Anytime you have someone from the IES on the show you can be assured that you will learn something valuable about the industry from the top. As The Lighting Authority, the IES is committed to bettering the lighting industry by ensuring that quality lighting is implemented in the field. Alex Baker, Manager of Government Affairs and Public Policy for the IES, met with us at the DLC convention to talk about what’s new at the IES.
Dr. Maïté Brandt-Pearce of the University of Virginia met with Michael and Greg at the second Global LiFi Congress, June 2019, to really get into the nuts and bolts of LiFi. What followed was a rapid Q and A session about fixtures, latency, dimming, how she sees the near-future niche market rapidly reaching mass adoption, and the visceral satisfaction of actually seeing a data connection - LiFi lamps add more to a room than dial-up noise did.
Harald Haas coined the phrase “LiFi” in 2011, and now he’s telling us it’s ready to enter version 2.0. He joins the Get a Grip on Lighting Podcast from the floor of the second Global LiFi Congress, June 2019, to catch us up on the history and development of light-based data transmission, its current applications in the fields of autonomous automobiles, privacy and security, as well as defense. LiFi represents a paradigm shift for the lighting industry comparable to the one photography underwent with the introduction of digital cameras - lamps are going the way of film stock and the industry needs to begin to consider itself a platform creator for the Internet of Things through the power of LiFi. If the tech sector is going to keep adding brains to everything, then LiFi should become both the nervous system and communication tool for all of these smart devices.
Hubbell runs an education facility bigger than Greg’s warehouse, for one reason: training is more important than ever in the lighting industry. Clayton Smith their director of business development sat down with Michael and Greg at LightFair International 2019 to share his thoughts on training and education in the lighting industry today.
By building a dedicated facility they can exploit the value of an in-person learning experience, webinars inevitably get shuffled to another tab while ‘real work’ goes on. Hubbell does offer video materials but the key is to keep short, easily digestible, and encourage further reading as needed rather dumping piles of details on the viewer.
They also delve into the challenges facing any new entrant to the industry, how to learn legacy products at arms reach, the value of touring production facilities whenever possible and how controls experts are becoming a must-have for any staff in the industry.
Brian Vaughn and Tim Miller of Current by GE joined us from the floor at Lightfair to convince Michael and Greg that the phrase “futureproof” might be a useful term when discussing connected lighting. Though, even they admit that “upgradeable” might be the better word for what they’re working on; equipment that works with multiple types of connectivity as well as new fixtures that have modular components that will become the form factors for the next generation of smart home technology. Additionally, that notion of upgradeability becomes an undercurrent for the whole conversation, Current by GE is upgrading by adding more software development, lighting sales teams and designers are upgrading by adding connectivity partners, and customers are starting off with color-tuning and voice operation on their lights are part of a plan to expand to more controls throughout their homes.
When we know Randy is in the same location as us we always plan to have a discussion with him and sometimes record it. After hearing an excellent presentation from Randy at the NAILD convention we sat down to discuss more about what the National Lighting Bureau is and what it will be under his leadership. Exciting times for NLB!
Michael Davidson and Jamie Britnell are both Directors at Synapse Wireless and they joined Michael and Greg from the floor of LightFair International 2019 to share their thoughts and knowledge on connected lighting; the unofficial theme of LightFair and (perhaps) the future of the industry.
The switch has been the only real control for lighting and we’re in a scenario more options are becoming viable on the consumer level. As much as connected lighting can make an argument for savings, there are other, better value that smarter lights can add. Michael and Jamie are more interested in systems that can inform users when lamps fail, or offer real time energy use data, and tools that store usage statistics to validate warranty claims, and all manner of personalized problem solving the IoT can offer.
If the field of lighting were to have one person as the professor of the industry, Jim Benya would be it. Scholarly, articulate and uninhibited; when you talk to Jim about lighting you are in for a true learning experience. He is on too many committees, boards and panels to name, but where there is decision making in lighting Jim Benya is often at the center of it.
David Gershaw is the Chief Innovation Officer at Light Efficient Design, and he joined Greg and Mike from his booth at Lightfair International.
While LED’s story of Solar-powered exterior lighting is told from the show Philadelphia it starts in Africa six years ago where they were partnered to light miles of roads in Tanzania with off-grid solar-powered lamps. What started with three components, one being a buried car battery, is now an all-in-one fixture that can be placed virtually anywhere. David’s enthusiasm for the tech that’s inside his company's solar powered option is infectious. As part of the conversation Michael leads the group in digging into some atypical energy efficiency math for fixtures that hybridize solar and grid-sourced power, this leads to some speculation on a whole new kind of rebate program that could arise from these calculations. As the episode closes, the discussion shifts toward Dave’s role as an innovator and the strange and exciting technology that is emerging in the near future.
Aurelien David is the chief scientist for technology and R&D in LEDs and semiconductor optoelectronics at Soraa — a company founded by the inventor of the LED — and he was kind enough to appear on the Get a Grip on Lighting Podcast from the NAILD booth at Lightfair International.
The episode starts by addressing a recent report by ANSES about the hazards of blue light, particularly LEDs at night. Aurelien and Michael agree that the sky may be falling once again, given that so much of the light we experience, whether it be classic Edison incandescent bulbs or the sun itself project a great deal of blue light. Aurelien takes the time to explain the so-called Blue Peak; how it affects circadian lighting, how manufacturers are working to avoid it now, as well as the future of violet and cyan light as a dodge to the problems associated with blue. The episode closes out on the topic of lighting as the highest achievers in energy efficiency and waste savings, and its capacity to adapt to new technology will see it through the current health effect hurdles.