Forces of Change Podcast Series

Forces of Change with Mark LienThe Forces of Change podcast series is hosted by Mark Lien, author of the Forces of Change column in Lighting Design + Application magazine. Lien’s focus on trends and new technologies positions him to explore diverse topics with informed guests, in their own voice, describing the forces of change impacting our lighting community. The accelerating pace of change we are experiencing demands continuous education and exposure to new ideas to stay relevant. Join Mark and other thought leaders driving our market transformation for these brief but informative dialogues on the issues that we must understand to evaluate effectively.

The views and opinions expressed in this podcast series are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the official policies or positions of the IES and its staff.



Mark chats with IES Past President and editor of the Edison Report Randy Reid about the 20th Anniversary of the Edison Report, the importance of integrity in reporting, the invasion of the IT conglomerates into the lighting industry as well as some of the new lighting technologies that he finds fascinating.


As our population continues to grow, farm land disappearing and an increased awareness of what goes into our produce, the need to increase yield without chemicals is a critical topic. Host Mark Lien and Dr. Pocock discuss using LEDs (irradiance, spectral composition, timing, duration) to program photochemical, photosynthetic, development and biochemical processes in plants and the development of a physiological biofeedback system to maintain or change LED physiological programs. In layman’s term growing to produce better, stronger, faster. This fascinating, ground-breaking, and often warm interchange should not be missed.


As if our lighting community needs more disruption, we are poised for a radical change in how we make, distribute and sell our products. We have experienced two digital revolutions already in communication and computation. We can communicate instantly across the globe at no charge and computers are integrated into our lives. Digital fabrication is the third digital revolution. When we can make our own lighting sources, heat sinks, optics and luminaires in our garage or locally at a store with a larger 3D printer (3D Kinkos?) then business as usual is over. Container loads from Asia, our sales and distribution network and other peripheral support processes cease when costs equalize though local 3D printing. This will happen incrementally at first then accelerate to exponential growth as we experienced with communication and computation. The revolution has already begun with choices of 3D printers available on Amazon Prime for under $200. The Lighting Research Center has expanded their LED Lighting Institute to include content on 3D printing.


Douglas Steel, Ph.D. is a Translational Scientist with NeuroSense, a medical technology consultancy developing novel phototherapies for treating a number of nervous system conditions including PTSD, sensory processing disorders, migraine headache, depression, and emotional and stress-related conditions. Dr. Steel received his PhD in Biomedical Sciences from Columbia University. Doug is a member of the IES Science Advisory Panel For the past several years he has been working on the development of spectrally-tunable LED lighting arrays, which can be used as an alternative to prescription drugs for the treatment of a number of neurological and psychiatric conditions. He has a broad view of light and health that extends beyond just circadian response. Please enjoy this conversation between Doug and Mark on timely issues in our lighting community.


With his co-founder and co-host Michael Colligan, Greg Ehrich started the Get a Grip Podcast in February 2017. Recognizing that there is a need in the lighting industry for a forum for people to get together and discuss many interesting subjects and issues, Get A Grip was born. At the time of this post Get a Grip is posed to pass 30 podcasts. Greg talks with our own Podcast host Mark Lien on the success of “Get a Grip” and discusses the need for lighting knowledge, discourse, and conversation to be available for all segments of our industry. You can experience their podcast series here.


Nisa Khan is a passionate proponent that the industry as a whole doesn’t understand the manner which LEDs generate light and a strong advocate that we need to view LEDs in a different manner. Nisa took some time to be interviewed by our podcast series host Mark Lien to discuss her book “Understanding LED Illumination” and to explain what she purports the industry is missing. Join us for an energizing discussion.

The IES supports the open discussion of ideas and opinions. When new theories challenge accepted science and practice, they are either confirmed with greater validity or found out to be false. This open discussion pushes science and by extension society forward for the better.

In the following podcast, author Nisa Khan makes many claims that are not supported by the IES, nor can they be scientifically substantiated. While the IES supports free expression of ideas and opinions, we also have an obligation to inform our listeners of factual inaccuracies when they occur. These inaccuracies consist of, but are not limited to the following;

  1. LEDs don’t follow 1/r2 intensity
  2. Only high power LEDs are used in lighting
  3. The industry only cares about efficacy (not cost per lumen, which helps you to make a decent profit)
  4. Optics don’t change the distribution of an LED, although you can change the distribution of a discharge lamp or incandescent with optics
  5. Complex 3D analytical geometry is required to understand light distributions
  6. LEDs are not point light sources (regardless of distance)
  7. A point source emits light equally in all directions over 4pi steradians
  8. Putting a few hundred mA into an LED designed for a few μA turns it into a laser

We therefore, caution the listeners of this podcast to take into consideration the numerous errors noted above as you assess the new theories being advocated. These are not matters of opinion, but of scientific accuracy.


This podcast features two key members of the ANSI/ASHRAE/IES 90.1 Lighting Subcommittee that establishes lighting power density levels for this foundational standard. The discussion reveals and explains to our lighting community a new project that is funded by ASHRAE, IALD, BC Hydro and the IES. Project tasks will support the work of the 90.1 standard by providing AGI32 modeling runs by application. These models will improve the accuracy of and strengthen the effectiveness of this and the other standards affected by 90.1. It is a concern especially because LED luminaires are now being used as the primary baseline to establish LPD’s instead of traditional sources. This has resulted in significant energy savings but there is an end game. The partners want to verify that the quality of lighting is not impacted in future versions of 90.1 and the other standards that reference it.


Discussions about Lighting as a Service (LaaS) are no longer focused on whether it will evolve into an essential aspect of future lighting projects, but rather on how many billions of dollars will be involved and how soon it will become a common offering. Until recently “As a Service” companies did not focus on or understand the lighting community. This podcast demonstrates how this has changed. Virginia Hewitt, from Sparkfund, understands our lighting market and is a knowledgeable evangelist for LaaS. In this podcast, Hewitt identifies which lighting skill sets will benefit most from LaaS.