Author: David Shiller

New California Law Protects Importers Using CA Ports

On September 30th, Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB2406 into law, protecting importers from the imposition of unfair fees and trade practices. The bill limits the damages of detention and demurrage fees imposed by international ocean carriers.

On September 30th, Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB2406 into law, protecting importers from the imposition of unfair fees and trade practices. The bill limits the damages of detention and demurrage fees imposed by international ocean carriers.

Image courtesy Pixabay.com

Existing law prohibits an intermodal marine equipment provider or intermodal marine terminal operator from imposing per diem, detention, or demurrage charges on an intermodal motor carrier relative to transactions involving cargo shipped by intermodal transport under certain circumstances, including when an intermodal marine terminal decides to divert equipment without 48 hours notice. This law also prohibits an intermodal marine container provider from imposing those charges, extended dwell charges, or commencing or continuing free time, as defined, on a motor carrier, as defined, beneficial cargo owner, or other intermediary relative to transactions involving cargo shipped by intermodal transport under certain circumstances.

This bill specifies that where these provisions are addressed by future federal law or regulation, and the federal law or regulation permits states to exceed the requirements set forth in the federal law or regulation, the more stringent provision shall govern.

The full legislative text can be found here.

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DOE Gives Notice Of Enforcement Actions For Regulated Products

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued a Notice of Intent (NOI) to notify interested parties of DOE’s intent to immediately commence on-the-record hearings before Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) in civil penalty cases for violations of DOE’s conservation standards and certification requirements. This NOI also provides procedural details that will govern these hearings.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued a Notice of Intent (NOI) to notify interested parties of DOE’s intent to immediately commence on-the-record hearings before Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) in civil penalty cases for violations of DOE’s conservation standards and certification requirements. This NOI also provides procedural details that will govern these hearings.

Image courtesy Energy.gov

DOE’s NOI indicates increased enforcement of the energy conservation standards and certification requirements for regulated products using the Compliance Certification Management System (CCMS). Manufacturers and importers must accurately certify regulated products to avoid enforcement action. DOE has recently updated several templates in CCMS.

This notice of intent became effective on September 30, 2022, and can be found here.

The new DOE Procedures for Administrative Adjudication of Civil Penalty Actions can be found here.

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It Matters: CSA Releases The Matter 1.0 Interoperability Standard For Smart Home IoT

The Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA) released the Matter 1.0 specification and the opening of the Matter certification program on October 4th.

The Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA) released the Matter 1.0 specification and the opening of the Matter certification program on October 4th. Member companies that make up all facets of the IoT now have a complete program for bringing the next generation of interoperable products that work across brands and platforms to market with greater privacy, security, and simplicity for consumers.

Image courtesy of Connectivity Standards Alliance

As part of the Matter 1.0 release, authorized test labs are open for product certification, the test harnesses and tools are available, and the open-source reference design software development kit (SDK) is complete – all to bring new, innovative products to market. Further, Alliance members with devices already deployed and with plans to update their products to support Matter can now do so, once their products are certified.

Over 280 member companies — including AmazonAppleComcastGoogleSamsung SmartThings, and Signify — have brought their technologies, experience, and innovations together to ensure Matter met the needs of all stakeholders, including users, product makers, and platforms. Collectively, these companies led the way through requirements and specification development, reference design, multiple test events, and final specification validation to reach this industry milestone.

More than just a specification, the Matter 1.0 standard launches with test cases and comprehensive test tools for Alliance members and a global certification program including eight authorized test labs that are primed to test not only Matter, but also Matter’s underlying network technologies, Wi-Fi and Thread. Wi-Fi enables Matter devices to interact over a high-bandwidth local network and allows smart home devices to communicate with the cloud. Thread provides an energy-efficient and highly reliable mesh network within the home. Both the Wi-Fi Alliance and Thread Group partnered with the Connectivity Standards Alliance to help realize the complete vision of Matter.

This initial release of Matter, running over Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and Thread, and using Bluetooth Low Energy for device commissioning, will support lighting and other common smart home products, including electrical, HVAC controls, window coverings, and shades, safety and security sensors, door locks, media devices including TVs, controllers as both devices and applications, and bridges.

Read the full CSA announcement here.

 

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Proposed 2024 IECC Commercial Code Would Reduce New Commercial Building Energy Use

The Public Comment Draft #1 of the 2024 International Energy Conservation Code Commercial Provisions was released on September 6, 2022. With buildings currently representing 39% of U.S. carbon emissions, leading jurisdictions recognize the importance of using building codes and performance policies to respond to the effects of climate change and reduce future risks.

The Public Comment Draft #1 of the 2024 International Energy Conservation Code Commercial Provisions was released on September 6, 2022. With buildings currently representing 39% of U.S. carbon emissions, leading jurisdictions recognize the importance of using building codes and performance policies to respond to the effects of climate change and reduce future risks. To keep temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius, new construction in the U.S. must be all-electric by 2025, and climate-optimized by 2030. With just one code development cycle before 2025, and only three to reach 2030, the provisions adopted into the 2024 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) are critical to achieve the model code needed to mitigate buildings’ contributions to climate change.

From 2006 to 2021, the IECC increased its efficiency requirements by about 40%, or an average of 8% a cycle. The 2024 IECC continues to reduce the energy use of buildings with efficiency and for the first time includes onsite renewable energy and grid integration requirements. The lighting provisions of the draft 2024 IECC model energy code are located on pages 266 to 291, of the draft model commercial building code, which can be downloaded here.

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Evluma CEO Interview: Streetlight Glare Whitepaper, The New RP-8, & Warming CCTs

David recently had the pleasure of interviewing Don Vendetti, CEO of Evluma. The street and area lighting company has just published a new whitepaper about glare. We also discussed the new ANSI/IES RP-8 standard, as well as the trend toward warming CCTs for streetlights.

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Don Vendetti, CEO of Evluma. The street and area lighting company has just published a new whitepaper about glare. We also discussed the new ANSI/IES RP-8 standard, as well as the trend toward warming CCTs for streetlights.

Shiller: First, thank you, Don, for agreeing to do this interview. I’ve read the new Evluma whitepaper about Streetlight Glare. It does a great job breaking down discomfort glare versus disability glare, and many of the implications of both types. A big takeaway from this whitepaper is that a well-designed, secondary diffuser / lens can reduce both types of glare. Do a significant percentage of Evluma ROADMAX streetlight customers install the Evluma secondary diffuser optic to reduce glare? Do many install the optional light trespass shields (front-side & house-side)?

Vendetti: David, I appreciate the opportunity to discuss the concept of glare and our ROADMAX product.  Before diving into that, I’d like to give some background on Evluma.  We’ve been around for about 14 years now as a lighting company, and our founders have decades of LED design experience.

With all of our products, minimizing any possible negative user experience in the switch from HPS or MH to LED has been a key focus. There are several key differences between the technologies that can create this negative experience.  These include generally higher CCTs, discrete pixelated light sources, and a high potential for glare due to the use of primary optics.

Our main product until now has been our AREAMAX security light and it is a top competitor, particularly in the rural cooperative electric utilities.  Its design includes a diffused glass lens over a single primary optic and LED source.  This reduces the intensity of the emitted light, especially at higher angles.  While the effect helps to reduce glare, our original intention was to make luminaires that put out a “pleasing light.”

This has been a product design theme for us, including our OMNIMAX retrofit.  Our design of the ROADMAX streetlight is implemented in a similar way as AREAMAX specifically targeting glare, while also making the diffused secondary lens optional and installable at the factory, or in the field.  We did this to allow customers to decide which version is most acceptable in their roadway application. 

To date, there has been strong interest in the diffused lens and many of our sales have included it installed from the factory.  We also have a few customers who selected to install the lens in the field during trials to compare the difference.  The shields are typically purchased to address specific problem areas where light spill is an issue, so the normal scenario is a much lower quantity of shields purchased versus the luminaires. 

Shiller: In some ways, could Evluma’s globes and acorns be considered as secondary diffuser optics to assist in managing glare, for post top lights? Should specifiers think about new globes and acorns as a potential glare control measure?

Vendetti: That’s a very good observation. The OMNIMAX product has several design features itself to help mitigate glare. The first is a silicon lens over the LEDs.  This protects the LEDs from direct contact and also contains a light texture to create diffusion of the light directly from the LEDs. 

The dimensions of the lamp and location of the LEDs were intended to try to get close to the original size and burn center of the HID lamps being replaced.  This design feature leverages the existing globe and acorn optics to put light where it was intended and is particularly important for prismatic globes.  A retrofit lamp that has LEDs in vertical rows extending beyond the central prismatic elements is not going to deliver light as expected and will also look much different than the original HID inside the globe.

With any post-top retrofit project, a decision needs to be made about what to do about damaged, dirty or tired-looking fixtures.  If they are classic globe or acorn fixtures, they can be easily replaced, creating a clean new look with the retrofit lamp.  Additionally, it presents an opportunity to reduce glare versus the legacy fixture by choosing a diffused replacement.

Some of our add-on globes and acorns come in low-glare material, such as LD Acrylic.  This is a highly transmissive, translucent material that diffuses the light and provides a fixture with a soft, low-glare glow.  We have some nice photos in the Gallery section of our website to illustrate some installations. 

Shiller: Do you find Evluma’s streetlight customers to be knowledgeable about glare types and mitigation strategies? Do you see knowledge differences between municipal, utility, and other commercial streetlight customers regarding glare? 

Vendetti: We see a large spectrum of customers with vastly different levels of understanding of glare.  There are some who rely on outside resources or the luminaire vendors to help them understand it.  I suspect understanding glare is an issue in the industry as a whole, not just for our customers. 

The topic of glare is complicated and confusing due to there being multiple types of glare: Discomfort and Disability. Most complaints about glare come from the Discomfort side, typically associated with light trespass. It’s easy to grasp that a light is shining where it’s not useful and is annoying due to being overly bright.  The light is also typically static and at a fixed location, so it is easy to identify when the glare occurs.  However, there is no standard method for measuring it or predicting it with simulation software, so you’re stuck with addressing it when and where it happens. 

Disability Glare is much less intuitive and occurs in the dynamic environment of driving (as can Discomfort Glare). While it has a metric and can be predicted and assessed using simulation software, it is difficult to measure. It can also be impacted by changing conditions, such as weather, and is highly influenced by the age of the driver.  

From my own research, I have had to try to piece together a picture of glare from available publications.  Most of this information is fairly technical and quickly dives into the physiology of our eyes, light adaptation levels, contrast ratios and complicated diagrams using trigonometry.  This rarely helps those looking for a quick understanding of Glare or the causes and solutions.

For these reasons, we feel that we need to be a steward in facilitating a better understanding of glare and how to control it.  This was the main driver in the creation of our new whitepaper on glare as a step in simplifying the conversation for our customers. 

Shiller: Evluma’s website references utilities more than municipalities or commercial end users. Is Evluma primarily focused on the utility streetlight market? 

Vendetti: We have historically focused on the utility market for our AREAMAX product, so this is where our most experience is, to date.  Our OMNIMAX product appeals to many municipal and commercial customers, due to preserving the investment in often high-priced or difficult to replace decorative fixtures.  We expect ROADMAX to have appeal across all segments, including DOTs. 

Shiller: The IES recently released their updated ANSI/IES RP-8-21 Recommended Practice for Lighting Roadway and Parking Facilities. Do you see this updated roadway standard impacting the market and Evluma’s business in any way?

Vendetti: Our experience with RP-8 started in 2016 when we introduced a Type III distribution on AREAMAX, and some of our customers wanted to use it as a streetlight. It was then that we got a crash course in understanding the tools and calculations, and how well our product performed against the recommendations.  We used these learnings to focus our efforts on our ROADMAX design a few years down the road, and the 2018 version of RP-8 became a major influencer for us.

The 2018 version was a massive unification of several individual IES docs into a more comprehensive discussion.  I would call the 2021 release more of an incremental improvement that helped to update and clarify multiple sections, in addition to adding a few more sections that augment roadway recommendations, such as pedestrian lighting.

What we’ve seen in reviews of existing older specifications within utilities or municipalities is that many of them include only partial specification of the RP-8 recommendations.  These typically include the average illuminance ratio and the average-to-min uniformity ratio, and some expand to the max-min uniformity value. There is a strong focus on uniformity ratios, and missing in many of the specs is the veiling luminance ratio recommendation.  This may be due to the discussion of Glare being essentially an appendix in the RP-8-2014 version, and thus veiling luminance was not a strong area of focus. It also required shifting the thought process from illuminance to luminance, a more difficult concept to grasp and to measure in the field. 

In the 2018 version, Glare got its own major section and thus marks a shift in focus.  There is also the insistence that all four of the recommended RP-8 parameters, including veiling luminance ratio, should be specified.  This helps elevate the importance of paying attention to Disability glare for any new or updated specifications for a new deployment. 

This will certainly have a positive impact on the market as a whole and for Evluma.  We have attempted to provide a product that achieves strong performance for roadway lighting while also meeting all the recommended metrics, with a major focus on minimizing Disability Glare (aka veiling luminance). 

Shiller: There is a quick reference in the white paper to the trend of decreasing CCTs for both human and wildlife health. I see Evluma luminaires and retrofit lamps go down to 2700K CCT. Does Evluma have any opinions on streetlight products beginning to be offered in 1800K, 2200K, and 2500K CCTs? Can you share if Evluma has any plans to offer any CCTs below 2700K?

Vendetti: Our current OMNIMAX post-top product already offers CCTs as low as 2000k and 2200k, so we have been a supporter of low CCTs. We do expect the trend for lower CCTs to occur in streetlights over time as more municipalities weigh the trade-offs and feedback from the communities. 

There is still a relatively large efficacy loss at 2700K versus 4000K and it increases significantly as you go lower.  For example, moving from 2700K to 2200K has an efficacy drop of 20% or more.  This could require going up in luminaire power proportionately to achieve the recommended lighting levels in RP-8, so this needs to be considered.

As far as Evluma plans, our priority is getting our full portfolio of ROADMAX versions to support 250 and 400W HPS replacements later this year and then we’ll shift to focus on additional options, such as lower CCTs.

Shiller: Thank you very much, Don, for sharing your expertise with our readers.

The Evluma glare whitepaper can be downloaded for free, here. Evluma will also be exhibiting at the upcoming IES Street and Area Lighting Conference, October 10-13, in Dallas, Texas. Their booth number is 306.

 

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New Code For Existing Building Decarbonization Overlays 2021 IECC

A new model code from the New Buildings Institute (NBI) is designed to help cities tackle emissions, specifically from the large stock of existing buildings. The model code Existing Building Decarbonization Code was published on Sept. 19, 2022. It is considered an overlay to the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and an addition to the Building Decarbonization Code published by NBI in 2020.

A new model code from the New Buildings Institute (NBI) is designed to help cities tackle emissions, specifically from the large stock of existing buildings. The model code Existing Building Decarbonization Code was published on Sept. 19, 2022. It is considered an overlay to the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and an addition to the Building Decarbonization Code published by NBI in 2020.

NBI describes the code as “a new way for jurisdictions to reduce carbon emissions.” It will also help them “meet climate action plan goals and interconnected goals around public health and equity.”

New construction only accounts for a very small percentage of building activity in a given year, less than 2%. According to NBI, the effort to reduce building emissions must focus on existing stock to have a significant impact. NBI recognizes the enormity of the problem, noting that the United States currently has 5.9 million existing commercial buildings, which account for 97 billion square feet of space. However, it also sees the potential for significant reductions, projecting that cities could cut about 30% of all urban emissions by 2050 if they were to require existing buildings to be more energy efficient.

Some of the key technologies identified by the code to help existing buildings reduce their emissions include efficiency, on-site renewable energy generation, electric vehicle charging, and battery storage. Of course, lighting upgrades are often one of the most cost-effective energy efficiency measures available. Finally, while the code embraces an all-electric path for buildings, it is also flexible and includes options for an approach based on “mixed fuels,” including natural gas.

Read the full article in Electrical Contractor Magazine here.

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Impacts Of Nighttime Lighting On Ecosystems & Wildlife

The DLC has released a recording of their March webinar about the Impacts of Nighttime Lighting on Ecosystems and Wildlife. They’ve also printed a summary of the webinar information on their website.

The DLC has released a recording of their March webinar about the Impacts of Nighttime Lighting on Ecosystems and Wildlife. They’ve also printed a summary of the webinar information on their website.

Image courtesy of DLC

Artificial light at night (ALAN) can harm natural ecosystems – from heightening risks for migrating birds to confusing mating fireflies and disrupting nesting sea turtles. ALAN is increasing by about 2 percent each year, with outdoor nighttime lighting getting brighter and more widespread and impacting freshwater, marine, and land-based ecosystems. The impact to birds is of particular concern, since the migratory bird population in the U.S. has shrunk 28% – by approximately 2.5 billion birds – since 1970.

About 70 percent of North America’s birds are migratory, and about 80 percent of those migrate at night, using the moon and stars for navigation. Bird collisions with illuminated buildings account for the deaths of up to one billion birds annually in the U.S. Recent examples include the deaths of hundreds of birds in a single night in New York City, 1,000 to 1,500 birds dead in one night in Philadelphia, and about 400 migrating birds killed colliding with a single building in Galveston, Texas.

Current trends for addressing the impact of nighttime lighting on wildlife include developing and installing LED light sources that limit the short wavelength (violet-blue, or 400-500 nm) light often linked to light pollution. A major challenge is that standards for what constitutes blue light vary considerably from organization to organization. In addition, the optimal spectrum, duration, amount, and timing of light vary depending on wildlife taxa, and there are no standards for non-white (i.e., amber) light (the topic of a 2022 DLC whitepaper). Additional research and consistent standards are essential to the development and optimization of products that will best shield wildlife species from the impacts of light pollution.

The full webinar recording and written summary are available here.

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Product Monday: Modern Forms’ MIES Chandelier Puts A Hex On You

Inspired by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, one of the pioneers of modern architecture, this hexagonal chandelier nails the minimalist aesthetic while observing modern décor trends. Cutting-edge LED modules bring beautiful light into every setting, while ultra-thin aircraft cables connect the hexagon to a circular canopy for a subtle geometric contrast.

Inspired by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, one of the pioneers of modern architecture, this hexagonal chandelier nails the minimalist aesthetic while observing modern décor trends. Cutting-edge LED modules bring beautiful light into every setting, while ultra-thin aircraft cables connect the hexagon to a circular canopy for a subtle geometric contrast.

Image courtesy of Modern Forms

MIES specifications:

  • CRI: 90
  • CCT: 3000K
  • 41W and 1700 delivered lumens
  • Certifications: ETL, cETL, Damp Location Listed, Title 24 JA8: 2019 Compliant
  • Input: 120-277V, 50/60Hz
  • ELV Dimming: 100-10%
  • 0-10V Dimming: 100-5%
  • TRIAC Dimming: 100-10%
  • Rated Life: 50,000 Hours
  • Silicon diffusers for even illumination
  • Thin powered aircraft cables provide an ultra-clean look for adjustable suspension height
  • Can be mounted on a sloped ceiling
  • Driver concealed within the canopy
  • Dimming: ELV, 0-10V, TRIAC

More information is available here.

 

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Record Utility Bonus Rebate Programs For Lighting

Brightswitch is reporting that there are a record number of utility bonus incentives for commercial lighting efficiency programs. A bonus program is when rebate organizations offer increased incentives for the existing rebate measures for a set period of time.

Brightswitch is reporting that there are a record number of utility bonus incentives for commercial lighting efficiency programs.  The value of the bonus will vary depending on the utility. Sometimes, it’s an extra 10% or 20%; other times, it can more than double the original rebate. This year, a record number of bonus programs are available for commercial lighting upgrades.

Image courtesy of BriteSwitch

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, utility commercial lighting rebate programs began offering bonus rebates to incentivize more lighting upgrades to achieve their energy saving goals during a time of reduced construction and retrofit activity. The number of bonus programs has continued to grow despite the easing of the pandemic.

Bonus programs typically start to appear in the Fall as utilities struggle to meet their participation and savings targets, but this year, they appeared as early as March. This increase in bonus dollars reflects the ongoing difficulty in finding new energy efficiency projects. Most of the low-hanging fruit projects, such as T12 and metal halide, have already been upgraded. However, there are still many opportunities where facilities have more efficient technologies like T8 and T5HO but haven’t upgraded to LED yet. These customers need increased incentives to help offset the more modest payback.

Bonus programs can widely vary in how they work, but they usually fall into these four categories:

  1. Bonus on specific products
  2. Bonus on certain customer categories
  3. Across-the-line bonus
  4. Trade ally bonus

Read the full Briteswitch article here.

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Congress Passes BRIGHT Act Requiring Federal Buildings To Procure Efficient Lighting

Both houses of Congress have passed The BRIGHT Act to ensure federal buildings utilize energy-efficient lighting. The House passed the bill on September 14, 2022, and the Senate passed the bill on March 30, 2022. The bill still requires the signature of President Biden before it becomes law.

Both houses of Congress have passed The BRIGHT Act to ensure federal buildings utilize energy-efficient lighting. The House passed the bill on September 14, 2022, and the Senate passed the bill on March 30, 2022. The bill still requires the signature of President Biden before it becomes law.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

The bill was sponsored by Senator Gary Peters (D-Michigan). Currently, there is no legal guidance in the federal government to maximize long-term cost and energy savings across lighting products. The bipartisan Bulb Replacement Improving Government with High-Efficiency Technology (BRIGHT) Act requires the GSA Administrator to ensure that public buildings are using the most life-cycle cost-effective and energy-efficient technology to the extent practicable when performing normal maintenance, altering, or constructing public buildings. The bill also requires GSA to issue guidance to federal agencies and state, local, and Tribal entities to further streamline efficiency and effectiveness across government. GSA previously released a series of reports that calculated that switching to LED lighting would result in millions of dollars in cost savings due to their superior lifespan and energy efficiency.

Full legislative language for the bill is available here.

 

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