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Anticipating LIGHTFAIR International 2017

Before I jump into the specific things that LIGHTFAIR International 2017 (LFI) has me looking forward to, let me tell you that LFI is the premier event for the lighting community. It is more than products and seminars – it’s a convergence of like-minded people who all work diligently to make our world more innovative and sustainable. Overall, I am looking forward to discovering and understanding the next great things in lighting to bring back to our utility clients to help them meet their ever-increasing energy efficiency goals. Here are four things that I am anticipating the most.

  1. I want to see Power over Ethernet (PoE) up close and learn more about how it will drive the smart buildings of the future.

In case you are not aware, the concept of PoE means powering LED lighting through a network cable, not #12 wire. I think PoE will be a game changer and is the future of the lighting industry. It moves lighting beyond illumination to create new value and benefits for building occupants.

LED lighting is a low-voltage DC device. When you power the fixture by Ethernet cable, you eliminate the AC-DC conversion that takes place in the electronic driver. This makes the fixture more efficient and sets up the possibility of powering LED lighting directly with Solar PV electricity. But more than efficiency, with PoE you are essentially marrying the luminaire to the building’s IT architecture.  I see three significant advantages to this approach:

  • Cut the project cost by eliminating the need to hire an electrician – installation happens by a low-voltage installer
  • By changing the code, you can customize this system to meet your specific needs
  • PoE lowers the cost of bringing other IP-enabled devices online, because the network infrastructure is already in place.

Lighting will become the stepping stone to the smart building. PoE checks all the boxes as the technology to achieve this goal.

  1. I’m looking forward to the Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart Lighting Forum.

LFI is all about innovation and this year it will hold a full-day forum on how the Internet of Things (IoT) is impacting the commercial lighting market. If you are not familiar with the term, IoT is the phenomenon of connecting devices that consume energy to the web.  These internet-enabled devices have unique IP addresses that allow them to report on their energy consumption, among other items. I am specifically looking forward to hearing Ron Zimmer of the Continental Automated Building Association (CABA) speak about intelligent lighting’s impact on IoT. There are billions of these internet-enabled devices currently online, and I am eager to understand more about how lighting’s integrated sensor network will affect other building operations.

  1. I’m excited to take the architecture trolley tour.

Full disclosure, I am not an architect by trade – but my job as a lighting specialist has brought me into diverse building types and raised my interest in the subject. Philadelphia is a beautiful city with a skyline that juxtaposes many different styles and eras.  The tour is led by local lighting design firm Grenald Waldron, which has a wealth of knowledge about the city.

  1. I’m looking forward to putting faces with names.

Networking is one of the best things about LFI. Over the course of the year, I’ve had many great conversations with manufacturers, reps, distributors and utilities. LFI is an excellent opportunity to grow existing relationships and put faces with names and also presents a chance to meet new professionals outside of your existing network. I’m looking forward to meeting as many new people as possible. Connecting with others is essential to continue growing competencies, and whether over a cup of coffee or talking between sessions, LFI presents many opportunities to grow and expand relationships. If you are attending the event, please feel free to connect with me to learn more about advanced lighting controls (ALC) from DNV GL. My contact information is listed below in the post-script.

We live in a fascinating time of innovation and constant change. As a lighting and lighting controls specialist, it’s my job to understand what these changes mean for the utility industry and to communicate that change in a straight-forward manner to those who are looking for new and innovative energy efficiency measures. Be on the lookout for my next blog, which will be my takeaways from LFI, including the trolley tour.

For more on advanced lighting controls, watch my on-demand webinar. Utilities will not want to miss out on the opportunity to diversify their lighting programs with an advanced lighting controls offering.

Post Script: DNV GL and Advanced Lighting & Controls

DNV GL has successfully designed and implemented advanced lighting controls projects on behalf of our utility clients for four years. Our team has significant project experience in both retrofitting and new construction of lighting projects. We work through the project life-cycle to identify, justify, and evaluate energy-savings measures and provide post-installation engineering review to verify savings. Our team is available to work directly with directly with large institutions to assist them with Advanced Lighting and Control projects. For more information, please contact Wesley Whited.

Wesley Whited is a Senior Consultant for Advanced Lighting & Controls at DNV GL. Mr. Whited has a diverse background in the commercial lighting market ranging from project management to sales. He is a graduate of West Virginia University (WVU) and has an MBA from Capital University in Columbus, OH.

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