The Most Wonderful Time of the Year: LFI 2018 Recap

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and no, we’re not queuing the Christmas music. We’re talking about another exciting week at Light Fair International, which was hosted in the Windy City this year, Chicago, Illinois. The venue was incredible with plenty of space for manufacturers and vendors to show off their latest lighting and lighting control innovations. After attending this popular industry tradeshow for 10+ years, I can confidently say the booths this year were the best to date. Speaking of which, one of my favorite eye-catching displays was the all-new, dynamic color changing Rubik from Acuity Brands’ Mark Architectural Lighting.

IoT, The Internet of Things, was yet again a hot topic at LFI. Many of the manufacturers who were using the buzzword seemed to have different and varying capabilities with this innovation. It’s exciting to see so many follow in the footsteps of Acuity Brands, who we know was a pioneer in the IoT revolution.

I was pleasantly surprised that track lighting is back and it’s better than ever! Manufacturers, like XAL Move-It and Bruck Lighting Smart Track had sleek track systems on display, and PureEdge was showing off their incorporated Trueline look to create a mud-in track system.  I personally believe the versatility of track lighting, the sleek, minimalistic design, European inspiration are the large drivers for why this lighting solution is making a comeback!

Could you imagine a world where lights act as a means for disinfection? I saw this idea come to life at the Visa Lighting booth. In partnership with Vital Vio, Visa introduced their “Disinfecting Luminaires”. The LED technology protects environments from harmful bacteria by emitting a white light that is safe for both humans and animals.  Looking forward to sharing the technology with anyone and everyone in San Diego who is responsible for healthcare design!  Make sure you click on the Visa Lighting Link above for more information!

Another big play in the new products category was Horticultural Lighting.  Manufacturers like SpecGrade LED, Beghelli, and Sonaray all had new products on display. Horticultural lighting, although it has been around for a while, I feel is being taken to a whole new level with technological advancements through color, wavelength, product design, and placement.  And if you think everything you have learned about lighting for humans applies to horticultural lighting, I am quickly learning that is not true!  The terminology and science that is specific to growing plants is a whole new ballgame. The manufacturers I mentioned above have great resources to help us all learn the ins and outs of effective horticultural lighting!

Congratulations are in order for many of our manufacturers who brought their A game to LFI 2018. Alphabet Lighting won top honor with their “Most Innovative Product of the Year” award for its NU Vector Series!  Other winners were Mark Lighting Chisel, Juno FlexConnect and the SensorSwitch VLP App, who were all recognized as “best of” in their respective categories.  FlexConnect also won a “Design Excellence” award.  One of the coolest products I saw at the show was the digital tension system from TLS international. See the product in action here.

Finally, LFI has always been a great place to learn from some of the best in the industry.  Having my NCQLP LC Certification, I need continuing education credits to maintain the certification and to keep up with the fast-paced and innovative lighting landscape!  I was able to take a few classes to satisfy some continuing education credit needs, but more importantly, learn more about topics that are some of the most talked about in the industry today. We strive to be subject matter experts at SDLA so we can share the information we learn with our San Diego lighting colleagues!  Understanding continuing education is important for many, we offer classes at least once a month on a variety of topics through our SDLA Academy curriculum. A quick reminder that SDLA is also an AIA approved CEU provider so we are able to deliver AIA/HSW CEU presentations on-demand when the need for credits arise!

SDLA Academy: Networked Lighting Controls

The SDLA Academy recently held another successful premiere course for lighting and lighting controls training and education. On March 22nd, we hosted about 16 different electrical engineers, electrical contractors, and electrical distributors for the course, “nLight Networked Lighting Controls, What’s New?”, right here in our office! Those in attendance gained education and training on networked lighting control solutions and how they relate to Title 24 requirements, BMS integration, Demand Response, and IoT solutions. Today, lighting control knowledge is an absolute necessity for professionals to have due to the push in energy saving code requirements, and the increased desire of building owners to be more in tune with their buildings’ potential. Software Applications, like Space Utilization, Siteview Energy and Indoor Positioning have been developed to utilize the networked control sensor devices to pull data like occupancy status/history, light levels from standard nLight devices, energy metering from the integrated SVEM and indoor location from Atrius enabled fixtures. Our training and hands-on demonstrations displayed the many ways available to design and utilize controls systems in order to give our clients an innovative approach to lighting their spaces.

Our attendees were able to get hands-on interaction with nLight® and nLight®Air of Acuity Brands, a digital control system that provides a wide range of control from small, individual rooms to multi-story buildings and has full read/write BACnet/IP BMS integration capabilities. Keep an eye out for the Summer release of the fully networked nLight AIR wireless control system that will provide the ability to have interior/exterior and wired/wireless lighting controls under one system. These Title 24 compliant systems were on display with another controls lines from Acuity including Fresco™, a high- performance architectural lighting control system that is bringing dynamic spaces to life. The Fresco system has the ability to control nLight, dimming panels, DMX (including RDM), Dali, and tunable white fixtures. All of these systems meet the needs of Title 24 while simultaneously addressing the “requirements of today’s architectural and dynamic lighting environments.”

Attendees not only had the chance to experience these innovative systems and enjoy a delicious lunch, but they also had the chance to win a very fine SDLA jacket from our event giveaway. Congrats to our winner, Kyle Knoakes!

Want a chance to experience these systems first hand? Email me at jeretc@sdltg.com for more information or to set up your demonstration today! Also, don’t miss out on our next course with the SDLA Academy, Visual Lighting Software Half-Day Training, which will be hosted on April 19th!

Introducing the SDLA Academy

We are so excited for all 2018 will bring…including the launch of our SDLA Academy training and education program! This isn’t like any ordinary training and education program.

We intend to be your one-stop-shop for all things lighting and lighting controls training! Whether you prefer in-person, classroom-style training, hands-on workshops, online/on-demand training, AIA/Continuing Education credits, etc., we have something for everyone.

Beginning in January, we’ll host free educational seminars and workshops in our new state-of-the-art office. The course offering will cover a wide variety of topics from a myriad of industry experts! An outline of the course topics for the first 6 months is listed below. We also want your feedback. If there is a pressing topic you’d like to learn more about, please do not hesitate to let us know. We have many resources we can pull from in order to meet your needs!

In-person course topics for the first 6 months include:

January 30, 2018: Daylighting and Tunable White Lighting Solutions for Human Satisfaction (presented by Acuity Brands VP/GM of Sunoptics) – 1 AIA CEU

February 22, 2018: Acoustic and Lighting Fixture Design (presented by Ken Downing, AIA, Luce Plan Lighting) – 1 AIA/HSW CEU

March 2018: nLight Lighting Controls – Wireless, Internet of Things Integration, BMS Integration, Tunable White, Revenue Grade Metering – Taking Lighting Control to the Next Level

April 2018: Visual Lighting Software Workshop

May 2018: Lighting for the Learning Environment – 1 AIA CEU

June 2018: Parking Garage Lighting Design, Lighting Control, and Life Safety Best Practices

A majority of the training sessions will be held during the lunch hour – we’ll provide the lunch! There will be a few exceptions for half-day trainings as well.

The new SDLA Academy is a great opportunity for people to achieve their required credits in-person, or for anyone looking to expand their industry knowledge in an engaging, hands-on way. Can’t make one of the trainings? Don’t worry, we’ve got a couple of options for you!

– We will be recording each session and housing it in a video archive on our online portal for you to view on-demand at your leisure.

– For those of you who still really want the in-person training, contact us and we can conduct the training at your office!

– We are the only lighting agency in San Diego that is an AIA approved provider of CEU presentations, so we can come to you to deliver these accredited presentations as well!

– Want even more? There will be a link to Acuity Brands’ online training and education portal called “Acuity Academy” from our website which houses many more on-demand training options!

The first session will cover the topic Light for Human Satisfaction and will be held on January 30, 2018, at 12:00 PM at our SDLA Training Center (5625 Ruffin Rd., Suite 100, San Diego, CA, 92123).  For more information and to register, go to our online portal!

Be sure to stay tuned for announcements on the future events and email me at Brianr@sdltg.com with any questions!