressure of the room would be compromised. If a luminaire has not been properly sealed from the surgical suite, airflow could then be diverted from the designed path to the hepa-filtration device and travel to the source of the leak.

If this gets in an improperly sealed luminaire the potential for bacteria or mold to colonize might exist. Heat from an energized luminaire might then aid in more rapid growth of this colonization. Once established, this bacteria or mold could find itself into the plenum through a hole, crack or seam within the fixture. Any pathogens present could then spread to adjacent areas within the building.

Surgical suite lighting recessed into the ceiling should, therefore, carry an IP65 rating along with welded housing to ensure the space within the luminaire is isolated from the space in both the surgical suite and plenum. Specifically, fixture doors should be fully gasketed between the surgical suite and light compartment to provide an IP65-certified dust as well as the water seal between the door and lens, doorframe and housing, and doorframe and ceiling.

Electromagnetic as well as magnetic compatibility within surgical suites and diagnostic rooms is essential for patient and staff safety. An improperly shielded luminaire might interfere with sensitive medical devices, which could be critical in diagnosing a problem or become a life safety concern. Military Standard 461F is the most recent certification adopted by the lighting industry with regards to noise limit control of electromagnetic interference for both radiated and conducted emissions.

The presence of ferrous material in a luminaire could affect imaging results or become a safety issue when used in an MRI application. Therefore, special attention must be given in the design of any fixture being used within an MRI suite.

Manufacturers of light fixtures must be conscious of healthcare facilities’ needs by providing lighting attentive to all such concerns. Selecting products that provide listings and certifications from accredited testing facilities is the best way for the specification community to ensure that luminaires are well suited to the challenges of their intended application. Without adherence to these standards, it would be not be possible to determine whether a luminaire manufacturer was producing products capable of achieving their desired result. Disregarding these design elements might cause interference with delicate electrical or magnetic imaging machinery, resulting compromised readings and/or test results. Fixtures bearing listings that support ease of cleaning and barriers to transmission are important safeguards to assure the right fixture for the right job.

DiLouie: What are the major recent trends in healthcare lighting, and how are they impacting lighting needs? (Not just energy and maintenance but color, visibility, controllability, etc.?)

Sarti: The most significant trend impacting all of lighting in recent years has been the adoption of LED lamp sources. Early adopters of LED products had to suffer through inconsistent color shifts, unreliable sources and products that were not designed to provide optimal performance. The results proved to be disappointing, with fixtures that produced inadequate light for their intended application, poor CRI, and premature driver and LED failures.

With the growth and advancement of LED technology, the concerns involving the performance and design of LED light fixtures has greatly diminished, provided a reputable manufacturer is making the luminaire. This newer technology allows manufacturers the flexibility of smart designs that utilize less space—particularly critical in healthcare environments—while producing light fixtures that yield optimal performance.

DiLouie: Are there any new markets that are developing in healthcare lighting? New opportunities for lighting that are being created by these trends?

Sarti: There is an increase in robotic surgical suite and hybrid operating room environments, often involving video-view technology. As a result, supporting the visual needs of the staff is becoming increasingly critical to successful patient outcomes. Essentially, surgical suite lighting must deliver consistent, effective light where and when it’s needed. For example, the use of either symmetric or symmetric/asymmetric reflectors in surgical suite luminaires, depending on the needs of a particular application, provides superior optical control within each of the surgical suite zones. Surgical teams must also be able to depend on the luminaires providing accurate color every time the step into the surgical field, so the color rendering index (CRI) of the light source also becomes critical to their success.

DiLouie: What opportunities are there for increasing user comfort from lighting via methods such as daylighting and patient color tuning and intensity control?

Sarti: Research suggests that natural light is the preferred light source, which means that lighting control systems that measure and adjust based on contributions support patient health while providing the facility owner with cost and energy savings. Graphic lightboxes with soothing images can also be utilized to reduce patient stress during a procedure or hospital stay.

DiLouie: What types of lighting are common in healthcare facilities, including any specialized lighting such as exam lights?

Sarti: There are many types of lighting common in healthcare facilities. Specialized lighting includes multi-function patient room lighting, LED troffers, step lights, downlights, headwell lights, task lights, exam lights, chart lights, healing lights and darkroom safelights. Non-specialized lighting includes vanity mirrors, wall sconces, downlights, stairwell lights, exit and emergency lights, reading lights, and parking structure and surface lot lights.

DiLouie: What are three unique aspects of this lighting market that electrical distributors need to become educated about to distinguish their expertise or otherwise take full advantage of selling opportunities?

Sarti: Be aware of the needs, requirements, and hot points that healthcare facilities must contend with that are exclusive to this industry. Infection control, and staff and patient safety is paramount in the planning and design of all healthcare facilities.

Know and understand the significance of listings and certifications, particularly their importance when discussing lighting for the healthcare industry.

Patient-centric focus has become the overarching goal of most hospitals over the past decade. Privatization of rooms, closer personal attention and greater control of their environment – all while providing an architectural, less clinical look – has become the driving force in today’s hospital design and planning.

DiLouie: What kinds of retrofit opportunities are available that offer good selling opportunities to electrical distributors? What should they look for in an existing building?

Sarti: Exit signs and night lights that run 24/7 can yield anywhere from 25-75 percent savings depending on the lamp source being retrofit to LED. There are several options when retrofitting these types of fixtures. Many installations are easy and, in most cases, will fit into the same footprint of the replaced unit.

DiLouie: How should electrical distributors engage their customers on healthcare facility lighting projects? Where can they add value and distinguish themselves from the competition?

Sarti: They should seek to understand the needs of their customer by engaging in open dialogue with all involved parties. The healthcare staff, maintenance crew, administrative departments may all have different needs and requests for what they want when lighting their facilities. They should understand these needs and respond to them in a positive way, by sharing this information and making these opinions heard along the entire supply chain. Taking the time to listen to the voice of the customer and meeting their lighting challenges is powerful and will ultimately set you apart from others.

DiLouie: If you could tell all electrical distributors just one thing about today’s healthcare lighting market, what would it be?

Sarti: Make sure the lighting fixtures you specify are sealed and carry certified listings that support effective infection control, which is so critical in today’s healthcare environments.

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Is L90 Really Better Than L70?

Kenall Lighting’s Nate Heiking makes the case that L90 may not be all it’s cracked up to be when evaluating rated life for LED luminaires. What do you think? ARCHITECTURAL…

Kenall Lighting’s Nate Heiking makes the case that L90 may not be all it’s cracked up to be when evaluating rated life for LED luminaires. What do you think?

ARCHITECTURAL SSL has the story here.

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DOE Publishes Major New Study on Residential Lighting Use

DOE has published a collaborative study focused on developing new estimates of residential lighting usage and energy consumption at the national and regional levels. The study, Residential Lighting End-Use Consumption…

DOE has published a collaborative study focused on developing new estimates of residential lighting usage and energy consumption at the national and regional levels. The study, Residential Lighting End-Use Consumption Study: Estimation Framework and Initial Estimates, developed a framework that allows for the estimation of U.S. lamp usage and energy consumption not only nationally and by region, but also by household characteristics, lamp characteristics, and the particular room within a home—as well as limited combinations of these parameters. The framework was designed to incorporate new data collected under similar protocols—for example, by a state or regional organization—which creates opportunities to further improve estimation accuracy.

Several key findings are highlighted in the study’s report:

* The estimated daily usage per lamp averaged 1.6 hours for all lamps in the U.S., with regional averages ranging between 1.4 and 1.6 hours. The average estimated hours of use (HOU) per lamp was lowest in Missouri and Virginia (<1.5 hours/day) and highest in Massachusetts, New York, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana (>1.6 hours/day).
* Exterior lamps averaged close to 3 HOU/day, while hallway lamps averaged less than 1 hour. Lamps in bedrooms, bathrooms, living rooms, and kitchens consumed the most energy, on average, of all spaces within a home.
* Massachusetts, New York, and California had the lowest annual household lighting energy consumption, each averaging fewer than 1,500 kWh per home, while Idaho, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Missouri, and Arizona had the highest, each averaging over 2,100 kWh—considerably more than the national average of just over 1,700 kWh.

The report, a companion spreadsheet, and an interactive map are available online here. The spreadsheet contains the full set of estimates generated by the study, as well as instructions for filtering the set down to specific levels of interest. The map highlights some of the key regional findings.

DOE

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Product Monday: ELeaf OLED Modules by Panasonic

Universal Lighting Technologies is bringing Panasonic ELeaf OLED modules to North America, providing luminaire OEMs new opportunities in product design. Only 9mm thick, each OLED module features a square light…

Universal Lighting Technologies is bringing Panasonic ELeaf OLED modules to North America, providing luminaire OEMs new opportunities in product design. Only 9mm thick, each OLED module features a square light emitting surface (LES) area of 80mm x 80mm that produces a diffuse and uniform white light. Arranged together, ELeaf OLED modules can create an entire wall of light without generating significant heat, according to the company. CRI>90, minimal UV and IR radiation, 3000K/4000K/5000K color temperature, compatible with 0-10V controls.

ELeaf OLED_Application

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2013 Nonresidential Construction Recovery Slows Down

With slower than expected activity in the nonresidential construction sector in the first half of the year, the projections for growth in spending have been scaled back. Led by the…

With slower than expected activity in the nonresidential construction sector in the first half of the year, the projections for growth in spending have been scaled back. Led by the hotel and retail project categories, the commercial sector looks largely unchanged, but a noteworthy drop in demand for institutional projects has caused participants in the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) semi-annual Consensus Construction Forecast, a survey of the nation’s leading construction forecasters, to reduce projections for spending to a 2.3% increase in 2013, with next year’s projections raised to 7.6%.

“A disappointing recovery of the U.S. economy is limiting need for new nonresidential building activity,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “Optimism for a stronger performance next year is based on the recent increase in domestic energy production, the boost to the general economy from a resurgent housing market, and improving employment figures that should help drive demand in the design and construction sectors.”

Check out Baker’s analysis here.

Market Segment Consensus Growth Forecasts 2013 2014
Overall nonresidential 2.3% 7.6%
Commercial / industrial 8.5% 11.5%
• Hotels 17.4% 15.0%
• Retail 8.2% 11.7%
• Office buildings 5.8% 9.5%
• Industrial facilities 4.0% 6.3%
Institutional -1.8% 5.6%
• Religious 1.5% 6.0%
• Healthcare facilities 1.4% 7.7%
• Education -2.5% 4.8%
• Amusement / recreation -4.1% 6.5%
• Public safety -4.8% 1.0%
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The Future of Commercial Efficiency Programs and LED Lighting

Dan Mellinger, PE, LC, Lighting Strategy Manager for Efficiency Vermont, recently published a whitepaper that discusses the future of commercial efficiency programs and LED lighting. It addresses the significant opportunity…

Dan Mellinger, PE, LC, Lighting Strategy Manager for Efficiency Vermont, recently published a whitepaper that discusses the future of commercial efficiency programs and LED lighting. It addresses the significant opportunity that remains, despite years of fluorescent upgrades, and the importance of controls and design.

Check it out here.

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FMI: Residential Construction Shows Significant Improvement

Phil Warner, Research Consultant for FMI Corporation, says improvement in residential construction is the primary area of growth in the firm’s latest construction forecast: Most other sectors, while still improving…

Phil Warner, Research Consultant for FMI Corporation, says improvement in residential construction is the primary area of growth in the firm’s latest construction forecast:

Most other sectors, while still improving over 2012, are growing at a somewhat slower rate. One of the reasons for this slow growth continues to be uncertainty caused by the federal budget competition that has gone well beyond the standard for extra innings.

Our overall forecast for U.S. construction put in place has been revised down from 8% last quarter to 7% in the second quarter. The revised figure for total construction put in place is $913 billion for 2013, but we expect growth to return to 8% in 2014 to hit $989 billion. The major markets downwardly adjusted for a slower growth forecast include residential improvements (-1.8%), commercial construction (-0.8%), health care (-3.15%), public safety (-2.5%), amusement and recreation (-2.0%), sewage and waste disposal (-3.8%), and water supply (-3.2%).

While there is no singular reason for the drop in these markets-each is evaluated on its own criteria-there are a few economic concerns that touch all of them. The first is the decline in public construction and expectations of more cuts as the sequestration continues. Second, lenders are still tight with their lending criteria. Consumers are still cautious about increasing their debt load. The economic climate will keep the heat on industry competition, especially if the mostly larger companies that make their livelihood in government construction start looking for work in already competitive private sectors.

Check out FMI’s 2013Q2 report here.

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LightNOW Editor Named to List of Top Five Lighting Experts

It was a real honor to be included in RelightDepot.com’s list of “top five lighting experts to follow” along with James Bedell, Joe Salimando, Linda Longo, Seth Leitman and Ray…

It was a real honor to be included in RelightDepot.com’s list of “top five lighting experts to follow” along with James Bedell, Joe Salimando, Linda Longo, Seth Leitman and Ray Molony!

Check it out here.

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