Category: Interviews + Opinion

Dr. Christopher Cuttle: The Lumen Is Obsolete

LUX REVIEW recently published an article in which Dr. Chris Cuttle argues for an end to the lumen to make room for a better metric.

LUX REVIEW recently published an article in which Dr. Christopher Cuttle argues for an end to the lumen to make room for a better metric.

LUX writes:

His contention is that the lumen is purely a measure of visible light, and doesn’t take into account its non-visual impact on humans, such as its role in setting our sleep-wake cycle.

‘The reliance on the lumen is currently coming under pressure as practitioners seek to incorporate non-visual human responses, notably circadian effects, into their lighting solutions’.

He says that there is ‘far more to human visual sensitivity’ than is indicated by the lumen, and ‘more again when the full scope of lighting practice is taken into consideration’.

‘Lighting practitioners have been content to adopt the lumen, which is derived from the candela, for specifying quantities of light although they recognise it is inappropriate for non-visual applications such as providing for therapeutic, photosynthetic or germicidal effects, or for assessing potential for photochemical damage’, Cuttle wrote in the learned journal Lighting Research & Technology.

Check it out here.

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Chuck Swoboda on the Sale of GE’s Lighting Business

Chuck Swoboda, formerly CEO of Cree, provides his perspective on GE’s sale of its lighting business in a recent contribution to FORBES.

Chuck Swoboda, formerly CEO of Cree, provides his perspective on GE’s sale of its lighting business in a recent contribution to FORBES.

He writes:

The success of LED technology and the lighting companies’ eventual exit from the industry they created originated from an invention initially developed within their own labs. In 1962, GE scientist Nick Holonyak, Jr. demonstrated the world’s first visible LED. At the time, scientists at GE were scrambling to develop new semiconductor light sources. When Holonyak suggested using a mixture of gallium arsenide and gallium phosphide to make an LED, his colleagues argued that it would never work. He was undeterred and eventually proved them wrong. His work helped advance technology that would continue to evolve over the next 50 years – eventually pushing GE and the other lighting companies out of the business.

The article provides an interesting insider’s view on the end of an era and the start of the next.

Click here to check it out.

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Alex Baker on Evaluating LED Product Life Claims

Part of my contribution to the April 2020 issue of tED Magazine was a short interview with the Illuminating Engineering Society’s Alex Baker, who has raised the alarm that lifetime claims for LED products are often misrepresented.

Part of my contribution to the April 2020 issue of tED Magazine was a short interview with the Illuminating Engineering Society’s Alex Baker, who has raised the alarm that lifetime claims for LED products are often misrepresented. Reprinted with permission.

Lighting manufacturers report projected service life claims for their products based on standardized testing methods, but some are reporting exaggerated claims that ultimately ignore the standard and produce market confusion. To get a handle on the issue and what electrical distributors should do when evaluating LED products, tED’s Craig DiLouie, LC, CLCP talked to Alex Baker, Manager of Government Affairs and Public Policy, Illuminating Engineering Society (IES).

DiLouie: Alex, over the past year, you’ve been raising the alarm that many lighting manufacturers have been misrepresenting—intentionally or not—lifetime claims for LED products. In a nutshell, what is the problem?

Baker: Lighting manufacturers and specifiers are playing a game of specsmanship, writing ever-increasing LED life claims that don’t make sense. In an LED lamp or luminaire, there are two primary failure mechanisms: the LED driver can and eventually will fail, and/or the luminous flux of the LEDs will depreciate or shift chromaticity (color) to an unacceptable degree. LED luminous flux depreciation is expressed in operating hours until a given threshold is reached, noted as LXX, where xx is a chosen percentage of initial light output. Claims like 200,000 or 300,000 hours to L70 (and higher) abound, but they aren’t valid or meaningful.

DiLouie: Where does the problem come from? How do the relevant IES standards LM-80 and TM-21 work, and how can they be misused?

Baker: Lifetime claims for incandescent, fluorescent, HID, and other sources were based on testing a group of lamps until 50 percent had failed. Well-designed LED products will operate for many years, making the old way of testing impractical. In 2008, the IES published the first edition of IES LM-80-08, measuring light output and color characteristics of LED packages, arrays, and modules—that is, the semiconductor devices soldered into lamps and fixtures. In 2011, the IES published IES TM-21-11, a standardized calculation for projecting luminous flux maintenance using LM-80 data. LED manufacturers run LM-80 testing typically for 10,000 hours, sometimes longer, recording measured performance data over time. With a measurement of the LEDs’ operating temperature inside a lamp or fixture, manufacturers use TM-21 to project LM-80 data beyond the measured LM-80 duration to estimate the hours until the LEDs will reach L90, L80, L70… depending on the needs of the application.

TM-21 includes one rule that is sacrosanct, critical to the correct use of the standard. It is the “6X rule,” which states that projections may not exceed six times the total LM-80 testing duration. If LM-80 testing of an LED device is reported to 10,000 hours, the longest legitimate projection is 60,000 hours to LXX. Many manufacturers seem unaware of or choose to ignore the 6X rule, though it is referenced repeatedly in the standard. Those not adhering to the 6X rule are marketing products with baseless LXX claims no more meaningful than the serial number on a DVD re-winder.

DiLouie: What problems does this create? What are the consequences for this for the customer, distributor, and industry at large?

Baker: Some of these claims are absurd. A domestic manufacturer was advertising 680,000 hours to L70 for an outdoor fixture. At 12 hours per day, that’s 155 years. C’mon. Likewise, are we supposed to believe that a luminaire’s housing, LED module, LED driver, optics, gasketing, and hardware are all going to hold up for 57 years (250,000 hours)? It’s confusing to the market when quality products with legitimate life claims are competing against exaggerated, meaningless claims.

DiLouie: What is the lighting industry doing about it? Is there any impetus for change before this becomes an even bigger future problem?

 Baker: The first revisions of LM-80 and TM-21, developed by the IES Testing Procedures Committee, are now American National Standards. Adoption of ANSI/IES LM-80-15 and ANSI/IES TM-21-19, and the forthcoming IES TM-21 Calculator, should help with eliminating exaggerated luminous flux maintenance projection claims. We’re also enlisting the help of distributors, specifiers and manufacturers willing to stubbornly defend common sense.

DiLouie: What should electrical distributors do about it? How should they evaluate LED products and properly represent them to their customers?

 Baker: Scrutinize LED life claims, especially anything 100,000 hours or more. Get the manufacturer’s TM-21 report for the fixture. For 100,000 hours to LXX, if the claim is legitimate, that manufacturer can also provide you the 16,700+ hour LM-80 report. If they can’t provide the correct report for the LEDs soldered within, or if they won’t produce that luminaire’s TM-21 report, or if they insist it’s okay to violate the 6X rule, you might consider steering your customers away.

I worked for an LED manufacturer for five years and the longest LM-80 report I’ve ever heard of was 18,000 hours. I’d question the relevance of longer reports; many LED device product life cycles aren’t that long.

DiLouie: Where can distributors get more information about this issue?

Baker: The Illuminating Engineering Society has many useful resources at www.ies.org, including the updated ANSI standards, an IES Position Statement regarding LED claims, articles and webinars, and TM-21-11’s Addendum B (free). Enter “TM-21” into the search function.

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Roundtable: The Future of Lighting

My contribution to the April issue of tED Magazine, the official publication of the NAED, included a roundtable by experts on the future of lighting.

My contribution to the April issue of tED Magazine, the official publication of the NAED, included a roundtable by experts on the future of lighting. Reprinted with permission. Keep in mind the article was written before the COVID era, so some of these answers might be a little different today.

While the LED revolution can claim victory, other major transformative lighting trends are developing. Low-voltage power distribution, circadian-supportive lighting, connected lighting, the Internet of Things, light-based communication, sustainability, and 3D printing may similarly change lighting as we know it. From manufacturing to how products are designed and used, the future of lighting will present new challenges and opportunities in a category that has become increasingly complex but also lucrative.

To get an idea of what this future might look like based on today’s trends, tED’s Craig DiLouie, LC, CLCP talked to five experts in the field.

DiLouie: In Europe, the Repro-light Project is working on the “luminaire of the future”—modular based on standardized component connections, field-serviceable, upgradeable, and able to connect to sensors and a networked control system easily. The true “luminaire of the future” can be even more than that, however. What do you see as a fully featured architectural luminaire in the future?

Kevin Leadford, Acuity Brands Lighting: A primary driver of lighting design in interior environments has long been the visual task. It characterizes the nature of visual work, and light level recommendations are provided to achieve adequate visibility. Traditionally, contrast has been produced via illumination but over the past several decades much of our visual work has migrated to self-luminous video displays requiring no external illumination. Though it’s a bit hyperbolic, most of our visual work can now be performed in complete darkness. The thought is a startling one, but that’s just the point. We find it objectionable, and yet we lack an alternative basis upon which to make light level recommendations. This prompts a fundamental re-evaluation of lighting needs. We must gain a more apt understanding of what is valued, and that will in turn shape our future.

The lighting spectrum has been an area of intense focus in recent years, especially as it relates to circadian rhythms. We accept that spectral composition can impact our physiology and well-being. But, isn’t this equally true of the temporal dimension? Natural lighting conditions are dynamic. When clouds pass overhead or light filters gently through the leaves of rustling trees we are subconsciously reminded of our deep connection to nature. But music possesses similar dynamic qualities. So does an indoor waterfall. These things aren’t alive in the formal sense, but rhythmic change is intuitively associated with life and vibrancy. One can imagine lighting systems of the future that stimulate, motivate, nourish and rejuvenate us, purely via dynamic behavior. This is what most intrigues me.

Kevin Leadford is Vice President, Innovation – Architectural Products and Services for Acuity Brands Lighting, Inc.

DiLouie: The last 20 years have seen scientists understand the nonvisual role of light as a significant factor in circadian health. We’ve come from discovery to a deeper understanding to the cusp of actionable design recommendations. What do you see as the role of electric lighting in 2030 in shaping interior spaces that are supportive of human health, notably circadian health?

 Mariana Figueiro, Lighting Research Center: Our research over the past two decades, including both lab and field studies in populations such as office workers, U.S. Navy submariners, older adults living with Alzheimer’s, and children in schools has shown that lighting designed to maximally impact the circadian system will significantly improve sleep quality, depressive symptoms, daytime alertness, and more. Through these lab and field studies, we have come to understand how to quantify the amount, spectrum, duration and timing of light exposure needed during the day and at night to entrain our circadian clock to our local position on Earth.

Based upon that understanding, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) recently published Design Guideline for Promoting Circadian Entrainment with Light for Day-Active People, DG 24480. The main goal of DG 24480 is to encourage lighting designers, specifiers, and other practitioners to provide daytime levels of illumination in buildings that help people return to the more natural pattern of bright days and dim nights under which we evolved (i.e., sunlight during the day and firelight at night). Developed for public benefit, this guideline provides the foundation for lighting innovations and practices that serve the public better than is common today. We are hopeful that lighting professionals will begin to apply current research to help people live better right now, and in the future, perhaps circadian-effective lighting will be standard practice.

Mariana Figueiro, PhD, Director of the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

DiLouie: Lighting controls have gone from energy-saving devices to systems to intelligent, data-producing systems capable of implementing a range of benefits that go far beyond energy. As buildings potentially shift to low-voltage power, the Internet of Things develops, and demand for circadian-supportive lighting increases, how do you see lighting being controlled in a fully featured building in the future?

Charles Knuffke, Wattstopper: We’re going to witness a rapid change in buildings, where the occupancy sensor networks currently part of the lighting control system will morph into a network of wireless and wired high-value sensors providing data about their spaces—occupancy, temperature, carbon dioxide, light level, glare, noise, etc.—to all the building systems. This will allow any system in the building—HVAC, fire alarm, access control, power metering, battery status, and of course lighting controls—to securely subscribe to information about the building environment and react accordingly.

The sensor network will securely—there’s that word again!—share data with companies acting as independent optimization consultants. By using AI, they will focus on how to best run the building for enhanced productivity, resiliency, and low power consumption, all while sharing information with the Grid Operators so they can ensure a stable power system.

Lighting and other systems providing individual comfort and safety will interact with occupants in a much more intuitive level—users will make changes by simple verbal commands, gestures, and/or whatever the cell phones of the future have turned into. Sequences of operation for systems will be more complex but be more intuitive for the user since clear feedback about what the system is doing will be provided. Major conglomerates will have agreed on data exchange standards, allowing owners to focus on each system’s front end interfaces, with the ability to easily swap one manufacturer’s controls out for another.

In the world of lighting, fixture efficacy will be secondary to the client’s expectation of high-quality, spectrally dense, tunable fixtures.

Charles Knuffke is Systems VP & Evangelist, Wattstopper, Legrand, North and Central America, and chair of the Lighting Controls Association.

DiLouie: LiFi is making strides, most recently with a planned union with 5G and potential partnerships to integrate receivers into computing devices. Where do you see LiFi now, what could it look like in the future, and how will it be used to benefit building owners and users?

Kevin Poyck, Signify: Wireless communications through LiFi is continuing to evolve. We are now seeing a shift from pilot projects to full-scale implementations. Enterprises are seeing the value of LiFi applications: anywhere connectivity is poor, unavailable or restricted. LiFi is secure, stable and fast—it can handle a lot of data without any discernable latency—all of which are critical for offices, retail and hospitality settings, and a variety of other industries. What’s also exciting is that LiFi is ushering in a new era of open innovation; collaboration will be key for improving the technology further.

It’s challenging to say exactly what LiFi will look like in the next five to ten years, but we are confident it will be a significant growth technology. We won’t see it completely replace existing wireless technologies but rather be complementary to them. Take 5G, for example. A hybrid approach with LiFi can only help provide customers with more speed and reliability—especially important with the continued increase in data and demand for mobile connectivity. We’ll also see LiFi evolve and be adopted similar to Wi-Fi—it will be faster, more efficient and integrated into both smaller devices and with new technologies. LiFi is already making its way into airplanes, buses and trains—in the future, applications in autonomous vehicles and virtual reality will likely be possible.

Kevin Poyck is CEO of the Americas for Signify.

DiLouie: Additive manufacturing—popularly known as 3D printing—has gained adoption in some industries and shows promise for shaping the ongoing lighting revolution, with one major manufacturer recently announcing it is planning 3D printing facilities in the U.S.A. How do you see 3D printing impacting lighting design, manufacturing, and distribution in the future?

Nadarajah Narendran, Lighting Research Center: LED technology has matured to a point that energy savings is guaranteed in most applications. With this maturity, LEDs have become a commodity, and light fixtures have significantly dropped in price. This price erosion has caused U.S. manufacturers to struggle to remain competitive. Many fixtures produced in faraway factories suffer from poor quality and performance that can lead to disappointed customers. Furthermore, fixtures produced overseas may arrive to a construction site and not fit with the overall look envisioned by the architect or lighting designer. Custom light fixtures using traditional manufacturing methods are very expensive.

Additive manufacturing (AM), which has been rapidly changing other industries, has the potential to solve many of the issues faced by the lighting industry. Some of the benefits of AM (3D printing) include custom fixtures and components, improved visual appeal and functionality, faster new product introductions, reduced fixture cost, and the reduced need for stocking systems and parts (SKUs). AM could allow for printing fixtures at the construction site that fit with the intended design and also allow for rapid design changes. At the Lighting Research Center, we envision a future of on-site, on-demand manufacturing of cost-effective custom light fixtures; however, research is required to make this a reality, particularly in AM materials and machines. A new industry consortium of key AM machine, material, and lighting manufacturers is collaborating to investigate how lighting and AM can work together to build a new business model and achieve the revolution envisioned, and members are already benefiting from the knowledge gained.

Nadarajah Narendran is a professor and director of research at the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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Mark Lien on Germicidal UV

For an article I produced about germicidal ultraviolet (GUV) for the June issues of ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR, I had the pleasure of engaging the Illuminating Engineering Society’s Mark Lien in a short interview about GUV. The IES recently produced a guide to GUV.

For an article I produced about germicidal ultraviolet (GUV) for the June issues of ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR, I had the pleasure of engaging the Illuminating Engineering Society’s Mark Lien in a short interview about GUV. The IES recently produced a guide to GUV.

DiLouie: The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked new interest in germicidal UV (GUV) radiation. What is your overall take on this?

Lien: It is both potentially good and bad. This pandemic has demanded solutions for situations previously unencountered. The history of GUV disinfection dates back ninety years but applications have changed and newer research is better informed on usage and safety concerns. Reusing personal protective equipment safely is one new application prompted by this pandemic. Using upper air GUV disinfection could potentially save the lives of our front line medical workers. There is also a potential for users to misapply these products resulting in health and safety concerns.

DiLouie: The pandemic will have cultural as well as practical and economic effects on how spaces are designed and used. If GUV can play a viable role in reducing infection in buildings, do you see greater adoption occurring, and more importantly, do you see that adoption extending for a substantial period of time beyond the pandemic?

Lien: There is a heightened awareness of GUV due to this pandemic. New users that find this solution to be effective and preferable to alternatives will continue to use the GUV equipment that they acquired.

DiLouie: What common misconceptions and mistakes are occurring among building owners and consumers around GUV?

Lien: There is a false perception that disinfecting a space is always beneficial. GUV is a targeted solution to be used only in spaces where disinfection is necessary. What precautions should electrical distributors and contractors take when talking about, selling, applying, and installing this technology? Using GUV properly requires learning about the technology. The IES has a report available to help educate anyone considering GUV. It is written in an indexed FAQ format making it easy to focus on specific concerns. The report is available at no charge.

DiLouie: What should electrical distributors and contractors be doing right now to make sure GUV is properly applied with their customers?

Lien: Make sure you are buying products from companies you trust. This is an unregulated area with dubious and potentially dangerous products being marketed. I have been told that recently multiple GUV vendors did not issue proper cautions or in some cases even understand the risks for misapplication.

DiLouie: If you could tell all electrical distributors and contractors just one thing about GUV, what would it be?

Lien: Anything strong enough to help you is strong enough to hurt you. Being well informed about this helps your customer and your credibility.

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PNNL’s Felipe Leon Talks About The New Integrated Lighting Campaign

I recently had the opportunity to interview Felipe Leon, Integrated Lighting Campaign Lead, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, for an article I’m developing about the Integrated Lighting Campaign (which will replace the Interior Lighting Campaign) for the Lighting Controls Association, now a sponsor of the U.S. Department of Energy program.

I recently had the opportunity to interview Felipe Leon, Integrated Lighting Campaign Lead, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, for an article I’m developing about the Integrated Lighting Campaign (which will replace the Interior Lighting Campaign) for the Lighting Controls Association, now a sponsor of the U.S. Department of Energy program. The transcript is below.

DiLouie: Let’s start with the Interior Lighting Campaign. When was it formed, what were its goals, and what did it accomplish?

Leon: The Interior Lighting Campaign was launched in 2015 with the goal of helping facility owners and managers take advantage of energy-saving opportunities afforded by high-efficiency interior lighting solutions including luminaires and controls. The initial focus was on troffers, given the market share of those luminaire types in commercial spaces, but the campaign expanded to cover linear suspended, low bay, and high bay luminaires. Through 2019, the campaign logged the planned or completed upgrade or new installation of more than 3.5 million high-efficiency lighting and control systems, with expected energy savings of nearly 800 million kWh and $84 million saved annually in electricity costs. A recently published report details the results of the Interior Lighting Campaign.

DiLouie: The Interior Lighting Campaign is evolving into the Integrated Lighting Campaign (hereafter referred to simply as ILC). Why the change? When will the old ILC become the new ILC?

Leon: Among the reasons for a campaign are to help inform decision-makers about new technologies and to recognize those exemplary projects that are leading the charge in adopting these technologies. When the Interior Lighting Campaign launched, the adoption of high-efficiency troffers was low, benefits were not well understood, and reliable sources of information were not easily found. The campaign worked to compile a list of valuable resources, including case studies and reports on the technology and a list of incentives. Each year the campaign recognized exemplary projects from participants (i.e., building owners and managers) in a public forum and developed case studies on some of these recognized projects. With the adoption of high-efficiency lighting well underway and having achieved its intended goals, the Campaign began to shift its focus to a nascent aspect of lighting systems that can reap additional energy savings and enable other benefits at the building level – integrated lighting. When lighting systems and their network of sensors are integrated with other building systems, opportunities for energy savings beyond lighting (such as in heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning, and plug loads) and non-energy benefits may become possible.

The new campaign will strive to replicate the success of the Interior Lighting Campaign with a focus on this kind of integration, as well as looking at advanced sensors in lighting that are going beyond the typical occupancy and daylight sensors in use today. The transition to the Integrated Lighting Campaign is currently underway and the team is preparing to formally launch in June. Although the Campaign will not formally launch until June, interested parties (including participants and supporters, such as manufacturers, utilities, energy efficiency organization, and others) can contact us any time by sending an e-mail to integratedlighting@pnnl.gov and join early for special recognition as inaugural ILC partners at launch.

DiLouie: How does it work? Who is targeted, what does the owner have to do, and what do they receive for their commitment?

Leon: The campaign works through the tremendous support of our Organizing partners and the involvement of supporting partners (i.e., Supporters) and building owners and managers (i.e., Participants).

• Participants are the focus of the campaign since they are the ones installing and living with these new technologies, and experiencing their benefits. It is their experiences that help the campaign build a body of knowledge that may then be shared with others interested in replicating their success. This sharing happens through case studies and through project information shared during the recognition events.

• Supporters are also important to the campaign, since they play important roles in the adoption of new technologies and helping connect with potential Participants. Supporters may provide incentives for products (e.g., utilities), actively research the performance and implementation of products in the field (e.g., energy-efficiency organizations), or deliver products for use by Participants (e.g., manufacturers and distributors).

To sign up, a Participant or Supporter can simply visit our website, once it launches, or send an e-mail to integratedlighting (at) pnnl (dot) gov now to get in on the action early. Each Participant or Supporter is asked to pledge their support for the campaign’s efforts. Participants can submit specific project information to be considered for recognition by the U.S. Department of Energy at the annual recognition event.

DiLouie: What are the benefits of energy-efficient lighting and controls, including networked lighting controls?

Leon: Looking at energy-efficient lighting and typical controls such as occupancy, daylighting, and dimming, the benefits are generally tied to energy savings, although some other benefits exist, such as occupant comfort (e.g., adjusting light levels to one’s preference). Both legacy and new luminaires have been able to provide these benefits, although the controllability of light-emitting diode (LED) technology has dramatically improved the performance of these control methodologies. LEDs are able to instantly turn off and turn on to a desired output level. Furthermore, LEDs are now able to allow the color temperature to be adjusted to illuminate a space differently depending on the needs of the activity being performed (e.g., reading, relaxing, etc.) or to synchronize with the expected daylight conditions outdoors depending on the time of day.

Networked lighting controls, and the integration of lighting systems within a building, are enabling new paradigms that extend far beyond lighting. Sensors integrated in luminaires can inform other building systems to more intelligently operate a building. In private offices, for example, a lighting sensor may inform the HVAC system that an occupant is no longer present, allowing the room ventilation to be reduced or stopped and the temperature to be set back a few degrees. In some spaces, the same sensors may be used to inform a controllable plug load, or a piece of equipment, that there is no activity in the area and that the plug/device may be turned off. These are energy-saving measures, but non-energy benefits may be a bigger motivator for building/business owners. The data from occupancy sensors can be used to understand occupancy patterns and trends to improve space utilization, caution about movement in a space where there should be none, or inform of activity in a space to better position resources (e.g., place an employee near a customer in a retail environment for better engagement). These concepts are all leveraging the capabilities of the common sensors that are in use in lighting today. Lighting’s ubiquity, density, and position in a space, combined with the availability of power and, in some cases, a means for communications, may enable lighting to become a platform for other advanced sensors, such as acoustic, air quality, temperature, and humidity sensors, further enabling smart building capabilities.

DiLouie: What pain points in the industry does the Campaign hope to address and thereby accelerate adoption of energy-efficient lighting and controls?

Leon: One of the pain points campaigns try to address is the lack of readily available and reliable information about how a technology performs in similar (peer) building types. By sharing success stories through our recognition events and case studies, the ILC provides other building owners with an understanding of how similar building types have applied advanced sensors or the integration of lighting in their buildings, and the benefits perceived or quantified.

DiLouie: One of the benefits is technical assistance with projects. What forms of technical assistance are available, and how are they delivered?

Leon: The ILC will provide limited technical assistance to Participants. This can take the form of feedback on technology being considered in a project, integration benefits and challenges, and submission of an entry for recognition by the ILC. Since the integration of lighting with other building systems can involve topics such as HVAC and plug-loads, the ILC engages with DOE’s vast network of laboratories in a collaborative way to bring their particular experience to bear.

DiLouie: Another benefit is recognition. What types of recognition are available?

Leon: The ILC is currently assessing the recognition categories that would be most impactful to the lighting industry and to the U.S. Department of Energy’s goals to save energy. Three categories that were established in the last year of the Interior Lighting Campaign will likely be among them: 1) Advanced Use of Sensors and Controls for Lighting is a category that explores how sensors and controls are being used in lighting to enable deeper energy savings than what is afforded through typical occupancy, daylighting, dimming, and scheduling approaches. 2) Integrated Controls for HVAC and Lighting Systems looks at how HVAC systems are able to leverage a lighting system’s sensors to enable deeper energy savings at the building level. 3) Integrated Controls for Plug Loads and Lighting Systems explores how a lighting system’s sensors can interact with controllable plug loads to enable deeper energy savings. There was one other category from the previous campaign, Other Integrated Systems and Lighting, which was a catch-all for other interactions between lighting and building systems. As some interesting use-cases are starting to get some traction (e.g., demand response and grid services, asset tracking, wayfinding, etc.), other specific recognition categories will be developed to capture those projects in particular.

DiLouie: How does ILC regard its partnership with the Lighting Controls Association, and what does it hope LCA will provide to the relationship?

Leon: The ILC is thrilled that the Lighting Controls Association recently agreed to join the campaign as an organizing partner. As we were preparing to shift the focus of the campaign to more advanced uses of lighting, we understood that education about these new capabilities in lighting systems would be key to their success and broader adoption. LCA brings an expertise in lighting education, including advanced lighting concepts, as well as a great network of constituents that may be interested in the efforts of the ILC. Through our collaboration, we hope to influence the adoption of high-efficiency lighting systems that integrate with a building’s other systems and/or leverage advanced lighting sensors or capabilities, and to document successful installations to help build the body of knowledge on this front. Through the education resources established by and freely available at LCA, we hope ILC Participants can gain confidence and comfort with newer lighting technologies that may seem intimidating at first glance. We also look forward to LCA’s participation in our campaign’s Organizing Committee, where they are joined by DesignLights Consortium, Illuminating Engineering Society, International Facility Management Association, interNational Association of Lighting Management Companies, U.S. General Services Administration, and Better Buildings Alliance.

DiLouie: A complementary effort is being made by the Better Buildings Alliance. How do these efforts complement each other?

Leon: There are multiple efforts ongoing with the Better Buildings Alliance and the U.S. Department of Energy that are complementary to the ILC. One such effort is the ongoing evaluation of several sites that have integrated their lighting systems with other building systems. The results of these evaluations will directly feed information to the Campaign, and thus all ILC partners, regarding the performance in these particular buildings and recommended practices for integrating systems. Another effort, the Better Buildings Alliance Lighting and Electrical Technology Research Team, has been around for some time and is available to Better Buildings Alliance members. This team leverages the collective experience of various progressive organizations that are applying, considering, or interested in high-efficiency lighting options and advanced lighting concepts. This is done in a collaborative way through interactive teleconferences held a few times a year.

Lastly, a synergistic effort, the IoT-Upgradeable Lighting Challenge, is shaping up to ensure that the benefits of integration will be available to building owners making lighting decisions today who may not consider, or be ready to take advantage of, the advanced features available in lighting. In essence, the industry will be challenged to develop a cost-competitive (i.e., relative to a baseline) light fixture that can be easily upgraded after installation with Internet-of-Things devices and sensors. More information about that will be posted or linked on the ILC website as it develops and the Challenge is launched.

DiLouie: What do you hope the ILC will be able to accomplish in the next five years?

Leon: Our hope for the ILC in the next five years is that several businesses will have been able to navigate the rough waters of a new technology – a new paradigm, really – to generate energy savings and business insights that were not available in the past without a significant investment in resources, and that their efforts were aided by the available resources and technical support available through the ILC. Further, we hope that some of these businesses will pay it forward by sharing their project(s) with the ILC to both earn recognition and allow others to learn from their successes and challenges.

DiLouie: If you could tell all lighting practitioners only one thing about the Integrated Lighting Campaign, what would it be?

Leon: It is free to join the ILC, so there’s nothing to lose, but so much to gain from hearing of other’s experiences, both the good and the bad, which might help ensure the success of your own projects. And recognition from the U.S. Department of Energy for an exemplary lighting project or two can’t hurt either.

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

Leon: Lighting is already going through a transformation from low-efficacy to high-efficacy products with better controllability. The opportunity that connectivity and the Internet-of-Things enable in lighting systems will generate added value to building owners and improve the way buildings and businesses operate. It is an exciting time ahead for lighting system integration and we look forward to seeing it develop.

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Collaborate to Overcome Uncertainty, Says Lighting Specialist

In this guest post, Mick Ventola, the founder and managing director of Ventola Projects, shares his experiences of the COVID crisis and its impact on business operations – and how best we might prepare for when life gets back to some semblance of normality.

Mick Ventola, the founder and managing director of Ventola Projects, a Leicestershire-based electrical installation and LED lighting specialist, recently announced the suspension of his projects in the UK, to be reviewed in three to four weeks’ time.

Ventola, who works with clients in the US leisure and entertainment sector and with partners in Europe and the Middle East, is one of HM Department of International Trade’s Export Champions under the auspices of the Midlands Engine.

Below, he shares his experiences of the crisis and its impact on business operations – and how best we might prepare for when life gets back to some semblance of normality.

I’ve been running this business for over 30 years and, like everyone else, I have never seen anything that comes close to this in terms of its impact on the economy as a whole and, more importantly, us as people and as a global society. It is a deeply unsettling time.

As an exporter, the prospect of Brexit was a sizeable feature of our thinking for some time, causing us to look closely at the way we operate in search of new efficiencies and even opportunities.
Strangely enough, much of that preparation work seems as if it was part of a dress rehearsal for something far more disruptive all along. In large parts, it involved us actively engaging with our partners here and overseas to better identify their needs and to gain even small scraps of local business intelligence that might give us an edge around impending changes to the regulatory framework in which we will have to operate.

That very process meant that we strengthened and deepened relationships with partners in Germany, Italy, USA and the Middle East that then led to us getting some vital early warnings about the impact of the coronavirus.

Some of our partners and suppliers are tightly enmeshed with the Far East market and had access to several first-hand accounts of what was going on in Wuhan and Hubei Province, as the outbreak gathered steam at the turn of the year. As a consequence, it was as early as January 14 that we convened our initial strategy meeting to start looking at different eventualities.
Even at that stage, the information some of our partners gave us made it clear that we had to consider the serious possibility of significant disruption here in the UK. We had to consider the potential impact on the supply of equipment vital to our operation.

We had to look at how we might mitigate or ride out a real interruption to our assembly capability in Leicestershire and we had to work out how best we could help our American and Middle Eastern partners cope with possible supply delays and a halt to their installation work. All at some unknown future point in time and of an unpredictable duration.

All of this underlined the huge importance of doing even more of what we’d already been doing – over years as an exporter and in our more recent preparations for Brexit – and that was to collaborate, to plan and to act.

That’s our biggest learning from this whole experience and, I believe, it’s what all lighting businesses and their suppliers and partners should double down on now.

As an industry, as businesses and as a society, we have to understand that we share the same interests. From the most basic of drivers like survival – bodily and financially – to the most complex of supply chain interdependencies, we are all exactly that. Interdependent. United we stand and divided we fall – there are good reasons why there are so many clichés saying that kind of thing.
So, we got on the phone, we shared insights and we listened a lot. We plotted and schemed, we worked out different possibilities and probabilities and we ran scenarios. And ourselves and our partners became closer, gaining at every step a deeper appreciation of what we held in common.

As I sit and write this, I put the fact that we now feel pretty well equipped for this difficult period completely down to collaboration and planning. Please don’t take this as any kind of bluster or complacency, as there is a lot of water to go under the bridge and so much more hard work to be done.

But my simple message is one of hope and of preparation. Speak with your suppliers and partners, find out about the problems they face and help them overcome them. Listen to their warnings, share your concerns and understand each other’s interdependencies. And work out how you can collaborate right now to make the best of the situation we all find ourselves in.

And start planning ahead because, at some point in the medium-term future, there will be a time when the lights go back on, so to speak, and new opportunities appear. We need to be ready as an industry to make up for lost time, ground and revenues.

Take advantage of remote working. While some might be unfamiliar with different technologies, many others are resourceful and highly capable, so grasp this very real opportunity to learn and embrace new ways of doing things that streamline your business.

Think of all the travel you can cut out in the long-term. Think of the time and money you’ll save, the hotels you won’t book, the journeys you won’t need to undertake. There are huge savings to be had and you can reinvest it all in improving your operation, delivery and service. And you’ll be doing the environment a big favour.

This isn’t a time for pessimism or defeat. It is a time to reach out to your peers and get to know them even better than you already do. It is a golden opportunity to strengthen our industry’s bonds, both here and with our overseas partners.

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from the privilege and honour that is representing the UK as a champion of our innovative and forward-thinking exporters, it is that we prosper when we work in harmony. We share similar goals and we face the same threats. And we can overcome them together.

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Cooper’s Steven Pyshos and Rebecca Hadley-Catter Talk TM-30

I recently had the opportunity to interview Steven Pyshos, Business Development Manager, Commercial Downlighting, Cooper Lighting Solutions, and Rebecca Hadley-Catter, Manager, SOURCE Lighting Education Center, on the topic of light + color, specifically looking at developments with TM-30. The interview is being used to write an article on this topic for tED Magazine’s July issue.

I recently had the opportunity to interview Steven Pyshos, Business Development Manager, Commercial Downlighting, Cooper Lighting Solutions, and Rebecca Hadley-Catter, Manager, SOURCE Lighting Education Center, on the topic of light + color, specifically looking at developments with TM-30. The interview is being used to write an article on this topic for tED Magazine’s July issue.

DiLouie: Why is color rendering an important factor for electrical distributors when selecting light sources?

Pyshos: Having knowledge of, access to and stocking lighting products with excellent color rendering is now more important than ever for distributors to support their customer’s needs.

DiLouie: For years, the industry settled on a CRI of 80+ for commercial general lighting and 90+ for color-discerning applications. Why is that not enough in the LED era?

Hadley-Catter: CRI 80 is still acceptable for non-critical commercial applications and remains a good compromise between source efficiency and color rendering. The availability of LED sources with high color rendering and good efficiency has replaced tungsten-halogen. For that conversion to be successful CRI 90 is essential and many designers are using CRI 95 and higher to best render critical applications.

DiLouie: IES-TM-30 turns five this year. How successful has the proposed metric been in becoming adopted by manufacturers in reporting and by specifiers in application?

Pyshos: Manufacturers were first to support TM-30 providing a more complete measurement of color performance. It can be a difficult change; measurement devices and software need to be updated. It was also necessary to devise new methods to transmit TM-30 data in both print and digital formats.The specification community is lagging adoption; not all manufacturers provide TM-30 data across all products.

DiLouie: What are the relative advantages of CRI and TM-30?

Hadley-Catter: CRI is well known; the design community is comfortable using to predict color performance on their projects. TM-30 is a more accurate measurement of color performance.

DiLouie: One advantage of CRI is it’s easy and simple, and TM-30 requires effort. Why should distributors invest time in learning TM-30, and what advantages does it provide them when selling lighting?

Pyshos: While CRI is an easier color metric to understand it falls short of accurately communicating color performance of LED sources. No question learning the nuances of TM-30 will take effort, however, will benefit their selling efforts to discriminate between lighting products.

DiLouie: For the majority of commercial general lighting applications, is it enough to simply modify CRI and add an R9 (saturated red) threshold, or update the 80+ requirement to 90+?

Hadley-Catter: Color rendering performance should be based on the application, not the measurement scheme. While both CRI + R9 and TM-30 Rf and Rg are useful tools, TM-30 is a more complete measurement of color performance.

DiLouie: How can color rendering in general be used as a selling tool by distributors? How can TM-30 be specifically used as a selling tool?

Pyshos: CRI has been used successfully as a selling tool to prescribe color performance for many years, high color rendering is an upsell. Additionally, meeting minimum color rendering performance is required by local codes, many manufacturers including Cooper Lighting Systems, note California Title 20 and 24 compliance on packaging and literature. ENERGY STAR® also prescribes minimum color rendering to earn their certification; ENERGY STAR® is often used to support rebate programs from local utilities.

For TM-30 to be used as a successful selling tool, additional industry adoption and education is needed. Additionally, the TM-30 color metrics require additional definition to be applied effectively for a given application.

DiLouie: What is the elevator pitch distributors should be using to differentiate themselves and convince customers that a more detailed approach to color rendering is important?

Hadley-Catter: Color rendering performance requirements must be well aligned to a given application and using a more predictive color measurement system will ensure the designer’s vision is realized.

DiLouie: What are the characteristics of LED products that TM-30 reveals as being superior in color quality, and what the overall advantages of disadvantages of these products versus other LED products? Are there performance tradeoffs, and if so, what are they?

Pyshos: CRI measures color performance for 8-14 targets, LED manufacturers understand this and compound phosphors to excite those targets scoring well even with poor or inconsistent spectral power distribution. TM-30 measures color performance for 99 targets and reports both chromaticity (Rf) and saturation (Rg) yielding more accurate color measurements. More complex phosphors reduce direct blue contribution reducing efficiency and increasing cost.

DiLouie: How does TM-30 apply to tunable-white lighting products?

Pyshos: CRI and TM-30 can describe color performance at any point along the black body curve, however, does not describe the curve itself for a given white tuning product.

DiLouie: As circadian-supportive lighting becomes more important in the future, how will CRI, TM-30, and spectral power distribution graphs work together to best support applications?

Hadley-Catter: At this point, understanding spectral power distribution is the most helpful way to visualize melanopic lux.

DiLouie: If you could tell the entire electrical industry just one thing about color quality and LED lighting, what would it be?

Hadley-Catter: Embrace TM-30 color vector graphics, a great tool for visualizing color performance

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

Pyshos: TM-30 assumes delivered color performance where CRI is almost always source color performance. Since the luminaire’s optical system impacts color performance, the specification community should request delivered color performance data similar to delivered versus source lumens.

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Interview with LEDVANCE’s Sally Lee on TM-30

I recently had the opportunity to interview Sally Lee, LC, Business Development & Special Projects, LEDVANCE LLC on the topic of light + color, specifically looking at developments with TM-30.

I recently had the opportunity to interview Sally Lee, LC, Business Development & Special Projects, LEDVANCE, LLC on the topic of light + color, specifically looking at developments with TM-30. The interview is being used to write an article on this topic for tED Magazine’s July issue.

DiLouie: Why is color rendering an important factor for electrical distributors when selecting light sources?

Lee: Customers are hard to pin down and gain loyalty from.  Winning lighting distributors always work to help them understand and use technology to meet their goals.  Now the importance of lighting color can be discerned and specified, so customers can understand the value of it for their individual projects.

DiLouie: For years, the industry settled on a CRI of 80+ for commercial general lighting and 90+ for color-discerning applications. Why is that not enough in the LED era?

Lee: Commercial general lighting was 70+ CRI and 80+ CRI with linear fluorescent lamps and LED replacement lamps pushed everything up to 80+.  In our modern era, while it still holds true that generally a higher CRI light source renders colors more accurately, the spectrum of LED lighting can vary so much based on what the product is being developed for.

DiLouie: IES-TM-30 turns five this year. How successful has the proposed metric been in becoming adopted by manufacturers in reporting and by specifiers in application?

Lee: And CRI turns 55 (Color Rendering Index CIE13.2-1965/1974)!  Since early TM-30 training, I’ve look around for product information, and still haven’t seen much yet.  Internally we began using it right away to help with the pragmatic concerns of designing and optimizing new LED products – along with efficacy, appearance, distribution/ intensity, and of course cost.  It is so much better than CRI!

For specifiers out in the marketplace, later this year we expect adoption to accelerate as new DLC V5.1 requires the newest TM-30 spectral data (in addition to CRI).  In context, designers still set goals after understanding the environment their client wants to create, but additional information about color accuracy will help identify the best light source(s). The math is sound, the reference-based approach is familiar, but it’s more comprehensive and improves transparency about color performance.  Once the guard rails are off and it’s “Insta,” it will help guide where sources will fit best.

DiLouie: What are the relative advantages of CRI and TM-30?

Lee: When we started working with Ceramic Metal Halide (CMH) in the late 1990s – which had CRI of 82-85, they were compared to Halogen – which had CRI of 95-100.  On paper, this did not seem too promising for color critical applications, but everyone just brushed past this CRI disparity once they visually evaluated both together, because the CMH was so compelling. It is not a new problem that CRI alone cannot account for modern light sources that realize better color performance.  TM-30 unpacks color performance so we understand and communicate more clearly about light source color, in the context of individual design goals. It really seems overdue.

DiLouie: One advantage of CRI is it’s easy and simple, and TM-30 requires effort. Why should distributors invest time in learning TM-30, and what advantages does it provide them when selling lighting?

Lee: CRI has had an outsized influence.  Two important advantages of a really good lighting distributor are trendsetting and influencing.  Even customers who are hard to pin down and gain loyalty from look to them for solutions. Better data drives better decisions, and lighting distribution can manage to understand this new tool, and use TM-30 to get beyond product marketing to measurable differences that truly matter.

DiLouie: For most commercial general lighting applications, is it enough to simply modify CRI and add an R9 (saturated red) threshold, or update the 80+ requirement to 90+?

Lee: It is time for a Gen Z color specification platform, especially as we engage with better questions and better technology.  The “best light” remains subjective, but there are a few extra dimensions within TM-30 we can grab a hold of.

DiLouie: How can color rendering in general be used as a selling tool by distributors? How can TM-30 be specifically used as a selling tool?

Lee: It’s a practical matter of nailing down color and selling it to a customer when there is a value.  Anything that empowers communication is going to improve the project outcome.

DiLouie: What are the characteristics of LED products that TM-30 reveals as being superior in color quality, and what the overall advantages of disadvantages of these products versus other LED products? Are there performance tradeoffs, and if so, what are they?

Lee: It really seems like lighting efficiency is going to keep demanding the spotlight, because our culture sees lighting as a commodity and we are so cost driven.  It is very good news overall that LED lighting installations have realized the LIFT from the broader spectrum and better color characteristics.  Now that we have better guard rails in this new tool that is TM-30, we will realize even more benefits of improved lighting color as the attributes become more transparent.

DiLouie: How does TM-30 apply to tunable-white lighting products?

Lee: In design, we always choose the CCT (color temperature) first, then color rendition.  If you’re going to use a dynamic CCT product, you’d need more than one TM-30, so be able to ask for what you know you’ll need in order to evaluate products.

DiLouie: As circadian-supportive lighting becomes more important in the future, how will CRI, TM-30, and spectral power distribution graphs work together to best support applications?

Lee: Leaders will design and manufacture products to specified standards, which will be driven by the design community and evidenced based design and appropriate test and measurement protocols.  We support different metrics to appropriately guide product application decisions.

DiLouie: If you could tell the entire electrical industry just one thing about color quality and LED lighting, what would it be?

Lee: Expect something better.

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

Lee: I would love to experience a hands-on lighting workshop on the show floor at Lightfair where I could immerse myself in color booths and “try on” sources that are identified by both their CRI and Color Fidelity and Gamut!

 

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Mark Lien Interviews Robert Karlicek

In a recent “Forces of Change” podcast, the Illuminating Engineering Society’s Mark Lien talked to Dr. Robert Karlicek of LESA at RPI to discuss how intelligent lighting systems can transform how people live and work.

In a recent “Forces of Change” podcast, the Illuminating Engineering Society’s Mark Lien talked to Dr. Robert Karlicek of LESA at RPI to discuss how intelligent lighting systems can transform how people live and work.

This is a great meeting of very intelligent minds, filled with excellent ideas. Check out this and other Forces of Change podcasts here.

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