What’s New

Meet The Team: Dan Horning

This month’s Meet the Team is with Dan Horning, a vital component of our project quotations team. Dan was born and raised in San Diego and loves to hike, camp and surf in his hometown. When Dan isn’t fitting together the puzzle pieces of big projects in quotations, he’s spending time with his wife and two kids. Let’s meet one of our favorite San Diego dads!

Q: How did you get started in the lighting industry?

DH: I got started in the lighting industry after working at HD supply for 3 years. Kristin reached out to me about an open position in quotations and piqued my interest about the growing company. I’ve been here now for 1 ½ years and I’ve had the opportunity to learn so much about the industry, I’m glad I made the switch!

Q: What’s your favorite part of your job?

DH: I love putting together a big project because it’s similar to putting together a difficult puzzle. All the moving parts and details of a job come together to make a masterpiece. My favorite part is stepping back after a project is finished and admiring all the components that needed to come together for the job to get done.

Q: What do you like most about the culture at SDLA?

DH: The culture here is really great. I love that everyone is willing to help each other. I can ask someone ten questions per day and never feel like a burden..that kind of culture is hard to beat. I never get any push back when I’m struggling or need help with a project. The holiday sweater party and other fun events also add to the environment, it’s always nice to get the opportunity to have fun with co-workers.

Q: What has been your most memorable proje

 DH: My first big and challenging job was the illumina i3 Campus project completed in 2016. The new Illumina addition was a 7-acre complex including three buildings with an open style office that flowed freely with the outside. The project took 2-3 days and when it was finished I think we all felt pretty proud of the finished product.

Introducing the Designer Luncheon Series

Just a couple weeks ago, we hosted our very first Designer Luncheon series and it was a total hit! Lighting designers, architects and interior designers joined us at Bencotto Italian Kitchen for lunch and an awesome keynote presentation from PureEdge Lighting. We encouraged guests to bring canned goods for our annual food drive and those who did were given raffle tickets for a chance to win an Amazon gift card or holiday basket.

We are excited about how great the first event in this series went. In fact, we hit the venue’s capacity within one week of promoting it!  The idea behind these events is simple: reserve a San Diego hot-spot so our guests can break away from the chaos of the day-to-day and enjoy a great meal while learning about the latest in a variety of lighting design and technology trends from some of the most reputable lighting experts in the industry!

So with that in mind, we are ready to make the official announcement for our next event! You are hearing it here first! The next Designer Luncheon is scheduled for February 22nd at 11:30 at Herb & Wood in Little Italy, which was featured as “One of San Diego’s Most Stylish Restaurants” by The San Diego Tribune! We will be featuring LucePlan Lighting who will cover acoustic design in lighting fixture design, a HOT topic these days. And as an added bonus, this presentation will also offer 1 AIA/HSW credit upon completion!

Lighting designers, architects, interior designers, and anyone interested in joining us for these special events can register for the next event in the series by emailing Brian Rhea at Brianr@sdltg.com. Reserve your spot ASAP because these events will hit capacity!

Meet The Team: Matt Gallardo

San-diego-lighting-associates-matt-gallardoThis month’s Meet the Team is with Matt Gallardo, valuable member of our distributor sales team, and our respected company softball coach and team captain. When Matt isn’t running around town working magic with our distributors, he’s on the field running the SDLA softball team around bases at the ballpark. He’s a hardworking team player both on and off the field. Ready to meet Captain Gallardo? Let’s play ball!

Q: How did you get started in the lighting industry?

MG: I always knew I wanted to go into sales. After college, I started working for Verizon. Then one day a family friend and former SDLA employee called me about a sales job opening here. I was ready for a change of pace and happily took the distributor sales job. After working here for about 2 ½ years, I can definitely say I made the right choice.

Q: What’s your favorite part of your job?

MG:  With my job, I am sometimes in our distributors’ offices more than my own. It’s pretty cool to get to be part of multiple offices and work with our distributors so closely. We have a blast both at work and on a personal level – working hard to get our jobs done, and done well, and maybe getting some golf in too. My job is also really rewarding, our office recently placed at the top in stock sales for our region. It was a big deal to finish in front of everyone, and it was a great feeling knowing that working together as a team made that happen.

Q: What do you like about the culture at SDLA?

MG: The culture is pretty awesome.  A lot of the staff are around the same age, and we hang out at work, as well as outside of work. We love to joke around but we also make work our first priority. We’ve had a company softball team for about six seasons now, and I’ve taken on the role of captain for our team. We love getting everyone together on the field for some real team work action. It makes it even better when we win. After all, we are two-time champs.

Q: As 2018 approaches, is there anything work-related you are looking forward to?

MG: I am really looking forward to how much we can grow as a company in 2018. We moved into our new office coming up on a year now and we are constantly adding to our team. We recently hired one of my good friends to work right along with me, which makes coming to work that much more enjoyable. We really do have a great office and I am looking forward to the future.

Season’s Greetings SDLA Style

It’s the most wonderful time of year! Few things make the holidays brighter than giving back, good company and festive – or in our case ugly – holiday attire.

We kicked off holiday celebrations with our 2nd annual food drive benefiting the San Diego Food Bank.  We set out to exceed our 2016 donations of 1000 lbs of canned goods.  We are proud to announce that we surpassed our goal with $1123.00 in cash donations as well as over 1000lbs of canned goods!  Thank you to everyone who donated and helped us feed our great city.

To continue to spread cheer, our office held a cookie exchange and ugly Christmas sweater competition. As we shared our favorite treats our staff dressed in their best (or should we say their worst) Christmas sweaters, and choosing a winner was no easy task. Rod’s sweater impressed us all with just how ugly it was. Want to see what he was up against? Be sure to check out our gallery!

It’s been an amazing year, and we hope everyone has a fun-filled holiday season with friends and family. Our office will be closed for the holidays on December 25th, 26th, 29th and January 1st.

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 are 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 12:00PM 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!

Meet The Team: Lee Davis

Lee DavisIn this month’s Meet the Team Q&A, we’re excited to profile project manager Lee Davis. We couldn’t speak more highly of Lee both personally and professionally. When she’s not solving problems and making things happen for our customers, she’s at home chasing around her almost four-year old son, and taking home the title of Mom of the Year. Fun fact: Lee is also expecting her second child in June!

Let’s meet this supermom one-on-one.

Q: How did you get started in the lighting industry?

LD: My lifelong dream was always to become a nurse, but while working towards that goal, my good friend Shawna let me know SDLA was hiring a receptionist. I got the job, fell in love with the industry, and my career path officially changed forever. It’s safe to say SDLA has had a huge impact on my life since the day I started. I have worked my way up since my first role here, but that role allowed me to see the whole picture more clearly. Now my heart is set on going back to school for business, while continuing my career here.

Q: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

LD: Every day is a new challenge. There is always a new problem that needs solved, which keeps me learning and constantly on my toes. Culturally, SDLA is like a big family. Heck, Kristin is like a second mom to me. I just think it’s so cool that everyone works as a team inside and outside the office. For me, there is truly nothing better than when we all come together to solve a problem.

Q: You mentioned there’s a funny common misconception about your name. What’s that?

 LD: Yes! In this digital age, there are a ton of people I only interface with via email. I have a very gender-neutral nickname, so people always have this perception that I’m a man! Well, I’m here to dispel the myth. I am 100% woman! People usually find out when at some point I end up hopping on the phone with them, or meet them in person, and they are often shocked hearing my sweet-toned feminine voice. It’s always a kick. Someone called me once to chat and when I answered the phone they immediately exclaimed, “Oh my god, you’re a woman!”. So now I just sign all my emails Mrs. Lee Davis to avoid any confusion.

Q: What is your most memorable project?

LD: My most memorable project is ironically the first one I became involved with as a project manager. This project was called “Lilly Biotechnology Center,”and it had a multitude of challenges that needed to be resolved.  While it was a tough nut to crack, solving those issues brought my customer and I closer together, and I was excited to build that relationship. In the end, all the stress of it paid off, and I will always remember that project.

Q: As 2018 approaches, is there anything work-related you are looking forward too?

 LD:  I am just excited to see how SDLA will continue to grow and evolve. Receiving new projects really excites me…they can be from any manufacturer. I just love to learn new things and solve new problems, and I am sure 2018 will bring plenty of that. I like to think I have an open mind, so whatever is in-store, I am sure it will be fun.

Parking Garage Lighting Controls and Life Safety: Top 5 Factors to Consider.

XPoint™ Wireless is the Best Solution to Meet Parking Garage Requirements Don’t be Liable for Life Safety!

 Parking GarageA common design in parking garages has been to use line voltage occupancy sensors with the emergency lighting calculations taken at 50% of the fixtures output. Concerns have been raised by Inspectors and Electrical Engineers around this as a liability and compliance issue. The motion sensors contain relays that are NOT UL924 listed and tested for emergency. This raises the liability and concern if the occupancy sensor keeps the fixture at a dimmed state or fails in the off position because they have not been tested for emergency use. Per Article 700 of the NEC, NFPA 70, the emergency relay is required to drive the emergency fixture to full power illumination levels upon loss of normal power, which is not a capability of standard occupancy sensors alone and may leave each emergency fixture at different dimmed states and produce non-uniform light levels. Additionally, an occupant near an exit may be drawn in the wrong direction by motion sensors being activated in an adjacent area that is not their intended path of egress. When it comes to parking garage lighting in California, there are several lighting control codes that need to be met as dictated by California Title 24, UL and IES. Did you know there is one simple solution that meets all of these necessary requirements?

Meet XPoint™ Wireless by Acuity Brands. It’s a flexible lighting control system that enables users to configure lighting in zones or as individual luminaires, allowing light level adjustment for occupancy, available daylight, wall stations, time of day, BMS integration and utilizes UL924 listed devices for safe and reliable emergency operation.

Let’s breakdown some of those codes, and show off how XPoint Wireless meets them.

1. Relay devices, including motion sensors with integral relays, that are controlling emergency circuits are required to have UL924 listings.

XPoint Wireless uses a UL924 listed wireless motion sensor with an integral relay that is compliant.

2. Per Article 700 of the NEC, NFPA 70, the emergency relay is required to drive the fixture to full power illumination levels upon loss of normal power by bypassing the dimming/switching controls.

XPoint Wireless meets this requirement by automatically closing the emergency relay and deactivating the control signaling wires to drive the fixture to full power illumination upon loss of normal power.

3. The IES recommends controlling the transition zone of a parking garage entrance, per IES RT-20-14, for the interior light levels to follow the natural light levels of the exterior.

XPoint Wireless utilizes the nLight or LC&D network devices for astronomical timeclock/photocell scheduled light levels. XPoint Wireless also has the ability to slowly fade between these light levels to avoid abrupt light level changes for drivers/pedestrians within this transition zone.

4. California Title 24 section 130.1(c)7B requires partial OFF (a step between 20%-50%) in parking garages when no motion is detected. Additionally, it requires that no more than 500 watts of lighting may be controlled together as single zone.

XPoint Wireless controls are integral to each fixture, providing the flexibility to easily control individual fixtures or programmed groups of fixtures.

5. California Title 24 section 130.1(c)7B requires that the motion sensors controlling egress fixtures should be automatically activated from all designated paths of egress.

XPoint Wireless utilizes a motion sensor that can be automatically activated during normal operation and has a UL924 listed relay device that automatically turns the fixture on to full bright when normal power is lost.

Pretty awesome, right? If you have any questions, or want more information on XPoint Wireless please contact Jeret Carr, Controls Specialist, at Jeretc@sdltg.com.

LightShow West

SDLAOur spec team recently hosted 15 of our electrical engineering friends on a day trip to Los Angeles to attend Lightshow West. For those of you who aren’t familiar, Lightshow West is a biannual event where lighting professionals can come and see all manufacturers and new lighting trends in one place.

It’s important to us that our friends don’t miss the event because of the 2.5+ hour drive from San Diego to Los Angeles. To help alleviate fighting LA traffic, we rent a charter bus full of goodies to transport everyone to and from the event. At the event, there is a ton to see in just one day, so our guests were given a map with our manufacturers’ booth locations highlighted to make self-guided tours easier and more efficient.

After a busy morning, we treated our guests to a complimentary lunch we sponsored with Acuity Brands at the Palm Restaurant in downtown LA. As a fun bonus, we gave guests the option to stay over-night in West Hollywood and take a tour of Artemide Lighting’s Showroom the next morning. Artemide’s showroom is always a great place to visit because they specialize in the development of lighting designed by designers and architects, which means a lot of unique, one-of-a-kind light fixtures!  And you never know who will stop into the showroom while you’re there – it is frequented by many of LA’s A-List Elite celebrities!

Overall, everyone had a great time and we are looking forward to doing it again in 2019! If you are interested in joining us next time please feel free to contact Brian Rhea at Brianr@sdltg.com.

Meet The Team: Cliff Cobelli

This month’s Meet the Team Q&A is with our Lead Controls Specialist, Cliff Cobelli. Also known as the nicest guy in the office, Cliff designs Wiring diagram and details for Title 24 compliant lighting control systems. When he’s not busy in the office, he’s working on getting his motorcycle license. But there is currently a debate in the office… can he be the nicest guy in the office wearing leather and burning rubber on his hog? Only time will tell. In the meantime, let’s get to know this rebel and valuable member of our team.

Q:  What is your background? How did you get started in the industry?

CC: I graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering and right after college I started working in Acuity Brand’s factory in my home state of Connecticut. At the time, I just wanted a job to get me out of my parent’s house…but it become much more than that. I learned a lot and fell in love with the industry. I ended up staying there for three years before I started looking for a change. I was familiar with SDLA because of the close relationship with Acuity, so I reached out to Danny about a job. After a couple of failed outreach attempts, he responded and we met at LFI. He saw I was serious about moving across the country, and here I am two years later.

 Q: What do you like best about working at SDLA?

 CC: I love that culturally it’s like a big family.  As someone who has no family in the area it’s refreshing to work somewhere everyone genuinely cares about each other. Everyone gets together and we have a ton of fun…just last week we had a potluck. From a work stand point, I love solving problems and seeing projects come full-circle. At my last job, I wasn’t able to go onsite very often because projects I worked on were all over the country. Here, many of our customers and buildings we work on are in area, so I get to see our work come to life in person. I also love customer relations…it’s all very rewarding.

 Q:  What has been your most rewarding project?

 CC: I would have to say the UCSD building where we have been working on the Outpatient Pavilion new hospital research center. We started this project in 2015, shortly after I started. In a way, it has grown with me. I like that it’s a complex design, a lot of collaboration with the EC to great a best fit solution and was a unique experience since it did not have to comply with California T24.

Q: As 2018 approaches, is there anything work related you are looking forward too?

CC: I am really excited to see how the market changes with Acuity Brand’s new wireless system on the market. Being an engineer I’m a bit of a techie, so I just really want to see it in action and test it out to see all of it’s capabilities. Wireless is the hot new trend of the industry and it will create a lot more opportunities down the road.

Factory Tour Fun: A-Light

Last month the specification sales team had a ball on a tour to one of our awesome manufacturers factory. Not only does A-Light put on a great tour – they have affordable and customizable options with a lot of different components. The experience was memorable because it allowed us to spend a half-day ingraining ourselves into A-Light’s products and processes and really get a better sense of their story.

To start our journey, we took a bus up to beautiful Oceanside. Once at the factory we enjoyed a delicious breakfast in their training room. Sitting under multiple samples of their lights we learned more about the company and product line. We even got to check out awesome mock ups of new products and their components. The hands-on experience really enhanced our understanding of what A-Light has to offer.

We especially enjoyed seeing the Absent product line in-person…pictures just don’t do it justice. It’s truly incredible how well it creates a beautiful throw of light without any glare. Next up, the factory tour! The factory is neat and we had the opportunity to see every stage of the manufacturing process…from welding the products to seeing how they get their quality packaging. We ended the visit with an excellent lunch…the perfect ending to a great morning.

Thank you to our friends at A-Light for having us!  Interested in checking out A-Light’s factory southern California factory? Be sure to contact them for a tour and check out their unique customization guidelines.