Category: Lighting Industry

Lighting Solution Development Enters Agreement to Acquire LightNOW

I have some big news to share today. Lighting Solution Development, a consulting firm specializing in the lighting industry, has entered into an agreement with my company to acquire LightNOW.

I have some big news to share today. Lighting Solution Development, a consulting firm specializing in the lighting industry, has entered into an agreement with my company to acquire LightNOW. The acquisition is expected to complete in January 2022, subject to closing conditions.

Lighting Solution Development is a consulting firm providing a broad range of business development, consulting, and recruiting services to help lighting businesses grow and become more profitable. It is headed by David Shiller, a lighting industry veteran, insider, and expert.

Under the terms of the deal, I was invited and was happy to accept remaining a contributor to LightNOW, supporting the new editorial team headed by Suelynn Shiller, COO at Lighting Solution Development.

For 20 years, LightNOW has served as an important voice and news source in a rapidly changing industry. I have absolute confidence that David and Suelynn will not only continue LightNOW’s excellent editorial tradition but take it to the next level with fresh insight and energy, making it even more relevant and useful for lighting practitioners both in the United States and abroad.

Starting in 2022, the editorial and advertising contact for LightNOW will be Suelynn Shiller at suelynn@lightingosld.com.

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New Lighting Agent Organization Launches

Today, the American Association of Independent Lighting Agents (AAILA) announced the official launch of www.lightingagents.org and invited independent lighting and controls agencies and their partnering manufacturers to join as Founding Members.

Today, the American Association of Independent Lighting Agents (AAILA) announced the official launch of www.lightingagents.org and invited independent lighting and controls agencies and their partnering manufacturers to join as Founding Members.

Founding Members who join in 2021 with the code EARLY will enjoy discounted dues in 2022 and 2023.

CM Buck & Associates, an independent lighting agency in Indiana, and Ascenti Lighting, a custom manufacturer in California, were the first agent and manufacturer members respectively.

The new organization is actively planning two events in 2022:

• the first annual AAILA Principals Meeting for leaders of member agencies and manufacturers on March 14, 2022 at LEDucation in New York City; and
• a full membership networking event in Las Vegas on June 20, 2022 before LightFair.

In addition to the events and creating an industry standard agency agreement for use by members, AAILA’s 2022 online training modules will include current lighting industry topics presented from a non-proprietary but sales-oriented perspective like “Selling Dark Skies” as well as a “Lighting Agent 101” series for people new to the industry.

Click here to learn more.

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IES Illumination Awards Submissions to Open January 4, 2022

The Illuminating Engineering Society has announced submissions for its 2022 Illumination Awards program will open January 4, 2022.

The Illuminating Engineering Society has announced submissions for its 2022 Illumination Awards program will open January 4, 2022.

Any innovative and compelling permanent lighting design installation completed within the previous 24 months is eligible. All (except manufacturers and IES staff and board of directors) are welcome to submit.

Different areas of the same project may be submitted as separate lighting or controls project entries. Each of these entries must have its own distinguishable title and additional entry fee. Each of these entries will be judged separately.

For the submittal, a 300-word project narrative, 10-images, and 1-video upload are permissible.

Learn more:

Submission Tutorial

2022 Program Calendar

Previous Awarded Projects

FAQs

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Survey Suggests Pandemic Lighting Design Trends

aspectLED recently announced the results from its Annual Survey on Trends in Commercial and Residential Lighting Design, in which hundreds of designers were asked to share insights with their peers about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on lighting design. The results suggest a number of interesting trends.

aspectLED recently announced the results from its Annual Survey on Trends in Commercial and Residential Lighting Design, in which hundreds of designers were asked to share insights with their peers about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on lighting design. The results suggest a number of interesting trends.

The research found:

  • 96% of the respondents believe that lighting design trends have been influenced by the Pandemic.
  • 90% of the participants said that they have seen more interest in lighting designs for outdoor spaces
  • 89% have seen an increase in hands-free/non-contact lighting designs, such as motion-activated under-cabinet lighting in restrooms and public spaces
  • 83% have seen lighting design being used to de-emphasize crowded spaces by spotlighting specific areas like tables in restaurants, and keeping the lighting low in general spaces where crowds form
  • 93% have recommended LED lighting products for post-COVID projects, of which 87% specified LED because it offered more flexibility in design
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GE Current Announces Plan to Acquire Hubbell Commercial and Industrial Lighting Business

GE Current, a Daintree company (Current) has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Hubbell Incorporated to acquire Hubbell’s commercial and industrial (C&I) lighting business.

GE Current, a Daintree company (Current) has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Hubbell Incorporated to acquire Hubbell’s commercial and industrial (C&I) lighting business.

Based in Greenville, SC, the Hubbell C&I lighting business is a major manufacturer of professional lighting, lighting controls, and connected lighting. The business offers a comprehensive range of indoor and outdoor lighting products for industrial, commercial, and institutional applications. The Hubbell C&I lighting business includes brands such as Area Architectural Lighting, Beacon, Litecontrol, Kim, Columbia, Prescolite, Alera, Dual-Lite, Compass, Hubbell Outdoor Lighting, and Hubbell Controls Solutions.

Together, the two businesses’ product and controls portfolios will be positioned to capture growth driven by continued conversion to LED and demand for connected light controls systems through the diversified go-to-market channels.

After closing, Current and the Hubbell C&I Lighting business will maintain separate agency networks with dedicated resources and distinct brands. Both businesses will be able to strengthen their respective portfolios through innovation, leveraging the best commercial tools for speed and driving efficiency through combined scale.

Closing is expected to take place in the first quarter of 2022 subject to regulatory approvals and other customary conditions.

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NLB Program Identifies Trustworthy Warranties

My most recent contribution to ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR talks about the Trusted Warranty Evaluation Program, a program recently introduced by the National Lighting Bureau to provide greater confidence and transparency with LED product warranties.

My most recent contribution to ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR talks about the Trusted Warranty Evaluation Program, a program recently introduced by the National Lighting Bureau to provide greater confidence and transparency with LED product warranties.

The Trusted Warranty Evaluation Program is designed to audit manufacturer warranties and verify they satisfy certain public criteria. Warranties are evaluated using a system with a maximum score of 11, of which at least eight are required to achieve a trusted warranty certificate.

Click here to check it out.

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LightFair Announces 2021 Pilot Mentorship Program Class

LightFair recently announced the 11 mentees in its first annual mentorship program, a six-month program which enables emerging lighting professionals to connect with experts in the industry to learn about lighting design and architecture.

LightFair recently announced the 11 mentees in its first annual mentorship program, a six-month program which enables emerging lighting professionals to connect with experts in the industry to learn about lighting design and architecture.

“LightFair’s Pilot Mentorship Program is expanding educational and networking resources past the trade show floor, providing access to up-and-coming professionals that help shape the future of the lighting industry,” said Dan Darby, show director. “Our 11 mentors, handpicked from IALD, IES and leading design firms, have been meeting with our mentees since April, giving them one-on-one direction. We are excited to see this program grow and benefit the future of lighting.”

The mentee Class of 2021, selected from a pool of qualified applicants on the LightFair website, includes: Daphne Agosin, MFA candidate for Lighting Design at Northwestern University; Tyler Dellea, assistant engineer at CHA; Mark Ekberg, project designer at Aurora; Elizabeth Kline, lighting designer at Shop12 Design; Justin Kobayashi, electrical engineer at Clark Nexen; Elaine Liang, lighting designer at WATT Lighting; Grace Mennell, junior lighting designer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; LeeAnne Osborn, designer and deputy director of strategy at UNOLAI Lighting Design & Associates; Nathalie Quadrio, lighting designer trainee at Licht Kunst Licht; Ryan Seffinger, junior designer at Electrolight; and Nishat Tasnim, lighting designer at STANTEC.

Each of these 11 mentees were placed with one of LightFair’s expert mentors based on their area of learning interest. These mentors are: Lee Brandt, principal, HLB Lighting Design; Jessica Krometis, senior designer, Hartranft Lighting Design; Mark Loeffler, principal, Mark Loeffler Design Consulting, LLC; Caitlin Mulligan, specification sales manager of business development & key accounts, SCI Lighting Solutions; Giulio Pedota, partner, Schuler Shook Theatre Planners / Lighting Designers; Kathy Prysgoda, founding principal, Light Studio LA; Lisa Reed, founding principal, Envision Lighting Design; Daniel Salinas, president | lighting design systems designer, Salinas Lighting Consult; and Chrysanthi Stockwell, associate vice president, senior lighting designer and engineering market leader HGA.

Participants in the Pilot Mentorship Program can take part in LightFair’s Mentorship Panel, moderated by Sam Koerbel at The Designery on October 29 at 10:30 AM. Admission to the Mentorship Panel is granted with LightFair registration.

Click here to learn more about the program.

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IES to Host Webinar on Lighting Value August 12, 2021

The Illuminating Engineering Society will host a webinar, “Meeting the Moment: Lighting and Value,” on August 12, 2021 at 12:00 PM ET.

The Illuminating Engineering Society will host a webinar, “Meeting the Moment: Lighting and Value,” on August 12, 2021 at 12:00 PM ET.

Presented by Michael Myers, PNNL and Lisa Skumatz, SERA, the webinar is described:

Lighting provides value in spaces, allowing them to be functional while providing visual interest and making places more desirable. Lighting value is more than the return on investment of energy or maintenance, and this webinar will discuss new industry efforts and metrics for estimating difficult-to-quantify values related to lighting.

The webinar is valued at 1 CEU.

Click here to learn more and register.

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IES Publishes COVID-19 Impact Survey

LD+A recently published an Illuminating Engineering Society survey about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the lighting industry. The survey was conducted among the IES membership with 1,083 responses from across the industry.

LD+A recently published an Illuminating Engineering Society survey about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the lighting industry. The survey was conducted among the IES membership with 1,083 responses from across the industry.

Many of the questions focused on how the pandemic changed work and anticipation of things returning to a semblance of normalcy.

My big three takeaways were:

  • The majority of respondents predicted the lighting industry returning to pre-COVID status either in the second half of 2021 (46%) or during 2022 (40%).
  • In terms of increasing demand, the three biggest winners in the next six months are predicted to be healthcare lighting, infrastructure, and smart/connected lighting.
  • 39% of respondents said it’s either “very likely” or “likely” UVC products will receive widespread adoption in the next six months.

Click here to check it out.

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A Look at the LED Product Manufacturing Supply Chain

Like many industries, the lighting supply chain is largely globalized. While this produces high volumes of LED products, it is vulnerable to macroeconomic shocks such as tariffs and the COVID pandemic. To better grasp these supply chain issues, it is worthwhile to understand how the lighting supply chain changed over the past decade.

Like many industries, the lighting supply chain is largely globalized. While this produces high volumes of LED products, it is vulnerable to macroeconomic shocks such as tariffs and the COVID pandemic. These disruptive events highlighted vulnerabilities for manufacturers.

In the lighting industry, shipping delays and component shortages of integrated circuit chips used for electronics, notably LED drivers, have extended lead times, affecting product availability. By the end of 2020, 11 percent of building contractors surveyed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for its Q42020 Commercial Construction Index reported shortages of electrical products other than copper wire, and 10 percent reported shortages of lighting products. Electrical and lighting products dropped out of the top three in the Q12021 report, but troubling signs remain.

During this period, a number of major U.S. LED product manufacturers announced price increases ranging from two to eight percent on LED luminaires and up to nine percent on LED drivers. They justified these increases by citing higher shipping costs, unstable logistics, raw material shortages, unfavorable exchange rates, and supplier price increases.

In the second quarter, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association’s (NEMA) Electroindustry Business Confidence Index was pegged at 65.4 in May, solidly in expansionary territory but a retreat of 24 points from April. Respondents largely cited labor and materials shortages and resulting inflationary pressures as restraining factors on growth. Comments about future conditions mirrored these concerns, while manufacturers were optimistic about demand continuing to improve.

To better grasp these supply chain issues, it is worthwhile to understand how the lighting supply chain changed over the past decade. In March 2021, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published 2020 LED Manufacturing Supply Chain, which characterized the global manufacturing supply chain for LEDs and LED products. The report looks at its economic impact in the United States, impact of macroeconomic shocks such as tariffs and the COVID pandemic, and opportunities for more domestic manufacturing.

The LED product manufacturing process starts with the LED die or chip, which is typically mounted in packages that include phosphor material for conversion of the LED emission into white light. The packages are then mounted on a printed circuit board for integration into a lamp or luminaire along with optics, heat sink, driver, any control devices such as sensors, and housing. A variety of materials is consumed in these processes. LED product manufacturing has become fairly diversified with specialist companies.

DOE found that LED die and package manufacturing is dominated by Asia as a low-cost manufacturing hub, with LED lamp manufacturing concentrated in China. LED luminaire manufacturing is geographically diversified; the United States is home to a large number of manufacturers. In 2019, the U.S. LED luminaire market was estimated at about $10.2 billion.

DOE evaluated a typical LED 2×4 troffer as a representative commercial luminaire and broke down its cost. As LED package costs have fallen considerably, DOE estimated it to be around five percent of the troffer’s total product cost in 2020, compared to 33 percent in 2014, with an extra 10 percent for the printed circuit board. The rest of the value is in the optics, driver, housing, etc.

DOE estimated overall that 75 percent of the value in an LED troffer is to the U.S. economy and 25 percent to foreign. Based on an average 25 percent markup due to value added from engineering, design, and shareholder profit, the value added to the U.S. economy increases to 89 percent. Analyzing each segment of the lighting supply chain and inherent demand in the U.S. market, DOE assessed that the LED luminaire market represents the biggest opportunity for domestic lighting manufacturing.

Two big macroeconomic events disrupted the supply chain in the past several years. In 2018 and 2019, Trump Administration tariffs on certain goods originating in the People’s Republic of China went into effect, including LED packages and LED luminaires. Generally, the 5-25 percent LED package cost increase was passed on to U.S. customers. To avoid the tariffs, some manufacturers of intermediate components such as light engines moved manufacturing from the U.S. to Mexico.

The second big event of course is the COVID pandemic, during the first 6-9 months of which manufacturers reported supply chain disruptions including shortages and delays, decline in sales and demand, and a mix of inventory shortages and surpluses. A swift, major impact was a shortage in LED packages, materials, and driver components resulting from manufacturing shutdowns in China, which affected the rest of the supply chain. As the pandemic proceeded, a significant drop in demand and attendant drop in sales steadily rose in importance.

DOE cited four major opportunities for LED luminaire domestic manufacturing in the U.S. moving forward. These are high-end LED luminaires, LED luminaires that require quick lead times while able to be maintained in relatively low inventories, niche-product products such as UV and humancentric lighting, and additive manufacturing (3D printing) or other manufacturing innovations. Of these, additive manufacturing offers dramatic potential to streamline the supply chain, though it is currently used primarily for prototyping due to cost and materials efficiency.

Download 2020 LED Manufacturing Supply Chain at https://bit.ly/2Sr5TeN.

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