Category: Craig’s Lighting Articles

ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR Covers Plug Load Controls

My contribution to the May 2018 issue of ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR talks about options for plug load control, now a requirement in many energy codes and an energy-saving control option for existing buildings.

My contribution to the May 2018 issue of ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR talks about options for plug load control, now a requirement in many energy codes and an energy-saving control option for existing buildings.

Plug-load controls are receptacles, power strips, connected devices and systems that reduce energy consumption and improve safety by turning off plug loads when they are not in use. This type of control is a good fit for the lighting industry, which offers plug-load-control solutions as an extension of lighting control. Think lighting controls, and apply the same concept to receptacle loads.

Click here to read it.

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Healthy Lighting for Hospitals

My contribution to the May issue of ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR talks about a complex but suitable application for circadian lighting–hospitals.

My contribution to the May issue of ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR talks about a complex but suitable application for circadian lighting–hospitals.

Lighting systems have historically been designed for visual performance and comfort, but science tells us light plays a major role in synchronizing the human circadian system. The growing understanding of the relationship between light and circadian health is giving rise to a new lighting trend: circadian lighting.

Hospitals present a particularly interesting application. This is an environment specifically designed to promote health where managers are concerned both with the well-being of workers and their patients. The 2012 Commercial Building Energy Consumption Study, conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy, estimated there were 10,000 inpatient healthcare buildings in the United States, representing about 2.4 billion square feet.

Click here to check it out.

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Roundtable: Connected Lighting

To get an idea of how connected lighting is impacting the industry and where it’s going, I talked to six thought leaders in the lighting industry. Here’s what they said.

Below is my contribution to the May issue of tED Magazine. Reprinted with permission.

A major technological and product trend in lighting is connected lighting, consisting of LED luminaires integrated with networked lighting control. This powerful control option offers numerous benefits, including programmability and data collection, which in turn may enable lighting control to play a role in the Internet of Things (IoT). For distributors and contractors, connected lighting requires understanding how these products are set up, installed, and used, as well as well qualifying the many highly individualized options available.

To get an idea of how connected lighting is impacting the industry and where it’s going, tED’s Craig DiLouie, LC talked to six thought leaders in the lighting industry.

DiLouie: What are the major technological trends in connected lighting, what capabilities do they offer for lighting control, and how are they addressing inhibitors to adoption?

Gary Meshberg: Two of the major technology trends are found with wireless lighting control product capabilities as well as greater data mining from components within the networked lighting control system.

Wireless lighting control lends itself to a wider range of applications including new and retrofit installations in addition to scalability from a single room to a campus of buildings. In most cases, wireless products offer a full suite of lighting control strategies to maximize energy savings and occupant comfort. Wireless products are being included within lighting fixtures thereby reducing installation labor cost and potential wiring risks for the installer. Additionally, wireless systems can be scaled from a simple smart phone user interface for set up and day-to-day use, up to a full graphical dashboard interface.

Data mining which for the most part is an emerging technology trend provides data rich information beyond that of typical lighting control systems including, fixture performance, wayfinding, and system integration which can ultimately enhance the IoT value proposition. Data gathered from the lighting control system can be repurposed for a variety of uses including asset management, space utilization, energy analysis, occupant comfort, and wayfinding. As more products incorporate more data rich capabilities, the “bang for the buck” from the lighting control system should foster steady growth in this technology trend.

Gary Meshberg, LC, CLCP is director of specification sales for OSRAM Encelium and chair of the Lighting Controls Association, a council of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association.

DiLouie: Networked lighting control presents an opportunity for lighting to participate in the IoT. What do you see as the potential and where are we now in terms of capability to implement IoT projects? What opportunities are developing for electrical distributors to participate?

Kevin Willmorth: The IoT will eventually have a profound effect on lighting system operation and maintenance. Connected luminaires can provide live data to lighting contractors and distributors to lead customer needs by monitoring fixture performance and recommending remedial solutions before the customer is even aware a failure is eminent. Information collected from luminaires in use can also be compiled to provide designers more complete information to work from when redressing an existing facility to serve future needs.

Ultimately, there may also be a movement away from purchasing hardware to purchasing lumens delivered. Installed luminaires, connected through the IoT, will simply report the amount of light being delivered over a given period, to be invoiced monthly by a service provider (lighting contractor, distributor, or combined team), who provides the luminaires either at no cost, or at a significant discount, as part of the service package. This encourages everyone in the chain to reduce the amount of energy utilized to deliver the illuminance desired, as well as reduce over-illumination that occurs when the cost of lumens is not a direct consideration. For large facilities owners and operators with multiple structures under management, the ability to monitor lighting systems from a single access point over the Internet is a significant development. Distributors have an opportunity to step in and assist in making this connection by offering products that are accessible and connectable.

Kevin Willmorth is principal of Lumenique.

DiLouie: The first utilities are now rolling out a variety of rebates targeting networked lighting controls, based on the DesignLights Consortium specification and Qualified Products List. How big do you see the opportunity being, and what should electrical distributors do to take advantage of it?

Gabe Arnold: I think the evolution of LED technology provides a good indicator of what we will soon see with networked lighting controls. If you look back to 2010, you may recall this was when the first viable LED products were entering the market. It was also when the first LED utility rebates were becoming available. There was tremendous hype around LEDs then, though in terms of sales they accounted for less than 1 percent market share. The costs were high, there were performance challenges, and standards and education were sorely needed. Fast forward to today, and LEDs are a fraction of the cost they once were and now account for more than 90 percent of sales.

Where we are with networked lighting controls is where we were with LEDs back in 2010. The costs are high, but they are coming down. The first rebates are now becoming available. Technology performance challenges are being addressed. Standards are under development and educational efforts are underway. And while networked controls bring some additional challenges, we are at the beginning of what many are predicting to be exponential growth in the future, similar to what we saw with LEDs. Knowledge and education will be essential, and can provide a competitive advantage in capturing the business opportunities provided by the technology. That’s where we think distributors should start. Get yourself and your staff educated so that you are well prepared to take advantage of the new business opportunities as the utility programs ramp up.

Gabe Arnold, PE, LC is technical director for the DesignLights Consortium.

DiLouie: In a recent report, the U.S. Department of Energy projected significant adoption of connected lighting in the next 5-10 years if certain market barriers are addressed. What are these barriers, and how well is the industry doing to solve them?

James Brodrick: The tremendous energy savings that connected lighting could bring won’t be realized unless we reduce the uncertainty surrounding energy reporting accuracy and make that data more broadly usable via increased interoperability. DOE is using its connected lighting test bed (CLTB) to develop device and system-level test methods for characterizing energy reporting accuracy, and sharing the results with industry consortia and standards development organizations. DOE is also studying the energy reporting capabilities of power over Ethernet (PoE) systems and the energy impact of component selection, including PoE cables, to support and offer recommendations for industry best practices.

For outdoor lighting, DOE is working with electric utilities to analyze the energy-reporting accuracy of outdoor lighting controllers, and providing technical support to the ANSI C136 (Roadway and Area Lighting Equipment), ANSI C137 (Lighting Systems), and ANSI C12 (Electricity Metering) standards development committees. DOE is also actively characterizing the state of interoperability offered by commercial connected lighting systems, which is currently facilitated primarily through application programming interfaces, and engaging with industry consortia to develop approaches for deepening interoperability.

Another key barrier is cybersecurity. DOE is collaborating with UL and other Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) members on their efforts to develop test methods for cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Evaluation of a V0 test method is complete, and IIC partners are supporting DOE with the development and implementation of a V1 major update.

James Brodrick is the lighting program manager for the U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Office.

DiLouie: As connectivity emerges as a major technological trend in LED lighting, it raises questions about cybersecurity. What are the main issues, how will they affect adoption of networked lighting and the Internet of Things? What are the risks to electrical distributors and what can they do to mitigate them?

Mark Lien: Every wireless protocol used by connected lighting has been hacked and some with memorable flair. A drone infected a connected lighting system with a virus that then jumped from one lamp to another even on different networks. This showed lighting could be infected wirelessly from hundreds of feet away. Wireless protocols are often designed with options that trade user convenience for cybersecurity. An example of this is the option to require two passwords. Manufacturers are reluctant to add this level of security as it compromises the user experience. Connected lighting and the 6.4 billion IoT devices in use now are all vulnerable.

The legal liability for a manufacturer and electrical distributor who sell a product that gets hacked is not yet clear. Few cases have been filed so case law regarding responsibility for hacked lighting is weak. With estimates of IoT devices tripling by 2020, it will not take long for legal precedents to be established. Viewing this as a safety concern can help to minimize the risk of making or selling connected devices. Just as we rely on a UL label to minimize electrical safety hazards, we can look to UL to label products for cybersecurity safety. The White House and the Department of Homeland Security reached out to UL to set voluntary requirements and in April of 2016 UL launched their Cybersecurity Assurance Program (CAP) for IoT devices including lighting. CAP is designed to help vendors minimize cybersecurity risks and for consumers who want secure products. Similar risks exist with selling electrical products in that you can still be sued despite a UL label; however, showing that the products you sold were UL-listed when used as recommended minimizes liability and prompts questions about misapplication by the user. Until CAP products become commonplace, those first to market may even command a higher profit especially when vendors educate their customers about the advantage.

Mark Lien, LC, HBDP, CLMC, CLEP, LEED BD&C is industry relations manager for the Illuminating Engineering Society.

DiLouie: The 2019 version of the ASHRAE/IES 90.1 energy standard is approaching quickly. What do you expect to see in the next version, particularly in regards to controls? As LED lighting becomes more cost-effective in more applications, do you believe we will see significant additional reductions in lighting power allowances? With the increasing viability and cost-effectiveness of networked lighting controls, do you see a greater role in these systems as part of the mandatory requirements?

Eric Richman: Lighting control is an important part of the 90.1 requirements for commercial building lighting, and these requirements have been building significantly starting with the 2010 version. This has historically focused on individual control including occupancy sensors, daylighting, and automatic area shutoff. With the advent of the newer automated and networked control systems, the 90.1 standard took steps to first eliminate any legacy control language (related to individual control requirements) that could inhibit the effective application of automatic advanced controls to meet requirements. This started with the 2016 standard by removing local manual switch control requirements in open office spaces. This made it possible to easily apply advanced control systems that are known to be the most effective methods for energy savings these spaces.

For the 2019 version, there are proposals being worked that would require the use of some form of advanced control in typical building spaces (specifically open offices to start) to capture that improved control effectiveness. These requirements, if implemented in 2019, are likely to speak to what the control must do in aggregate but not specify a specific control. This approach would ensure the control function is there and allow any effective combination of products and technologies. The 2019 version is also likely to pick up where the 2016 version left off in terms of LED technology efficacy being the base for lighting power density limits. The 2016 version applied these efficacies to many applications and the 2019 version may add significantly more.

Eric Richman, LC, FIES is Senior Research Engineer, Energy Systems Analysis for the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Chair of the ASHRAE/IES 90.1 Lighting Subcommittee.

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Voice Control for Lighting

An increasing number of lighting control and home automation manufacturers now offer voice recognition as an input for their systems.

My contribution to the April 2018 issue of ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR talks about voice control for lighting.

“An increasing number of lighting control and home automation manufacturers now offer voice recognition as an input for their systems. Until now, smart lighting in the home was controlled using apps and devices such as keypads, dimmers, switches and sensors. With these methods, homeowners can operate and schedule their lighting. By using a system with a compatible virtual assistant app/device, users can now also control their lighting, shades, thermostats, audio/video, and other smart devices using voice commands.”

Check it out here.

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Introduction to Control Software

Below is my contribution to the April issue of tED Magazine, the official NAED publication. Reprinted with permission. Networked lighting controls are control systems that use microprocessing (intelligence) and communication…

Below is my contribution to the April issue of tED Magazine, the official NAED publication. Reprinted with permission.

Networked lighting controls are control systems that use microprocessing (intelligence) and communication (hardwired or wireless connectivity) to enact layered and complex control strategies. This approach allows individually addressable control points, software-based setup and operation, simplified connections, and energy measuring and monitoring.

According to the DesignLights Consortium, these systems produce an average 47 percent lighting energy savings and are now covered by a growing number of utility rebate programs. If market barriers are addressed, the U.S. Department of Energy predicts one-half of commercial sector lighting will be connected by 2025.

As lighting and controls increasingly become networked and programmable, software is becoming more important in the category. Software plays a key role in setting up, operating, and pulling data from networked lighting control systems. Using software, technicians set up control zones, identify control points (nodes) and assign them to the zones, and set up schedules and control profiles (sequences of operation, including sensor calibration). Depending on the system, the software may then allow ongoing adjustment and data retrieval.

Software varies based on the type of networked control system and level of owner interaction. In recent years, manufacturers began to offer room- and luminaire-based systems that use software for setup but then run on autopilot, well suited to any-sized project but particularly small and medium-sized buildings. To better service the market, some simplified their commissioning software so that contractors can support owners in setup and, if needed, adjustments after installation, typically via a mobile app.

The most robust systems, meanwhile, are centralized, enabling the owner to globally manage their lighting via a web-based interface and operating software residing on an onsite server (no Internet connection required) or the Cloud (greater scalability and application support). Authorized operators interact with the software to adjust zoning, schedules, and control profiles. Depending on the system, they may be able to execute control strategies that go beyond the energy code-compliant default, such as color and task tuning. They may be able to measure energy consumption (and potentially power draw) presented on a graphical user interface. And they may be able to monitor the lighting, automatically adjusting operation based on the data and automatically generating maintenance alerts. As the Internet of Things (IoT) develops, these systems and their software may play an active role in generating even deeper analytics.

“Lighting control software has improved dramatically over the past few years,” said Jamie Britnell, Senior Product Manager, Synapse Wireless (www.synapsewireless.com).

He pointed out that controls have traditionally been problematic for the sales and distribution channels, resulting in avoidance of the technology. Due to energy codes, however, these solutions are increasingly required as part of standard applications. And with the advent of the IoT, new capabilities are being integrated into lighting control software.

Britnell added, “It’s important for the industry to understand that these products are coming and will become a critical part of many applications over the next few years.”

What to look for

“Key features that should be in any of these new software packages are simplicity, portability, and training,” said Paul Matthews, Product Marketing Manager, OSRAM (www.osram.com/ds). “When deciding between typical and more advanced capabilities in a light management system software package, balance the needs of the customer with the value of the added complexity, always keeping it as simple as possible.”

He added that understanding the customer is the key. “What would make them more productive?” Matthews said. “What are their overhead costs and what problems are they facing? These are all key to effectively selling a light management system. Light management system agents who focus on a segment—such as fit-outs for both offices and schools—and use the same sales pitch for both, often fail. Conversely, agents who tailor their approach to the customer’s problems sell the same product offering successfully.”

Britnell advised distributors to ask the right questions. Is the solution adaptable to many different applications, such as both indoor and outdoor? Is the solution reliable and secure, kept up to date with timely security patches, and not require daily maintenance and reconfiguration? Is it simple to use, allowing quick configuration and future adjustments?

It is critical, he pointed out, the manufacturer provide the right level of support. “When installing, recommending, and selling software-based systems, it is important to know the manufacturer is there to support their efforts,” he said. “Of course, there’s a technical aspect of just understanding a particular system, but nothing goes without problems arising from time to time. Having a support infrastructure in place is important and should be considered when promoting these options.”

Even before the project begins, he added, it’s important to work with a manufacturer that can provide contractors and distributors with project management and commissioning services.

Image courtesy of Lutron Electronics

IoT platform

One of the most exciting potential capabilities of networked lighting control systems is incorporation of additional sensors that can generate data useful for improving business processes. This is the promise of the nascent IoT. With sensors installed in a majority of spaces, connectivity, bandwidth, and software, networked lighting control systems are in an excellent position to act as a basic IoT platform. Some solutions already offer data such as thermal and traffic pattern mapping. Additional value may be driven by third-party partnerships, in which data produced by the control system is fed to various software packages for analysis and application to the given business.

“Light management systems that control lighting will enable IoT applications to become simpler,” Matthews said. “At first, this may be just reports and trend analysis, but eventually it will be machines talking to machines within the range of defined guidelines.” The key to implementing this type of systems integration is the application programming interface (API), a behind-the-scenes package of software.

“The capability of lighting control networks to collect data via sensors is going to make lighting companies more valuable in the data-driven future,” Britnell said. “Electrical distribution companies should position themselves to take advantage of this rising tide of income opportunity.”

He said distributors, for example, could experiment with a Lighting as a Service model based on monitoring.

Matthews added, “As lighting systems become the platform for IoT, sensors will be supplied by distributors and installed by electricians and contractors. The more they know about the sensors and platforms they are installing, the higher the value-added with they will be able to provide.”

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ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR Publishes Article on DOE Lighting Market Characterization

The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) recently published a report, 2015 U.S. Lighting Market Characterization, an excellent resource for lighting market analysis and business planning. One thing is clear: The lighting market has undergone significant transformation since the last DOE characterization in 2010.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) recently published a report, 2015 U.S. Lighting Market Characterization, an excellent resource for lighting market analysis and business planning.

One thing is clear: The lighting market has undergone significant transformation since the last DOE characterization in 2010.

Click here to read an article I wrote summarizing the report, which was published in the March 2018 issue of ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR.

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Trends in Downlighting

Available in new construction luminaires and retrofit trims and kits, LED offers the benefits of directional light output, high efficiency and life, good lighting quality, and controllability in downlighting. Click to read this article about trends in this category.

Below is my contribution to the March issue of tED Magazine, the official NAED publication. Reprinted with permission.

Downlights are popular luminaires used for general, accent, and wall-wash lighting in commercial, hospitality, and residential applications. Traditionally, incandescent and halogen lamps dominated these luminaires in the residential market, while compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) and to a lesser extent high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps dominated in the commercial market. The CFL is omnidirectional, however, resulting in lower luminaire efficiencies, in addition to certain lighting quality issues. Because of this lower energy efficiency, downlights were a leading market for LED adoption.

Available in new construction luminaires and retrofit trims and kits, LED offers the benefits of directional light output, high efficiency and life, good lighting quality, and controllability.

Scott Roos, VP Design, Downlight, Accent, and Trac Products, Acuity Brands Lighting, estimates the downlight market at $2 billion, making it one of the largest luminaire categories. “Residentially, downlights continue to be the preferred fixture for providing general and accent lighting throughout the home,” he said. “Commercially, downlighting is seeing increased use throughout the variety of applications from hospitality and retail to corporate, municipal, and healthcare interiors, in large part because of the increased performance and capabilities that LED technology affords.”

“Positive growth in new construction and ongoing remodel work continues to push the demand higher for downlights,” added Glenn Siegel, Director, Marketing and Product Development, Eaton. The growing restrictiveness of energy codes is promoting highly efficient options that can deliver good lighting quality while being cost-effective.

Image courtesy of Acuity Brands.

Trends

LED’s primary value proposition is superior efficiency delivering energy cost savings and code compliance, though this category pays quite a bit of attention to lighting quality, such as color rendering, so as to compete with incandescent and halogen. In all respects, downlights have come a long way since their early challenge to traditional downlights. Products continue to develop along several trends to offer more choices for distributors.

“To meet the ever-evolving regulatory codes, specifier design challenges, and end-user preferences, fixtures are incorporating reduced aperture sizes, increased lumen outputs, more adjustable and beam pattern options, easier installation methods, and connected capability,” said Siegel.

Form factors: Alfred LaSpina, LED Product Group Marketing Manager, LEDVANCE, said form factors have expanded. “Where before it was primarily 5- and 6-inch downlights, now we have 4- and even 8-inch for high-ceiling applications,” he said. “Slim-profile LED downlights are also now available with a 1-inch thin design that allows for installation directly under joists in new and remodel construction. The high-performing IC design allows for installation without a housing, which means the light can be placed in more locations.”

Besides flexibility, LaSpina pointed out, this type of design can also reduce labor costs as a downlight can is not being installed—savings that can be marketed back to the customer as a selling point.

Smaller, “quieter” apertures: Roos noted that 3-, 2, and even 1-inch aperture sizes have moved from specialty to mainstream, while lower-brightness reflector options and bevel-style trims and mudded-in trimless installation have become more common.

“These small-aperture fixtures are also available in surface and pendant-mount cylinders for use in the increasingly popular open ceiling formats,” he said. “And this miniaturization is enabling new linear format downlights with the lumens spread across multiple low-brightness cells, some with the capability of individualized optical control and aiming.”

LaSpina added, “Trim options are available for some products for those looking for that certain aesthetic. Enhanced gimbal models also spin and tilt more effectively, allowing end-users to easily focus the light where they want it.”

Higher light output: Roos pointed to 4-inch downlight options delivering up to 8,000 lumens, 6-inch 15,000 lumens, and 8-inch 20,000 lumens. This light output is delivered with high efficacy. For example, a 4-inch CFL downlight delivers about 25 lumens/W and a 6- or 8-inch compact fluorescent downlight 35-40 lumens/W. In contrast, a 4-inch LED downlight can deliver as high as 130 lumens/W while maintaining low aperture brightness.

“Today’s higher-performance LED downlights equal or exceed the lumen output and efficacy of both fluorescent and LED troffers,” Roos said. “The historical 20-30+ percent efficacy tradeoff to achieve the more upscale look of downlights, versus the more utilitarian look of 2×2 and 2×4 troffers, no longer exists.”

More optical options: “It is now possible to produce a wider range of beam angles and choose from either smooth, feathered distributions for uniform illumination or tighter distributions with high center beam punch with minimal spill outside the main beam to achieve high-contrast, non-uniform downlighting and accent lighting,” Roos said. “LED recessed wallwashers are available that provide unprecedented top-to-bottom and side-to-side uniformity from apertures as small as 2-inch.”

Control: LED downlights and retrofit kits are commonly available with 0-10VDC and phase-control inputs. For phase control, compatibility and performance is improving, though it still pays to confirm dimmer-downlight compatibility.

DMX drivers are available for downlighting in applications such as theaters and auditoriums, enabling integration with theatrical lighting systems. And networked cabled plug-and-play and wireless interfaces are also available, which provide benefits such as individual luminaire control and software-based zoning.

Technological development in LED lighting has also given us a new dimension in control, which is color control. Manufacturers are increasingly offering dim-to-warm options for customers wanting the downlight to transition to a warmer correlated color temperature (CCT) during dimming. This matches the expectations of customers accustomed to incandescent dimming. Some products offer tunable-white control, which enables users to change white-light CCT for different times or events, while some products deliver full color tuning, allowing saturated colors.

“Distributors are presented with a myriad of product choices,” Siegel said. “To best serve their customers, they need to focus on products that meet or exceed ENERGY STAR and/or DLC [DesignLights Consortium] requirements, are compliant to UL standards, meet local or state building codes, and come from companies with a long history of providing strong service and support.”

Final word

“LED has revolutionized the electrical distribution business by offering more choices but also more complexity with a wide range of providers flooding the market,” LaSpina said. “Feel confident in meeting your customers’ needs by offering LED downlights that are backed by excellent warranty, meet the most stringent testing and quality standards, and are offered in a variety of apertures, color temperatures, and lumen packages.”

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CFL and LED Use Growing in Homes

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) latest Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) revealed a majority of U.S. homes used more than one type of lamp, mainly a mix of incandescent and compact fluorescent. Adoption of LED lighting was increasing, however, with 29 percent of households reporting they’d installed at least one LED lamp. Click to learn more about the 2015 RECS.

Below is another contribution I made to the February issue of tED Magazine. Reprinted with permission.

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) latest Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) revealed a majority of U.S. homes used more than one type of lamp, mainly a mix of incandescent and compact fluorescent. Adoption of LED lighting was increasing, however, with 29 percent of households reporting they’d installed at least one LED lamp.

The 2015 RECS was administered from August 2015 to April 2016. DOE began publishing results in 2017, applying the survey results to an estimated 118 million U.S. homes. These were split 81 percent urban, 19 percent rural. Sixty-three percent single-family detached, six percent single-family attached, and the rest apartments or mobile homes.

The survey indicates 86 percent of households were using at least one CFL or LED lamp. And about one out of twenty (20 percent) reported they had no incandescent lamps installed.

Since the last RECS conducted in 2009, a lot has changed in the U.S. residential lighting market. Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 energy standards took effect, eliminating a majority of traditional general-service incandescent lamps in favor of halogen, CFL, and LED lamps. LED technology evolved to offer viable alternatives for virtually any incandescent household socket. ENERGY STAR now favors LED lighting, resulting in expected displacement of CFL in favor of LED in utility rebate programs. Energy codes based on the latest version of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) now require a majority of lamps be high-efficacy—CFL or LED.

DOE correlated some characteristics with a higher rate of adoption. Households occupied by owners were more likely to have CFL or LED lamps installed compared to renter-occupied households (89 versus 79 percent). Higher-income households were more likely to adopt CFL or LED lamps as well, perhaps due to the higher cost of energy-efficient lamps. Ninety-three percent of households with a $100,000+ annual income reported using CFL or LED lamps, compared to 75 percent for households with <$20,000 annual incomes.

Additionally, the data suggests energy audits, though rare, may be influential. Ninety-five percent of households that had an energy audit reported using CFL or LED lamps, compared to 85 percent of households without an audit. However, only seven percent of households said they’d had an energy audit done. Five percent of households reported they’d received free or subsidized energy-efficient lamps.

In controls, about 36 percent of households said they had timers or dimmers installed to control their indoor lighting. Among households that had outdoor lamps installed, 45 percent reported these lamps were controlled by motion or light sensors.

The 2015 RECS includes other interesting energy-related residential data. Thirteen percent of households (not including apartments with five or more units) reported having a backup generator. Two percent reported using distributed solar to generate energy. Twenty-two percent of households said their energy use was recorded using a smart meter. And nearly six percent reported they’d received a tax credit for new appliances or equipment.

The survey results offer extensive information that allow detailed comparisons, such as the incidence of energy-efficient lamps and other equipment in new compared to existing homes. Overall, the data suggests the lighting market is in transition from incandescent to energy-efficient sources. Information about energy consumption and expenditures is scheduled for release in early 2018.

Check out the 2015 RECS here.

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Trends in High-Bay Lighting

Skeletal frameworks installed in some facilities form interior subspaces called bays, often characterized as high-bay (>20 ft. off the floor) or low-bay (<20 ft.). Such high-ceiling applications are common in industrial, warehouse, big-box retail, convention center, and gymnasiums. General lighting installed in high-bay applications typically involves high-output luminaires emitting 15,000 up to 100,000 lumens per luminaire. These luminaires often operate at least 12 hours per day, making them good candidates for energy-saving options for both retrofit and new construction. Click to read this article about trends in LED high-bay lighting.

Below is my contribution to the February issue of tED Magazine. Reprinted with permission.

Skeletal frameworks installed in some facilities form interior subspaces called bays, often characterized as high-bay (>20 ft. off the floor) or low-bay (<20 ft.). Such high-ceiling applications are common in industrial, warehouse, big-box retail, convention center, and gymnasiums. General lighting installed in high-bay applications typically involves high-output luminaires emitting 15,000 up to 100,000 lumens per luminaire. These luminaires often operate at least 12 hours per day, making them good candidates for energy-saving options for both retrofit and new construction.

Traditionally, high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps dominated this large market, which saw significant displacement in retrofits based on high-output linear fluorescent. In recent years, manufacturers rolled out LED high-bay luminaires that promise high energy savings compared to both options, along with other significant advantages such as superior life and controllability.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) estimated LED penetration at less than 10 percent of the overall installed industrial lighting base in 2016 (up from 6 percent in 2015), indicating a sizable estimated retrofit opportunity of 82.4 million high- and low-bay luminaires. In new construction, the big drivers are energy codes and energy-saving opportunities, while in retrofit, the big drivers are utility rebates supporting LED technology, particularly premium efficiency luminaires and controls, along with regulations that are restricting available of less-efficient lamps and ballasts.

“In terms of performance, LED high-bays are leading the way for all indoor fixtures,” said Eric Meadows, Global Product Manager Industrial LED, Current by GE. “Several years ago, I don’t think you’d really be able to claim that LED fixtures could compete with T5 fluorescent lamps, and really the industry was primarily targeting 250/400W HID products for LED replacement. Today, we are absolutely going after the most efficient fluorescent technologies in retrofit as well as new construction and having incredible success due to the price-performance combination available today.”

Meadows added that typical LED luminaires are generating about 50 percent energy cost savings compared to HID and 30-40 percent against fluorescent. Premium-performance options offered by the top-tier manufacturers are going even further, saving 70-80 percent over HID and 55 percent over fluorescent. The best-performing products, he pointed out, are edging close to LED technology’s theoretical maximum efficiency in a practical application. As of September 2017, the most efficacious product listed in DoE’s Lighting Facts database was a 108W high-bay luminaire emitting more than 22,000 lumens, resulting in an efficacy of 210 lumens/W.

“There is a vast range of LED high-bays available on the market today that feature a variety of options for light output, size, optics, wattages, CRI [color rendering index], and CCT [correlated color temperature],” said Joe Engle, Product Manager, New Product Innovation, Hubbell Lighting. “Controls integration and compatibility continues to progress quickly, and we’re now using drivers with 0-10V control leads to ensure they are control-enabled. It’s likely there is an efficient, reliable, and affordable LED high-bay for every application.”

Image courtesy of Hubbell.

Trends

Engle and Meadows pointed to several major trends in LED high-bay luminaires:

Increased efficacy: Rising LED source and optical performance is being leveraged by manufacturers to increase light output, reduce wattage, or both, resulting in higher efficacy (lumens/W). It is also contributing to smaller luminaires, which is contributing to a steady average decline in cost, as well as lower operating temperatures and longer life.

LED high-bay luminaire are now available in standard and premium efficiency options. The most-efficient luminaire are recognized as Premium in the DesignLights Consortium’s (DLC) Qualified Products List, qualifying them for potentially higher utility rebates.

More options:
LED high-bay luminaires are available with a wide range of light distributions, CRI, and CCTs. Meadows said the most popular CRI continues to be 70, as it is not only suitable for a majority of industrial and warehouse applications, but also the most efficient LED chip package.

Uplight:
LED high-bay luminaires are available in inverted mounting for indirect lighting.

Optical control: TIR optics enable greater optical control, which reduces glare while potential reducing the number of luminaires required through control of the beam spread. Engle said there is a trend toward lensing for luminaires installed at lower mounting heights in logistics and warehouse buildings to reduce direct glare.

Lighting controls:
This is a major trend, with LED offering the ability to both dim and turn OFF loads when they are not needed either through scheduling or integrated occupancy and daylight sensing. While standalone sensors and hardwired circuit-level controls remain most common, wireless connectivity and digital communication are nascent but becoming more popular, particularly for flexibility in both retrofits and new construction. DoE estimated penetration of connected lighting systems at about 0.5 percent of the total installed industrial lighting base in 2016, indicating enormous potential.

“In new construction, it means that a control scheme can be laid out and then reorganized again and again with very little costs associated with changing the layout,” said Meadows. “It’s also more common that they have the option to connect to a building management system and even collect and aggregate data that could be utilized to unlock value at a facility.”

What to look for

“Electrical distributors want performance and reliability in a fixture that is affordable and reliable,” Engle said. “The preferred method to confidently select a product is to purchase a DLC-listed LED high-bay from a manufacturer that has proven it will stand by its product.”

Meadows agreed but noted that DLC qualification does not provide assurances about product quality. “This is why we see distributors consistently pick a brand name manufacturer with whom they have a high degree of confidence. There are plenty of lighting companies that are offering longer warranties as standard. Still, the best warranty is one that you don’t have to use because the manufacturer thoroughly tests and controls product quality and has a vested interest in producing quality products.”

Final word

“Sensor-enabled high-bay LED light fixtures are the easiest way to reduce energy and transform your customers’ facilities for the future, and now are at a price and performance that make it a true no-brainer to switch to LED,” Meadows added. “If you’re still selling fluorescent lamps or fixtures that don’t communicate digitally, someone will be there to earn your customers’ business with a fantastic intelligent LED solution.”

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ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR Roundtable: Connected Lighting

The lighting industry continues to undergo historic change marked by extraordinary trends enabled by rapid adoption of LED lighting. Connectivity and networked control, the Internet of Things, lighting and health, restrictive energy codes, and rebates are all driving change. For electrical contractors that compete based on lighting expertise, this presents the challenge of reviewing one’s skillsets and learning what needs learning to remain competitive. In this informative roundtable, ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR talked to six lighting industry experts to find out what impact these trends are having and where they’re going.

Below is one of my contributions to the January 2018 issue of ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR, reprinted.

The lighting industry continues to undergo historic change marked by extraordinary trends enabled by rapid adoption of LED lighting. Connectivity and networked control, the Internet of Things, lighting and health, restrictive energy codes, and rebates are all driving change. For electrical contractors that compete based on lighting expertise, this presents the challenge of reviewing one’s skillsets and learning what needs learning to remain competitive.

In an informative roundtable, ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR’s Craig DiLouie, LC, CLCP talked to six lighting industry experts to find out what impact these trends are having and where they’re going.

DiLouie: Lighting is getting steadily more complicated. New technologies to learn, faster product cycles, lighting networking, color tuning, potential health impacts, energy codes, and more. What impact is this having on lighting practitioners? What skillsets are most lacking for lighting people and electrical contractors, how do they get the education they need, and what value can they expect it to deliver?

Mark Lien: One aspect of an evolving industry is increased complexity. Specialists emerge, and expertise extends beyond the ability of an individual. We already have specialists in lighting controls, components, and applications. Say hello to your new networking expert along with the light and health specialist you will need at least for consultation.

Often, manufacturers employ specialists to add value to their customers and to positively differentiate their company. Occasionally, this concept is executed well. Parking lot lighting may be laid out by a manufacturer, sales representative, electrician, ESCO or lighting designer. The complexity of the job may inform whether a lighting designer is employed. Similarly, lighting professionals may be educated well enough for basic customer/client requests and will need to know where to go when the questions require additional expertise. The first to tell a customer new information that helps them will grow trust for themselves and by extension, their company. Conversely, to provide incorrect counsel reduces trust so specialists will need to be recommended and engaged with.

A knowledge level beyond your average customer/client on all things lighting related is ideal with specialists on staff or on call when necessary. Exponential growth curves for solid-state lighting and Internet of Things (IoT) make continuous education critical for relevance. Larger organizations will need a Director of Education or Chief Information Officer tasked with education and training.

Staff training is never done, we must be in continuous training. We are all trainees from now on as our lighting community accelerates into a fascinating future full of unexpected convergent consequences.

Mark Lien, LC, HBDP, CLMC, CLEP, LEED BD&C is industry relations manager for the Illuminating Engineering Society.

DiLouie: The Department of Energy sees connected lighting as a key contributor to SSL energy savings, and data collection and participation in the Internet of Things may be a big driver for connected lighting. However, interoperability remains a key issue. What impact is this issue having on adoption, what is the industry doing to address it, and what is DoE doing to help? How close are we to true interoperability and low-cost backend integration?

James Brodrick: Connected lighting system (CLS) performance is dependent on the ability of devices to work together. Such interoperability requires common platforms and protocols to enable the exchange of usable data between lighting systems, other systems, and Cloud services. Traditionally, there’s been little to no interoperability seen in market-available lighting control devices and systems, as manufacturers have focused on developing and promoting their own proprietary technologies or their own version of industry standards. While a number of consortia are working on common platforms and protocols, they’re taking different approaches or addressing different parts of the puzzle. At the moment, there’s little interoperability in commercially available lighting.

At its Connected Lighting Test Bed, the U.S. Department of Energy recently completed the first study in a series on CLS interoperability. This first study focused on the use of application programming interfaces (APIs; essentially, software that allows a system to interact with other systems to some degree, as specified by the system manufacturer), exploring their diversity in several CLS, characterizing the extent of interoperability they provide, and illustrating challenges, limitations, and trade-offs. It characterized the API structure, nomenclature, and information models, and also investigated the development of a common integration platform. In addition, the study simulated two real-life use cases to illustrate the effort required to use APIs to facilitate interoperability.

Among the recommendations was that CLS developers make their APIs readily available and ensure that documentation is synchronized with software updates, and that the lighting industry—and perhaps the Internet of Things industry as well—consider adopting a common approach to authentication, with some minimum level of resistance to cybersecurity vulnerabilities. It was also recommended that API developers explore approaches to reducing system integrator effort, and consider the implementation of publish-subscribe models for reported data, and of override or prioritization schemes that support adaptive control of configurable system devices.

James Brodrick is the Lighting Program Manager for the U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Office.

DiLouie: Considerable progress was made in 2017 moving the ball forward on practical lighting and health applications. How would you characterize progress made, including significant findings, and what this means for application of lighting as a positive contributor to a healthy building environment?

Mariana Figueiro: Perhaps the most significant advance in lighting and health applications was not strictly in respect to specific technological advances or the development of new applications, but instead had to do with an enormous step forward in public awareness. The award of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to circadian rhythms researchers has reached beyond researchers and lighting professionals to include the greater public who are ultimately the implementers and end-users of the technology.

That said, however, lighting technology and applications themselves have nonetheless made significant strides forward in 2017. Our research with office workers, for example, has shown that receiving levels of high circadian stimulus (CS) in the morning can improve sleep and reduce self-reports of depression among office workers. In 2017, for the first time, we demonstrated that a lighting intervention designed to provide high levels of CS can also increase alertness, similar to a “cup of coffee.”

This marriage of theoretical research and everyday applications, especially in view of advancements in the burgeoning field of IoT technology, holds great promise for realizing healthy lighting in the built environment for all users at any time of day or night. We are getting closer to the point where CS can be tailored to the individual to deliver an appropriate, mobile lighting prescription that is not limited to a specific place. The use of desktop luminaires to deliver vertical illumination will, hopefully, become more common practice in buildings.

We have learned great deal over the past decade about the impact of light on health, and if 2017 is any indication, advances in lighting for healthy buildings will only hasten their pace. In the coming year it will be crucial to keep pushing the envelope, without waiting for standards bodies to establish revised metric and guidelines, by applying our rapidly developing research to help people feel and live better right now.

Mariana G. Figueiro, Ph.D., is Director of the Lighting Research Center and Professor of Architecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

DiLouie: The 2019 version of the ASHRAE/IES 90.1 energy standard is expected to see a significant reduction in lighting power densities as LED lighting becomes increasingly cost-effective in all applications. Where do you see energy codes ultimately headed in terms of lighting? As lighting reaches a theoretical ceiling of efficiency, do you see energy-progressive jurisdictions implementing stretch codes and green building codes?

Eric Richman: Energy codes will continue to incorporate LED technology efficacy into the development of lighting power density (LPD) limits. At some point, reductions in LPD based on LED will level off with minor changes based on continued efficacy changes. Meanwhile, energy code development will continue to look for additional savings related to controls.

Basic lighting control functions are fairly well represented in current versions of codes, which will eventually be applicable to projects as states adopt the newer versions of codes. Going beyond basic control requirements, code development is likely to look at requirements for more advanced wireless control systems that have the potential for bigger savings based on integrated area control but also include many non-energy benefits. However, the effectiveness of additional savings compared to potentially higher cost of these systems can depend on the application. I anticipate that energy codes will be cautious about specific requirements for advanced control systems but focus more on ensuring that these systems will not be restricted by any code requirements.

I also see codes looking at additional scope such as exterior lighting that may not be tied to a building. This might include external or shared parking, assembly, and storage areas and potentially some roadways. Finally, discussions regarding the future of energy codes usually include the idea of performance-based codes. These performance codes seek to replace LPD limits with future energy use as a significant part of energy compliance which could provide more design flexibility. While this is potentially a more design-friendly approach, the basis for showing compliance using future energy use has not been developed, so LPD limits plus controls is likely to remain for a good while.

Eric Richman, LC, FIES is Senior Research Engineer, Energy Systems Analysis for the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Chair of the ASHRAE/IES 90.1 Lighting Subcommittee.

DiLouie: In 2017, utilities launched the first major rebates promoting networked lighting controls, based on the DesignLights Consortium’s (DLC) specification and Qualified Products List. What do you see happening in 2018, what impact will these rebates have on adoption of networked controls in existing buildings, and ultimately what impact do you see this having on lighting control rebates?

Gabe Arnold: We’ll continue to see more utilities launching rebates for networked lighting controls in 2018. Utilities increasingly see this technology as critical to achieving their current and future energy savings goals. Their involvement will drive progress and help spur adoption but is not all that is needed. Customer and partner education on how to sell, specify, install, and use the technology will be essential. We expect utilities to take on a greater role in providing, sponsoring, and promoting these education initiatives, as opportunities abound for this.

The DLC has developed a single-day curriculum on networked lighting controls targeted to electrical contractors that will be offered by many utilities in 2018. The Lighting Controls Association offers a suite of free online courses on lighting controls as part of their Education Express. And for those that want to go deeper, the National Advanced Lighting Controls Training Program provides a more in-depth multi-day training in a growing number of states and Canadian provinces on Advanced Controls. Utilities will be promoting, offering, or even requiring these trainings as part of their programs.

All of these education efforts are effectively priming the pump for greater adoption of networked lighting controls. Utilities would like to see lighting controls installed on every applicable lighting project through their programs. We expect that in the future, some utilities will require these controls to be installed to access any rebates. That means if you want a rebate for an LED fixture or lamp, it must be installed with networked controls. There is a lot of work to do to get to this point, but once we do get there, we expect the adoption of the technology will dramatically increase in both new and existing buildings, and eventually will become standard practice as part of any lighting retrofit project.

Gabe Arnold, PE, LC, CEM is Program Manager for the DesignLights Consortium.

DiLouie: As lighting becomes low-voltage and more sensors and controls are installed at the ceiling, there is greater interest in low-voltage power and communication delivery systems such as power over Ethernet, the EMerge Alliance standard, and proprietary low-voltage power systems. How do you see these solutions addressing the market, what is current adoption, and what do you see in the next 3-5 years?

Kevin Willmorth: The growth of interest in controls integration is certainly raising interest in low-voltage controls connectivity. Whether this leads to a complete overhaul of line-voltage to low-voltage infrastructure is a fair question. Pursuing a low-voltage distributed lighting system with smart controls integration in new construction is certainly a viable option, and can produce reasonable cost savings. However, that advantage is lost in existing structures, where the cost of abandoning an existing infrastructure to install a redundant new low-voltage system is less realistic. Small buildings and tenant lease spaces are also less likely to realize a large capital savings from changing from a conventional line-voltage power with overlay of wireless or low-voltage controls to a complete low-voltage infrastructure.

For the next five years, there will continue to be a broad mix of line- and low-voltage systems utilized. While low-voltage controls will realize the greatest growth, the growth of power over Ethernet (PoE), EMerge, and other, proprietary low-voltage backbone architectures will be application-dependent, with slower total growth. There are fundamental restrictions to distributed low-voltage power to large lighting systems. The 24VDC standard for EMerge Alliance powered products requires voltage boost drivers to power the latest generation of high-power chip-on-board (COB) arrays operating at >34VDC. The power limits involved in PoE create far more wired home-runs than a similar line-voltage system operating at 277VAC, while many local codes demand all wiring, line or low voltage, be installed in conduit—negating some of the advantages of low-voltage systems. Finally, the lack of universality between the various low-voltage systems on offer today leads to issues of future compatibility and integration of products from the largest number of manufacturers of lighting products that do not exist in line-voltage product offerings.

Ultimately, over the long term, the future of lighting connectivity, from power and voltage, to controls integration, is unknown. Certainly, low-voltage control and power as one entity, with digital instructions flowing over common wiring, is an improvement over existing dual-voltage approaches. In time, there will emerge a fully standardized and universal architecture that will facilitate application of this approach in new and existing structures with equal advantage, with fewer of the liabilities of current solutions available today. When this occurs, the transformation will shift into high gear.

Kevin Willmorth is Principal of Lumenique.

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