What’s New

Meet the Team: Brendan Kelliher

When Brendan Kelliher joined the team two years he became SDLA’s lucky charm.  Born and raised in Ireland, Kelliher moved to the United States and is a great addition to the lighting controls department.  After standing up for a week straight at his standing desk, he officially became known as the office’s standup guy… of course, his teamwork skills played a role in the nickname too! Brendan is settling into his new home here in San Diego and loves the beach, but he does miss those rainy days in Ireland that we don’t find here too often. Let’s meet one of our beloved controls specialists!

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

BK: I went to school for civil engineering and worked in that field before moving to the United States. When I moved from Boston to San Diego I had the opportunity to talk with SDLA and I was really interested in what the company was doing. So, I initially didn’t think I’d end up in lighting, but this company had me excited enough that I decided to make the switch. I’ve now been a control specialist for two years and I can safely say I made an awesome choice when betting on SDLA.

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

BK: I love checking in with the bid board for hot projects and seeing all the different rewards and challenges that each job will offer. I love that my day to day is always changing along with the projects we are working on; the job is never monotonous, and it really keeps things fresh and exciting. Also, I love being the point person for a lighting controls project when I’m able to own everything from the concept to the design to the execution.

Q: Do you have a favorite project that you’ve worked on?

 BK: Right now, I’m really enjoying working on the SDG&E Mission Control project. The Fresco™ line from Acuity Brands is a really big component of this job because the line includes high-performance lighting controls that we are excited to use in our layouts. This project is very rewarding because a lot of thought and detail has gone into designing the layout so, after numerous rounds of revisions, it will be great to see the project completed, knowing the client got the best value.

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

 BK: What first attracted me to SDLA was the support system given to each and every employee. I saw very early on, firsthand, that everyone is really helpful and supportive of one another and it’s something that I continue to love about the culture here. The environment in the office is great too, the atmosphere is the perfect hybrid between laid back and goal oriented. We work hard, play hard. I can also confirm that our team is like a big family and I’m really lucky to have great co-workers, like JP Castro. He’s the Sancho Panza to my Don Quixote.

Join Us For a Free IES Training!

We’re eliminating any excuses you may have for furthering your education by sponsoring a FREE IES, Title 24 compliant training! On April 11th, we invite all distributors, electrical contractors, electrical engineers, architects, lighting designers, and anyone else interested to attend our training. This IES Spring update will be held at the REXEL San Diego Energy Center and lunch will be provided for all those in attendance from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. This opportunity comes to you with no admission fee and free parking, so if you have been waiting to attend a training course, this is the perfect chance to get a baseline knowledge or refresher of industry standards as regulations continue to become more rigorous.

As the speaker for the event, I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing several perspectives from different occupations and experience levels in the industry. This training is suited for anyone new to Title 24 or any seasoned professional looking for a refresher course. In this course, I will discuss the exceptions to the code professionals should be aware of and how to utilize these benefits to move projects from concept to execution. Even some seasoned electrical professionals and distributors may not be aware of the way they can use code and regulations to their benefit and sometimes see compliance strictly as a prohibitory factor. This IES training will also cover how to offer lower up-front costs and energy savings projects, while still being Title 24 compliant. As code requirements and regulations continue to become more and more challenging, it’s essential that we continue to educate ourselves through training in order to save our clients and our companies time and money.

There are still spots available for this training, so be sure to register online and secure your spot free of charge! If you want more information or have any other questions, please reach out to me at danielc@sdltg.com.  

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!

In-House Lighting Layout Service: 3 Easy Steps to Take Your Concept to a Reality

An idea or dream would never have the chance to become a reality if someone didn’t bring them to life. When a client brings us their dream we are committed to delivering them the whole picture, the complete package. That’s why it only made sense to offer in-house lighting layout services to our specifiers, contractors, distributors, or anyone else seeing layout assistance. We feel the addition of this service rounds out our ability to meet the needs of our customer base more effectively, providing a one-stop-shop for all things including quotations, project management, specifications, training & education, lighting controls design assistance, lighting controls layouts, and field service to name a few.

Each and every project that comes through our doors is eligible to take advantage of our lighting layout service.  Here are the simple steps to the process that take your concept to a reality:

-Layout request and all supporting information are sent to our lighting layout department. Projects that require a layout from our customers are sent to our lighting specialist, Rod Equihua, who brings the concept to design and then to execution. Our custom layouts give clients a visual representation of the completed project, the closest thing to an actual installation. The more information you provide, the better, but if you need us to assist with fixture selection and fixture attributes that will elicit the best results, we can absolutely do that for you!

-Rod gets to work. After receiving the requirements from the customer, Rod starts working on creating the layout, with more complex projects requiring an AutoCAD or 3D modeling of the project using our Visual Lighting software. This model gives the client a complete look into the luminaire characteristics, room specifications, fixture type/placement and a representation of the required foot candles.

-Layout ready for customer review. Upon completion, we deliver an entire photometric lighting layout with specific lumen packages with a detailed luminaire schedule. From basic concepts to complex project layouts, we are fully committed to your lighting and control success.

We take pride in being able to bring your project to life by offering well-rounded services under one roof. If you have any questions or would like more information about our in-house lighting layout service be sure to contact Rod at rode@sdltg.com!

Welcome To Our Family Eureka Lighting!

Drum roll please…we are very excited to announce the newest lighting manufacturer to be joining the SDLA family, Eureka Lighting! Eureka Lighting is a Montreal-based decorative lighting manufacturer that brings a unique design approach to their solutions. Their fixture designs have been well received by interior designers, architects, lighting designers, and the like across the country. With our enhanced focus on providing best-in-class service and products to the specification community, Eureka Lighting is a great fit.

Our team has been buzzing over the news and is gearing up to hit the ground running with these awesome products.

“To me, Eureka means quality and strong design. I’m so excited to have one of my favorite lines on board!” – Laura Ramirez, Specification Sales

“I am very excited to represent a line that has such a wide range of unique architectural lighting that can be used to compliment so many different types of projects.” – Kristin Miller, Principal/Operations Manager

“I’m so excited that we are adding one of the leading decorative lighting manufacturers in North America to our SDLA family! Their wide range of solutions will enable us to better provide a complete package for our customers.” – Maronee Rodenberger, Specification Sales

As you can see our team is really excited about our new addition! So much that  we’re installing some of their key features in our office as well.  Also, if you want some true decorative lighting design inspiration, you’ll want to check out their latest Volume 9 Catalog!  We have a stockpile here that we will be distributing soon or you can request your copy by clicking here.

Finally, help us welcome Eureka at our next designer luncheon series, which will be held on May 24th! RSVP by emailing Amanda Ivko at amandai@sdltg.com for an all-inclusive opportunity to witness, first-hand, everything this line has to offer!

Our Bi-Annual Agency Show: A Truly Bright Event

An event that shines so bright we bring it to you twice a year! Our bi-annual agency show was held on March 8th and we experienced record attendance for any of our agency shows, ever!  Thank you to all who came out! This time around, the SDLA team chose to host the event at the eclectic wine bar, 57 degrees in downtown San Diego. Interior designers, architects, electrical engineers, electrical distributors, electrical contractors and other decision makers filled the venue from 3-7 PM to check out new lighting products and solutions from 10 different lighting and lighting controls manufacturers.

The show-stopping roster of manufacturers in attendance included, Acuity Brands (Mark Architectural Lighting, Lithonia Lighting, Gotham Downlighting, Juno Downlighting, and nLight), Sunoptics, Chauvet/Illuminarc, v2 lighting group, XAL, Myers Power Products, Kurtzon, Targetti and Impact Architectural. With each new event, we strive to appeal to many different professionals and feature manufacturers that have various product offerings. The well-rounded event received great reviews and was positioned to help those in broaden their horizons in their lighting fixture selection and design choices! Along with the opportunity to browse the latest innovations in lighting, the attendees were entered into a silent auction with the chance to win prizes ranging from Disneyland tickets to a GoPro 5. Attendees also had the exclusive opportunity to view a sneak peek of our newest product line launching later this week, stay tuned for more exciting details!

If you attended the show and are interested in learning more about a product or manufacturer, please email me at brianr@sdltg.com.  Also, don’t miss out on our next bi-annual agency product show on September 20, 2018! Details to be announced soon!

Meet The Team: Crockett Mercer

project quotations Not all those who wander are lost. This rings true for Crockett Mercer, born and raised in Austin, Texas and looking for a change, Crockett left his hometown to find new opportunities in another exciting city. Crockett always said it would take a special city for him to leave his comfort zone but when the chance to move to San Diego presented itself he knew he couldn’t pass it up. His co-workers wasted no time before coming up with nicknames that played on every variation of Crockett they could think of, with Crockdog being their favorite. Crockdog is a valued member of both the project quotations team and our beloved company softball team. Ready to meet the man from Texas and step into a day in the life of a project quotations specialist?

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

CM: It’s crazy to think that I’ve been in the lighting industry now for 10 years, but it all started with me just looking for a stable nine to five job. My friend offered me a delivery driver job at FSG and by the time I left the company in 2014 I had climbed the ladder into project sales. When I was looking to leave Austin, I reached out to reps in cool cities around the country to inquire about any opportunities out there. It just so happened that SDLA was hiring around the time I was looking…the stars aligned and I haven’t looked back since.

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

CM: Project quotations is an extremely rewarding position here at SDLA. I love when requests come in without specifications for the light fixtures and I have the chance to build out the design as well as provide the client with an accurate quote. When my design builds are used I feel extremely rewarded, it really keeps me going.

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

 CM: The atmosphere of this company is unbeatable, I promise it’s not a cliché when we all say that this company is more comparable to one big family than a group of coworkers. Especially within my department, I find that I can lean on my coworkers for everything and vice versa, they can always count on me. Inside the office, we all work great together and laugh our way through the day and the same can be said for our relationships outside of the office as well. I’m on the company softball team, and I think I’m just there for another warm body, because I’m not that great, but I love that they welcome me with open arms to come out and have a good time.

 Q: What does your typical day look like?

CM: Every morning I come in and check our bid board, which helps us organize which team members are handling what and ensures the work is evenly distributed across our department. Every project brings its own unique challenges and opportunities to our team, and we approach everything with the same process but always provide a different solution. The process may stay the same, but every project is fresh and new, making the day to day fun and exciting.

Designer Lighting Luncheon: LucePlan Lessons

Cue the lights for another installment of our designer luncheon series! This month’s designer luncheon was held at “One of San Diego’s Most Stylish Restaurants”, Herb & Wood in Little Italy. The venue was the perfect setting and we were happy to have another full house of lighting designers, architects, interior designers, and electrical engineers eager to discuss another one of the “hot topics” in lighting.

LucePlan Lighting’s very own Ken Downing hosted the event alongside our spec team. Downing led an AIA-accredited presentation on decorative and architectural lighting solutions with acoustical properties that are designed to effectively minimize surround acoustics. Designers and architects in attendance were offered many takeaways from the event including the latest trends to best serve their clients’ needs.

Looking to learn something useful for your next lunch hour?  Well, you’re in luck because we’ve already got another great Designer Luncheon coming down the pipeline for you! Mark your calendars for May 24th for a presentation with a new SDLA manufacturer to be announced soon. The location is still to be determined for this luncheon but be sure to keep checking back to our Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn pages for more details as they become available!

History is bound to repeat itself so be sure to reserve your spot before we hit max capacity, ASAP. Anyone who specifies lighting in the San Diego/Imperial County areas that would like to join us can simply RSVP to Amanda Ivko at amandai@sdltg.com!

Lights, Music, Action! This Speaker Downlight Does It All

Speaker Downlight

Imagine with the flick of the switch, you’re able set the mood with dimmable lighting and queue the perfect soundtrack for your night. Back track to the morning where you can start your day with a live concert in the shower, starring you, with Wet Location™ lighting. Now, transport yourself to warm summer nights with friends on the patio with your lighting and music housed under one device. Introducing the Acuity Brands 6SL Speaker Downlight, an evolutionary device which will change how you listen to music in your home. These records have been flying off the shelfs… I mean lights.

This LED wireless speaker downlight brings adjustable lighting and music to virtually anywhere in your home and saves you space traditional speakers would take up. Retrofit for most 6-inch housings, installation is as easy as changing a lightbulb. The speaker downlight can be paired with up to eight units, including your smart TV, bringing an innovative sound experience to your kitchen, your patio, your movie room and even your shower! Whether you want the LED lights on full blast or off all together, music can still be played through the speaker, with the battery life lasting up to six hours while the lights are off. Wirelessly stream your favorite songs from any mobile device via Bluetooth™ into any room of your home, whether that be Motown classics or the latest Adele ballad. Additionally, you can customize your lighting experience in different rooms with three different color temperatures choices at a cost-effective rate for each device.

I recently had the opportunity to install these devices first hand and see them in action when helping my brother put them up in his home. Nobody else in the market currently has a product like this, so we were pleased to see how reasonably priced these devices were. The installation was simple and easy to execute. We had music streaming through his home within minutes with mobile streaming and the LED lights with all their dimming capabilities we’re up and running in no time.

If you’re interested in learning more about this revolutionary product or you’re ready to order some for your home email me at jasonb@sdltg.com, or contact one of our distributor stock flow salespeople Matt Gallardo (mattg@sdltg.com) or Shareef Stratton (shareefs@sdltg.com).

Meet The Team: Jessica Swank

Jessica SwankBuckle up for this month’s Meet the Team, with Jessica Swank, who brings the speed to our quotations department. Jessica’s job is all about living in the fast lane as a quick quotes specialist, but the same can be said about her life at home as she juggles marriage, parenting and the upcoming Dodger baseball season. We hope Jessica’s son doesn’t mind sharing, because our staff knows her best as Momma Jess, due to her nurturing and caring spirit (Cliff even has her as his west coast emergency contact)! Jess is a blonde at heart and admits that she can sometimes, (ok pretty much daily), ask ditzy questions, but she loves being able to make everyone laugh and is a great sport when it comes to laughing at herself. Let’s switch things into high gear and introduce our fast acting, quick quotes specialist!

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

JS: It was really about being in the right place at the right time. I had been working for a plastic surgeon and was at a standstill in my career. I reached out to my friend, Lee, inquiring about any job leads she was aware of in her industry. Luckily, she got me in touch with Kristin, who interviewed me and I left with the job later that day. I would’ve never imagined my career transitioning into lighting but now that I’ve been here for almost 2 years, I couldn’t be happier that this opportunity fell into my lap.

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

JS: I love the quick turnaround aspect of my job. Quick quotes are supposed to come back to the customer in 30 minutes, but I always strive for a faster time. When customers get a quote back in 5 or 10 minutes, they’re really appreciative of the customer service. Guiding the customer’s journey from the beginning, starting from scratch, is very rewarding. I also love when one of my co-workers comes back to me and lets me know that we’re moving forward with a project I initially quoted.

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

JS: I know we all say this, but I love the culture here because we truly act like one big family. I definitely spend more time with my work family than any of my friends outside of work. I enjoy working here because it’s so easy to come into work when you love the people you work with. Even the worst Monday’s aren’t so bad because there is always laughter and good times in our office. We also like to have “ Family Lunches”, where we all go out to eat or eat together in the office…we make it a point to do it at least once a week.

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

 JS: I love being able to look back and see how far I’ve come. I’m excited to work with more projects that are of larger sizes. While it can be intimidating to quote large projects, the challenge really excites me. As I learn more and expand my skillset, I’m looking forward to becoming an even better resource for my co-workers. I’m very lucky to have such supportive bosses here, like Danny, who has some new ideas of things I can get involved in this year. I have a difficult time saying no to him or anyone really, so I’m always open to trying new things and I can’t wait to see what he and the rest of the principals have in mind for me!