Category: Lighting Industry

IES Publishes 2020 Visionary Challenge

The Illuminating Engineering Society recently published, Beyond 2030: What Do You See? This collection imagines what the state of the lighting industry will be in 2030, what our biggest challenges might be during this next decade, and how we should focus our energy in order to continue to move forward as an industry.

The Illuminating Engineering Society recently published, Beyond 2030: What Do You See? This collection imagines what the state of the lighting industry will be in 2030, what our biggest challenges might be during this next decade, and how we should focus our energy in order to continue to move forward as an industry.

Media-driven environments, smart maintenance, networked controls, DC power, and animation are just a few of the topics covered.

Click here to get a copy.

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DesignLights Consortium Forms Advisory Group for Light Usage for Night Applications

The DesignLights Consortium (DLC) recently announced formation of a Light Usage for Night Applications (LUNA) Advisory Group as a first step toward development of a new program to recognize and promote luminaires that are both energy efficient and protect the night sky from light pollution.

The DesignLights Consortium (DLC) recently announced formation of a Light Usage for Night Applications (LUNA) Advisory Group as a first step toward development of a new program to recognize and promote luminaires that are both energy efficient and protect the night sky from light pollution.

Comprising six lighting experts as well as DLC staff and a representative of the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), the advisory group will provide perspectives and recommendations for criteria related to light at night for products on the DLC’s Solid-State Lighting Qualified Products List (QPL). The panel will advise the DLC on the development of a program that includes a near-term supplemental criterion that will allow QPL users to differentiate products that minimize light pollution.

LUNA Advisory Group members include Pete Strasser of the IDA; Terry McGowan of Lighting Ideas, Inc.; Naomi Miller of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; Gayathri Unnikrishan of the International WELL Building Institute pbc; Alex Baker of the Illuminating Engineering Society; Kevin Fitzmaurice of Georgia Power, and Jim Benya of Benya Burnett Consultants. Along with DLC staff, they will discuss goals and objectives for a DLC LUNA program and relevant metrics in line with testing standards, and make recommendations for draft specifications and associated education and resource needs for various audiences.

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A Look Inside NLB’s Trusted Warranty Program

The National Lighting Bureau’s (NLB) new Trusted Warranty Evaluation Program will offer electrical distributors assurance that lighting products they select are supported by warranties independently verified as worthy of trust.

Below is my contribution to a recent issue of tED Magazine, the official publication of the NAED. Reprinted with permission.

The National Lighting Bureau’s (NLB) new Trusted Warranty Evaluation Program will offer electrical distributors assurance that lighting products they select are supported by warranties independently verified as worthy of trust.

Launched in 2020, the program audits warranties from manufacturer applicants in a points-based system. Qualifying warranties may carry the Trusted Warranty label, signifying the warranty satisfies the program’s criteria covering accessibility, internal support, clarity, relation of terms to reliability testing, warranty insurance based on length of warranty compared to years in business, and responsiveness to warranty claims.

For distributors, this provides confidence that a given warranty satisfies the large majority of a list of published criteria. For manufacturers, it offers a way to demonstrate—via trusted third-party verification from a nonprofit organization—that they stand by their channel partners by taking care of their warranty issues.

This is important for the industry as a whole, as it provides a means to separate manufacturers with strong warranties from bad actors; it also provides a distinguishing mechanism for new players to gain trust and credibility.

“When warranty issues occur, the electrical distributor is usually caught in the middle and many times has to absorb the cost of the warranty, especially for some strategic customers,” said Randy Reid, Executive Director, National Lighting Bureau (www.NLB.org). “The Trusted Warranty Evaluation Program is meant to give the electrical distributor peace of mind that the manufacturer will take care of their warranty issues.”

The NLB intended to launch the program in March 2020 but delayed it due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Reid said after several beta evaluations in late 2020, dozens were scheduled for December 2020 and early 2021. Lighting product and component manufacturers who sell in the United States and Canada are eligible to participate.

Out of a total possible maximum score of 10 points in the points-based evaluation system, a minimum of eight must be gained. The evaluation covers:

Formal warranty. The manufacturer has a documented warranty that is readily accessible on its website and supports it with internal formal procedures and resources.

Warranty language. The warranty is clear, concise, and includes its start date. If it is prorated, this must be clearly expressed and marked as such.

Warranty insurance. Either the manufacturer must have been in business longer than the length of the warranty or provide a warranty insurance policy to ensure it will cover any warranty obligations.

Technical evaluation. The program auditor will spot check two randomly chosen SKUs for reliability testing, with credit given for each SKU for which reliability testing was completed, whether internal or external.

Claims review. The program auditor will randomly choose three claims from the past 12 months and evaluate the trail from when notification was made to when the claim completed. The auditor will then evaluate whether the manufacturer acted expeditiously based on the information it had.

Manufacturers that earn Trusted Warranty status qualify to display the Trusted Warranty Certificate and logo in its marketing materials. The Certificate and ability to display the logo lasts three years, and then the company must requalify.

Reid encouraged electrical distributors, contractors, lighting specifiers, and utilities to get to know the Trusted Warranty Evaluation Program and ultimately reward these manufacturers by doing business with them.

“Today, we hope that our channel partners will simply begin acknowledging the program,” Reid said. “In 2021, we hope to see soft language such as, ‘XYZ Distributor prefers lighting products recognized by the NLB’s Trusted Warranty Program.’ In 2022, we hope to see the language, ‘XYZ Distributor buys the majority of lighting products from companies recognized by the NLB’s Trusted Warranty Program.’ In 2023, we hope that distributors will actually specify that their lighting products must carry the seal of approval. Basically, a three-year rollout.”

Learn more about the NLB’s Trusted Warranty Evaluation Program at NLB.org/trusted-warranty-program.

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Acuity Brands Issues 2020 State of Energy Management Report

Acuity Brands, Inc. recently released its second annual State of Energy Management report, which offers the insights and trends identified by more than 240 energy, facility, and sustainability leaders during an unprecedented year.

Acuity Brands, Inc. recently released its second annual State of Energy Management report, which offers the insights and trends identified by more than 240 energy, facility, and sustainability leaders during an unprecedented year. The report is sponsored by Acuity Brands through its BuildingOS energy management information software team, with research support from Smart Energy Decisions, an industry-leading information resource dedicated to addressing the needs of large electric power customers.

Among the report’s key findings, respondents projected that occupancy for the spaces they manage will see a 44-point decrease for January 2021 compared to January 2020, due to the impact of COVID-19 on facility use. In connection with this reduced occupancy, respondents anticipate an increased need for higher efficiency HVAC systems and the ability to remotely manage energy programs to address occupancy reductions and other challenges as they adapt system wide performance.

“This past year has shown many industries that it is no longer enough to focus on ‘set it and forget it’ energy efficiency tasks,” said Acuity Brands Lighting’s Sarah Diegnan, Vice President of Customer Success and Operations – Atrius Enterprise Solutions. “Instead, the focus must continue to shift toward operational efficiency by automating manual, time-intensive tasks. This will allow teams to spend more time on higher value activities that have a direct impact on top line growth. An Energy Management Information System (EMIS) enables energy teams to begin this transformation by providing the framework critical for designing processes to maximize building performance, the ability to track and report out on program success and continuously optimize building systems. With an EMIS in place, energy teams can focus on the activities needed to power their organizations safely and cost-effectively.”

Additional topline survey findings include:

• Among those surveyed, 91 percent said reducing energy, water, and waste consumption remains a top priority for the new year.
• The top three requirements for managing building performance and protecting occupant health are higher efficiency HVAC (87%), better lighting (79%), and improved access to analytics derived from actionable data (77%).
• The most significant barriers to successfully implementing an EMIS solution include the lack of time to review findings (19%) and the costs of upgrading or adding new meters (17%). Respondents also noted how limited internal support for an EMIS complicates funding (18%).

“Several interesting shifts in responses came up when we compared the 2020 State of Energy Management report to the 2019 report,” said John Failla, Founder and Editorial Director, Smart Energy Decisions. “For example, the number of teams manually collecting data has shrunk to 41% in 2020 compared to 55% in 2019. While a positive shift, a large number of teams still rely on manual instead of automated data collection, proving there’s room for significant increase for adoption of building management systems and automation. In addition, 23 percent of respondents in 2020 said they were submetering data for greater building performance visibility, a 9-point increase from last year’s survey, indicating advancement in their energy optimization journey.”

Click here to check out the full report.

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Roundtable: Lighting in the COVID Era

To get a picture of how the lighting industry is now being affected by the pandemic, I talked to five industry leaders.

Below is my contribution to the January 2021 issue of tED Magazine, the official publication of the NAED.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created extraordinary challenges for electrical distributors and their customers. For the end-user, a primary goal is the safe reopening and operation of buildings. The lighting industry has responded by developing germicidal ultraviolet options, promoting visible-light disinfection and lighting options designed to cultivate wellbeing among occupants, and controls that are touchless, wireless, and facilitate management of social distancing protocols. While the pandemic will someday end, its impact on buildings may endure far into the future.
To get a picture of how lighting is being affected by the pandemic, tED’s Craig DiLouie, LC, CLCP talked to five industry leaders.

DiLouie: The COVID-19 pandemic is directly contributing to a projected contraction in new construction that may last well into 2021. In economic shocks, however, there are typically opportunities as well as threats. Where do you see the biggest opportunities in lighting in 2021? What can electrical distributors do to take advantage of these opportunities?

Mike Watson, Cree Lighting: This year’s combination of remote working and extended business shutdowns opens two areas of opportunity for electrical distributors in 2021: addressing changes in commercial real-estate use and adapting to the rise of digital business models.

With “work from home” proven to be effective, retail and office spaces are migrating to lower density and smaller footprints, driving commercial real-estate projects towards new business models such as telehealth centers and retail-to-warehouse conversion. Retrofit projects could grow in share of lighting projects as new construction shrinks, and demand will increase for warehouse and industrial lighting as e-commerce continues to grow rapidly.

Additionally, the growth of e-commerce means that buyers will increasingly look for 24/7 information, more transparent pricing, and improved digital communication. To adapt, distributors will need to develop omnichannel strategies that embrace e-commerce, meet the customer where they are, and provide price transparency with service differentiation. Brick-and-mortar distributors can leverage their physical presence as a differentiator while also becoming more digital. To help distributors navigate this shift, we’re providing extensive product information and tools digitally on CreeLighting.com—presenting customers with instant, relevant information—while helping them enjoy a local distributor relationship for delivery and other services.

Mike Watson is Vice President, Marketing and General Manager of e-conolight at Cree Lighting, a company of IDEAL INDUSTRIES.

DiLouie: Acuity Brands recently announced a strategic partnership with Ushio to incorporate filtered far-UVC disinfection modules into general lighting luminaires. Do you believe COVID will result in a permanent shift among building owners toward ongoing disinfection, including germicidal ultraviolet?

Gary Trott, Acuity Brands Lighting: While we can’t predict the future, we think due to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, lighting manufacturers are going to see long-term interest from building owners in developing comprehensive and ongoing disinfection protocols, including using germicidal UV where appropriate.

COVID-19 has brought UV lighting to the forefront from what has been previously a very niche technology. In fact, this immediate need for disinfection solutions has given rise to new and innovative product developments, such as the recent emergence of filtered 222nm far-UVC technology for use in occupied and unoccupied spaces. We anticipate that integrating technologies like filtered 222nm far-UVC into general illumination luminaires will make it even easier for building owners to adopt this technology. When applied, the 222nm far-UVC technology will allow people to be present while continually reducing harmful pathogens in a way that is unobtrusive … but is just visible enough to provide the message that the building owner is working to help make people feel safer.

We think that a variety of “disinfection” solutions will be now discussed on many new design and renovation projects as building owners seek ways to keep spaces safer for occupants. And this is even more likely to be the case for owners of buildings with high-traffic and/or public gathering areas such as restrooms, dining areas, meeting spaces, waiting rooms and so forth.

Gary Trott is Vice President, Technology Commercialization for Acuity Brands Lighting.

DiLouie: In what ways can lighting controls support efforts to keep buildings open and otherwise support occupant health during the pandemic?

Tom Perich, Lutron Electronics: As businesses begin to reopen and navigate our new reality, they will consider social distancing mandates, enhanced cleaning requirements, and physical changes to the space that help employees and visitors feel confident and reassured.

These changes are complicated by that fact that contractors are facing widespread skilled labor shortages, challenges resulting from COVID-based work rules, supply chain disruptions, and unusual schedule constraints.

Wireless, touchless lighting control can help mitigate the challenges of these situations in several ways. From the design and implementation perspective wireless solutions save time—install up to 70 percent faster than wired, reduce material and labor costs, and minimize risk by maximizing flexibility for the user and the building owner.

For building managers, there are additional benefits. Wireless solutions like Lutron Vive can include touchless options for hands-free adjustment of the lighting, personal control that limits the number of people interacting with a keypad, and simple reconfiguration right from a convenient iOS app. Lighting can be programmed and zoned to facilitate social distancing protocols, and then easily reconfigured with no rewiring or tearing open walls.

Wireless lighting is flexible, agile, and able to adapt quickly to support both owners and employees during these evolving and uncertain times.

Thomas Perich is Director, Channel Marketing – Electrical Wholesale for Lutron Electronics.

DiLouie: Hubbell is now offering visible light disinfection luminaires that produce conventional general illumination while focusing a portion of its emission in the 405 nm range. While this emission is not effective against viruses such as the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, it has been demonstrated as effective against bacteria. Do you believe the pandemic has created a heightened awareness for lighting that promotes health beyond COVID mitigation?

Jeff McClow, Hubbell Lighting: Yes. Facilities of all shapes, sizes and functionality are challenged with creating and maintaining a clean and healthy environment. It’s one of the reasons why we developed SpectraClean, which combines white and narrowband 405nm visible light to meet ambient and task lighting requirements while providing a continuous, unobtrusive disinfection option for forward-thinking facility owners and operators. For example, the U.S. food industry where there’s an estimated $77 billion economic loss incurred from recalls related to foodborne illnesses every year. While rigorous food safety practices reduce the risk associated with these illnesses, they aren’t 100 percent foolproof and foodborne illness outbreaks continue.

Jeff McClow is Product Manager for Hubbell Lighting.

DiLouie: The COVID-19 pandemic has raised awareness of the need and opportunity for building owners to provide occupants with healthier spaces. Besides potential opportunities with germicidal lighting, what other opportunities should electrical distributors be promoting to end-user customers about lighting and human health?

Kevin Poyck, Signify: Keeping employees healthy and protecting their well-being are major workplace concerns. Lighting can help us be smarter about the way we use shared office spaces, enable teams to be productive and ensure we are prepared for challenges that may arise in the future.

Electrical distributors can help guide end-user customers on the value of connected lighting systems. Building managers can use their lighting infrastructure in combination with software tools to plan and make critical spacing and operational decisions. For example, they can steer employees to uncrowded areas of their facility to comply with physical distancing requirements, while leveraging the seating data to ensure those areas are cleaned more frequently.

Beyond the current pandemic, tunable lighting is another area that can make a big difference in the health and well-being of employees. Automatically mimicking daylight patterns and adjusting our lighting’s temperature and brightness can provide visual comfort, offer productivity boosts, enhance collaboration and lead to increased employee satisfaction. Distributors can be a strategic advisor for customers, educating them on occupant wellness-based benefits beyond simply energy-savings ROI.

Kevin Poyck is CEO of the Americas for Signify.

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Repro-Light Consortium Concludes

The European research project ​Repro-light​ is concluding after a three-year run. The consortium set out with the aim of supporting the European lighting industry in moving towards a more sustainable future by developing intelligent, modular luminaires (the “Luminaire of the Future”) with interchangeable components and matching smart production processes.

The European research project ​Repro-light​ is concluding after a three-year run. The consortium set out with the aim of supporting the European lighting industry in moving towards a more sustainable future by developing intelligent, modular luminaires (the “Luminaire of the Future”) with interchangeable components and matching smart production processes.

After three-years of projects, Repro-Light said it had fulfilled its mission and is concluding. Click here to check out what it accomplished.

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Kenall and Clear-Vu Lighting Settle Litigation on Disinfection Lighting

Kenall Manufacturing recently announced the company and Clear-Vu Lighting have agreed to dismiss their ongoing litigation concerning visible light disinfection technology. Clear-Vu Lighting has ceased offering for sale all products using visible light disinfection technology.

Kenall Manufacturing recently announced the company and Clear-Vu Lighting have agreed to dismiss their ongoing litigation concerning visible light disinfection technology.

Clear-Vu Lighting has ceased offering for sale all products using visible light disinfection technology.

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Market Report: Global LED Market to Reach $82 Billion by 2026

Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, 2020 Annual Update of Global LED Lighting Market, finds that the increasing demand for energy-efficient lighting, the rising number of smart city projects and overall infrastructure development are driving the LED lighting market across the globe.

Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, 2020 Annual Update of Global LED Lighting Market, finds that the increasing demand for energy-efficient lighting, the rising number of smart city projects and overall infrastructure development are driving the LED lighting market across the globe.

The market is estimated to reach $82 billion by 2026 from $67.7 billion in 2019, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.8%.

However, with the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry is likely to experience varied impacts across regions due to discrepancies in containment measures and lockdown implementation. Even with the partial ease in lockdowns and a resumption of manufacturing, the market will need a couple of years to recover and reach the same level as before the crisis.

“Smart buildings will accelerate the adoption of smart lighting more than any other segment. The revitalization of cities will also provide the much-needed impetus for the installation of smart lighting,” said Dennis Marcell Victor, Energy & Environment Research Analyst at Frost & Sullivan. “Government rebates, savings on disposal costs, improved performance of workers, and limitless Internet of Things (IoT) applications for LED lighting present a good business case for LEDs to be adopted across applications.”

Victor added: “Lighting-as-a-Service (LaaS) will see higher adoption and usher in a new business model while driving other applications such as connected lighting and facility management. It is expected to reduce the capital expenditure of the consumer, with service providers bearing upfront costs.

Additionally, from a regional perspective, Asia-Pacific (APAC) continues to be the key growth area, drawing $35.4 billion in revenues by 2026, with India and China contributing the maximum revenue. Similarly, after APAC, Europe and North America will contribute significantly to the market due to developments in advanced lighting applications related to the healthcare, industrial, office, and hospitality verticals in both regions. Each respectively witnessing growth of 4.0% and 4.1% throughout the forecast period. Latin America will experience the highest growth over the forecast period at 5.1% because of its focus on office and street lighting as part of smart city solutions.

The increasing adoption of LED lighting across healthcare, automotive, industrial, and office segments presents immense growth prospects for market participants, including:

  • LaaS business model: Companies need to take a pragmatic approach toward monetizing LaaS to improve revenue.
  • Digital LED lights for automobiles: Autonomous vehicles need to implement digital LED lights technology to enhance safety features.
  • Circular economy for LED lighting: Circular economy measures should start from the design phase. Designing modular, upgradeable, and reusable products will help reduce waste from used LED light sources.
  • UVC-LEDs for disinfection: UV-C lights can be used to disinfect workplaces, healthcare centers, and public transport. Proper guidelines should be outlined for handling UV-C lights for widespread usage.

Click here to learn more about the report.

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Lighting Industry Mergers and Acquisitions Update

The Pompeo Group recently posted an update on M&A activity in the lighting industry.

The Pompeo Group recently posted an update on M&A activity in the lighting industry.

We wrote in our last update that business owners who weathered the 2008 recession and worked for years to rebuild are looking at the possibility of a repeat and wondering if they have the resources, and the stamina to do it again.  Now that COVID has impacted many of us for a much longer period than expected, the ‘comeback’ scenario is still a major concern for many owners of companies under $50M.

Click here to check it out.

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Mark Lien on Lighting Transformations

The Illuminating Engineering Society’s Mark Lien is emerging as one of the lighting industry’s leading futurists, and his insights are always worthwhile to explore. In this column in LD+A Magazine, he describes 10 major transformations in the lighting industry, from the convergence of technologies to the end of energy efficiency as the industry’s leading market driver to smart cities.

The Illuminating Engineering Society’s Mark Lien is emerging as one of the lighting industry’s leading futurists, and his insights are always worthwhile to explore. In this column in LD+A Magazine, he describes 10 major transformations in the lighting industry, from the convergence of technologies to the end of energy efficiency as the industry’s leading market driver to smart cities.

Click here to check it out.

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