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Signify’s WIZ Now Offers Motion-Detection Without Sensors

Signify has introduced a new app, features, and products for its WiZ smart lighting system to enhance convenience. The new offerings include SpaceSense™, a motion detection technology for the lighting system that doesn’t require any sensor to be installed.

Signify has introduced a new app, features, and products for its WiZ smart lighting system to enhance convenience. The new offerings include SpaceSense™, a motion detection technology for the lighting system that doesn’t require any sensor to be installed. The new WiZ app V2 and the SpaceSense™ feature are available at the end of September 2022.

The SpaceSense feature uses Wi-Fi signals that are already present in the room to detect motion – without the need for dedicated sensors and batteries. Wi-Fi signals are slightly disturbed when people move around in a room, like a ripple in a swimming pool. By measuring the small deviations in signal strength caused by those disturbances, the WiZ lights can determine if there is an object moving in the room.

The detection is omnidirectional and doesn’t require line of sight during installation, like traditional motion sensors. The sensitivity of the system can be adjusted, for example, to prevent pets from turning the lights on and off while running in and out of the room. It requires installing at least two lights per room and connecting them with the WiZ app V2. The new feature is completely opt-in so WiZ users can decide for themselves whether they would like to make use of the motion-detection feature.

The full Signify article about the latest WIZ products can be read here.

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The Language of the Circular Economy

Do you wish you knew a little bit more about the circular economy and how it applies to sustainable lighting? The Sustainable Furnishings Council has recently published Circular Design Glossary: Furniture & Furnishings.

Do you wish you knew a little bit more about the circular economy and how it applies to sustainable lighting? The Sustainable Furnishings Council has recently published Circular Design Glossary: Furniture & Furnishings, in collaboration with mebl | Transforming Furniture and Soma studiomilano. The glossary defines and explains 43 different terms from circular economy practice, such as: Biodesign, Biomimicry, Cradle to Cradle, Embedded Impacts, Just Transition, Regenerative Design, Technical Nutrients, and many more.

Every defined term comes with an example from the furniture industry, including several that are from lighting (see examples below). The full glossary document can be downloaded here.


BIOMIMICRY: 25Lamp by Kovac Family draws inspiration from mollusk shell structure to create a design that folds and unfolds, allowing for flat packaging. Through BIOMIMICRY – mimicking nature – the design of the 25Lamp greatly reduces the waste and pollution associated with packing and transporting. Flat packaging results in reduced CO2 emissions by both requiring less space in transport and reducing/eliminating the need for packing materials such as plastic and foam. The 25Lamp – handmade in Sweden from local FSC-certified and reclaimed wood – is shipped with a modest amount of 100% recycled packaging.

 


COMPOSTABLE: The MushLume Lighting Collection by biodesigner Danielle Trofe comprises hanging pendants, tables, and floor lamps. This collection combines hemp with mycelium – the vegetative part of fungi – to “grow lampshades.” Within a few days, mycelium cultivates a thick network of hyphae – long filamentous branches found in fungi – which is then left to solidify within custom lampshade molds. When the mycelium matures, the molds are removed and the lampshades are then dried and heated. This creates a stable, 100% COMPOSTABLE product that can ultimately add nutrients back to the earth.

 

BIODESIGN: The Bacteria Lamp by designer Jan Klingler uses bacteria samples from people, places, or things to preserve memories. The designer explains that every living creature and place has a unique microbiological “fingerprint.” Applying BIODESIGN, Jan Klingler collects a fingerprint, then lets the bacteria grow for 24 – 48 hours. He then seals the microorganisms within a resin to preserve the unique pattern for eternity. While bacteria is usually associated with disease, this collection shows that it can also carry a story of people or places dear to us.

 

 

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Product Monday: iGuzzini Optic Combines Reflector with Light Guide Trim

One of the most interesting products that we found at ArchLIGHT Summit was the new Crystal line of linear recessed luminaires from iGuzzini. Their Opti Diamond optic dazzles. It combines the roles of a low-glare reflector for the LED sources while also behaving as a light guide trim that subtly illuminates the ceiling.

One of the most interesting products that I found at ArchLIGHT Summit was the new Crystal line of linear recessed luminaires from iGuzzini. Their Opti Diamond optic dazzles. It combines the roles of a low-glare reflector for the LED sources while also behaving as a light guide trim that subtly illuminates the ceiling (see images).

The Opti Diamond optic is offered in a variety of finishes and light distribution patterns for different applications. The two finishes are referred to as “black” or “white,” but this doesn’t convey the effects, in my opinion. The “white” finish looks like a highly reflective polymer reflector that directs light downward, but simultaneously it is a trim and light guide that subtly illuminates the ceiling around the downlight. The “black” finish behaves somewhat like a black baffle in eliminating all glare when viewed at an angle, while maintaining the light guide trim illumination of the ceiling. The white is brighter, and the black creates a more unusual contrast effect.

The Opti Diamond optics are offered with four light distribution patterns:

  • A High Efficiency & Visual Comfort version, with UGR<19, that is designed for workplaces;
  • The Oval distribution version (with both longitudinal and transversal light emission) is designed for narrow environments, like corridors;
  • A General Lighting version for illuminating space evenly / symmetrically; and
  • A Wall Washer version for pointing light mainly on the vertical plane.

The Crystal linear downlights can be controlled by smartphone, via the Smart Light Control app. Other performance specifications for the Crystal line include:

  • From 1000 lm to 3300 lm
  • 3000K; 3500K; 4000K; Tunable white
  • CRI 80 or 90
  • Up to 156 lm/W
  • General Light, UGR
  • WF, 32°, WW, Oval Beam

A 14-second video that captures the visual effects is available if you click below:

Additional information about iGuzzini’s Crystal line is available here

 

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Important Details About The California Fluorescent Lamp Ban

On September 18, 2022, California banned fluorescent lamps, both CFLs and linear fluorescent lamps, joining Vermont’s ban in May, and the EU’s ban in December. California went beyond Vermont’s ban on 4’ lamps, by banning linear fluorescent tubes up to 8’ long.I chased down the legislative details for you.

Earlier this week, California banned fluorescent lamps, both CFLs and linear fluorescent lamps, joining Vermont’s ban in May, and the EU’s ban in December. California went beyond Vermont’s ban on 4’ lamps, by banning linear fluorescent tubes up to 8’ long.

I chased down the legislative language and found the following effective date information for the CA ban:

  • Screw or bayonet base CFLs are prohibited on and after January 1, 2024.
  • Pin-based CFLs are prohibited on or after January 1, 2025.
  • Linear fluorescent lamps (aka fluorescent tubes) are prohibited on or after January 1, 2025.

Other interesting details of the law include:

  • The legal language prohibits “final sale, sold at final sale, or distributed in CA as a new manufactured product.”
  • The bill exempts various CFLs and linear lamps, including ones for image capture and projection, lamps used for disinfection, sunlamps for tanning, and other specialized lamps for medical purposes & scientific research.
  • The CFL ban applies to all tube diameters and all tube lengths, including, but not limited to: PL, spiral, twin tube, triple, twin, 2D, U-bend, and circular.
  • The linear fluorescent ban includes, but is not limited to:
    • single-pin, two-pin, and recessed double contact.
    • all tube diameters, including, but not limited to T5, T8, T10, and T12.
    • all tube lengths from 0.5 to 8.0 feet, inclusive.
    • all lamp shapes, including, but not limited to linear, U-bend, and circular.

The remarkably brief 2.5-page legal language can be downloaded here.

 

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Are Graphene Composite Heat Sinks & Housings Ready To Replace Aluminum?

New materials have changed the lighting industry before. The change from RGB to phosphor-converted white LEDs was enabled by InGaN blue-pump LED development. Similarly, many TIR lenses have shifted from polymers such as polycarbonate to optical silicone..Another potential materials leap for the LED industry is that Chinese factories are beginning to offer high output luminaires with graphene composite heat sinks & housings.

New materials have changed the lighting industry before. The change from RGB to phosphor-converted white LEDs was enabled by InGaN blue-pump LED development. Similarly, many TIR lenses have shifted from polymers such as polycarbonate to optical silicone. I’ve also recently written about the great performance leaps of GaN-on-GaN transistors and their ability to double luminaire output or halve driver size. .

Graphene is a one-atom-thick layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice. It is the building block of Graphite (which is used, among others things, in pencil tips), but graphene is a remarkable substance on its own – with a multitude of astonishing properties which repeatedly earn it the title “wonder material.” The 2010 Nobel prize in physics went to the two scientists who first isolated graphene in 2004.

Graphene composite heat sinks & housings can now significantly reduce weight and cost compared with typical aluminum alloys, for the same application.  The heat dissipation of graphene composites is the same as aluminum alloy but at a fraction of the cost.

Have you considered developing graphene composite heat sinks and housings? Share your findings and experience with this new approach in the comments below or send us an email – we are looking forward to learning more about this material.

Example of a graphene composite high bay luminaire.

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City Downtowns Evolving Away From Office Use….What’s Next?

The pandemic has changed office work in many ways. Companies that are creating new offices are doing so predominantly in suburbs now, rather than downtowns. Many companies and industries have accepted hybrid and remote work arrangements, dramatically reducing the need for office space altogether.

The pandemic has changed office work in many ways. Companies that are creating new offices are doing so predominantly in suburbs now, rather than downtowns. Many companies and industries have accepted hybrid and remote work arrangements, dramatically reducing the need for office space altogether. Many think these changes are here to stay for the foreseeable future. In 10 of the largest US cities, office occupancy averages are less than half, roughly 44% as of mid-August, of what they were in 2020 before the pandemic hit.

Will this bring the death of urban downtowns? Leading urban economist & professor Richard Florida argues in Bloomberg that downtown districts will continue to survive and evolve as they always have. Florida says that city downtowns have survived far worse than the pandemic’s current upheaval of the office real estate market. Downtowns have continuously adapted to great fires, floods and natural disasters, epidemics and plagues, wars, deindustrialization, and terrorist attacks. He points out that downtowns dominated by office buildings are as recent as the 1950s. Prior to that, they were filled with small businesses, factories, and residences.

Prior to COVID, downtowns were already shifting to restaurants, nightlife, cultural venues, schools, apartments & condos, and other services and amenities. The pandemic and its persistent increase in remote work have accelerated this shift. Downtown housing costs have recently rebounded and skyrocketed past pre-pandemic levels. This incentivizes more conversion of older downtown office buildings into residential apartments & condos. Some cities, including Salt Lake City, UT; Columbus, OH; Fresno, CA; and Bakersfield, CA have rebounded beyond pre-pandemic levels. Florida suggests thinking of downtowns as connectivity districts, a city’s most central location for business and social meetings at restaurants, cafes, and other venues. Read the full article here.

What does this all mean for lighting? Total office space is likely to decrease. New office construction will shift from downtowns to suburbs and small city locations that minimize commutes. Downtowns will continue their shifts toward restaurants, nightlife, cultural venues, schools, apartments & condos, and other services and amenities. This would argue for expansion of light commercial and resimercial lighting product lines.

How do you see the urban lighting markets changing? Please share your observations in the comment section below.

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German Manufacturer Calls For Design Shift To Delivered Efficacy

A German spotlight manufacturer, ERCO, has issued a public call for the lighting design industry to shift from luminaire efficacy (measured in lumens/Watt) to the “effectiveness of the light in the space” (aka “delivered efficacy,” measured in lux/Watt or foot-candles/Watt).

A German spotlight manufacturer, ERCO, has issued a public call for the lighting design industry to shift from luminaire efficacy (measured in lumens/Watt) to the “effectiveness of the light in the space” (aka “delivered efficacy,” measured in lux/Watt or foot-candles/Watt).

If the lighting design community adopted this approach and metrics, it would begin judging the efficiency of a luminaire by how well it puts light where desired rather than how efficiently it emits light. This isn’t a completely new idea. At the LED chip level, it’s long been promoted that higher lumen density (lumens/light emitting surface) leads to higher “optical control” and higher delivered efficiency. The principle is the same at the luminaire level. This is why there has long been a push for higher output point sources from smaller and smaller emitting areas/sources.

Center beam candle power (CBCP) describes the ability of a luminaire/source to deliver brightness to a location, but it doesn’t describe the efficiency of delivering that brightness. Lx/W (metric system) or fc/W (English units) would describe delivered efficacy of a luminaire.

ERCO is also publicly calling for “a general movement towards the illumination of vertical surfaces over the floor.” This is increasingly being advocated by thought leaders in lighting design, as much work has moved from paper and physical items to digital & vertical computer screens. Of course, as in all things, application matters. ERCO adds, “Historically, walls haven’t been prioritized, although the latest version of the European indoor lighting standard EN 12464-1 now takes it more seriously.”

ERCO further argues that their spotlight uses lower lumen/W, high-powered, small chips that achieve higher lx/W than a COB+reflector combination because the COB+reflector wastes significantly more light.

From the company’s press release:

“ERCO spotlights, by contrast, use lens systems [paired] with single high-powered chips. This tiny but bright point of light is much easier to control into a narrow beam of effective light. ERCO mounts the chips themselves into their own printed circuit boards before pairing them with a bespoke lens design.

Although this construction has nominally lower lm/W values, it brings up to 20 percent more light to the target surface compared to rivals. This means that [designers] who only look at the lm/W values on a luminaire‘s technical data sheet are giving away the potential for sustainable lighting focusing on more light on the target area as well as for energy savings.”

ERCO also points out this can significantly reduce glare, which in many cases is wasted light (spill light). The full ERCO press release can be found here.

Example of lighting walls (vertical plane) rather than floors (horizontal plane).

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Product Monday: StressCrete’s Decorative Streetlights & Poles Revitalize Main Street

In the Summer of 2021, StressCrete provided a turn-key solution to help revitalize Main Street in Fredericksburg, Texas, a small town in Texas Hill Country.

In the Summer of 2021, StressCrete provided a turn-key solution to help revitalize Main Street in Fredericksburg, Texas, a small town in Texas Hill Country. The solution combined:

The small town of Fredericksburg, in Texas Hill Country, revitalized its Main Street using 30 sets of decorative streetlights and light poles, from StressCrete.

  • 30’ Washington poles with flag holders, banner arms, and flowerpot-holders;
  • K807 Doral Sr. Pendants for the roadway; and
  • twin K707 Doral Jr. Pendants for pedestrian sidewalks.

30 sets of the decorative luminaires and poles were carefully paired by StressCrete Group and its partners: Wesco (distributor) and FAPCo (rep). Unique features of the decorative streetlight & pole solution include:

  • Pole Adders for increased decorative options:
    • Flag Holders
    • Banner Arms
    • Flowerpot Holders
    • GFIs
  • Dark-sky performance – zero uplight
  • 3000K for visual comfort
  • Turn-Key solution provided in partnership with the distributor, rep, and contractor
  • Efficient photometrics utilizing existing pole locations and city infrastructure

To achieve the desired aesthetic look, additional engineering work was required to ensure adequate strength in the poles to accommodate all of the additional loading. WESCO, FAPCo, StressCrete Group, and the contractor provided a complete solution that delivers adequate light levels, utilized existing pole locations, accommodated existing city infrastructure, provided all of the required banner, flag, and flowerpot decoration mountings, and still achieved the desired improved aesthetic. The City of Fredericksburg now enjoys a renewed sense of pride in their Main Street and is now planning to extend the revitalization to other areas of the city.

Read the full case study here.

 

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Nearly All Mental Health Disorders Correlate With Circadian Rhythm Disruption

University of California, Irvine (UCI) researchers conducted a thorough examination of peer-reviewed literature on the most prevalent mental health disorders and found that circadian rhythm disruption (CRD) is present in nearly all of them. However, correlation is not causation, so it is not clear if the mental disorders cause circadian disruption, if circadian disruption causes mental disorders or both in a positive feedback loop.

University of California, Irvine (UCI) researchers conducted a thorough examination of peer-reviewed literature on the most prevalent mental health disorders and found that circadian rhythm disruption (CRD) is present in nearly all of them. However, correlation is not causation, so it is not clear if the mental disorders cause circadian disruption, if circadian disruption causes mental disorders or both in a positive feedback loop.

Pierre Baldi, UCI Distinguished Professor of computer science, and Amal Alachkar, neuroscientist and professor of teaching in UCI’s Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

The most common mental disorders were found to correlate with circadian disruption, including: anxiety, autism, schizophrenia, Tourette syndrome, ADHD, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, food addiction, and Parkinson’s disease.

Circadian rhythms are intrinsically sensitive to light/dark cues, so they can be easily disrupted by light exposure at night, and the level of disruption appears to be gender-dependent and changes with age. One example is a hormonal response to CRD felt by pregnant women; both the mother and the fetus can experience clinical effects from CRD and chronic stress.

The researchers explored the interplay of circadian rhythms and mental disorders with gender. For instance, Tourette syndrome is present primarily in males, and Alzheimer’s disease is more common in females by a ratio of roughly two-to-one.

Age also is an important factor, according to scientists, as CRD can affect neurodevelopment in early life in addition to leading to the onset of aging-related mental disorders among the elderly.

To address causal attribution, the UCI-led team suggests an examination of CRD at the molecular level using transcriptomic (gene expression) and metabolomic technologies in mouse models. The researchers believe that if the experiments were conducted in a systematic way with respect to age, gender, and brain areas to investigate circadian molecular rhythmicity before and during disease progression, it would help the mental health research community identify potential biomarkers, causal relationships, and novel therapeutic targets and avenues.

This project involved scientists from UCI’s Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, Department of Computer Science, Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, and Institute for Genomics and Bioinformatics; as well as UCLA’s Oppenheimer Center for Neurobiology of Stress and Resilience and Goodman-Luskin Microbiome Center. The National Institutes of Health provided financial support.

You can read the full article published in the Nature journal Translational Psychiatry, here.

 

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Energy Efficiency Tax Deductions Expanded By The Inflation Reduction Act

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022 was signed into law on August 16, 2022. Among the provisions included in this bill is the expansion of the Section 179D tax deduction for building energy efficiency. Thousands of commercial building owners have utilized the 179D tax deduction since its inception in 2005, and this expansion potentially allows for many more to not only utilize the deduction but also claim larger amounts than previously available.

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022 was signed into law on August 16, 2022. Among the provisions included in this bill is the expansion of the Section 179D tax deduction for building energy efficiency. Thousands of commercial building owners have utilized the 179D tax deduction since its inception in 2005, and this expansion potentially allows for many more to not only utilize the deduction but also claim larger amounts than previously available.

Under the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 2005, Section 179D allows for energy efficient investments in new and existing buildings to qualify for immediate tax deductions up to $1.88 per square foot through the 2022 tax year. Eligible projects include those related to interior lighting, HVAC, and building envelope. The 179D deduction was made permanent as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. Owners of commercial buildings can utilize the 179D deduction for building projects completed since January 1, 2006. Owners in all major building categories are utilizing the deduction, including warehouse, industrial, retail, office, hospitality, and restaurant chains.

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 includes numerous updates to the 179D deduction, which take effect on January 1, 2023. Notable updates include:

  • Deduction levels up to $5.00 per square foot – the qualified deduction range for projects meeting prevailing wage and apprenticeship standards will be between $2.50 and $5.00 per square foot, depending on the building’s energy efficiency level. For projects that do not meet prevailing wage and apprenticeship standards, the deduction level range will be between $0.50 and $1.00 per square foot.
  • Inclusion of not-for-profits, instrumentalities and Tribal Government buildings – Designers of energy systems in these buildings are now allowed to claim the 179D deduction for qualifying projects.
  • Deduction reset – currently, the maximum 179D deduction can be taken once over the life of the building. With the passage of this new law, the maximum deduction would now be available every three years on a commercial building and every four years on a government, instrumentality, not-for-profit, or Tribal Government building.

With the growth of e-commerce, many new distribution centers / warehouses have been built in the United States. This is an excellent category for large EPAct tax deductions which are based on square footage. Under the IRA a 1 million-square-foot distribution center could qualify for a $5 million tax deduction.

With warehouse lighting projects, facility managers are required to understand which items are picked more frequently. One strategy is to use sensor-controlled digital fixtures and organize the aisles so that the most frequently picked items are all in the same aisles with the easiest access. With this technique, large portions of the warehouse can be kept dark, meaning virtually no lighting-related electric costs are incurred. Such retrofits can qualify for EPAct 179D deductions.

Another category of commercial buildings is hospitals. For the first time effective January 1, 2023, all hospitals can generate 179D tax benefits. For-profit hospitals and government hospitals (for designers) have also been eligible for 179D tax benefits.  Now, the largest hospital category, tax-exempt hospitals, can generate 179D designer benefits.

With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, companies are now positioned to monetize the 179D deduction in a greater capacity than ever before. The increased deduction levels lead to a quicker payback and improved return-on-investment (ROI) for distribution center owners who are considering installing energy efficient equipment. For designers, the deduction can now be used on energy efficient designs for non-profit, instrumentality, and Tribal government buildings. The increase in potential tax savings allows companies to fuel further energy efficient upgrades and improvements.

Read the full article in FacilitiesNet.com here.

 

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