Category: Interviews + Opinion

Interview with Cooper’s Kraig Kasler

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Kraig Kasler, Vice President and General Manager, Indoor, Eaton’s Cooper Lighting business, for an article I’m writing for TED Magazine about how solid-state…

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Kraig Kasler, Vice President and General Manager, Indoor, Eaton’s Cooper Lighting business, for an article I’m writing for TED Magazine about how solid-state lighting is impacting luminaire design. I’m happy to share his responses with you here. He offers excellent insight from the top level of management inside one of the industry’s leading manufacturers.

DiLouie: How would you characterize demand for LED luminaires in indoor commercial building applications in the new construction market? What is current market share in the new commercial building construction market for indoor LED luminaires?

Kasler: The demand for indoor LED luminaires for commercial applications has rapidly accelerated throughout the year in part due to regulatory, legislative and end user satisfaction. In general energy efficient and low maintenance lighting is the preferred lighting of choice. At this point, virtually every project now quotes an LED option, especially for environments where dimming is required and LED solutions are approaching cost parity with traditional sources.

DiLouie: What are the most popular applications for LED luminaires in indoor applications?

Kasler: In the commercial space we are seeing a lot of customers purchase LED troffers, strips and downlights. In the industrial space, given the maintenance advantages, we are seeing a significant transition towards LED high-bays.

Now that LED fixtures have been developed that cover the basics of good lighting design -— general, task, accent and wallwashing — most indoor applications are covered.

DiLouie: What are the top trends in indoor LED luminaire design today?

Kasler: Top trends include designs that move the luminaire beyond the form factors used for traditional light sources such as edge lighting and integrating more controls functionality including occupancy sensing and daylight harvesting directly into the fixture to increase energy efficiency and reduce commissioning costs. Additionally, diving towards lower costs so that the initial purchase price for LED luminaires closes the gap on traditional solutions, as well as luminaires that can be placed in higher ambient temperature environments.

Specifically, top trends for recessed downlighting include smaller aperture size, deeper light source regression, higher lumens and as an integrated controls company we are embedding control features directly into our fixtures taking cost and complexity out of the equation.

DiLouie: What impact are these trends having on the market in terms of moving the ball forward, satisfying users, and exceeding current conventional lighting offerings?

Kasler: LED is already better compared to traditional solutions in terms of total cost of ownership, product lifetime, Color Rendering Index (as compared to fluorescent), efficacy and controllability. As these trends become more and more prevalent, it only serves to accelerate the transition away from traditional light sources and towards LED, which is hugely beneficial for customers in terms of delivering energy efficiency and a better overall quality of ambiance and controllability.

[For recessed lighting] These trends allow the lighting to be less intrusive on the architectural space and easier to use giving the specifier more freedom in providing light where needed.

DiLouie: Where do you see these trends going in terms of future direction?

Kasler: Simply, continued acceleration driven by increased energy efficiency and controls functionality is where we see this technology going.

[For recessed lighting] Lower wattage will lead to less mass of the fixtures, which will continue to allow for smaller apertures with higher lumen potential. Also, controls integration will allow for more personal user experience.

DiLouie: What do you see as future trends in indoor LED luminaire design that will become possible as the technology continues to develop?

Kasler: Improving efficiency and thermal performance will continue to reduce the LED count necessary to meet required light levels and optical distributions. This equates to smaller fixtures, greater energy and cost savings, and more flexibility in optical and mechanical designs. Additionally, purpose built LED luminaires will provide new form factor possibilities previously not possible with lamp technology.

DiLouie: Please comment on the evolution of optics for indoor LED luminaires, giving particular focus on how optics have changed to accommodate the LED light source?

Kasler: Historically, reflector-based optical designs have primarily been utilized, tailored to the traditional “extended” light sources (incandescent, halogen, etc.). However, due to the “pin-point” nature of an LED source, and as integrated LED arrays continue to increase in light density, more options are available. Refractor optics potentially offer the ability to improve optical efficiencies substantially, while touching more of the light, which further translates to getting more of the photons to where they need to be in the application (i.e. usable lumens).

DiLouie: What are your thoughts on the evolution of integration of lighting controls within indoor LED luminaires?

Kasler: Due the convergence of electronics to the luminaire, indoor LED fixtures will serve as the centerpiece of the lighting control system unlike panel or module based systems of the past. Indoor luminaires will contain bi-directional communication, and potentially sensing technology forming a network of smart fixtures without the need for a central controller.

DiLouie: What is your perspective on the evolution and viability of white light color tuning capabilities with indoor LED luminaires?

Kasler: The technology exists today to drive viability of white light color tuning solutions. Therefore, the question is not so much the viability as it is the cost-performance trade-offs and the visual implementation of the product. There is a growing body of knowledge within the lighting industry related to visual acuity and response associated with white light “color content”, which is challenging our preconceived notions of “What is white?” As such, there is a fair amount of variance in the color tuned products on the market today which will be ultimately be addressed by customer feedback/acceptance and lighting standards efforts.

DiLouie: What are your thoughts on the evolution and viability of indoor LED luminaires with mechanisms that indicate end of life or otherwise maintain a constant light output over life?

Kasler: As the lumen maintenance (L70 value) and reliability of LED products continue to increase, the impact of light output over time becomes less significant. Having said that, the technology already exists to provide both end of life indication and maintained light output … albeit at a product cost penalty. One of the primary challenges related to end of life solutions is to ensure that full benefit is derived from the product lifecycle, as premature failure based on faulty light level detection can cut short the customer return on investment.

DiLouie: Please comment on the evolution and demand for indoor LED luminaires that feature serviceable components such as light engines, drivers, heat sinks and optics?

Kasler: The requirement and demand for serviceable components is directly correlated to the overall cost of the LED luminaire. Of course, as the reliability of both the LED devices and LED drivers continue to improve, the need to service the LED-based products is diminished as well. A related aspect to the design of LED luminaires is the opportunity to “swap out” components in order to meet specific customer needs (i.e. color temperature, optical distributions, aesthetics, etc.). This approach is being addressed by industry groups like Zhaga, based on global, consensus standards efforts.

DiLouie: How are form factors for indoor LED luminaires evolving, and what is the viability of new form factors?

Kasler: This has been one of the truly exciting aspects of the transition to LED in that with the new light source, we have been able to design new form factors – smaller, lighter, thinner, edge-lighting – and this trend will only increase, especially as thermals becomes less and less of an issue over time.

LED’s are giving us new freedom of design. Our new Wavestream™ surface mount products are great examples. The new Surface LED Downlight from Halo mounts directly to a junction box, extends less than 1 inch from the ceiling plane, yet provides light output similar to a traditional recessed downlight.

DiLouie: What is your perspective on the evolution and viability of indoor LED luminaires with specifiable, factory-customized light output and wattage to satisfy precise application needs?

Kasler: The lighting industry is essentially digitizing and LED luminaires with increasingly smart drivers are now more flexible in terms of how much controls you can embed into them which does several things – first, it allows you to deliver more energy savings features integrated into the fixture and it also allows the production of them to be more flexible with late-stage identification of exact lumen value or wattages to satisfy customer applications.

For several years to meet stringent energy requirements, such as T24 or ASHRE 90.1, we have been providing de-rated fixtures for traditional light sources, fixtures that specify a limited wattage on the product. As with any customized solution costs tend to be higher to produce those types of products. LED systems that allow for programing to dial in varying wattage, current or CCT can be a natural evolution that may grow over time.

DiLouie: If you could tell the entire electrical industry just one thing about trends in indoor LED luminaire design for commercial building applications, what would it be?

Kasler: The time is now for intelligently controlled LED lighting. Customers can enjoy a lower total cost of ownership, improved aesthetics and light quality, drastically reduced energy costs and controls functionality they simply could not achieve with traditional light.

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

Kasler: In our research, customers told us about their innovation concerns and needs. Due to the rapidly changing technology, they indicated it has become a real challenge to confidently select lighting and control solutions. Many manufacturers and suppliers in the market have often been unable to produce commercially acceptable products that perform as advertised. The result has been a great deal of market concern about the reliability of new technologies. Lighting professionals also told us that innovation alone just isn’t enough. They want product and service innovations from a company they can trust – to deliver the best quality; to stand behind their products and their promises; to have a history and a future. We believe innovation coupled with reliability is the key to driving even faster levels of market adoption and customer benefits.

1 Comment on Interview with Cooper’s Kraig Kasler

My Interview with Hubbell Lighting’s Chris Bailey

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Chris Bailey, LC, LEED AP BD+C, DDI, MIES, Director, Lighting Solutions Center, Hubbell Lighting, for an article I’m writing for TED Magazine about…

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Chris Bailey, LC, LEED AP BD+C, DDI, MIES, Director, Lighting Solutions Center, Hubbell Lighting, for an article I’m writing for TED Magazine about how solid-state lighting is impacting luminaire design. I’m happy to share it with you here.

DiLouie: How would you characterize demand for LED luminaires in indoor commercial building applications in the new construction market? What is current market share in the new commercial building construction market for indoor LED luminaires?

Bailey: The demand for LED luminaires for commercial building applications is very high in general. While our company does not disclose analytics for individual market segments (new construction vs. relight/retrofit), Hubbell Lighting’s overall adoption of LED luminaires is quickly approaching 50%. While this tremendous shift is somewhat influenced by the moderate recovery in the new construction market, in general the installed base of legacy technology in the market will remain the most significant market opportunity in the near future.

DiLouie: What are the most popular applications for LED luminaires in indoor applications?

Bailey: With typical energy savings of 30-40% in most applications, LEDs are quickly becoming the light source of choice for most interior applications. However, interior recessed lighting is a clear winner, followed by industrial and linear ambient luminaires. Going forward, as more contemporary energy codes are implemented around the country, the emphasis towards integrated lighting control solutions is increased. This results in a greater level of LED adoption stemming from the significant costs associated with legacy dimming ballasts. Whereas in many cases adding a dimming ballast can nearly double the selling price of a compact or linear fluorescent luminaire, most LED luminaires come standard with 0-10V dimming drivers. Some of which are capable of dimming below 1%. Another aspect at play is that for recessed down lighting applications, delivering greater than 6500-7000 lumens from a reasonable sized aperture can be challenging. This necessitated the use of medium to high wattage HID or high wattage halogen lamp sources in higher mounting height applications. Considering the maintenance and energy savings available for either scenario, the recessed lighting market has been quick to leverage LED technology.

The linear market is quickly moving this direction as well, however the inherent source efficacy (100-110lm/W), lumen maintenance (~90%+), relatively high luminaire efficiencies and low cost have slowed the adoption, compared to the downlight market. Given the same forces at play with respect to energy codes and the cost of dimming ballasts, the tipping point is nearing.

Speaking briefly on industrial applications, the market adoption falls in-between that of downlighting and recessed linear applications, towards the upper end. Over the past 10-15 years, industrial spaces have largely shifted to linear fluorescent technology. While HID industrial luminaires are regarded as easy targets, those systems which have been converted to the latest generation of linear fluorescent technology may be delayed in their conversion to LED.

In the spirit of completeness it is worth mentioning that while considerable increases in legacy source efficacy are not anticipated, legacy source manufacturers continue to deploy rolling improvements in lamp life (50% mortality). Commercially available CFL, HID and linear fluorescent lamps are now available with rated lifetimes of 30,000, 40,000 and 90,000 hours, respectively. Therefore applications considered to be prime targets for LED, specifically those using linear fluorescent lamps, may rely more on energy savings than maintenance avoidance.

DiLouie: What are the top 3-5 trends in indoor LED luminaire design today?

Bailey: There are several trends playing out today. In the interior commercial space, many of these trends are centered on color. Interestingly, despite its 100+ year history and relative inefficiency, incandescent (and halogen) lamps are still the established baseline for color quality. This is in part due to the smooth and continuous nature of its spectral power distribution and the overall completeness of the spectrum – which spans the entire visible spectrum. Irrespective of its misgivings, legacy and LED manufactures alike strive to capture the inherent color quality of this century-old source. Something else perhaps taken for granted the ability for incandescent sources to be dimmed easily and maintain color quality, yet decrease in color temperature (black body dimming) through the dimming range. As a result, many companies have begun to design and offer commercial interior luminaires designed to emulate the signature color quality and dim-to-warm characteristic of incandescent and halogen sources.

With respect to color quality, a few variations have emerged – with the same goal in mind. The first of these variations involves special phosphor blends (remote or local), which improve the overall spectral content, with specific emphasis on the deep red part of the spectrum. Another interesting development involves the utilization of a violet LED in lieu of a blue LED for phosphor stimulation (photoluminescence). The result of which more fully completes the spectral content of the LED source, which improves perceived color quality and more naturally renders the colors and shades of white. Lastly, some companies have begun to break tradition intentionally move the color point of warm white products off of the black body locus and away from the center of the ANSI quadrangle, in an effort to provide a more balanced spectrum.

In the same vein, the demand for tunable white products is on the rise. Companies are now introducing luminaires, for which the color temperature can be decided and set electronically, after installation. This provides a welcomed level of flexibility to otherwise static products. This technology is also available in configurations that allow end-users to supplement colors in the spectrum by changing the hue and saturation, separately from CCT. It should be noted however, that in addition to the added acquisition cost, products providing this level of flexibility require greater amounts of energy to operate – which may limit their initial acceptance.

Deep dimming (1% and below) and the reduction of perceivable flicker are also areas of interest today. Many power supply manufacturers now offer variations of their otherwise standard products, which greatly improve electrical and dimming performance in these areas.

Lastly, AC-LED technology continues to improve and move from purely residential products into those that serve the light commercial marketplace. AC LED products do not require a traditional power supply and instead utilize PCB-level components, which regulate the current delivered to the LEDs. Future developments in the area of voltage compatibility and flicker reduction will make the transition into commercial products possible.

DiLouie: What impact are these trends having on the market in terms of moving the ball forward, satisfying users, and exceeding current conventional lighting offerings?

Bailey: Necessity is the mother of invention. All of the trends mentioned above offer significant improvements in the areas of immediate concern or interest. As additional concerns or needs are raised, innovations will follow. The improvements listed above also satisfy broader requirements needed to facilitate mass adoption. In parallel to these rolling improvements, critical supply channels continue to broaden and mature, ultimately resulting in lower costs and a greater degree of adoption.

DiLouie: Where do you see these trends going in terms of future direction?

Bailey: Improvements in cost, quality and performance are expected to be realized at an ever-quickening pace. However, it is important to note that some degree of stratification has occurred in the lighting marketplace. This is consistent with the conventional lighting market place, where products can be categorized as commodity, specification or somewhere in between. In other words, LEDs are now equally relevant for most any application – not just the specification market.

DiLouie: What do you see as future trends in indoor LED luminaire design that will become possible as the technology continues to develop?

Bailey: Tunable white products may become more available and affordable going forward. This level of flexibility is likely to start as very niche, but continue to be deployed in lower cost products going forward. Additionally, the direct integration of wireless technology such as Bluetooth (BLE) may become more practical and will be used to support added functionality. The desire, and perhaps need, to render a greater degree of control over luminaires individually or as groups and systems, may lead to the direct incorporation of relativity low-cost wireless technology, such as BLE, and the related development of app-based control solutions for commercial applications.

DiLouie: Please comment on the evolution of optics for indoor LED luminaires, giving particular focus on how optics have changed to accommodate the LED light source.

Bailey: Given the inherently directional nature of LED sources, optical systems optimized to take advantage of these characteristics have emerged. The most common of these are TIR optics, which are typically made from injection-molded acrylic and make optical efficiencies of greater than 90% possible. Not only are TIR optical systems efficient at transmitting light into the space, they uniquely enable the precise placement of light within a space. This is not to say that reflector-based optics are no longer relevant, in fact many luminaires deploy a combination of optical technologies in an effort to better focus visible energy and provide visual comfort. However, TIR optics are generally more efficient and often require less reflections and bounces to achieve a desired distribution.

Additional developments have been made in the area of edge lighting, light guides and micro or imprinted optics, where complicated optical structures are created on thin optical sheets or films which are capable of both diffusion, trasmission and photometric control.

DiLouie: What are your thoughts on the evolution of integration of lighting controls within indoor LED luminaires?

Bailey: The integration of wireless controls is currently underway. The integration of daylighting and occupancy/vacancy sensing is currently an option on many luminaires, regardless of source. As we move towards more aggressive energy codes, the integration of sensors and controls in luminaires will become a necessity. As such, many manufactures of such controls have made great efforts recently to reimagine and develop fixture level sensors which are more commiserate with the form of interior luminaires and far smaller than those previously available.

DiLouie: What is your perspective on the evolution and viability of indoor LED luminaires with mechanisms that indicate end of life or otherwise maintain a constant light output over life?

Bailey: Products, which provide constant light output or end of life notification, are now commercially available from many luminaire manufactures. More often, this functionality is enabled by programmable LED drivers, which can be configured with customizable timed-based curves, which initially operate the LEDs at lower drive currents and slowly increase drive current to offset the anticipated lumen depreciation. As an added benefit, extended luminaire lifetimes are often achieved as a result of operating LEDs at a lower average current through the life of a luminaire. It is important to note, however, that the associated curve may be best determined by understanding the anticipated operating environment of the luminaire (hours of use, operating ambient temperature, etc.). This may lead to a greater level of energy savings, or greater time-based adaption, than would otherwise be possible through generalization.

DiLouie: Please comment on the evolution and demand for indoor LED luminaires that feature serviceable components such as light engines, drivers, heat sinks and optics?

Bailey: There are two schools of thought. On one hand, having serviceable components provides some customers with peace of mind. However, the likelihood that a compatible PCB, which emulates the photometric and color characteristics of an older generation product is likely not to be available 3-5 years after installation. Compatible drivers may be available, however the industry has only “loosely” standardized on the physical size and mounting features. Those luminaire manufacturers participating with the Zhaga Consortium would be the exception and may be able to provide some degree of future compatibility. As a result, I would emphasize the quality of components and the expected life over the ability to be replaced. If serviceable components are desired, I would recommend keeping specialized components on-hand as attic stock.

DiLouie: How are form factors for indoor LED luminaires evolving, and what is the viability of new form factors?

Bailey: Whereas legacy luminaires where built around obtuse lamp sources, LED luminaires have the unique ability to transcend traditional luminaire design and break new ground. LEDs can be incorporated directly into the fabric of a luminaire concept. Flexible and translucent circuit board technologies provide the ability move luminaire designs from routine, predictable and rigid forms and into an era of freeform design without rules of scale, size and structure.

DiLouie: What is your perspective on the evolution and viability of indoor LED luminaires with specifiable, factory-customized light output and wattage to satisfy precise application needs?

Bailey: Historically, legacy sources could be adapted in terms of power consumption and light output though the modification of ballast factors. This function was driven from the need for one luminaire with a fixed number of lamps to accommodate a variety of applications and power density requirements. This need has not retreated with the emergence of LED luminaires. In fact, despite the increases in LED luminaire efficacy, energy codes precipitously reduce power density allowances. As such, “tunable” products are likely to be highly appreciated by consulting engineers who continue to design for these ever evolving and requirements.

DiLouie: If you could tell the entire electrical industry just one thing about trends in indoor LED luminaire design for commercial building applications, what would it be?

Bailey: Future lighting products are likely to test the boundaries of form and function, provide nearly unlimited flexibility to address color, photometry and human health will be capable of field or factory configurations tailored to end-user preference and onsite conditions and yes, there will be an app for that.

2 Comments on My Interview with Hubbell Lighting’s Chris Bailey

Lighting Metatrends

It’s an exciting time to be in the lighting industry. Today, lighting systems can alter spaces without physically changing them, revitalize urban areas, facilitate interaction and community, communicate information, make…

It’s an exciting time to be in the lighting industry. Today, lighting systems can alter spaces without physically changing them, revitalize urban areas, facilitate interaction and community, communicate information, make spaces more interactive, and affect well being. As technology capabilities increase and costs decline, a dramatic range of possibilities offer the opportunity to transform how people interact with community, space and light.

Five specific lighting trends may play a significant role in the future, which is the subject of a feature article I wrote for a recent issue of ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR. Read it here.

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ARCHITECTURAL LIGHTING’s Video Interviews with Top Lighting Executives

ARCHITECTURAL LIGHTING recently published a series of video interviews with some of the lighting industry’s top executives. Check it out here.

ARCHITECTURAL LIGHTING recently published a series of video interviews with some of the lighting industry’s top executives. Check it out here.

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Interview About Office Lighting Upgrade Market with Kurt Vogel of Acuity Brands

I recently had the opportunity to interview Kurt Vogel, Director, Product Development – Relight, Acuity Brands Lighting, for an article I wrote about the office building lighting upgrade market for…

I recently had the opportunity to interview Kurt Vogel, Director, Product Development – Relight, Acuity Brands Lighting, for an article I wrote about the office building lighting upgrade market for The Electrical Distributor (TED) Magazine. The interview was extremely informative, and I wanted to share it with you complete here.

DiLouie: How would you characterize office buildings as a market for lighting upgrades? What factors, such as utility rates and utility rebates, put a project into the sweet spot for an upgrade?

Vogel: Most office buildings more than a few years old have lighting systems that are costing the owner more than they should in monthly operating costs, regardless of utility rates. The US DOE estimated in 2012 that there were still over a half-billion T12 fluorescent lamps installed in commercial buildings. That’s crazy. Even some older T8 installations are inefficient and wasteful due to overlighting and inefficient fixtures. All of these building owners and operators can see big savings and improvements in lighting from an upgrade done correctly.

Higher electricity rates and the availability of rebates make the savings that much greater, but nearly all buildings can benefit.

DiLouie: Starting with lighting quality, how office spaces are used has changed over time, while the lighting design often remained unchanged. What kind of lighting problems can this represent in the workplace? How could be addressed in a lighting upgrade?

Vogel: Most office space lighting in the past was designed around two main concerns: (1) getting a lot of light (70-100 fc) down to the desk for paper-based activities, and (2) keeping glare off that big convex glass monitor screen if you happened to have a computer on your desk. Neither of those is appropriate in today’s office environment, and in fact it’s resulted in some very harsh and uncomfortable lighting.

Recommended light levels have gone down significantly, and glare is seldom a concern with today’s monitors. More emphasis is being rightly placed on human interaction, where lighting on vertical surfaces like faces and whiteboards is far more important than how much is on the tabletop.

Lighting upgrades and well done retrofits can address these issues to improve lighting dramatically while still delivering significant reductions in monthly operating and maintenance costs.

DiLouie: How can distributors add value to a discussion about upgrading office lighting by incorporating lighting quality into the sell?

Vogel: Traditionally, distributors have sold lighting system retrofits purely as an opportunity to save energy and cut electricity consumption. This has led to a lot of lamp and ballast sales that didn’t result in any improvement in the quality of light (and in many cases decreased the quality of light).

A true lighting upgrade can deliver the same energy savings while significantly improving the quality of light and the entire “look and feel” of the space. It also greatly increases the value of the sale because it increases the relative value of the office space.

DiLouie: Moving on to energy, 4-ft. T12 lamps and magnetic ballasts have been largely eliminated by legislation, with specialty exemptions. What kind of opportunities has this created for distributors?

Vogel: Anyone with T12 lamps needs to upgrade. The question for distributors is whether they will sell a “lowest common denominator” simple energy-savings upgrade or a true lighting upgrade that delivers the same energy savings plus a true improvement in the quality of the lighting.

DiLouie: There are many older T8 lighting systems. What kinds of opportunities exist to retrofit these systems?

Vogel: Most T8 systems are designed to deliver footcandle levels that are far above what’s really required in today’s offices. That means they’re wasting energy, and they’re also using more lamps than are necessary to do the job. A lighting upgrade will not only reduce energy consumption and improve the lighting, but it will also reduce the number of lamps and ballasts in the space which results in significant savings in maintenance costs.

DiLouie: Many corporations demand very fast paybacks. What is today’s low-hanging fruit for lighting upgrades?

Vogel: Requirements for fast paybacks can result in some really crappy lighting retrofits that may end up costing them more in the long run. Fast paybacks are typically focused only on energy savings and don’t take into account the quality of the lighting delivered. These corporations need to understand the total cost involved over a period longer than the 18-24 months they’re typically looking at.

DiLouie: What advice would you give to distributors conducting an audit of an existing lighting system?

Vogel: Are they T12? Immediate opportunity for huge savings. Are they four-lamp fixtures? Immediate opportunity to deliver more appropriate light levels while reducing maintenance. Do they have inboard/outboard switching? Immediate opportunity to replace with bi-level ballasts using existing wiring. Are there opportunities to incorporate controls like occupancy sensors and photocontrols? Further enhanced value and energy savings.

DiLouie: LED provides deep energy savings but still presents a higher cost. How would you characterize the current opportunity for LED products in office buildings?

Vogel: Building owners need to look at lifetime costs, not just simple paybacks. They also need to consider the future integration of lighting controls. LED lighting provides them with greater opportunity to “future-proof” their building to address these opportunities while still recognizing immediate benefits.

DiLouie: What other lighting in the building should the distributor be looking at as potential retrofit targets?

Vogel: If it lights up and it’s more than a few years old, there’s probably an opportunity to retrofit it for some measurable benefit. Quantifying the benefits knowledgeably is the responsibility of the salesperson.

DiLouie: If you could tell all electrical distributors just one thing about office building lighting upgrades, what would it be?

Vogel: Selling a lighting upgrade instead of just a simple energy-savings upgrade can boost the value of the sale enormously. If you’re not talking about the quality of light at the same time you’re talking about energy savings, you’re missing a big opportunity.

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

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

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

DiLouie: Why OLED?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Interview about Outdoor Lighting with Eric Snyder of Cooper Lighting

I recently had the opportunity to interview Eric Snyder, marketing manager for Eaton’s Cooper Lighting Business, for an article I wrote about outdoor lighting for The Electrical Distributor (TED) Magazine….

I recently had the opportunity to interview Eric Snyder, marketing manager for Eaton’s Cooper Lighting Business, for an article I wrote about outdoor lighting for The Electrical Distributor (TED) Magazine. The interview was extremely informative, and I wanted to share it with you complete here.

DiLouie: What are the major recent trends in outdoor area lighting?

Snyder: There are several trends in outdoor area lighting, with the most obvious being the market shift away from HID and towards LED based solutions.  Distributors, electrical engineers, lighting designers and end users are much more educated on LED technology and solutions today than just a few years ago.  Because of this, there is a much higher level of scrutiny and expectation for an LED product versus a traditional source product.  There is also a high level of market interest and product development in outdoor lighting controls.  I believe there will be significant growth in controls adoption over the next couple of years as better and more cost effective control solutions become available.  Another trend I see is a higher level of awareness when it comes to code compliance and good lighting practices.  Because of this, I see a much higher use of solutions that limit spill-light and minimize light pollution even when it’s not required by code.

DiLouie: Commercial building energy codes are increasingly regulating outdoor lighting, with a recent notable trend being bilevel control capability. How is this changing outdoor area lighting product design and availability?

Snyder: Changes in regulation provide both a challenge and opportunity for manufacturers and distributors.  Current control solutions vary and capabilities as well as compatibility are not always well understood by end users.  Going forward, fixture and control manufacturers will need to develop more cohesive systems rather than independent components.  As awareness and understanding of control solutions expands, market adoption will grow with better solutions introduced at more cost effective prices. 

DiLouie:  The Model Lighting Ordinance is not widely adopted, though light pollution standards are being implemented through green building rating systems such as LEED as well as some energy codes such as Title 24 (California).

Do you see large-scale adoption of the Model Lighting Ordinance based on legislative initiatives such as recently introduced in Massachusetts?

Snyder: I’m not familiar with the specific initiatives in Massachusetts, although I believe that focusing on educating the market on MLO and good lighting practices will translate to accelerated LED adoption and better end results.

DiLouie: How are existing ordinances, LEED and energy codes affecting design of lighting products to address light pollution concerns?

Snyder: Lighting ordinances and energy codes vary substantially throughout the country and definitely pose a challenge from a fixture design perspective.  I do believe manufacturers are much more aware of specific code and performance requirements today than in years past.  These requirements often shape and drive product development, resulting in a better and more effective solution. 

DiLouie: How widely is the BUG system used at this time, and how effective is it?

Snyder: Adoption of the BUG system is definitely growing and many customers and end users are much more educated on BUG ratings than in recent years.  I expect to see better lighting practices implemented throughout the country due to the MLO and BUG system.

DiLouie: How would you characterize the commercial outdoor area lighting market as a retrofit market for energy savings or lighting quality? What are the opportunities for metal halide, LED, bilevel control? What are typical savings?

Snyder: The retrofit market is substantial for commercial area lighting, and programs such as the DesignLights Consortium have helped accelerate LED adoption.  When it comes to the retrofit market, there are many different choices for the end user.  By replacing HID with the LED equivalent, it’s common to see 50-75% energy savings.  Adding a control device such as an occupancy sensor will further accelerate payback on the investment.  For the past several years, HID area lighting products in the 150-400W range have been replaced with LED solutions to reduce energy consumption and maintenance costs.  Recent LED product introductions have lumen packages designed to replace up to 1000W HID, which is a common source at many retail and commercial installations such as big box stores and auto dealerships.

DiLouie: What LED options are available for outdoor area lighting, and how would you characterize demand for these options? What are the advantages and disadvantages of LED?

Snyder: There is a wide variety of LED area lighting solutions on the market today.  Many of those solutions have a choice of over ten optical distributions compared to around half of that for many products with traditional sources.  The wider array of distributions allows for more optimized layouts that further reduce energy consumption while providing a more uniform and safer environment in the application. Aside from optical distributions, it’s common to see a choice of multiple correlated color temperatures ranging from 3000K to 6000K.  For many end users, a neutral 4000K CCT is the preferred choice for area lighting applications.

DiLouie: Are there any other options that should be considered, such as induction or light-emitting plasma?

Snyder: It’s always good to be open minded about different solutions and technologies.  With that said, there are several good and cost effective LED solutions on the market today.  As LED technology continues to improve, I believe this will further solidify the justification to choose LED.

DiLouie: What control options are available for outdoor area lighting, and how would you characterize demand for these options? What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Snyder: There are several options for controlling the output of area lighting:  Bi-level dimming, with 2 circuit wiring each controlled independently, an occupancy sensor or a wireless control system. 

The most basic is 2 electrical circuits that can be wired to separate time clocks resulting in reduced energy consumption in time periods of low occupancy in the application. The drawback of this approach is the cost to run the additional circuit to the pole, which may not be a practical option for an existing installation.

Integral or pole mounted occupancy sensors are available from many manufacturers, which work well for many applications and help reduce energy costs.  Implementation is typically straightforward the additional cost of the occupancy sensor providing a good return on investment for many applications. 

The ultimate solution is a wireless control system.  With a wireless system, there is a higher level of features with many being customizable to the application. Energy monitoring, failure reporting and time scheduled on/off or dimming capabilities being just a few features.  The drawback is that implementation may be complex and current solutions may not be cost effective for smaller scale installations.

DiLouie: How should electrical distributors engage their customers to provide the most effective (and profitable) outdoor area lighting solution?

Snyder: Many end users focus solely on the upfront cost or payback period for retrofit scenarios.  While upfront cost and payback is important, I think it’s also important for electrical distributors to be an educational resource and highlight other benefits that technologies such as LED can provide.  For example, having a more uniformly illuminated environment provides a higher level of safety, which can be a very important benefit for many end users.  In addition, most LED based products have a much longer warranty than HID based products which reduces the risk for end users and enhances value in their lighting investment.    

Whenever possible, I would also recommend demonstrating real world LED installations to potential end users.  To some extent, seeing is believing and demonstrations are a great tool to show the potential of LED solutions.

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

Snyder: Do your homework before choosing a product and invest in educating yourselves as well as customers on technology and recommended practices.  Beyond the product itself, do business with companies you trust and that will stand behind their product if or when issues arise.

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

Snyder: Whenever evaluating different lighting solutions don’t overlook the details.  I always recommend performing a lighting layout to verify the light levels are safe and appropriate for the application.  When comparing different products pay close attention to details such as BUG ratings, surge protection, color temperature, lumen maintenance as well as construction specifications like IP, vibration and ambient temperature ratings. 

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Interview about Senior Facilities Lighting with James Massa, Regional Sales Manager for Kenall Lighting

I recently had the opportunity to interview Jay Massa, regional sales manager for Kenall Lighting, for an article I wrote about senior facilities lighting for The Electrical Distributor (TED) Magazine….

I recently had the opportunity to interview Jay Massa, regional sales manager for Kenall Lighting, for an article I wrote about senior facilities lighting for The Electrical Distributor (TED) Magazine. The interview was extremely informative, and I wanted to share it with you complete here.

DiLouie: What are the major recent trends in how senior living facilities are designed and used, and how are they impacting lighting needs and applications?

Massa: A recent trend in the design of senior living facilities is the result of circadian rhythm research, which directly impacts lighting needs and applications. Blue light has been shown effective in resetting the circadian rhythm of aging adults. As a result, the use of blue light in senior living facilities can help improve sleep cycles, particularly for patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

DiLouie: What are the major lighting design considerations for lighting for senior living facilities? What do seniors need in terms of light level, glare control, color, etc. that is different than younger people?

Massa: By age 60, the eye receives only a third as much light as it did at age 20, which means seniors require considerably more light to see properly than their younger counterparts. They are also particularly sensitive to glare. These vision impairments raise significant safety concerns for the senior population. Inadequate lighting is also a safety concern because it impacts depth perception, making seniors particularly prone to falling. Therefore, an important design consideration when lighting senior living facilities is providing adequate footcandles for older eyes, and positioning the lamp source in such a way that disorienting shadows are minimized. In addition, automated controls can help seniors get in and out of bed safely and also adjust light levels without getting up, thereby avoiding trips and falls.

DiLouie: How would you characterize the senior living facilities market as a new construction market? What is current demand?

Massa: The simple truth is that never before in human history has there been so many older people on the planet. As the “baby boomer” population ages, the demand for senior living facilities will soon far outweigh the current capacity to serve this demographic. As a result, the senior living facilities market will need to include new construction if it is to keep pace with this demand. The “boomers” also represent a generation of seniors that, having been exposed to a swifter pace of technological advances that the previous generation, are technologically savvy. And while it’s true that it’s easier to incorporate state-of-the art technology into new construction, there are also significant opportunities to introduce it into existing facilities via retrofit/remodel situations. For example, LED technology offers a more energy efficient lighting alternative, representing significant electric utility cost savings to senior living facilities. Additionally, with new, state-of-the-art facilities being built, there is mounting pressure on facility owners to upgrade existing buildings in order to remain competitive.

DiLouie: How would you characterize it as a retrofit market? Have changes in best practice regarding lighting for seniors changed over the years to create a retrofit opportunity based on making the design up to date versus energy savings?

Massa: In order to remain competitive with new construction by incorporating advances in technology, including those that represent significant cost and energy savings to the facility owner, the senior living facilities market has become a prime market for retrofits. In addition, LED lamp sources offer a strong option for senior facilities from a safety perspective, while also offering significant opportunities for cost and energy savings via lighting retrofits.

DiLouie: What are the best opportunities to save energy in existing senior living facilities?

Massa: According to the US Energy Information Administration, cooling, lighting and ventilation accounts for 72 percent of a healthcare facility’s electricity use; with lighting alone consuming 42 percent electricity. Based on this, lighting certainly seems the obvious choice for upgrades, both interior and exterior fixtures.

And since going green saves money, senior living communities who achieve improved energy performance can invest their savings in improved care & services for the residents they serve. Additionally, automation that includes features like daylight harvesting, dimming and occupancy sensors can greatly enhance the already significant energy savings of more efficient lamp sources.

DiLouie: What are the best opportunities to update the lighting to current best practice?

Massa: I think it’s important that a facility develop and implement overarching Operation and Maintenance practices in which lighting upgrades are incorporated. To that end, innovative lighting designs and advanced technologies, including LEDs, photosensors and occupancy sensors, can help seniors in long-term care facilities maintain independence and be more comfortable. A shift to more natural, ambient lighting with greater uniformity and high CRI is also key.

As former Energy Secretary Steven Chu said on so many occasions, “energy efficiency isn’t just low-hanging fruit; it’s fruit lying on the ground.” To that end, the first lighting retrofit a facility can undertake is the exterior lighting for the parking lot or structure.

While the upfront costs are more than traditional fixtures, LED luminaires lessen the facility’s energy consumption, and energy and maintenance costs. Additionally, many times a senior living facility is located in a residential neighborhood and there are concerns about meeting light trespass requirements; LED luminaires with cutoff meet these requirements while providing desired light levels, which improve visibility and security for both the employees and residents.

Hard-to-reach lighting controls and bright, glaring room lights add to the difficulty seniors have getting up in the middle of the night. Additionally, nurses may need to check residents several times at night and often disrupt their sleep and comfort by repeatedly turning on the room lights. Therefore, it’s important that these lights be taken into account for upgrades.

DiLouie: What special lighting products are available for senior living facilities and what is their purpose and benefit? Please address how some senior living facilities present a mix of commercial, healthcare and residential lighting solutions.

Massa: In the common areas, the greatest lighting concern is often the aesthetic appearance of the fixture. However, in the apartments (in an independent living senior facility), it’s important to understand residents’ sight issues and to design and provide proper light levels to help elderly residents see better with less glare.

Another important factor in healthcare/senior living facilities is that the luminaires remain contaminant free, and meet or exceed relevant industry standards. These standards include cleaning protocols (NSF2 Splash Zone), or maintaining critical environmental barriers to guard against surface viruses (IP65 and K230).

Sconces are an ideal fixture to enhance the hallways both aesthetically and for illumination. Again, it’s important to not only consider styles that complement the architectural and interior designs but are ADA compliant, and NSF2 listed to meet the most stringent requirements for infection control and electromagnetic compatibility with sensitive medical equipment.

Another excellent fixture for senior living facilities is a sealed LED step light, which is a great choice for patient rooms, corridors, pathways, and workstation lighting. They’re on the market in a choice of amber, blue or white LED lamp sources and many manufacturers engineer them to be adjustable to 100 percent, 50 percent or 25 percent of full brightness.

A senior living facility also falls into the category of commercial because of the kitchen. Whether established by the USDA, the FDA or the end user themselves, today’s senior living facility must meet stringent cleanliness standards. Driven by the need to keep foods free of contaminants, the kitchen luminaires must support critical sanitation protocols while maintaining their sealed envelope. They must be designed to withstand rigorous cleaning protocols and meet performance listings relevant to their intended use—including wet location listings, IP65 ratings, and NSF2 certifications—all of which support frequent hosedown and overall cleanability.

DiLouie: What control options are most applicable for senior living facilities, and how would you characterize demand for these options?

Massa: In a senior living facility, lighting control options that adjust based on daylight and occupancy are the most applicable, as they assist residents in obtaining adequate light levels when and where they need them. This enables them to perform daily tasks and activities safely. The effective use of occupancy and daylighting controls also results in significant cost savings to the facility owner. Because controls represent a win/win for both resident and owner, the demand for these options is rising as our senior population is also on the rise.

DiLouie: How should electrical distributors engage their customers to sell the most effective lighting solutions for senior living facilities?

Massa: Distributors need to be the lighting problem solvers. Education is one of the most important ways distributors can arm themselves when engaging customers. Become familiar with the market. Know the lighting problems these facility owners and managers face. Have lighting options available that can solve even the most challenging environments. Work closely with reps and customers to offer the correct lighting solutions to solve any problems. Offer exceptional customer service. The sale doesn’t end when the product is delivered.

DiLouie: If you could tell all electrical distributors just one thing about lighting for senior living facilities, what would it be?

Massa: The most important consideration in lighting a senior living facility is ensuring the safety of the residents. It’s important to understand the light level requirements for various areas of the facility so that residents feel confident in their ability to venture down a hall or leave their room. Because the lens of the eye becomes more transparent as we age, the footcandle, color rendering and color temperature requirements of lighting a senior living space become mission critical.

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

Massa: As our parents age, we’ll soon see what the future holds as we ourselves begin to stand a pretty good chance of being in some form of assisted living facility or nursing home… By 2025 40% of the population will be over 55. Our ability to serve this growing segment of our population is fast becoming a huge social issue, but also a practical matter, even an economical concern. The key is to bring attention to meeting the unique needs of the aging population and pushing the limits of innovation to ensure their safety, well-being, and comfort.

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Interview with Scott Roos, VP of Product Design for Juno Lighting Group

I recently interviewed Scott Roos, Vice President of Product Design for Juno Lighting Group about what’s new in residential lighting for an article I’m writing for TED Magazine. The transcript…

I recently interviewed Scott Roos, Vice President of Product Design for Juno Lighting Group about what’s new in residential lighting for an article I’m writing for TED Magazine. The transcript is below:

DiLouie: What are the major recent trends in single-family residential construction and design, and how are they impacting lighting needs?

Roos: Sustainable materials and energy efficiency are increasingly influencing design and buy decisions. In terms of lighting, everyone is asking about LEDs. They want to understand the technology to help them decide if it is right for them. Another trend that’s emerging in the residential market is has to do with the fact that virtually anything in a home can now be connected to and accessed via the Internet. This level of connectivity is leading the ability for homeowners to consolidate previously disparate system controls to a single device that control multiple (and in some cases, automates) in-home technologies. This connectivity holds a lot of promise for the residential market, and will eventually reach into lighting in a bigger way.

DiLouie: Single-family residential new construction has been a tough market in recent years. How would you characterize demand for lighting for new construction in 2013?

Roos: The steady increase we experienced in the second half of 2012 has continued into 2013. However, residential lighting sales are still below where they were at the market peak.

DiLouie: What are the major trends in residential lighting design and how are they impacting demand for and development of lighting products?

Roos: Residential lighting designers are looking for luminaires that are small, less conspicuous and green. Specifically, the demand for smaller, less conspicuous fixtures is resulting from the desire for more targeted illumination from smaller fixtures that can be easily/subtly integrated into home architecture. Of course, as we all continue look for ways to save on energy and reduce our environmental footprint, homeowners are looking for green, energy efficient luminaires that don’t draw on resources. They’re also looking for the fixtures to be made of materials that are safe, recyclable and last longer. In many cases, “green lighting” is being enabled by LED technology. For example, in under cabinet lighting applications, we have seen a large shift to LEDs due to their inherent characteristics of producing energy savings, cool operation and low maintenance with no tradeoff in light quality. This easily offsets the cost premium to move up from halogen sources. Another example is the use of mini 1-inch aperture LED downlights to provide focus/accent lighting from a very inconspicuous source that consumes only around 5-watts of energy. These can be used, for example, to graze the front of kitchen cabinets, light art niches, provide circulation lighting in a home theatre or provide maintenance free exterior soffit lighting. While LEDs for general downlighting are a more challenging sell to the average homeowner, we have seen difficult-to-lamp areas, such as sloped ceiling downlights, experiencing a higher rate of LED adoption. Precision LED recessed accent lighting has become very popular with lighting designers working on higher end homes. A 13-watt LED adjustable accent light can now outperform 50-watt halogen both in terms of light output and beam uniformity, and the way these premium fixtures can cleanly integrate in the ceiling with a trimless appearance makes this a high value, desirable purchase when compared with other home upgrades vying for the discriminating homeowner’s dollars.

Juno Lighting Group Responses 4 2 13 FINAL-1DiLouie: How important are certifications such as LEED and ENERGY STAR in the single-family residential market, how do they work, and what impact are they having on demand for lighting products?

Roos: We have not seen much in terms of residential LEED certification, but Energy Star compliance has become a standard customer expectation for any of our energy saving products.

DiLouie: IECC 2009 and 2012 require a certain percentage of lamps be high efficacy, while California’s Title 24 requires high-efficacy lamps or dimming in certain spaces. How would you summarize these code/standard requirements, the prevalence of their adoption, and how are they impacting demand for lighting in single-family homes?

Roos: In our experience, we’re seeing adoption of California Title 24 in California. In addition, the most recently mandated lamp efficacy improvements, including those driven by the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, have just made their way into the market. This is resulting in consumers purchasing more efficient, more expensive versions of their favorite incandescent and halogen lamps. While they’re still receiving the same type of lighting quality from these sources, the main benefit is the resulting energy savings. To us, it appears that LED adoption in the average home is still lagging, except for some of the specialty and higher end applications discussed in question 3. With the cost of LED retrofit lamps starting to come down, this situation could change quickly, assuming that the quality of light and performance of the lamps does not degrade in proportion to the price.

DiLouie: As incandescent omnidirectional and incandescent/halogen reflector lamps become increasingly regulated, what are the ideal applications for the prevailing technologies: CFL, halogen, LED?

Roos: Halogen lighting will still have a place in residential applications for quite some time to come, especially for lower burning hour applications. Let’s face it, people still like their incandescent lamps – and they don’t cause issues with dimming. As the color and dimming performance of LED technology continues to improve, it will become an acceptable substitute for incandescents in a broader range of applications from a wider range of suppliers. CFLs will continue to hang on due to their relatively low cost per lumen, although they are likely to be increasingly displaced by LEDs as the cost of the technology comes down and dimming performance improves.

DiLouie: What can electrical distributors do to increase their residential lighting business?

Roos: Find a way to keep your front line sales force educated on the latest technologies, products and how to most effectively apply them to create an overall improved residential lighting experience. We are in a rapidly changing world, and from our vantage point, the changes in technology will continue to accelerate. If you do not structure yourself to invest in the education of your sales force, eventually you will find yourself offering less value than a competitor who does have such a commitment in place. Learning how to design in the latest generation of products into a home to make it both green and visually amazing is a winning strategy for the distributor. Juno Lighting Group offers training resources, such as an Advanced Residential Lighting Design class at our Lighting Education Center in Des Plaines, Ill., that can help them learn to do just that. We also offer a growing list of e-learning courses through our e-luminance university.

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

Roos: With emerging developments in technology and connectivity, there has never been a better time to capture and put a greater share of a home owner’s discretionary spend towards lighting.

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