Category: Products + Technology

What If Lighting Designers Created Their Own Project Software?

At LightFair, last week, I had the pleasure of speaking with Mike Bishop, VP of Sales, at Sourcery, based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Sourcery is a lighting design project collaboration software platform created by lighting designers for lighting specifiers, reps, and manufacturers.

At LightFair, last week, I had the pleasure of speaking with Mike Bishop, VP of Sales, at Sourcery, based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Sourcery is a lighting design project collaboration software platform created by lighting designers for lighting specifiers, reps, and manufacturers. It is a social collaborative platform for design industry professionals to seamlessly collaborate with one another when specifying and procuring products in every phase of a project. It makes the process of selecting and procuring products for commercial construction easier and more efficient.

Sourcery was not created by software people, it was created by and for lighting specifiers:

  • To use modern cloud computing tools to create a single point of truth, for a project, with all information in one spot.
  • To be the birthplace of the digital twin.
  • To simplify product selection by maintaining libraries and custom collections of products to create curated categorized lists, assign to projects, and generate luminaire schedules in a few clicks.
  • To collaborate through a live luminaire schedule that improves the process of specifying lighting products and collaboration during design.
  • To enhance transparency through a project management companion, to make the procurement process transparent throughout all stages of design, budgeting, bidding and construction.
  • To provide a direct connection to products and sourcing new manufacturers.
  • To provide the project specifier full control over who has access to specific documents, schedules, libraries, pricing, and other important information.

More information about Sourcery is available here.

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Twelve Interesting Products & Trends From LightFair 2022

David Shiller shares his top product and trends finds at LightFair 2022.

It was great to get back to LightFair International (LFI), last week. It was a significantly better show than last year’s (IMHO), but still roughly half of the exhibitors of a pre-pandemic LFI. Here is a fast recap of my favorite products and trends at LFI, last week:

  • Additional manufacturers showing and offering street and area lights with LED amber sources. These can be direct emission amber LEDs or phosphor-converted amber LEDs (1800K – 2200K). Most folks know about amber sources for “turtle-safe” lighting, in Florida and other Southeast municipalities. However, due to global collapses in both insect and bird populations attributed to white LED lighting, there are a growing list of municipalities requiring amber street and area lighting. I learned that Austin, TX and municipalities in New York state have added requirements during bird migration seasons that promote turning lights out and amber sources. Here is more information about a recent DLC whitepaper on non-white light sources for outdoors.
  • Miniaturization of high output fixtures. More exhibitors than I could count were showing linear high bays as small as 9” x 15” to replace 2’ x 4’ linear highbays. There were also numerous 9” diameter UFO’s (round high bays) intended to replace round HID highbay fixtures, up to 2’ in diameter.
  • Tape manufacturers said A/C COB tape is finally in development and expected to have it in the next year. This will have all of the benefits of COB tape (no pixilated dots) and no separate brick driver to hide.
  • RGB+tunable white (TW) everything! The coolest example was S14 lamps (for outdoor light strings) with RGB+TW that both color changes and color tunes via a mobile app. I saw a couple manufacturers with this, including American Lighting.
  • Some of the RGB+TW luminaires are now being controlled with SPI protocol, which is similar in some ways to DALI’s individually addressable luminaires. SPI is a common communication protocol used by many different devices. For example, SD card reader modules, RFID card reader modules, and 2.4 GHz wireless transmitter/receivers all use SPI to communicate with microcontrollers. One unique benefit of SPI is the fact that data can be transferred without interruption. Any number of bits can be sent or received in a continuous stream.
  • QR codes everywhere! Very little printed product literature, no more thumb drive product catalogs. Almost every both had product signs with QR codes.
  • A new cast of first-tier booths. Acuity didn’t exhibit. Crestron had one of the largest booths. Signify and Cooper had separate but adjacent booths, despite the acquisition. By contrast, Current brands (GLI brands in Current-speak) and its acquired Hubble Brands (HLI brands in Current-speak) were mashed together in a single, large booth. Many people thought the brand reorg was messy and confusing (myself included).
  • One of the most fascinating product demos that I observed was by Dr. Dinesh Ramanathan, Ph.D., the CEO of NexGen Power Systems, an advanced driver manufacturer, that recently emerged from stealth mode. They grow their own GaN-on-GaN, higher frequency transistors that are more efficient, smaller, and produce less EMI, thereby requiring smaller/less EMI filtering components. The resulting drivers are 6% higher power efficiency, which enables luminaires to increase lumen output by 250% (2.5x increase) while decreasing in size! Their drivers were 30-50% smaller in size, in addition to the higher efficiency. I’ll be closely watching this technology.
  • This is the first LightFair that I ever found something exciting in emergency lighting. Concealite showed emergency lights that rotated out of a blank wall when triggered. The product can be painted or wallpapered to be invisible when not in use. They claimed they can replace 8-10 legacy “bug-eye lights” with a single one of their high output, aim-able units. More information here.
  • SportsBeams released a 1500W LED sports light and high mast light, equivalent to 3000W of HID (but such an HID never existed). They use heat pipes for thermal management. They also were offering amber versions of their products, as well as RGB+TW units that enable colorful entertainment lighting from stadium lights. More information here.
  • Filament HID replacement lamps from several manufacturers, including Signify, TCP, LEDVANCE, and others. More about this trend here.
  • Multiple manufacturers promoting Electric Vehicle (EV) chargers, including, Espen Technology and Light Efficient Design. More about this trend here.

 

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Product Monday: Luminis’s Lumiquad Columns & Bollards

I have to admit that I love the distinctive illuminated circle with the subtle “X” that are created by the Lumiquad LQ641 columns and Lumiquad LQ427 bollards, by Luminis, an Acuity Brand.

I have to admit that I love the distinctive illuminated circle with the subtle “X” that are created by the Lumiquad LQ641 columns and Lumiquad LQ427 bollards, by Luminis, an Acuity Brand. The sleek bollards and columns are ideal for retail, restaurant and office applications. These luminaires are dimmable and can be paired with a variety of sensors and controls.

All of these images are from the following project:

PROJECT NAME: Watersound Town Center

LOCATION: Panama City, Inlet Beach Ft Walton, Florida, USA

CATEGORY: Exterior Lighting

PROJECT COMPLETION: July 2021

ARCHITECT: WBA Architecture

CONTRACTOR: White Construction

LUMINIS AGENT: DesignLight

PHOTOGRAPHY: Chad Baumer

Check out the light pattern that the luminaires create individually and in groups, in the following images. More information is available 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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Product Monday: Sourcery Software Is Lighting Specifier Collaboration Platform

Sourcery is a social collaborative platform for design industry professionals to seamlessly collaborate with one another when specifying and procuring products in every phase of a project.

Sourcery is a social collaborative platform for design industry professionals to seamlessly collaborate with one another when specifying and procuring products in every phase of a project. The software makes the process of selecting and procuring products for commercial construction easier and more efficient. Sourcery uses modern cloud computing tools to create a single reference location with all information in one place.

The platform:

  • Increases Efficiency – Through maintained libraries and custom collections of products create curated categorized lists, assign to projects, and generate luminaire schedules in a few clicks.
  • Encourage Collaboration – Through a live luminaire schedule that will Revolutionize the process of specifying lighting products and collaborating during design.
  • Enhances Transparency – Through a project management companion to make the procurement process transparent throughout all stages of design, budgeting, bidding and construction.

Learn more here.

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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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Top 10 Trends In High Bay Retrofits For Warehouses & Production Facilities

A new white paper is titled The Top 10 Trends In High Bay Retrofits For Warehouses & Production Sites. The white paper was published by Lighting Expertise & Design Services (LEDS), a leading lighting retrofit firm in the United States, that specializes in lighting upgrades for warehouses and production sites.

A new white paper is titled The Top 10 Trends In High Bay Retrofits For Warehouses & Production Sites. The white paper was published by Lighting Expertise & Design Services (LEDS), a leading lighting retrofit firm in the United States, that specializes in lighting upgrades for warehouses and production sites.

The white paper goes into detail on these 10 trends:

  1. T5HO high bays have become a strong retrofit opportunity
  2. Linear integrated high bay fixtures outperform both TLED lamp retrofits, as well as round-UFO-HID form factor fixtures
  3. Controls & future-proofing
  4. CCT
  5. Rebates
  6. Facility managers are getting smarter at comparing retrofit proposals
  7. Consistency of installation quality
  8. Rising prices and supply chain disruptions
  9. Facility manager motivations are evolving
  10. Application matters

Access the full whitepaper here.

 

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Product Monday: LEDVANCE Superior Class Area Flood Offers Interesting Features

LEDVANCE Superior Class Area Flood luminaires provide quality photometrics with full cutoff, standard 10kV surge protection, TAA compliance, and a 10-year warranty.

LEDVANCE Superior Class Area Flood luminaires provide quality photometrics with full cutoff, standard 10kV surge protection, TAA compliance, and a 10-year warranty. These luminaires are wattage selectable, offering 3 wattages. They have a 7-pin, NEMA photo receptacle, and an optional Zhaga-base sensor receptacle for daylight harvesting and additional energy savings.

A feature that I found interesting is that each luminaire ships with a universal mounting bracket allowing easy installation to round poles, square poles, walls, as well as vertical and horizontal tenons.

See below:

Other interesting specs include:

  • DLC 5.1 Premium listed
  • IP66 rated
  • Up to 145 lpW
  • Up to 39,000 lumens
  • Types II, III, IV, and V distributions
  • NLB Trusted Warranty Program

More information is available here.

 

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Product Monday: Glowee’s Bioluminescent Sea Bacteria Lights

Many articles have written about the potential of using bioluminescence to light cities, but a French start-up, Glowee, is actually producing lights using bioluminescence and installing them.

Many articles have written about the potential of using bioluminescence to light cities, but a French start-up, Glowee, is actually producing lights using bioluminescence and installing them. Glowee’s lights emit a turquoise blue light utilizing a marine bacterium gathered off the coast of France called Aliivibrio fischeri. The bacteria are stored inside saltwater-filled tubes, allowing them to circulate in a kind of luminous aquarium. Since the light is generated through internal biochemical processes that are part of the organism’s normal metabolism, running it requires almost no energy other than that needed to produce the food the bacteria consume. A mix of basic nutrients is added and air is pumped through the water to provide oxygen. To “turn off the lights”, the air is simply cut off, halting the process by sending the bacteria into an anaerobic state where it does not produce bioluminescence.\

While Glowee’s lights are currently only available in standard tubes for events, the company is planning to produce several types of street furniture, such as outdoor benches with in-built lighting, soon.

Read the full article here.

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Product Monday: LumenPulse Launches Mix-At-Source Color-Changing Technology

Lumenpulse has introduced a new proprietary technology, Opticolor, to its color-changing projector products portfolio. The patent-pending Opticolor technology mixes color at the source, at the LED package level, within the LED optic, allowing for ultra near-field color blending, exceptional quality of light, as well as unrivaled color consistency and uniformity.

Lumenpulse has introduced a new proprietary technology, Opticolor, to its color-changing projector products portfolio. The patent-pending Opticolor technology mixes color at the source, at the LED package level, within the LED optic, allowing for ultra near-field color blending, exceptional quality of light, as well as unrivaled color consistency and uniformity.

The proprietary Opticolor technology gives the color desired within inches of the fixture’s surface. Thanks to tight binning and working within a 5nm variance, Opticolor provides a consistency of color that blends seamlessly with other Lumenpulse products and applications.

“Opticolor brings richness, depth, and warmth to any space where the product is in direct view or grazing a surface,” said Ken Bruns, Senior Product Manager at Lumenpulse. “The latest development in color dimensions give lighting designers, architects, and electrical engineers the full flexibility to use Opticolor projectors in new spaces and the ability to rethink how and where colors can be used.”

Opticolor technology is compatible with DMX/RDM, Lumentalk, and DALIT8, allowing the use of familiar control systems. With exceptional color rendering and blending, the luminaires boasting Opticolor technology are an ideal choice for atriums, theatres, and other applications where grazing surfaces are required. Opticolor is now available for specification with select Lumenbeam and Lumenquad projectors and is set to begin shipping in June 2022.

More information is available here.

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