Feb 28, 2020
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U.S. DOE Lighting R&D Workshop Cosponsored by the Illuminating Engineering Society
Alex BakerAlex Baker, [email protected] – Late January marked the 17th annual U.S. Department of Energy Lighting R&D Workshop, held in San Diego, California. It also marked the first time the event was co-sponsored by the Illuminating Engineering Society. Longtime workshop attendees and followers of the DOE solid-state lighting program noted the shift in the event’s title, away from a specific focus on solid-state lighting toward lighting research and development more broadly. Crafted with equal input from DOE and IES staff, the agenda included an impressive lineup of experts and for the first time featured multiple parallel tracks: materials research & product innovation; lighting science; and lighting systems & building integration. Steve Burrows from the Cameron MacAllister Group gave the opening keynote address “Disruption Is Coming to the Building Industry,” on forthcoming technological disruptions and the economics motivating them. Other plenaries included “LEDs for Photons, Physiology, and Food,” “Lighting Market Trends,” “New Considerations for SSL System Reliability,” and “The Business of Lighting,” a panel discussion moderated by Mark Lien.

Consumer Electronics Show
Mark Lein, LCMark Lien, [email protected] – The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is the largest technology show in the world. My upcoming column, Progressions, in LD+A will discuss CES2020 in more depth. Lighting technology was represented this year as sources, various luminaires, components integrated into other technology, and as captivating large-screen micro-LED displays. Imagine when displays can inexpensively cover our walls and serve as the source of light. Imagine windows and video/image displays that move. That transition has started, and CES2020 exhibited some of the technology making it possible. There were many companies competing for control of our devices. They offer ways to connect and centralize the control of disparate gadgets and appliances. Lighting is always one of the products controlled, but it is usually represented by some generic icon like a light bulb, not as recognized lighting manufacturers’ logos. Signify, OSRAM, and others were among the traditional lighting companies that had booths. The beginnings of artificial intelligence already in our homes—Alexa, Google Home, and their older but no wiser sister, Siri—are so common as features in CES2020 products as to be considered table stakes. These artificial intelligence (AI) assistants allow augmented-reality glasses to control lighting, as well as allowing you to play your favorite song, watch videos, make calls, and surf the internet. IBM brought a replica of their new quantum computer. This tech is available to use now but is projected to grow cheaper and faster exponentially. If you are not familiar with quantum computers yet, it is worth your time to know enough to understand the potential this has for good and bad and for solving tasks beyond human abilities (unless you consider that humans developed the quantum computer). New drug development, DNA work, and controlling global flight patterns are among the tasks expected to be rapidly improved. The tie-in to lighting is that cybersecurity of devices may be impossible due to the inability to securely encrypt devices. The projected processing speeds threaten all existing encryption in smart lighting and other products. The lighting industry is undergoing a transformation, and CES2020 provided insight to how technologies are converging and will affect the lighting community.

Strategies in Light®
Mark Lien, [email protected] – Strategies in Light (SiL) has evolved and stayed relevant as the LED market matured and shifted toward non-energy related lighting benefits. The presentations were almost completely non-commercial, and most were polished speakers. The exhibit floor and corridors were busy with casual spontaneous conversations. Networking at SiL always strikes me as welcoming and unhurried. My impression from this conference is that there is clear agreement on the potential for non-energy related lighting benefits in light & health and in horticulture once we substantiate the effects that the LED source has on people and plants. Until we can make stronger health claims, the light & health market remains in the hype cycle, with sales suppressed and awaiting a value proposition. That may ultimately come from Samsung, Apple, or Google. We also need a universally accepted global circadian metric (e.g., EML, CS, CP). IoT was mentioned along with smart and connected lighting. Sales of smart products have stalled, other than in smart city applications, due to the chasm between what manufacturers think customers want (flexibility and integrated, centrally controlled appliances and gadgets) and what customers actually want (energy savings, which is unlikely once basic LEDs are installed). Li-Fi is one technology that has strong momentum, and it does not face the challenges that light & health, horticultural, and IoT lighting have. AI for lighting control is table stakes now (offered by Alexa, Google Home, and even Siri). 5G is in major cities but will be slow to cover the country. It will provide significantly faster speeds, lessening latency periods for device communication. While the trajectory for the lighting community is clear, the variables affecting the speed of change are considerable. SiL 2020 clarified the state of our industry and offered valuable new information with informed perspectives and analysis and thought-provoking ideas. Conferences of this caliber strengthen and encourage our lighting community.


IES Participation in the California Title 24 2022 Code Development Cycle
Alex Baker, [email protected] – California IES members gathered the evening of January 7th at the PG&E Energy Center in San Francisco to discuss California’s energy code, Title 24 Part 6. During the meeting, members discussed problems they face with the current code, including code provisions that cause unnecessary hardship or seem to work against the CEC’s goals, portions of the code that are inconsistent with quality lighting design practice, and lighting power densities, which, if reduced further, could represent an existential threat to the field of lighting design in California. Member inputs will be refined in the coming weeks to inform submission of formal Society comments to the Title 24 docket at the end of March. Earlier that day, I met with representatives of the Statewide Codes and Standards Enhancement Team (CASE, funded by the state’s investor-owned utilities) to review their draft 2022 proposals. The proposals are numerous and detailed. IES members are encouraged to attend the CASE team’s lighting stakeholder webinar on Tuesday, March 3rd to learn more (free; registration required). The California Energy Alliance, of which the IES is a member, is also making progress on proposals for the 2022 cycle. I am a regular attendee of CEA meetings and support the Outcome-Based Codes Initiative working group. I also have the pleasure of representing Society interests before the California Energy Commission, whose staff has been very receptive to new ideas and generous with their time during two recent meetings in Sacramento.


Mark’s Upcoming Events:

  • ANSI C137 meetings
  • Human Factors & Ergonomics Society Healthcare Symposium
  • Lighting Enabled Systems & Application (LESA) Lab / RPI Industry-Academia Days
  • LightFair International, Las Vegas, NV (May 3 – 8)
  • ISO TC 205 meetings
  • IES Research Symposium, Orlando, FL (April 27 – 29)
  • IES Washington Congressional Fly-in
  • ASHRAE Annual Conference
  • IES Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA (August 6 – 8)
  • Optical Society of America / American Physical Society Conference
  • NALMCO Annual Conference
  • IES Street & Area Lighting Conference, Dallas (Oct. 18 – 21)
  • USGBC Greenbuild

Alex’s Upcoming Events

  • Capitol Hill Day: High-Performance Buildings Congressional Caucus Coalition, Washington, DC (March 4)
  • RadTech 2020 / IUVA Americas Conference, Orlando (speaking engagement; March 8 – 11)
  • The WELL Conference, Scottsdale, AZ (speaking engagement; March 29 – April 1)
  • IES Testing Procedures Committee meeting, Asheville, NC (April 14 – 16)
  • IES Aviation Lighting Committee, Government Contacts Subcommittee Meeting, Washington, DC (April 16)
  • LightFair International, Las Vegas, NV (May 3 – 8)
  • U.S. Department of Energy National Code Conference, Chicago, IL (May 11 – 13)
  • IES Washington Congressional Fly-In (June 2 – 4)
  • California Energy Alliance meeting, Southern California (June 10)
  • High-Performance Buildings Week on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC (week of June 22)
  • IES Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA (August 6 – 8)
  • California Energy Alliance meeting, Northern California (August 19)
  • IES Aviation Lighting Committee Technical Meeting, Detroit, MI (October 18 – 22)
  • IALD Enlighten Conference, Palm Springs, CA (October 22 – 24)
  • California Energy Alliance Meeting, Southern California (November 12)