Category: Products + Technology

IES Publishes The 2022 Progress Report Recognizing Industry Innovation

The IES Progress Committee has published its selection of 81 products, design tools, and publications for the 2022 IES Progress Report

Image: IES.org

The IES Progress Committee has published its selection of 81 products, design tools, and publications for the 2022 IES Progress Report—an annual list covering developments in light and science achievements for the Society from around the globe. This year, the Committee received a total of 125 submittals; acceptance is based on a judging process which evaluates each submission on its uniqueness, innovation, and significance to the lighting industry.

Recognitions include components, lamps, luminaires, track systems, tape systems, lighting controls, emergency systems, and more. The full 2022 IES Progress Report can be downloaded here.

Image: ams OSRAM’s LuxiTune blackbody curve, tunable-white LED module is recognized in the LED Chips & Modules category.

 

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Laser Surface Finishing Technology Creates Bio-Inspired, Optical Functional Surfaces

German company Fusion Bionic’s laser technology improves the surface performance of products, applications, and components using their new DLIP – Direct Laser Interference Patterning.

Image: FusionBionic.com

A German company, Fusion Bionic, is a spinout from the cooperation between the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS and the Technical University of Dresden. The company’s laser technology improves the surface performance of products, applications, and components using their new DLIP – Direct Laser Interference Patterning.

Their laser-based solution is inspired by natural surfaces such as the lotus leaf, sharkskin, collembola and morpho butterfly, which allows for advanced surface features such as self-cleaning, anti-icing, antibacterial, decoration, drag reduction , and more. They transfer these diverse effects to technical surfaces through laser-based surface functionalization.

Optical applications include:

  • Anti-reflection
  • Anti-Fogging
  • Anti-Glare
  • Absorption improvement
  • Holographic product protection
  • Decoration
  • Light control

The company’s initial target industries are aerospace, automotive, and medical technology. Their laser-generated surface texture technology replaces more ecologically harmful processes, such as chemical de-icing, sandblasting, or chemical etching, while meeting the demand of increased product performance via industrial-scale surface finishing.

On November 16th, The Biomimicry Institute awarded Fusion Bionic with Runner-up recognition in their 2022 Ray of Hope Prize®. This identifies Fusion Bionic as one of the top nature-inspired startups in the world accompanied by a $25,000 equity-free prize and further media support to foster their growth.

More information is available here.

Image: FusionBionic.com

 

Image: FusionBionic.com

 

 

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Product Monday: Virtual Sky With Moving Clouds

Artificial Sky offers a product, Virtual Sky, that utilizes LED luminaires which appear to be a blue sky with passing clouds overhead, birds flying, and sunrise and sunset effects. Virtual Sky can remotely change from overhead dimmable white task lighting to an ultra-realistic blue sky with moving clouds that mimic daylight entirely.

Image: ArtificialSky.com

Artificial Sky offers a product, Virtual Sky, that utilizes LED luminaires which appear to be a blue sky with passing clouds overhead, birds flying, and sunrise and sunset effects. Virtual Sky can remotely change from overhead dimmable white task lighting to an ultra-realistic blue sky with moving clouds that mimic daylight entirely. Virtual Sky has no size limitations, does not require suspended ceiling grids, and comes completely seamless for a full-view sky effect.

The purpose of Virtual Sky is to create lighting which naturally changes over the course of the day to expose people within the building to a range of white light that echoes the natural daylight outside, not only properties of daylight but actual moving views of nature as well.

The company claims the Virtual Sky has circadian health benefits and has been installed in senior care, hospital, hospitality, warehouse, office, and factory applications. Learn more here.

 

Image: ArtificialSky.com

 

Image: ArtificialSky.com

 

Image: ArtificialSky.com

 

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Product Monday: Cooper Lighting Solutions Releases 3D Printed Decorative Pendants

Cooper Lighting Solutions introduces a pendant line using 3D printing technology, which allows for distinctive designs, textures, and shapes. The Shaper PRENTALUX brand, meaning “printed light,” includes 20 products with numerous texture and color choices, as well as multiple lumen outputs and color temperatures.

Cooper Lighting Solutions introduces a pendant line using 3D printing technology, which allows for distinctive designs, textures, and shapes. The Shaper PRENTALUX brand, meaning “printed light,” includes 20 products with numerous texture and color choices, as well as multiple lumen outputs and color temperatures.

Image: Cooper Lighting Solutions

Additive manufacturing allows the specifier or end user the ability to choose textures, company logos, design patterns, as well as the shape, transmittance, and color that meets the customers’ requirements. This makes the line especially appealing for national accounts, where clients can connect with their corporate branding identities through lighting their interior design. Subtle or bold logo textures can be customized to help create company culture.

The manufacturing process is more sustainable, reducing the CO2 footprint by up to 75% compared to traditional aluminum die casting production methods. The smart designs use no paint and fewer parts overall, minimizing resource use and potential waste. Furthermore, the lightweight polycarbonate requires less energy to ship. The reduced resource and transportation footprint, together with the standard use of LED lights, make 3D printed luminaires a greener lighting solution.

Shaper 3D Printing products are positioned for hospitality settings as well as when performance lighting is needed. The line has already received three award recognitions:

  1. 2022 Interior Design Magazine HiP Award Honoree in Lighting
  2. Best of NeoCon 2022 Gold Decorative Lighting Award
  3. Best of NeoCon 2022 Innovation Award

More information on the Shaper PRENTALUX pendant line is available here.

Image: Cooper Lighting Solutions

 

Image: Cooper Lighting Solutions

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Product Monday: Signify Halts Sales Of Philips Hue Lightguide Lamps After 3 Weeks

Only three weeks after launching it’s new Philips Hue Lightguide smart lamps, Signify halted sales and completely removed the new lamps from its website.

Only three weeks after launching its new Philips Hue Lightguide smart lamps, Signify halted sales and completely removed the new lamps from its website.

Image: Signify

Released in three shapes — large globe, ellipse, and triangular — the Lightguide smart lamps featured interior, optical-grade polycarbonate tubes that “diffuse” light in practically any color. A reflective coating amplifies the effect. Lightguide lamps were intended to complement the decor of modern homes and blend seamlessly with other Philips Hue products. Philips also offered their own pendant cord and metal holder (sold separately), to showcase the new lamps.

However, due to an “aesthetic defect,” the Hue Lightguide lamps have been indefinitely delayed, according to the company. In a statement to TechHive, Signify confirmed:

Philips Hue has always been committed to delivering the best experience with our high-quality products. Because of that commitment, the launch of the new Philips Hue Lightguide bulbs and their matching pendant cords has been postponed until further notice. In recent tests, an aesthetic inconsistency was detected that is not in line with the experience we envisioned. We’re undertaking additional testing to ensure that Lightguide bulbs are in line with our high-quality standards. Keep an eye on www.philips-hue.com for new information.”

One customer on Hueblog.com wrote that the inside of the triangular Lightguide he received was cloudy. The full TechHive story is available here.

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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Weighing Into The Lighting Innovation Debate

A debate has recently emerged between industry thought leaders about whether or not innovation has significantly slowed in the lighting industry. On one side, during an interview at Light+Building, industry thought-leaders Mark Lien and Randy Reid argue innovation has slowed. On the other side, thought-leader Carrie Meadows argues that innovation hasn’t slowed, but rather needs to be redefined, in a recent opinion piece published in LEDs Magazine. David weighs in to the debate in today’s LightNOW post.

A debate has recently emerged between industry thought leaders, about whether or not innovation has significantly slowed in the lighting industry. On one side, industry thought-leaders Mark Lien and Randy Reid argue innovation has slowed in this video interview during Light+Building. On the other side, thought-leader Carrie Meadows at LEDs Magazine argues that innovation hasn’t slowed, but rather needs to be redefined, in her opinion piece, here.

Image courtesy Pixabay.com

I strongly agree with Ms. Meadows. Massive LED chip performance gains have ended, so innovation has simply changed directions…….in many directions. Rather than repeat Ms. Meadows arguments, here are some examples of how innovation has shifted from chip performance to lamp and luminaire performance, form factors, and convergence features:

Which side of this debate do you fall on? Have I neglected to list other important lighting innovation directions? Comment below.

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The Growing Use Of Online Lighting Configurators

A growing number of lighting manufacturers are offering online lighting configurators to simplify selection of lighting by specifiers, facility managers, and even consumers.

A growing number of lighting manufacturers are offering online lighting configurators to simplify selection of lighting by specifiers, facility managers, and even consumers. Here are several examples:

Ace Configurator by American Lighting – This lighting configurator offers a simple step-by-step guide to walk lighting professionals and facility managers through the lighting project, asking straightforward questions such as which color temperature is preferred, and how many feet of linear fixture is needed for the application. Made to be used by beginners and seasoned lighting specifiers alike, it assures that a lighting professional and facility manager has a complete list of materials for a beautiful linear lighting installation.

Using this linear lighting configurator is simple. To start a bill of material, the user decides if they would like to custom cut their fixture to their exact specifications, or if they would like all components delivered in bulk, to be customized in the field. Once that is decided, the ACE system delivers a few more questions about the project, such as “Is the lighting being installed indoors or outdoors?” and “Will the installation environment be dry, damp, or wet environment?” Also, the lighting configurator asks if the facility would like its system to be a simple white-light lighting application, or if the project would like something more complex, such as tunable white or offering color changing.

Once a user selects the perfect linear fixture for their application, the lighting configurator goes further, inquiring how the end user would like to control their lighting, such as user-friendly electronic low voltage (ELV) dimming systems for white light applications or hardwired DMX controls for a color changing project. Once the control protocol has been chosen, the lighting configurator calculates the wattage for the project and suggests the appropriate low voltage power supply best suited for the fixture and control protocol specified. If the project at hand requires a more complex control system, such as a control system for RGBW (red, green, blue, and white) color changing tape light, the lighting configurator will help calculate how many receivers and controllers are recommended based on the number of zones, run lengths, and desired control features. From there, the lighting configurator assists in choosing a proper mounting channel and automatically calculates how many pieces of that channel are required for the project, before jumping into a selection of any additional accessories one may need to complete an installation, such as in-wall rated wire or cord covers.

While this system is currently focused on the specification of LED tape light applications, it will be used in the future for many different linear lighting applications such as LED neon fixtures, 120V tape light, seasonal lighting applications, and more.

Philips Maxos Fusion Configurator by Signify – This lighting configurator calculates bill of materials for the Maxos fusion adaptable LED trunking system, for traditional high bay applications, such as warehouses, grocery stores, and big box retail.

At its heart, it consists of the Maxos fusion rail, the backbone of the trunking infrastructure, Maxos fusion panels that can be mounted flexibly along the length of the backbone and a whole range of mounting accessories to cater to different project requirements.

This configurator has the user select trunk color, if emergency lighting is required, trunk type, cable ducts or guides, types of brackets, number of brackets & distance between them, etc.

Track Lighting Configurator by Astro Lighting – This configurator has you select between suspension or flush mounting, live connectors and live ends for the track, and add spotlight trackheads. It then summarizes all materials needed to order properly.

Image courtesy AmericanLighting.com

Image courtesy Signify / Philips

 

Image courtesy Astro Lighting

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Product Monday: New Line Of Air Disinfection + Lighting Products From ETi Solid State Lighting

ETi Solid State Lighting Inc. has introduced a new line of LED light fixtures proven to kill bacteria and viruses, including SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The SilentAire Plasma Disinfection Lighting product line provides innovative and safe air disinfection technology.

ETi Solid State Lighting Inc. has introduced a new line of LED light fixtures proven to kill bacteria and viruses, including SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The SilentAire Plasma Disinfection Lighting product line provides innovative and safe air disinfection technology. According to the company:

  • SilentAire plasma light fixtures combine traditional ambient illumination with active air disinfection via an internal patent-pending Plasma Technology generator
  • Patent-pending internal Plasma generator utilizes Cold Plasma BiPolar Ionization Technology to actively treat and disinfect the air and kill bacteria and viruses, including SARS-CoV-2
  • Tested and proven by Innovative Bioanalysis, an independent third-party laboratory, to kill bacteria and viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, at a kill rate of +99.9%.
  • There are no risks associated with cold plasma bipolar ionization technology, according to the company; ions are naturally occurring and surround us all the time.
  • Requires no special installation and is controlled by simply toggling a standard wall switch.

More information is available here.

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