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IIDA: Design Connect 2018 – It’s All About the Design

On Tuesday, September 25th, SDLA participated in one of IIDA’s biggest events of the year, Design Connect, (formerly known as Neo Connect) at the Broadway Pier in Downtown San Diego. Having participated in previous years, this time around we partnered with GM Business Interiors, who joined us in putting together an amazing booth display to showcase just a taste of what we have to offer San Diego Interior Designers. With the current trend of designing large, open spaces, our focus was to highlight fixtures and special furniture pieces that help control sound levels along with incorporating functional task lighting and sleek, simple decorative pendants to round out the booth design.

Manufacturer’s that we highlighted in our booth consisted of: Eureka’s- Matrix, which is an acoustic, modular wall mural system with magnetic OLED lights that can be moved and arranged; Mark Lighting’s- Slot 4 LED Tunable White, a recessed linear fixture with tunable white technology enabling the end user to adjust the light color temperature from a deep amber for a relaxed atmosphere to an alert bright white. To continue with linear fixtures, we installed Coronet’s- RUSH which is an impressive low-profile luminaire with multiple options for color temperature, patterns, and dimming options, and the STFU LS1 pendant (a part of their acoustic line) that is wrapped in a sound control felt made by Turf to provide an all-in-one configurable lighting system that helps reduce noise levels.

We also added in some decorative pieces such as: the Gents pendants from Bruck Lighting, which is a simple cable pendant with socket base that perfectly displays vintage style LED lamps for a minimalist look and feel; Blackjack’s- Steelos pendant has a modern take on a typical chandelier- it’s a dimmable, tubular style pendant system with frosted acrylic diffusers in various sizes and can be adjusted to various lengths to create a unique look; and we also included a small table lamp from Artemide called Empatia- designed by Carlotta de Bevilacqua and Paola di Arianello- is a hand-blown glass lamp that displays a frosted ombre progression from top to bottom. And for the final piece, from TLS International – the TLS digital which is a tension LED system that is fully customizable for any surface lighting project. Each individual RGB pixel can be individually controlled and programmed for a large-scale LED matrix to create all kinds of scenes that sync to sounds and music- it’s a fun and unique product!

But the “Big Standout” was our very own Eureka-Mute” pendant- made from the same sound-absorbing felt material as the Matrix- not only made the Top 10 Finalists, but ended up being the Winner of “Best of SD Design Connect.” The acoustic panels not only give the pendant an interesting look but is also environmentally friendly since it’s made from recycled PET bottles. We were extremely excited and proud to have presented a winning product based on votes from the design community.

Lastly, there are a few key people that need be recognized for all their hard work. To Danny Cortez, Jason Bash and Greg Cresto, we’d like to thank you for constructing the ceiling structure we used to install multiple of our light fixtures. Also, a big thank you to Candice Young from Herman Miller and Stephen Easley from GM Business Interiors for providing the furniture and virtual reality head-sets that brought our booth to life.

Meet The Team: Amanda Ivko

Amanda Ivko, or Got-to-Go Ivko, use to be known as the nicest girl in the office. After revealing her Uber score though (tied for last in the office), everything changed. In this month’s meet the team Amanda is ready to redeem herself! Amanda loves being apart of the specification sales team and when she’s not in the office you can find her on the soccer field or in the kitchen whipping up some treats. Next time you have a sweet tooth, Amanda is your go-to girl, she loves being creative with her baking and decorating everything from cakes to cookies. Can you say yum?

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

AI: It all happened by chance. Prior to coming to SDLA, I worked in the hospitality industry for 10 years, 6 of those years as a sushi chef! I loved being able to connect with the customers and creating delicious food for them; however, I ultimately ended up leaving because I was missing out on special and important moments with my friends and family. Soon after I left my previous job, my friend Jessica, who also works here, was being promoted and looking for her replacement. After hyping up the company, I decided to come work for SDLA and will have been with the company almost 2 years come December.

Q: What’s your day to day like in the office?

 AI: My day-to-day consists of scheduling manufacturer visits, planning upcoming events, helping my associates with whatever they need while they are out of the office, visiting customers and updating them on the latest products, taking samples to customers, creating posts to our social media accounts, etc. It’s a great mix that keeps me busy and on my toes!

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

AI: I love planning the events that our office puts on! Everything from the Bi-Annual product shows, our Designer Luncheons or Happy Hours, I love having a role in making the events the best they can be for our clients and customers. Seeing everything come together is really rewarding, and it’s great to see customers enjoy themselves. Plus we always host our events at unique and fun places around San Diego and I love being able to check out the hottest restaurants or venues in the area. One of my favorite projects to be apart of was our agency product show at 57 degrees. It was completely different than our normal shows, so it was an exciting process to be a part of and so great to see how well it was received by our clients.

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

AI: I’ve recently transitioned into the new role of specification sales and the culture of support here has made this process so much easier. I love that my co-workers are always so willing to help each other out and take on new challenges. The atmosphere is fun but everyone knows how to work hard as well. Work hard, play hard.

Designer Lighting Luncheon: Setting the Bar with JLC Tech & Armstrong Ceilings

Who wants to spend their lunch in a boring office when you can have lunch in the club? Last Thursday, we hosted our 4th Designer Luncheon featuring both JLC Tech and Armstrong Ceilings, where specifiers met us in Downtown San Diego at Parq Restaurant and Nightclub.

For this specific luncheon, (since we had not one, but TWO manufacturers) we really wanted to “wow” our specifiers with our venue choice which did not disappoint. Every detail from when you first walk around the corner into the open- aired, Central Park inspired restaurant, down the hall through the grotto tunnel that opened into the nightclub with blue and white lighting everywhere, really made for a grand entrance.

Dai-Nee Tan, the Architectural Contract Sales Manager for Armstrong Ceilings, kicked off the presentation with a short video that showcased the different Armstrong ceiling solutions and a presentation on her product line. She then handed the presentation over to Eric Reiser, the Western Regional Sales Manager of JLC Tech, who explained how the T-Bar Smartlight pairs together with Armstrong Ceilings and demonstrated how easy the installation is. To wrap things up, Eric revealed some exciting and exclusive- (still under wraps)- news about what’s to come from both manufacturers later this fall! Be sure to check back when we make the big announcement!

In addition, Congrats again to our $50 Visa gift card winners- Marissa Clow from FS Design and Emily Taber-Moore from Jules Wilson Design. Thank you both for attending and participating!

If you haven’t been to one of our luncheons yet, don’t fret! Our next one will take place in December with the location TBD. Stay updated by checking out our Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn pages for more details!

Also, we always encourage all of our designers, architects, and engineers to come and bring their customers- The more the merrier! If you would like more information, and would like to join our next Designer Luncheon Event, please RSVP to Amanda Ivko at amandai@sdltg.com!

The Future Is Here With nLight® AIR

Are you ready to get more from your wireless? Look no further, Acuity Brands® just launched nLight® AIR 2.0… The most secure, reliable and scalable wireless networked lighting control system or as we like to call it, everyone’s dream system to specify and install! nLight® AIR is built on the same trusted software platform as nLight and provides the ease of install with wireless communication. nLight® AIR is a robust wireless lighting control solution, complete with Acuity Brands® enabled LED fixtures with embedded smart sensors, dimming relay packs, remote motion sensors, wireless nLight® AIR wall switches and the best part…nLight AIR connects to the nLight Eclypse to provide a networked wireless solution with central control, timeclock scheduling, demand response and BMS integration capabilities.

nLight® AIR is perfect in spaces where wiring is cost prohibitive, or retrofits where running new wires can be difficult, expensive or complex. This wireless system is extremely scalable and upgradable. It can operate as: stand-alone lighting control in an individual room; networked with the nLight Eclypse for networked tenant, floor or building lighting control; or integrated into a building management system allowing for integration between building controls and the nLight® AIR wireless controls systems. And the flexibility, you ask? This wireless system is extremely scalable and upgradable. It can operate in many different configurations:

-Stand-alone lighting control in an individual room

-Networked with the nLight Eclypse for networked tenant, floor, or building lighting control

-Integrated into a building management system allowing for integration between building controls and the nLight® AIR wireless controls systems.

And the flexibility, you ask? The wireless relays and motion sensors can be integral to the fixture or remote mounted devices.

The addition of nLight® AIR to the nLight family gives users the ability to have distributed relay based, central panel based and wireless-based control solutions under one platform. nLight AIR can be programmed through Sensorview Desktop Software for networked systems or a mobile configuration app, CLAIRITY™, for quick and easy startup on standalone solutions. nLight AIR systems can be deployed using the building’s existing wiring, which reduces installation costs and helps the ROI of the system pay off faster.

The technology behind nLight® AIR is precisely designed for security and reliability. The wireless signal is 900 megahertz frequency, which offers proven reliability, a range of up to 600’ installed with obstructions, 1,000’ line of site range and a less congested wavelength. On top of that, it features a 5-tier security architecture that starts with AES 128-bit encryption and builds up from there with additional layers of security. These aspects provide you with the confidence to design and install an innovative lighting control solution.

Want more? We are here to support you each step of the way. From specification support with project specific solutions, product samples, and typical single lines; to installation support with wiring diagrams, pre-construction meetings, network programming and training. The next time you have a project that requires wireless controls solutions, be sure to contact SDLA for the premier wireless solution, nLight® AIR.

Meet The Team: JP Castro

JP Castro is quick on and off the field, he has to be as a father of four and controls specialist at SDLA! JP is a hometown guy, who is a lifelong Padres fan and baseball enthusiast. JP loves being able to share his love for baseball with his four sons and coach their teams! When he’s not being a team player in the office with the controls department, he’s teaching his sons how to be team players on and off the field. Ready for this month’s meet the team? Coach Castro is throwing us a fast one!

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

JC: I was working for Acuity Brands in Ontario, who is a manufacturer for SDLA. I was looking to cut down on my four-hour commute and got in touch with Danny. They brought me on board a little over a year ago to bring in more tech support for the lighting controls department. What’s really nice for me is that I still get to work closely with Acuity Brands and my old co-workers there but now I’m able to spend more time at home with my family.

Q: What’s your day to day like in the office?

JC: Every morning we try to knock out all our bids so I start off my day by checking in with the board and the team to see what needs to be done. We will load the controls in the quotes, along with the designs and layouts and then send it over to the distributors so they can continue the process from there.

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

JC: I really enjoy working with my co-workers to complete a project. Everyone on the team has a different set of expertise and experiences, so we are are all able to help each other to make the best results possible for the client. My co-workers are also very intuitive, they can sense when I may need help with something and step up to the job before I even need to ask. Aside from working with the other controls guys, I work with the fixtures/quotations department every day and their another team that is always willing to be supportive and hard working.

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

JC: I love that when it’s time to be serious, everyone here can buckle down and work together to get a project done. But when we have the time to joke around and be silly, everyone can have a good time together too. It’s also awesome that I get to work with one of my greatest friends every day, Brendan. We are definitely office best friends so whenever people hear us bickering or disagreeing about something, they will come over and ask “uh, oh trouble in paradise?”

Meet The Team: Albert Brocone

When Albert Brocone joined SDLA two years ago, he officially became known as Albie to the team.  Albert was born and raised in San Diego and loves living by the bay. When he’s not exploring San Diego from behind the wheel as a controls technician, Albert loves going to the beach to walk or bike along the water with his girlfriend or paddleboard in the waves! Wondering what it’s like to be Albert for a day? Albert’s meet the team starts now!

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

AB: I was working in audio as a freelance engineer, working at places like the House of Blues and concert venues, but looking to fill my schedule with more work. SDLA found my resume and brought me in for an interview and acknowledged that I was pretty savvy with a computer. They hired me a little over two years ago, which began my career in the lighting industry.

Q: What’s your day to day like in the office?

 AB: I’m actually not in the office as much as I’m boots on the ground with electrical contractors in the field. I drive out to job sites all over San Diego and work with electrical contractors to install Acuity Brands products. Then I program the lights to be Title 24 compliant and ensure the project accounts for all the building codes. Most of the time, I’m solo on the job but it’s always nice when we have a big project and I can head out to a site with the other SDLA controls technicians, Will Laws and Greg Cresto.

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

AB: Being on the road is really good for me. I love exploring San Diego by visiting job sites all over our region. It’s always rewarding when I drive around the area and can look at restaurants or businesses and see my work in execution. It makes me feel like a part of the community when I experience a project from start to finish and can take pride in the finished result. One of my favorite things to do is go to visit and eat at a restaurant  I worked at during development after they’ve opened. Additionally, I love working here in San Diego because clean energy is such a strong focus and I love having that worldly aspect and responsibility in my job.

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

 AB: Since SDLA was my first exposure to the lighting industry, I came in blind and didn’t really know what to expect when I  came on board. I’m so grateful for the culture here because I’ve never been timid to ask questions or look for help from this team. It’s great to work with so many people my age, who can banter and joke with one another. At first, it took some time getting used to the culture because I had come from cold and rigid workplaces, but I’ve welcomed the change wholeheartedly. We have a nice family culture here, we love to go bowling outside of work or grab a drink after hours.

CA Title 24 Quick Reference: Plug Load Control – When Do You Need It?

This may not be the most popular topic but with the new 2016 version of Title 24 code there are exciting and important changes to discuss. The requirements for plug load control have remained rather the same, with a few major changes.

The biggest change for plug load control is the requirements in alterations. Alterations section 141.0(b)2 has a new subsection P (141.0(b)2P) that covers Electrical power distribution requirements in alterations. 141.0(b)2 Piv states that “Circuit Controls for 120-Volt Receptacles and Controlled Receptacles. For entirely new or complete replacement of electrical power distribution systems, the entire system shall meet the applicable requirements of Section 130.5(d).” The CEC has confirmed that this means that receptacle control is only required in alterations when the entire electrical distribution is replaced. Note, if replacing the entire distribution system, then all connected receptacle loads must meet the requirements of 130.5(d).

The areas/spaces where plug load controls are required are similar but listed with broadened terms. Private offices and open offices have been changed to Office Areas, to include any space that has office related functions being performed. This includes any room or area of a building in CBC Group B Occupancy where business, clerical or professional activities are conducted, including quiet rooms, warehouses, etc., where these functions are also performed. “Reception lobbies” was changed to Lobbies to include all lobbies within a building or space. The term Kitchenette was broadened to Kitchen Areas as to include any space within a building where there are cooking facilities or where food is prepared. Conference Rooms and Copy Rooms have remained unchanged. Hotel and motel guest rooms maintain the same requirement to control half of the receptacles using a captive keycard, occupancy sensing control, or automatic controls that switch the power off no longer than 30 minutes after the guestroom has been vacated.

The requirements for plug load control are still to install a control system: that can automatically shut off the lighting when the space is typically unoccupied, with an automatic holiday shut-off and maximum 2-hour override. At least one controlled receptacle must be installed within 6 feet of an uncontrolled receptacle or split wire the receptacles to provide at least one controlled and one uncontrolled receptacle. Modular furniture in open office areas are to have at least one controlled receptacle installed at each workstation. Provide controlled receptacles or circuits with a permanent and durable marking that differentiates them from other uncontrolled receptacles or circuits.

Be sure to check out nLight’s nPP20 PL that controls a full 20 amp receptacle circuit and gives you peace of mind when controlled receptacles are required.

https://www.acuitybrands.com/products/detail/441248/nLight/nPP20-PL/Plug-Load-Control-Power-Pack

CA Title 24 2016 Quick Reference: Local Manual Control

Where do you put light switches for spaces that are open to the public like corridors, retail spaces, lobbies, restrooms, arenas, etc? These can be locked devices, placed within view of the lighting, or controls capable of annunciating the space that is being controlled. You can use a nPOD KEY, a keyed digital dimming switch, a nPODM decora digital dimming switch, or best of all, a nPOD GFX a 16 channel single gang touchscreen dimming controller with custom digital labeling. Read on for the specific requirements and solutions by area.

With the enforcement of 2016 T24 code, there have been a lot of inquiries surrounding the changes to local manual control requirements. Per 130.1(a), it is a requirement to provide manual control that is readily accessible and located within the same room or area. The exceptions provided allow for: areas to have lighting control that is within view of the lighting (or illuminated area) or controls that annunciate the area being illuminated; and to have the manual control not accessible to unauthorized personnel.

The areas that allow for controls to be within view or annunciated are malls and atria, auditorium areas, retail merchandise sales areas, wholesale showroom areas, commercial and industrial storage areas, general commercial and industrial work areas, convention centers, and arenas. The areas that allow for controls that are not accessible to unauthorized personnel are public restrooms with two or more stalls, parking areas, stairwells, and corridors. What does having controls not accessible to unauthorized personnel entail? The CEC accepts using a standard switch within a locked enclosure, a keyed switch, a switch located within an inaccessible area with a view of the lighting or illuminated area or using a switch with the controlled area being annunciated.

Per 130.1(a)4, General lighting shall be separately controlled from other lighting systems in the area so additional switches/controls are needed if providing additional types of lighting.

Note, the requirement for dimmable fixtures to be controlled by a dimming switch that can control the fixture through all of the required steps of Table 130.1-A has moved from the Area Control requirements section to section 130.1(b)3.

T24 Compliant Control Typicals:

SDLA:  https://www.sandiegolighting.com/controls-typicals/

T24 Compliant Control Systems:

nLight:   https://www.acuitybrands.com/products/controls/nlight

nLight AIR:  https://www.acuitybrands.com/products/controls/nlightair

Fresco:  https://www.acuitybrands.com/products/controls/fresco

LC&D – Blue Box:  https://www.acuitybrands.com/products/controls/blue-box

XPoint Wireless:  https://www.acuitybrands.com/products/controls/xpoint-wireless

EchoFlex: http://www.echoflexsolutions.com/

Designer Lighting Luncheon: Eureka Lighting Takes the Stage

Is there really a better way to spend your lunch hour then discussing the latest “hot topics” in lighting? We don’t think so. Specifiers, designers, engineers and architects in the lighting industry, joined us for the third installment of our designer luncheon series on May 24th at the Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in Liberty Station. Stone brewing was a great location to host over 40 attendees, who engaged with a presentation and networking opportunities after enjoying a delicious lunch of steak, potatoes and organic greens, served buffet style.

We were lucky to have Eureka Lighting’s very own Director of Sales, Scott Spence and California District Sales Manager, Robert Ayala host the event, alongside our spec team. The duo gave the attendees insight into the many award-winning Eureka products and their vast capabilities. We were particularly impressed with the Matrix, an innovation in acoustic lighting, and the Flynn. Both of which won 2017 Product Innovation  Awards. Attendees had the opportunity to not only hear from the Eureka experts but witness the power of these products themselves, as we had multiple on display.

We love being able to provide the San Diego area with the latest in lighting innovation and networking opportunities. Rather than sitting in the drive-thru line on your lunch hour join us for our next designer luncheon, tentatively scheduled with Armstrong ceilings and JLC Tech t-bar lighting solutions! We have another show-stopping location in the works for you but keep checking in on our InstagramFacebook, and LinkedIn pages for more details as they become available!

Our events are always sure to fill up quickly so reserve your spot today. Anyone who specifies lighting in the San Diego/Imperial County areas is welcome to join us and can simply RSVP by emailing Amanda Ivko at amandai@sdltg.com!

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!