Category: Lighting Industry

WILD’s Lamplighter Coalition Shines Light on The Need For Awareness & Action

The Lamplighter Coalition is a newly introduced program of Women In Lighting + Design (WILD) that is poised to address issues of safety at industry events.

TW: sexual harassment

 

 

From academia and scientific associations to the legal profession and event planner organizations, sexual harassment at business events is identified as an issue that must be addressed head-on through codes of conduct, trainings and resources.

People in the lighting industry know anecdotally or from first-hand experience that the problem exists at our events too.

Elizabeth Williams, a member of WILD Detroit, President of the Illuminating Engineering Society Detroit Section, and a member of the IES Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Respect (DEIR) Committee had reason to believe that sexual harassment at lighting industry events was impacting participation and attendance. In her volunteer work for various organizations, she reviewed anonymous survey results indicating sexual harassment as a reason why some people avoid industry events.

As a working group of WILD, Elizabeth and a team of volunteers decided to take on the issue and create the Lamplighter Coalition. The name has layered meeting for the lighting industry, According to the website Intriguing History, lamplighters were responsible for igniting and extinguishing the oil and then gas lanterns that lit the streets of London…Lamplighters were considered trustworthy and dependable, akin to town watchmen. Like the lamplighters of past centuries, this group intends to spread light (and information) that makes our community safer for everyone.

Since announcing the coalition, Williams reports that she has received overwhelmingly positive feedback, and people have reached out to share anecdotes of related personal experiences.

The coalition has two initiatives underway, the BE AWARE BE THERE Campaign & the BREAK THE SILENCE Campaign.

  • BE AWARE BE THERE has a mission to provide tools and resources to help stop, repudiate and prevent sexual harassment and assault in social and professional environments. And to provide education and support for all member of the lighting industry to accomplish these goals.
  • BREAK THE SILENCE – is focused on creating awareness around sexual harassment and assault and its prevalent nature in professional culture. The goal is to spark a conversation in the lighting industry around sexual assault and harassment, and a universal understanding that these are serious and prevalent issues that must be addressed.

Kelly Roberts, President of WILD, explains why the coalition is important for the lighting industry. “The Lamplighter Coalition is a core program within WILD’s mission to empower our members and challenge the industry to become more inclusive. When a person feels unwelcome, uncomfortable, or embarrassed by sexual harassment their contributions to and advancement in the lighting industry can suffer. The Coalition is our active voice highlighting this issue and a targeted campaign against the pervasiveness of harassment in the industry.”

Alessa Aguayo, WILD Board Member & Director of Outreach shares her perspective, “Lamplighter is one of WILD’s many wonderful initiatives – not only do we believe in what the Lamplighter Coalition stands for, our Board of Directors will offer support through assigning volunteers from our various chapters, featuring them at industry events like our Networking Hour at LightFair and providing a dedicated portion of our website to further promote their message.”

WILD and Williams maybe on to something. An article entitled What It Really Takes To Stop Sexual Harassment, in the American Psychological Association Monitor on Psychology, states that “Shifts in cultural attitudes toward sexual harassment may ultimately be the most valuable tool in combating sexual harassment by creating a shared sense of public responsibility and accountability.”

If you are interested in joining the effort to make the lighting industry safe and more inclusive, reach out to the Coalition at LamplighterCoalition@gmail.com to learn more, and visit their webpage to review the resources that they are curating.

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Will Biomimicry Impact The Lighting Industry?

A recent article in Buildings Magazine examines the application of Biomimicry to sustainable products and building interiors.

A recent article in Buildings Magazine examines the application of Biomimicry to sustainable products and building interiors. The Biomimicry Institute—a non-profit cofounded by Janine Benyus and Bryony Schwan—defines biomimicry as: “a practice that learns from and mimics the strategies found in nature to solve human design challenges—and find hope.” The Institute offers a variety of resources and initiatives to support professionals and startups that are trying to utilize the same methods that living systems in nature do. This can help them innovate in sectors that range from construction to agriculture, fashion, energy, chemistry, transportation materials and more.

This begs the question of will biomimicry be applied to lighting. LightNOW has published four articles about bioluminescence (1, 2, 3, 4), which is one example of biomimicry applied to lighting.

What other ways will biomimicry be applied to lighting? New materials? New aesthetic designs, like the irregular carpet pattern, below? Read the full Buildings Magazine article here.

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Researchers Use Light As Chemical Reaction Input To Convert Methane to Methanol

Scientists have developed an efficient new way to convert methane into methanol at room temperature. The technique could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide a much cleaner way to make green fuels.

Scientists have developed an efficient new way to convert methane into methanol at room temperature. The technique could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide a much cleaner way to make green fuels.

An interesting question is whether this type of chemical process could create a new category of lighting for industrial inputs. This would not be about visually lighting a chemical plant. It would be an industrial input, analogous to horticultural grow lights being an input to commercial agricultural facilities. This could have all kinds of implications for customized spectral tuning, durability requirements, etc.

The conversion of methane to methanol at room temperature is especially important because methane is 34 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2 is, even though humans emit much more CO2. Industrial waste methane is typically burned in flares, which creates CO2 emissions.

For the new study, researchers at the University of Manchester and Oak Ridge National Laboratory developed a new technique using a metal-organic framework (MOF) as a catalyst. These structures are extremely porous, and in this case, those pores contain a variety of components that each play a role in the catalytic process.

Exposing the MOF to sunlight triggers a chemical reaction that converts the gaseous methane into liquid methanol, which can then be easily extracted from the water.

In this case, the components held in the MOF absorb the light and generate electrons, which are then passed on to the oxygen and methane flowing through, causing them to combine to form methanol.

You can read the full article here.

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NAILD & Its Sustainable Lighting Committee Issue Open Letter About Integrated LED Luminaires

The National Association of Innovative Lighting Distributors (NAILD) and its sustainable lighting committee recently published an open letter, detailing a list of concerns with integrated LED luminaires and a set of recommendations for the industry.

The National Association of Innovative Lighting Distributors (NAILD) and its sustainable lighting committee recently published an open letter, detailing a list of concerns with integrated LED luminaires and a set of recommendations for the industry. NAILD is a trade association for the lighting distributor channel. The letter explains the negative life cycle/waste consequences of integrated LED luminaires, and proposes 5 changes that the industry should adopt:

  1. Re-commitment to legacy form factors, lamp shades, and sockets
  2. Standardize new components before they go to market
  3. Commit to more sustainable materials
  4. Long-term product support
  5. Useful, transparent labeling

While NAILD operates primarily in the commercial lighting market, it is interesting to note that the American Lighting Association (ALA – operates in the residential & resimercial markets) published a white paper, last year, detailing the design trade-offs of integrated LED versus socketed luminaires. That white paper also addressed sustainability trade-offs.

A significant difference between the ALA white paper and this NAILD open letter is that NAILD is advocating a complete return to lamped luminaires or fully standardized replaceable light engines, and complete elimination of integrated luminaires with unreplaceable engines. This is a rather extreme position that was never the stance of the ALA Engineering Committee team that wrote the white paper.

As one example, the ALA white paper notes the improved thermal management capabilities of integrated LED luminaires that can lead to significantly longer LED engine lifetimes than comparable lamps typically achieve. This then becomes a trade-off of increased light source waste versus increased luminaire waste. Not as black & white an issue as NAILD portrays it. Additionally, luminaires with minimal housings and easy replacement might be fine to replace every 5-10 years, such as flushmount LED downlights. Eliminating all integrated LED luminaires without easily changeable engines would also create a major obstacle to innovation.

It will be interesting to see if and how the industry responds to this open letter from NAILD. To its credit, NAILD is raising some real problems with some integrated LED luminaires. The full NAILD open letter can be found here. The ALA white paper on integrated LED versus socketed luminaires is available here.

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Product Monday: Award-Winning PC Amber & Narrow Band Amber Street Lights

I’ve written before about the mounting scientific evidence of a dramatic global collapse in insect and bird populations due to white LED streetlights. I predict, over time, a return to…

I’ve written before about the mounting scientific evidence of a dramatic global collapse in insect and bird populations due to white LED streetlights. I predict, over time, a return to amber streetlighting, but this time instead of HPS & LPS, it will be amber LED sources. This trend has already begun with several different manufacturers now offering amber streetlights. Another of my recent posts covered the recent DLC white paper about Non-White Light Sources For Nighttime Environments.

One of the pioneer manufacturers is Crossroads LED, whose innovative Astrophile Series street lights won the company the IDA’s 2021 Best Design And Technical Innovation Award. This award is given to individuals, organizations, or businesses that – through progressive design, construction, technological innovation, and entrepreneurship – support IDA and its mission to preserve night skies by promoting quality outdoor nighttime lighting.

The Astrophile Series is the first Phosphor Converted Amber (PCA) streetlight with a correlated color temperature range between 1650K and 2000K and a Narrow Band Amber (NBA) streetlight with a peak dominant wavelength of 592nm ±2.5nm. Most notably, the 1650K PCA and the 590nm NBA LEDs have zero emissions of short-wavelength blue light. Additionally, Crossroads LED incorporated an adjustable optical shield that reduces and eliminates both house and street-side light trespass, as well as a new aluminum housing designed exclusively to recess the LED lenses deep within the fixture, effectively reducing both nuisance and disability glare. Cities in New Mexico, Arizona, California, Missouri, and Washington state (USA) have all either committed or shown interest in the Crossroads LED “Astrophiles Series.”

More information is available here.

 

 

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‘Big Plumbing’ Muscling Into Lighting

For the past two decades, thought leaders in the lighting industry have been publicly lamenting that the lighting industry will be gobbled up by the electronics industry, Silicon Valley tech giants, and the big telecoms. 20 years into the LED era for general lighting, and this still has not come to pass.

For the past two decades, thought leaders in the lighting industry have been publicly lamenting that the lighting industry will be gobbled up by the electronics industry, Silicon Valley tech giants, and the big telecoms. 20 years into the LED era for general lighting, and this still has not come to pass.

However, there is another, less glamorous industry slowly increasing its acquisitions, footprint, and influence in the lighting industry, and it is hardly getting any attention. It’s Big Plumbing. Perhaps the most recent and largest move was Ferguson’s recent acquisition of Minka Group, a major decorative lighting manufacturer for the residential and resimercial markets. Ferguson is the largest wholesale distributor of residential and commercial plumbing supplies and pipe, valves and fittings in the U.S. The company also has 245 Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery locations in the United States that sell lighting and fan products. Ferguson is a $24 billion company that is listed on both the London Stock Exchange (LSE:FERG) and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: FERG).

The Minka Group acquisition was just the latest move by Ferguson into lighting. Back in January of this year, Ferguson quietly acquired RP Lighting + Fans, another decorative manufacturer of lighting and ceiling fans.

It’s not just Ferguson, either. Kohler Company introduced its Kohler Lighting line in 2020, in order to provide decorative luminaires that pair with its plumbing fixtures. Moen also offers decorative lighting. Keep your eye out for continued moves by Big Plumbing.

 

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Chinese Trade Rebounds In May With Eased COVID Restrictions

China’s trade growth rebounded in May after COVID restrictions that shut down Shanghai and other industrial centers began to ease.

China’s trade growth rebounded in May after COVID restrictions that shut down Shanghai and other industrial centers began to ease. Exports surged 16.9% over a year earlier to $308.3 billion, up from April’s 3.7% growth, a customs agency statement said Thursday. Imports rose gained 4.1% to $229.5 billion, accelerating from the previous month’s 0.7%.

China’s trade has been dampened by weak export demand and curbs imposed to fight COVID outbreaks in Shanghai, site of the world’s busiest port, and other cities. Consumer demand was crushed by rules that confined millions of families to their homes.

Read the full AP story here.

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Lighting Industry Embraces EV Chargers

The lighting industry is embracing EV chargers at a remarkable rate, considering they aren’t a lighting product. We have curated some examples of manufacturers and an e-retailer entering the EV market.

The lighting industry is embracing EV chargers at a remarkable rate, considering they aren’t a lighting product.

Image courtesy of EspenEV.com

In a recent podcast, Electrical Wholesaler shared the following results of a survey of Top 150 electrical distributors and the interest they’re seeing in EV chargers from their electrical contractor customers. Note the gray bars, below, showing the percentage of contractors already installing each type of EV chargers:

 

I’ve collected examples, below, of manufacturers, and a lighting e-commerce leader jumping into the EV charger space:

  • Espen Technology is introducing a new line of EV chargers at LFI, next week. Their EV charger dedicated website is EspenEV.com

 

  • Light Efficient Design has a new line of EV Chargers branded as breezEV. Their dedicated EV charger website is https://breez-ev.com

  • Stresscrete offers a streetlight pole with a built-in EV charger, named VoltLock. More information here.

 

  • The online retailer Bulbs.com began selling EV chargers in May, 2022. More information here

 

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DOE’s New GSL Definition Final Rule Now Regulates Many LED Lamps

While many in the lighting industry are aware that US DOE recently issued a Final Rule for a definition change of general service lamps (GSL) as well as General Service Incandescent Lamps (GSIL), many in the industry don’t realize the impact of this expanded GSL definition on many LED lamps. Most of the public discussion around the new GSL definition focused on the addition of incandescent and halogen specialty lamps to the regulated GSL category. However, the new expanded GSL definition encompasses many LED lamps, in addition to incandescent and halogen.

While many in the lighting industry are aware that US DOE recently issued a Final Rule for a definition change of general service lamps (GSL) as well as General Service Incandescent Lamps (GSIL), many in the industry don’t realize the impact of this expanded GSL definition on many LED lamps. Most of the public discussion around the new GSL definition focused on the addition of incandescent and halogen specialty lamps to the regulated GSL category. However, the new expanded GSL definition encompasses many LED lamps, in addition to incandescent and halogen.

This means that many LED A-lamps, LED specialty lamps, and LED tube lamps will now be regulated by the DOE, in less than two months. For LED lamp manufacturers, this means self-certifying the regulated models onto DOE’s database of regulated products, known as CCMS. This is a great deal of spreadsheet work, and will be most difficult for manufacturers that have no previous experience uploaded spreadsheets to CCMS. Well-placed sources tell me that DOE will take more than two months to create the forms for manufacturers to submit all of the new regulated lamp types, thereby giving manufacturers some much needed additional time for certification compliance. It’s unlikely that the new 45 lpW “backstop” Final Rule will create problems for any LED lamps, as most are significantly above the 45 lpW requirement for GSL.

What follows is the amended GSL definition, from the April, 2022 DOE GSL Final Rule:

“General service lamp means a lamp that has an ANSI base; is able to operate at a voltage of 12 volts or 24 volts, at or between 100 to 130 volts, at or between 220 to 240 volts, or at 277 volts for integrated lamps, or is able to operate at any voltage for non-integrated lamps; has an initial lumen output of greater than or equal to 310 lumens (or 232 lumens for modified spectrum general service incandescent lamps) and less than or equal to 3,300 lumens; is not a light fixture; is not an LED downlight retrofit kit; and is used in general lighting applications. General service lamps do not include:

(1) Appliance lamps;

(2) Black light lamps;

(3) Bug lamps;

(4) Colored lamps;

(5) G shape lamps with a diameter of 5 inches or more as defined in ANSI C79.1-2002;

(6) General service fluorescent lamps;

(7) High intensity discharge lamps;

(8) Infrared lamps;

(9) J, JC, JCD, JCS, JCV, JCX, JD, JS, and JT shape lamps that do not have Edison screw bases;

(10) Lamps that have a wedge base or prefocus base;

(11) Left-hand thread lamps;

(12) Marine lamps;

(13) Marine signal service lamps;

(14) Mine service lamps;

(15) MR shape lamps that have a first number symbol equal to 16 (diameter equal to 2 inches) as defined in ANSI C79.1-2002, operate at 12 volts, and have a lumen output greater than or equal to 800;

(16) Other fluorescent lamps;

(17) Plant light lamps;

(18) R20 short lamps;

(19) Reflector lamps that have a first number symbol less than 16 (diameter less than 2 inches) as defined in ANSI C79.1-2002 and that do not have E26/E24, E26d, E26/50×39, E26/53×39, E29/28, E29/53×39, E39, E39d, EP39, or EX39 bases;

(20) S shape or G shape lamps that have a first number symbol less than or equal to 12.5 (diameter less than or equal to 1.5625 inches) as defined in ANSI C79.1-2002;

(21) Sign service lamps;

(22) Silver bowl lamps;

(23) Showcase lamps;

(24) Specialty MR lamps;

(25) T shape lamps that have a first number symbol less than or equal to 8 (diameter less than or equal to 1 inch) as defined in ANSI C79.1-2002, nominal overall length less than 12 inches, and that are not compact fluorescent lamps;

(26) Traffic signal lamps.”

 

 

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Six Colliding Paradigms Converging on the Built Environment

An interesting article in Realcomm.com argues that there are six large paradigm shifts changing
the built environment. While the article discusses the impacts of each paradigm on commercial buildings (without addressing lighting), it’s interesting to imaging how the same six mega-trends could impact lighting.

An interesting article in Realcomm.com argues that there are six large paradigm shifts changing
the built environment.  The six major drivers of change are:

  1. Technological
  2. Financial
  3. Biological
  4. Climate
  5. Globalization
  6. Demographics

While the article discusses the impacts of each paradigm on commercial buildings (without addressing lighting), it’s interesting to imaging how the same six mega-trends could impact lighting. For example:

  1. Technological – Nanotech coatings to add new features to luminaire housings and light sources, AI in smart lighting, IoT lighting, 3D printed luminaires, display projectors in luminaires, and much more.
  2. Financial – The explosive growth of server farms and the specialized lighting that goes into them.
  3. Biological – The rapid growth in UV disinfection lighting to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Other light & health areas, such as circadian lighting, and future light therapies for depression, migraines, and other common health problems.
  4. Climate – The growth in resilient lighting that can withstand natural & manmade disasters. This includes the recent publication of ANSI/IES LP-13-21 Introduction to Resilient Lighting Systems.
  5. Globalization – Current supply chain disruptions could accelerate re-shoring. The war in Ukraine is impacting the cost of metals and some other commodities. Could worsening relations between the US and China disrupt the lighting industry’s nearly complete reliance on Chinese manufacturing? Trump era tariffs got lighting manufactures looking seriously at Mexico, India, Taiwan, Vietnam, and other alternatives to Chinese sourcing.
  6. Demographics – Lighting for aging populations. Light & health (again). Further growth in the health care industry and all of the varied lighting applications specific to healthcare. Accelerated growth in e-commerce for lighting, to younger generations.

Read the full article here.

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