Month: December 2016

What the Lighting Industry is Really Thinking

LUX produced a hilarious video showing what the participants of a construction/lighting project are really thinking. Happy New Year to the lighting world!

LUX produced a hilarious video showing what the participants of a construction/lighting project are really thinking.

Happy New Year to the lighting world!

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IES Street and Area Lighting Conference Call for Speakers

The IES Street and Area Lighting Conference, which will be held September 10-13, 2017 in Austin, TX, has announced a call for speakers. Speaker proposals will be accepted through Thursday,…

The IES Street and Area Lighting Conference, which will be held September 10-13, 2017 in Austin, TX, has announced a call for speakers.

Speaker proposals will be accepted through Thursday, January 19.

Click here to submit a proposal.

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CLTC Publishes New Residential Lighting Guide

The California Lighting Technology Center (CLTC) has updated its Residential Lighting Guide for California’s 2016 Building Energy Efficiency Standards. The guide assists builders and lighting industry professionals in navigating the…

cltcThe California Lighting Technology Center (CLTC) has updated its Residential Lighting Guide for California’s 2016 Building Energy Efficiency Standards.

The guide assists builders and lighting industry professionals in navigating the residential lighting portion of California’s Title 24, Part 6. The updated Energy Standards take effect on January 1, 2017.

The Residential Lighting Guide is sponsored by Energy Code Ace and developed in collaboration with the California Energy Commission.

Click here to get it.

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Jim Brodrick on New Color Findings

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 As is the case with any subjective…

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

As is the case with any subjective experience, it’s a challenge to quantify color preference, which varies from person to person and is affected by age, culture, and application as well as by many other factors. At the same time, it’s important for specifiers and consumers to choose sources that render the color of objects in accordance with human preferences, and to be able to make intelligent tradeoffs between lighting color quality and other performance attributes.

The recent development by the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) of TM-30-15 offers an improved tool for characterizing average color fidelity (the overall similarity of colors illuminated by a test and reference source) and average change in color saturation (i.e., vividness), using TM-30’s Fidelity Index (Rf) and Gamut Index (Rg). There’s also added information that extends beyond average fidelity and average gamut area, providing insight into how specific hues will be rendered. But how color-rendering measures relate to the preferences of end users in real-world applications remains an open topic, with little practical guidance available to specifiers.

A new study published in the journal Lighting Research and Technology and coauthored by several members of DOE’s solid-state lighting team provides initial evidence to support the effectiveness of the measures defined in TM-30 for characterizing subjective visual perceptions. In turn, this opens doors for engineering and specifying light-source spectra with different color-rendering characteristics than are commonly available today.

The researchers conducted an experiment to determine how subjective impressions of color quality depend upon the shifts the light source causes in the color appearance of objects. Each of 28 participants of varied age and gender evaluated 26 different lighting conditions in a room filled with objects that were selected to cover a range of hue, saturation, and lightness — with illuminance (20 fc) and chromaticity (3500 K, on the blackbody locus) kept constant for all lighting conditions.

By itself, average fidelity — especially CRI — was found to be a weak predictor of human perception. Nine of the 12 most-liked products had a CRI ≤ 73, indicating that the common practice of using CRI ≥ 80 as a cutoff point may exclude many preferred light sources. The findings also suggest that gamut shape (the specific changes in color appearance across different hues) is more important than average gamut area (average saturation level) for modeling human preference. In particular, a distinct preference for the increased saturation of reds was observed, which is the opposite of what occurs with most energy-efficient lighting on the market today. What’s more, CRI disproportionately penalizes increases in red saturation, due to underlying fundamentals of the calculation, which may have been a deterrent to the development of more-preferred sources in the past.

It’s important to note that TM-30 is only a tool and is not a solution in and of itself. To be of maximum help when choosing a light source, it should be used in combination with other information — e.g., chromaticity, intensity, distribution, efficacy, and cost. But as this new research shows, better tools can aid in the development of new light sources that effectively balance all aspects of lighting quality and better fit the needs of a given application.

For more information, download the journal article.

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Product Monday: Expanded Seem Line by Focal Point

Focal Point has expanded on its Seem family with the introduction of two new luminaires, Seem 2 Perimeter and Seem 4 Perimeter. Fitting in both grid and drywall ceilings, with…

Focal Point has expanded on its Seem family with the introduction of two new luminaires, Seem 2 Perimeter and Seem 4 Perimeter.

Fitting in both grid and drywall ceilings, with only a 2.5-inch regress and 1-foot increment ordering length capabilities, these luminaires are well-suited to highlighting walls and creating ambient illumination. A field-replaceable linear LED module installs into the aluminum housing while a frosted acrylic lens (2” or 4” wide respectively) provides uninterrupted illumination without pixels or shadows. The ability for continuous light from wall-to-wall in pattern configuration enables Seem Perimeter luminaires to provide design versatility; ideal for creating a glowing transition from wall to ceiling in corridors, office spaces, or hospitality areas.

Click here to learn more about Seem 2, click here to learn more about Seem 4.

seem1

seem2

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Interview with Cree’s Bill Foley on Retail Lighting Trends

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Bill Foley, VP Brand Management, Cree Lighting. The topic: trends in retail lighting. I’m happy to share his responses with you here. The…

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Bill Foley, VP Brand Management, Cree Lighting. The topic: trends in retail lighting. I’m happy to share his responses with you here. The interview informed an article I wrote for the February 2017 issue of tED.

DiLouie: How would you characterize retail facilities as a market for lighting? What types of applications and categories characterize this market?

Foley: Retail applications have long been at the forefront of the lighting market and remain so today. Although different types of retail applications vary widely in their lighting needs, they often drive improvements in light color, optical control, energy efficiency, maintenance, lighting control and more.

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

Foley: Retail lighting requirements differ considerably by the type of application. Big box retail applications usually prioritize energy efficiency, maintenance cost (i.e. life), luminous uniformity, and low installed cost. Boutique retail applications usually prioritize color quality (i.e. high Color Rendering Index) and glare control. Certain specialized retail applications may prioritize other unique attributes. For example, jewelry stores often require very small point sources with relatively high color temperature to make gemstones sparkle while favoring lower color temperature sources for areas displaying gold.

DiLouie: What are the major recent trends in retail lighting, and how are they impacting lighting needs? What new opportunities for lighting are being created by these trends?

Foley: LED lighting has become the proven path to better light for retail applications. LED sources allow retailers to dramatically lower the cost of ownership of the lighting system through high system efficacy (high lumens delivered per watt consumed), long life, and high color rendering. LED sources also produce far less heat unlike incandescent sources, and do not flicker unlike fluorescent sources.

DiLouie: Are there any new markets that are developing in retail lighting, such as tunable-white lighting?

Foley: Absolutely, LED lighting opens up a whole new range of opportunities for dynamic lighting control. While dimming control has long been available in various types of lighting, with LED, dimming has never been easier or more effective. LED technology also enables consideration of color tuning to a user preset or even installation-variable range of color temperatures. This is a relatively new application capability not yet widely used in retail applications but is of significant interest as retailers consider uses for this capability.

DiLouie: What types of lighting equipment are common in retail facilities?

Foley: Lighting equipment for retail applications is as diverse as the applications themselves. Boutique shops and high-end retail applications generally favor the discreet, clean ceiling appearance of recessed luminaires. Big box retail favors highbay luminaires for their high mounting height, efficiency, low maintenance and, often, moderate up-light. High-end retail applications utilize accent lighting to create the non-uniform brightness patterns necessary to highlight merchandise displays while mainstream department stores favor the economy of general ambient lighting. Track lighting remains an excellent choice for accent lighting due to its positioning and aiming flexibility.

DiLouie: What are three major 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?

Foley:

1. The importance of color rendering to the perceived value of merchandise.
2. Opportunities to reduce the total cost of ownership of the lighting system to the retail owner through the energy efficiency and labor savings inherent to LED lighting.
3. The evolving opportunity for lighting controls.

DiLouie: What challenges remain for LED lamps and luminaires in this market?

Foley: LED technology and products have evolved to the point of now offering a range of extremely robust solutions to the challenges of retail lighting. The opportunity now is in increased adoption through increased customer awareness.

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

Foley: Customers must evaluate the benefits of retrofit vs. relight and are encouraged to do so on a case-by-case basis. Excellent LED retrofit solutions are available to convert many existing linear fluorescent luminaires to LED. The most robust of these are for troffers. In the case of such other product types as highbay luminaires, for example, replacement of the fluorescent or HID luminaire with a new LED luminaire is often a better approach both in terms of installed cost and result. Lamp replacement alone is usually not a good solution in most cases. A notable exception is replacement of incandescent PAR and MR lamps with their LED counterparts in track lights, which can often be a simple and effective upgrade.

DiLouie: How should electrical distributors engage their customers on retail lighting projects? What is the process from determining owner needs to recommending a solution or finding the right product? Where can they add value and distinguish themselves from the competition?

Foley: Retail customer engagement begins with an objective assessment of the customer’s environment, needs, objectives, and constraints. Diligence in this inquiry creates a funnel through which the variety of retail lighting solutions can be considered, eventually honing in on an appropriate solution.

DiLouie: What role can lighting controls play in retail spaces? What are the opportunities for distributors to incorporate controls into projects?

Foley: Lighting controls have evolved considerably in the overall market. That evolution has accelerated tremendously in recent years with the convergence of wireless and LED technology. That being said, the use of lighting controls in retail applications is still in its infancy. Lighting for retail applications has traditionally been thought of as an “all on” condition, regardless of shopper occupancy. Thus, the use of lighting controls in retail has been largely rudimentary, primarily manifest in photo-controls around skylights in big box retail applications, and in astronomical clocks and related devices in outdoor retail parking lots. The potential for much more imaginative use of lighting controls is possible in the future by leveraging the convergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) with personal devices (e.g. smartphones) and wireless lighting control technology.

DiLouie: What opportunities exist for using lighting to communicate with customers and generate analytics?

Foley: LED technology offers intelligent solutions for retail applications that were once not possible. Lighting controls for retail applications have the capability to become a data-rich tool that will improve all facets of a space. The technology, currently being implemented in whole buildings, allows all networks (lighting, HVAC, internet, phones…etc.) to be converted into one control panel. This is completed through Power over Ethernet (PoE), allowing all system devices to communicate with each other to provide real-time data for building managers. Occupancy sensors allow system mangers to collect data across the board, which in return can be used to improve overall efficiencies, store traffic flow, customer happiness and profit margins.

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

Foley: Demand for better lighting solutions will continue to grow in the retail lighting market. Technology integration matters and is paramount to delivering new forms of consumer value. LED technology offers better solutions for retail applications, but it is important to note that not all LEDs are created equal. Be mindful of the individual retail store’s needs and know that the lighting choices you make today will stay with you for decades.

DiLouie: Is there anything else you’d like to add about this topic?

Foley: The focus is shifting from cheaper technology to better products and services with affordability being an added bonus. LED technology continues to offer better lighting solutions for all retail facility needs. The potential for LED technology goes well beyond what we originally thought was possible and we at Cree will continue to innovate and challenge the possibilities and potential.

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Three Most Populous States Have Worst Lighting Rebates

Rebate support company BriteSwitch recently posted an answer to the question they often get, “Where are the best lighting rebates in the country?” Their analysis didn’t produce a winner but…

bestlightingrebatesRebate support company BriteSwitch recently posted an answer to the question they often get, “Where are the best lighting rebates in the country?”

Their analysis didn’t produce a winner but did result in some interesting observations:

• The three states with the biggest populations have the worst lighting rebates
• Northeastern rebates are generous but have a catch
• Midwest and Northwest have strong incentives but many variations
• Areas where funding goes quicker than anticipated
• The type of product selected makes a big difference

Click here to learn more.

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2016 DOE SSL Technology Development Workshop Presentations Posted

The U.S. Department of Energy recently posted the presentations from the 2016 DOE SSL Technology Development Workshop, held November 16–17 in Denver. Tunable-white lighting, connected lighting, TLEDs, OLEDs, controls and…

The U.S. Department of Energy recently posted the presentations from the 2016 DOE SSL Technology Development Workshop, held November 16–17 in Denver.

Tunable-white lighting, connected lighting, TLEDs, OLEDs, controls and more.

Check it out here.

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Ted Konnerth on IoT and the World of Change

Guest post by Ted Konnerth, Egret Consulting I was invited to join a panel at the new IoT Emerge conference in Chicago. As a lifelong industry guy who has grown…

Guest post by Ted Konnerth, Egret Consulting

I was invited to join a panel at the new IoT Emerge conference in Chicago. As a lifelong industry guy who has grown up selling and marketing tangible products, it was an interesting and stimulating environment to be surrounded by tech guys who see the world through software solutions. One thing I learned… IoT is YUGE.

IoT is distinguished from IoP; i.e. Internet of People. The internet we’ve become reliant on was crafted for people; communications, information access, interacting; etc. As the keynote speaker Tim Chou emphasized… People are not Things. So the IoT is being crafted as a data communication system that is based upon the flow of information. Massive amounts of information, so much that there will soon be a requirement for a new category of information volume; Terabytes become useless when we begin to talk about trillions of Terabytes. So let’s review Mr. Chou’s overview:

Things are where people aren’t.
Things can do things faster than people.
Things can be programmed, people can’t.

The IoT is based on the premise that with increasing numbers of sensors, we will create massive amounts of data; which will require massive amounts of data analysis and storage and ideally… actionable and predictive assessments. So that leads to 4 steps in the development:

Sensor technology. Cell phones currently have 12 sensors and, at the current production levels of 100’s of millions of new cell phones, sensor design and costs are plummeting. With the drop in sensor cost, then the deployment of sensors will grow. Sensor tech is roughly adhering to Moore’s Law, and there are hundreds of sensors, with many more to come.

With massive growth in sensor applications there will be growth in communication networks to handle the data surge.

The pace of data generation is exploding. As an example, a typical oil rig has over 40,000 sensors on it. Wind turbine farms can generate over 1,000 Terabytes/yr. Data collection systems have to expand proportional to the adoption of sensor applications.

With the amount of data being generated… how do you analyze and interpret that much data? The answer to this is Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI tech is at the core of machine learning and will also grow proportional to the data collection growth.

Why do machine makers care about data and IoT?

Quality of service and products will improve

Cost of service will drop and lead to new business models:

Service contracts. GE currently has approximately $50B/yr in service contracts ($70B in product sales)

Assisted services. As the machines ‘talk’ to their manufacturer, the manufacturer can offer advice and assistance to the operators or owners of the machines to improve performance.

Machine as a service. Manufacturers have already begun to lease their machines as part of a service contract, e.g.: sell tires at $/mile rate and change them as they age. Sell compressed air by leasing the equipment and maintaining those machines.

Drive down costs

Improve quality

Improve the environment, e.g. farmers can lease their equipment and modify their seeding operation based upon the condition of the soil and weather, and modify or minimize their pesticide or fertilizer usage.

Improve safety

Asset management

In short, the potential benefits of IoT adoption are enormous and will result in dramatically different approaches to business. But then there’s the downside:

Every speaker addressed security as a ‘concern’. But nobody said it will be solved soon. The advantage of the IoT is that this is a new paradigm, the chance to ‘invent the internet’ all over again. Hopefully the new internet will be far safer than the current one.

Technical issues: from standardized communication platforms (Zigbee, Bluetooth, WiFi, etc.), to vendor assessments, application development, pricing models and interoperability issues.. it’s going to take time to create the ‘new’ internet. And there will be winners and bad losers.

Channel players. Ahh, my favorite theme since SSL became ‘real’. IoT is amorphous, it requires hardware to work and the application and location of that hardware will lead to the channel players who can assist in its growth. And that leads us back to the electrical industry.

Our industry is poised as a leading participant in the development and launch of the IoT. Major manufacturers are already lining up to play in IoT; from auto manufacturers to GE, Cargill, Monsanto and Johnson and Johnson. The electrical industry has the infrastructure for energy: from T&D equipment to your bathroom light switch, there will be a favored geographical hegemony for our industry to harbor sensors. The bigger issue is who will influence the selection of electrical equipment, define the sensor technology and scope, and integrate that data transfer to a collection server for data analytics?

Electrical industry meets technology industry. It’s here. We all hope it’s collaborative and strategic to ensure that the right sensors are placed on the right equipment in a fashion that doesn’t impede the proper design and application of the original equipment. We don’t want Cisco engineers designing the lighting layout for the next art museum to optimize people movement analytics and temperature indicators to protect the artwork. And we really don’t want sensors on our T&D equipment being easily hacked and subsequently infecting the utility IT infrastructure.

We have huge opportunities ahead of us. The IoT will provide the shiniest object for many of the brightest engineers and scientists in the years ahead. Attracting leadership talent that understands the potential of the IoT and how to monetize investments in IoT will be a challenge. What kind of background would that leader have? Industry or tech? And the possibility of creating new business models that transcend the pure manufacture and sale of hard goods.. is exciting. We’re at a time in history that has never occurred before, let’s all figure out how to adapt.

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Product Monday: Multi-Protocol AL Driver by Acclaim Lighting

Acclaim Lighting’s AL Driver 400 is a multi-protocol 400W driver to optimize the usage of low-voltage LED products. Control interface protocols include DMX, RDM, 0-10V and DALI, in addition to…

Acclaim Lighting’s AL Driver 400 is a multi-protocol 400W driver to optimize the usage of low-voltage LED products. Control interface protocols include DMX, RDM, 0-10V and DALI, in addition to six-pin terminals for PWM outputs.

With an input voltage between 100V and 277V VAC and an output of 12V and 24 V DC, the unit contains internal temperature and usage sensors that records data on its on-board display. The AL Driver 400 is housed in aluminum and operates best in temperatures ranging from 14 to 113 degrees F, with an IP22 rating for dry locations. The black-finish unit is 13.38 by 9 by 3.14 inches, and includes static color selection and an internal preset program as optional operating modes.

Available with a five-year warranty, AL Driver 400 is suited to architectural lighting and entertainment.

Click here to learn more.

acclaim-lighting-offers-new-multi-protocol-al-driver-400-for-low-voltage-led-applications

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