Category: Lighting Design

Two Lighting Design Award Programs Now Accepting Entries

Two lighting design award programs have announced that they are currently accepting entries, IESNYC and International Lighting Design Awards.

Two lighting design award programs have announced that they are currently accepting entries:

The first is The New York City Section of the IES Lumen 2023 Awards. Submission Deadline: January 13, 2023. Since 1968, the IESNYC Lumen Awards program has publicly recognized lighting design members whose exceptional professionalism, ingenuity and originality in lighting design has culminated in some of the world’s most innovative lighting projects. IESNYC invites you to submit your most innovative, inspiring, and outstanding lighting designs. Awards are presented in the following categories:

Lumen Award of Excellence
Highest level of achievement for a permanent architectural application

Lumen Award of Merit
Meritorious achievement for permanent architectural application

Lumen Citation
Special recognition for a permanent or temporary lighting installation, technical detail, portion of a single project, or other work.

For details on Eligibility, Submission Requirements, Rules, Schedule, and Helpful Tips click on this link. This link can also be found on the iesnyc.org website.

2023 IESNYC Lumen Awards Project Eligibility – The Lumen Awards are open to any interior or exterior architectural lighting design project completed within two years’ time of the submission deadline of January 13, 2023.
Projects may be re-submitted during the years a project is eligible.

Anyone can enter a project for consideration, but wherever possible, we require the lighting designer responsible for the lighting scheme be credited.

Eligible projects must be designed by a New York City* based designer(s) for a project located anywhere in the world.  —OR—  The project must be located in New York City* regardless of the location of the designer(s).

*Within the five boroughs of NYC and counties of Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Ulster, and Westchester.

 

The second award program taking entries is the International Lighting Design Awards. On November 1st, 2022, the IALD released the Call for Entries for the 40th Annual IALD International Lighting Design Awards and their online submission site. You create a profile on the IALD Awards submission site to begin your entry.

EARLY ENTRY DEADLINE: 14 December 2022, 11:59 P.M. Chicago/US Central
REGULAR ENTRY DEADLINE: 31 January 2023, 11:59 P.M. Chicago/US Central
EXTENDED/LATE ENTRY DEADLINE: 15 February 2023, 11:59 P.M. Chicago/US Central

You can download the submission guide HERE.

You can find the Call for Entries submission page HERE.

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Novel Approaches To Fitness Center Lighting

David recently reviewed two separate case studies about Fitness Center lighting and was struck by how different the two approaches were.

I recently read two separate case studies about Fitness Center lighting and was struck by how different the two approaches were:

Image: Axis Lighting

Evolve Strength in Canada

This gym’s focus was acoustic lighting to solve acoustic challenges. Fitness centers present architects and designers with unique problems: large and open areas with few walls, tall ceilings, and often exposed ductwork—none of which is conducive to sound absorption. If noise is ignored, it can be unpleasant, which could contribute to members not coming back. Hypertension, impaired cognition, and general lack of concentration are all results of a poor acoustic environment.

Lighting is generally out of the direct visual field in fitness centers. However, it is perfectly positioned to help control acoustics. By looking for solutions that combine lighting with acoustic panels, architects and designers now have unparalleled design flexibility. Easily installed, acoustic lighting absorbs vibrations and sound, greatly reduces ambient noise, and creates a more pleasant experience, particularly in fitness centers with high ceilings and hard materials from which sounds reverberate.

Lighting can be used for wayfinding, to provide direction, and symbolize stopping points, such as at a reception area. Light fixtures can catch the eye and draw visitors. For example, by hanging geometric lighting above a reception area, visitors are informed that this is a place to which they should be attracted.

Evolve Strength installed a 41’ x 46’ system over the reception and welcome area and the café and lounge space. The acoustic lighting system serves as wayfinding, directing guests into the facility. A hexagon shape was chosen to complement the wellness and health center.

Everlast Gyms in the United Kingdom

Everlast Gyms in the UK is using a centralized system to control lighting in all 69 locations. The design uses soft, functional lights for a minimalist design. Suspended linear luminaires create geometric shapes such as chevrons, lines, and squares that help distinguish different areas, which Everlast refers to as “innovative zones.”

The gym chain is controlling each location from a central dashboard using Signify’s Interact networked control system. The cloud-based platform collects data from all light points via a connected lighting infrastructure and is displayed on a centralized dashboard. This enables comparison, monitoring, and management of lighting across multiple locations to improve efficiency.

The Evolve Strength case study is available here.

The Everlast Gyms case study is available here.

Image: Axis Lighting

 

Image: Signify

 

Image: Signify

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Shedding Light On Data Centers

At ArchLIGHT Summit in September, David met staff from Lantana. The company specializes in lighting for data centers, specifically linear architectural luminaires with remote drivers and PoE options. They’ve illuminated over 30 million square feet of data centers, nationally.

At ArchLIGHT Summit in September, I met staff from a lighting manufacturer named Lantana. One of Lantana’s specialties is lighting for data centers, specifically linear architectural luminaires with remote drivers and PoE options. The company cites that they’ve installed over 70,000 luminaires, 6,500 low voltage systems, and illuminated over 30 million square feet of data centers, nationally. Lantana published a fact sheet on their lighting solutions for data centers that details some interesting aspects of data center lighting:

Lantana data center lighting fact sheet

  • During the pandemic, e-commerce grew dramatically, creating a significant surge in data center construction that continues today.
  • Rising demand for high-performance computing (HPC) is causing an increase in data rack density. Servers, storage racks, and networking devices require increasing amounts of energy as computer density increases. Energy per rack has recently increased by 300 to 500%. One hyperscale data center can require the energy of 80,000 US households. Electricity for data centers includes server energy as well as significant cooling energy.
  • Many data centers have hot aisle heat conditions that can jeopardize conventional fixtures.
  • Data centers typically have no windows and flat black equipment cabinets, eliminating daylight and much of the reflected light. Poorly placed lighting can cast shadows, impairing the servicing of equipment.
  • Lighting maintenance above server racks risks costly damage to sensitive equipment. Remote drivers outside the server rooms provide easy access that protects servers. It can also avoid electrical shutdowns that could impact servers.
  • Remoting drivers can move most of the heat generated by luminaires to outside the server rooms.
  • There are different applications within data centers. The lighting requirements for a colocation (data center in a 3rd-party leased facility) differ from an enterprise hyperscale (significantly larger data centers, typically for large, high tech companies).

Download the Lantana Data Center Fact Sheet, here.

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AI Is Changing Design Fields. Is Lighting Next?

A recent New York Times article reviewed how AI is impacting creative fields, such as interior design, graphic design, filmmaking, video game development, and more.

A recent New York Times article reviewed how AI is impacting creative fields, such as interior design, graphic design, filmmaking, video game development, and more.

The article examines new AI-design tools, such as:

Image by Suelynn Shiller using DreamStudio, AI image generator. 

  • InteriorAI – AI interior design generator
  • Midjourney – AI image generator
  • DreamStudio – AI image generator
  • Stable Diffusion – AI image generator
  • DALL-E 2 – AI image generator

The InteriorAI interior design tool raises some interesting questions for the lighting industry. Interior designers can be lighting specifiers, along with lighting designers, architects, and engineers. If an AI interior design generator selects the lighting for a room or building, there are implications for manufacturers, agents, and distributors supplying the specification channel:

  • Does the AI only suggest aesthetic directions, or does it suggest actual product models?
  • If it suggests product models, how will the spec channel sell to these specifiers? Will they now have to sell their product lines to the AI interior design software developers, in this example?

With some online research, I found these additional AI interior design generators: Foyr Neo, Autodesk Maya, Autodesk 3Ds Max, Homestyler, and Planner 5D.

What about the lighting design industry? Are there AI lighting design generators? It looks like they’re coming. MaestroDMX is on Kickstarter. It’s an autonomous AI lighting designer-in-a-box that listens to music and makes AV decisions like a professional entertainment lighting designer.

And what about luminaire design? Are there AI industrial design generators? There aren’t specifically for lighting, but some product designers are using AI image generators, like DreamStudio, to generate creative product concepts that could easily be applied to lighting products. With no design experience (nor skill), I generated the cobalt crystal and polished aluminum chandelier, pictured below, using DreamStudio. It took me about 10 minutes of playing with the prompts (similar to keywords in a search engine).

After reading half-a-dozen articles on AI-generated design and playing with the software, my takeaway is that  AI design programs are useful for providing creative design ideas, concepts, and images. They’re not ready to put designers out of work………yet.

Before and after images courtesy of InteriorAI, AI interior design generator

 

AI-generated chandelier by David Shiller.

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German Manufacturer Calls For Design Shift To Delivered Efficacy

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

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

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

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

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

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

From the company’s press release:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the full case study here.

 

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Sneak Peek Of Upcoming LightSPEC West Event

The inaugural LightSPEC West event is only nine days away and will be held in Los Angeles, CA. Check out our sneak peek at five interesting presentations

The inaugural LightSPEC West event is only nine days away and will be held in Los Angeles, CA. Here’s a sneak peek at five interesting presentations:

  • Permanent Chaos, Wishful Thinking, and Real Opportunities – the Lighting Industry Today. On September 21, Wendy Davis, a Senior Research Analyst at Guidehouse, and Clifton Stanley Lemon, the LightSPEC West organizer, present a talk addressing the current state of the industry: important economic trends, unrecognized and surprising growth areas, the impact of ESG and regulatory action. They’ll suggest strategies for coping with uncertainty and conflicting data and predictions. They identify emerging research on lighting, views, and daylight that present opportunities for collaboration with architects, advances in occupant health and wellness, increased value for building owners, improvements in environmental quality, and best practices in inclusive design.
  • On September 21, Teal Brogden and Venna Resurreccion of HLB Lighting present a talk entitled Experiencing the Daylight Dynamic. HLB is one of the few lighting firms in the U.S. with a deep and robust practice in daylighting design, and they’ve developed an exemplary practice in integrating daylight with electric light. Their talk will focus on the design process and the many health and wellness benefits of daylight and views through a series of exemplary case studies. Teal and Venna will describe ways in which regenerative lighting design uses daylight first before considering electric light, and how the two can be balanced. They will present data on the impact of views and daylight on real estate value, productivity and other metrics from studies of schools and daylight, and health outcomes from hospital rooms with access to views and daylight. They will also evaluate specific qualities and forms of architecture that provide optimal views and daylight and how these can be put to best use for electric light as well.
  • On September 21, a panel entitled Inclusive Design as a Catalyst for Change will be presented. Moderated by lighting designer Alana Shepherd, founder of the North American Coalition of Lighting Industry Queers (NACLIQ), and including Mariel Taviana Acevdo of Portland, Oregon lighting agency Solus; Archit Jain, principal at Oculus Light Studio; and Thomas Paterson, principal at Lux Populi, the panel will explore a range of tools and actions to address inclusive design: corporate programs, education and training, cross-disciplinary collaboration, and communications strategies.
  • Controls expert and consultant, John Arthur Wilson, will be delivering a talk on September 22, entitled Simplifying Controls and Evolution of Grid-Connected Buildings. This talk will show how building control systems play a vital role past the meter in helping to enable and manage the emerging connected grid and how they can deliver previously unrealized ROI while becoming simpler to understand, justify, install, and operate. He’ll also talk about how lighting controls can drive integration of other building systems in ways that provide ROI on sensor and operational data, aid predictive maintenance, and increase user control and comfort. John Arthur feels that most of the real impact of IoT in buildings is, at least initially, around the control systems. Because lighting controls are the substrate for energy strategies like demand management and occupancy-based approaches. They’re a natural leverage point to facilitate grid-connected buildings. Eventually, we’ll see a grid where buildings produce, consume, and share both energy and data in two directions- to and from the grid and internet.
  • Jay Wratten, Senior Director at WSP will present a talk entitled Beyond Occupancy – Risk Management and Revenue Streams on September 22, in which he will explore investment in smart buildings from the perspective of building owners and operators. He’ll show how smart, integrated building systems not only allow decreased op-ex, by enabling things like predictive maintenance and energy efficiency but can provide operating revenue from increasingly valuable data streams and analytics. He’ll also explore how becoming more involved in building system integration, and data architecture is an increasingly important collaborative role for systems engineers, IT professionals, and lighting designers.

To register for the event, visit the LightSPEC West site here.

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So You’re a Fixture Chooser? A Guest Authors’ Perspective

Guest authors Clifton Stanley Lemon & Thomas Paterson make the case for eliminating the term “specifier.”

By Clifton Stanley Lemon and Thomas Paterson

Exactly when did lighting designers consent to allow themselves to be referred to as “specifiers,” the ones who pick the lighting equipment? Other trades and disciplines don’t suffer this indignity: we don’t call artists “paint choosers,” interior designers “furniture pickers,” or mechanical engineers “pump, fan, and duct table monkeys.” “Specifier” indicates an inordinate attachment to equipment and technology, not to the more important process of why you need it in the first place, an essential human activity known as “design.” Let’s just refer to all lighting designers by what they actually do. The profession will be better off for it.

We have been having conversations that touch on this topic as preparation for the LightSPEC West conference in Los Angeles on September 21 and 22, at which Thomas is keynoting with a talk entitled “Craft and the Creativity Myth.” Here we introduce some of our discourse and discuss the terms that come into play when explaining and defining the practice of lighting design.

One meaning of the term “specifier” from vocabulary.com is “someone who draws up specifications giving details (as for obtaining a patent).” This harks back to the early days of electricity when the bloodthirsty, contentious, competitive process of patenting and commercializing inventions by people like Edison, Tesla, and Westinghouse had decisive outcomes on the future of technology. In fact, it is a way of addressing light though it is simply a matter of appropriately sizing grids of troffers.

Let’s abandon “specifier” in favor of “lighting designer.”

Let’s talk about what we are, starting with what we aren’t. With all due respect to hallowed and heartfelt organizational mission statements, lighting design is, strictly speaking, neither art nor science. We’re not artists, strictly speaking. We design to a brief (should we be fortunate enough to get one) to solve our clients’ needs. That’s design or engineering, not art: we celebrate great art, but creating it isn’t what we do. Art is typically neither driven by external purpose nor regulated by the government.

Lighting design is also not science. We use the results of other people’s scientific learning. But as a lighting designer, when did you last do a double-blind study to inform your design? Or discover a new principle of physics? Or publish a peer-reviewed paper? When did you formulate a hypothesis, prove or disprove it, and submit that new knowledge to the review of your peers? We use evidence in making important design decisions, but that doesn’t make us scientists.

According to legendary designer and architect, Charles Eames, design is “a plan for arranging elements to accomplish a particular purpose.” The key ideas here are “plan” and “purpose.” Much of what people do when they design may indeed involve planning – although that’s often omitted in the rush to decorate – but typically fails because the necessary purpose is poorly defined, if it is defined at all. Design as a term ties many things together. It’s a fundamental human activity. “Designer” as a professional descriptor is well understood across many fields, from graphic design to industrial design.

Lighting designers are creative, but do we have creativity? Does creativity really exist? Or is it just a bullshit term that belies a fundamental misunderstanding of design practice and discipline?

We suggest that the creative process is generally misunderstood, confused with butterflies of inspiration, overrated, and carries a corrosive connotation of inherited merit vs. learned skill.

So then, what is it that lighting designers do? We believe that what designers practice is craft, the professional craft of design.

What defines craft? You’re probably thinking of activities like woodworking, decoupage, and making things with popsicle sticks and pipe cleaners, a la Hobby Lobby – unthinkably lowbrow vs. intellectual and professional. For instance, several years ago, the California College of Arts and Crafts (which Clifton attended) became simply the California College of the Arts. Their curricula span architecture, film, fashion, ceramics, comics, furniture, and game arts (and presumably not decoupage).

Craft is formed of a broad knowledge of the media with which one works, the way it will be used, its acquisition, and application. A great craftsman responds to a client’s needs to create something that serves their purpose with grace, elegance, economy, and often great beauty.  What better description of the craft of lighting design?

Making craft implicit in design practice invites a bold realignment of entrenched hierarchical social values. The Old English word craeft signified an indefinable sense of knowledge, wisdom, and resourcefulness. Today, it implies a deep holistic internalization of all the design skills necessary to deliver successful projects: research; defining purpose, problems, and intent; visualization; communication; collaboration; technical understanding; hands-on testing and verification; sourcing; budget management; problem-solving; construction management; and post-occupancy assessment.

Thinking of lighting design as a craft enables a more accurate understanding of necessary skills to be assembled in the mind of a craftsperson in order to form a new mastery. It allows us to look at the professional development of practitioners in our industry as a studied process of building skills and people, rounding out the areas they have not yet learned, and working to bring craft to the collective product of our field.

Recognizing this also allows us to value people at each stage of their career, from apprentice through journeyman/woman to master. Each is a stage of life, with a different focus on personal development, application, and generosity in teaching to the following generation.

Mr. Paterson’s keynote session on Wednesday, September 21, will explore a new perspective on lighting design and the craft needed to practice it. He’ll show how learning in a design practice can be facilitated through mentoring, transparency, continuing education, and direct jobsite experience. His firm Lux Populi, one of the top lighting firms in the world, encourages a culture of active listening, engagement with clients, experience-based problem solving, and collaboration with all other design and construction disciplines. Of course, they choose fixtures, but they’re designers first and foremost.

 

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Product Monday: A-Light’s Atom Luminaires Shines In Bio Incubator Hub

A-light’s Atom pendants were recently installed in the new Virginia Beach Bio Incubator Hub.

At 3.5″ diameter, a-light’s Atom luminaire delivers an elegantly round slim linear profile with optimized performance using their patented HE Tech lens.  Made from 60% recycled aluminum, the precision extruded housing is curved to create a modern aesthetic with customizable direct/indirect distributions using combinations of standard and high outputs in the upper and lower apertures.  Ease of installation is maintained whether suspended or span mounted and as an individual fixture, custom length, row, or pattern. It is offered in 4′, 8′ or 12′ standard lengths, or join fixtures together to create continuous row lengths.

The modern fixtures deliver high quantity and quality of illumination while contributing to a contemporary aesthetic. Atom’s high-performance HE Tech lenses effectively diffuse the direct and indirect illumination to make all spaces feel open, brighter, and expansive. Atom has an integral 0-10V dimming driver down to 1%. Additional options include Lutron, DMX, and DALI control protocols. An optional integral IOTA slim 12W emergency battery pack provides a matching solution for emergency lighting.

The Atom pendants were recently installed in the new Virginia Beach Bio Incubator Hub. See pictures above and below. The project was recognized by the American Society of Interior Designers at the Interior Design Excellent Awards 2021 (Virginia) with an Honorable Mention for a corporate space under 35,000 sq. ft.

For more information about the Atom, click here.

PROJECT NAME: Virginia Beach BIO Incubator Hub

LOCATION: Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA

PROJECT COMPLETION: April 2021

ARCHITECT (LABORATORY PLANNING & INTERIOR DESIGN): Hanbury

AGENT: Resource Lighting + Controls

PHOTOGRAPHY:  Jennifer Scheffel deZINE RESOURCE

 

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UL Launches Circadian Lighting Field-Measurement Service & Circadian Luminaire Certification

Randy Reid and Katie Smith recently published an article on LinkedIn, about UL’s latest moves into circadian lighting.

Randy Reid and Katie Smith recently published an article on LinkedIn, about UL’s latest moves into circadian lighting. The first new service from UL is a UL Circadian Field Measurement System. This service will allow UL field engineers to take measurements in customers’ buildings and create a floor plan with color-coded spaces to show the lighting designers where light output is above or below their circadian-effective lighting goals. This allows for field measurements to be taken with results being demonstrated in a heat map format. This service can be utilized in existing retrofits or new conditions.

Instead of working off computer-aided design plans, the system captures the actual light at eye level, including ambient light from windows and skylights and artificial light from luminaires, along with all of the reflectance from ceilings, walls, floors, furniture, and more. With those measurements, algorithms are used to calculate the effectiveness of the light’s ability to signal to the brain that it is daytime. Those calculations then create the circadian heat map that illustrates in color where people in that space will reach the circadian goals. These are voluntary goals defined by the lighting designer, based on the circadian model that they have chosen.

The second service is their Circadian-Effective Luminaire Performance Certification. In this program UL develops a custom testing and certification program to support a manufacturer’s verifiable marketing claims.

You can read the full article here.

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