Schneider Electric Unveils Product Selection Tool

schneider electric new tool-2Schneider Electric Lighting Controls Division recently unveiled a new generation of product-selection tools. This mobile-friendly online solution selector finds the best code-compliant lighting control solutions for any room in just seconds. Users can then save selected applications for multiple rooms and building projects in a login-protected portfolio. The new Lighting Controls Application Guide saves time and increase accuracy in product selection. There are already over 100 code compliant pre-determined solutions; the company is adding more on an ongoing basis.

Click here to try out Schneider Electric’s all-new online application guide.

For more information about Schneider Electric, visit

Universal Lighting Technologies Wins Two “Best of the Best” Awards from TED Magazine

Universal Lighting Technologies was recently recognized in tED Magazine’s “Best of the Best” Awards for 2014. The Nashville-based lighting company’s marketing efforts won in two categories: digital and social media campaign for a supplier under $250 million and website for a supplier under $250 million. The winners were announced at the NAED AdVenture Conference in Chicago on August 5.

The annual marketing awards competition hosted by tED Magazine honors marketing excellence and recognizes creativity within the electrical industry in companies of all sizes across several marketing and communications categories. Entries are judged on their overall effectiveness and creative impact by an independent panel of marketing and industry professionals secured by tED Magazine. 

Click here to learn more about Universal Lighting Technologies.

For more information about Universal Lighting Technologies, visit

Office Workers Want More Control of Their Lighting

A study by Zumtobel and the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering indicates that office workers prefer brighter light sources they can control in terms of both intensity and color temperature. has the story here.

DLC Announces Dimming Reporting Requirement

The DesignLights Consortium recently distributed a letter revising its application process to request information from manufacturers regarding the dimming capabilities of their luminaire, retrofit kit, and linear replacement lamp products for which they are seeking listing on the DLC Qualified Products List (QPL). has the story here.

GE’s LightGrid Outdoor Wireless Control System Gives Municipalities Smarter Solutions for Street Light Management

Municipalities can benefit from reduced energy and more efficient management of street lights through GE’s new LightGrid™ Outdoor Wireless Control System.

With the technology of GE Lighting’s central management software, the LightGrid Outdoor Wireless Control System can report energy usage and other operational data of street lights to a central database. A Web-based interface linked to the lighting controls allows authorized users and owners to remotely visualize real-time performance of their outdoor lighting system. Further software capabilities include scheduling, customized reporting, grouping and user access level management. Schedules are stored at the street lighting fixture, providing continued performance even during network disruptions.

GE’s LightGrid technology has GPS in the lighting controls so municipalities can instantly identify usage and performance of street lights in specific locations. Municipalities can activate more precise ‘on/off’ and street light dimming schedules, particularly in low-traffic and other areas during the night. Additionally, the one-piece lighting control simply connects to the external socket of the street light and doesn’t require any internal fixture change.

Click here to learn more about GE’s outdoor lighting solutions, including lighting controls for street lighting fixtures.




For more information about GE Lighting, visit

Siemens Gamma Lighting Control Wins 2014 BOM Top Products Award

BOM14_TopProdThe Gamma Lighting Control System by Siemens has won a 2014 Top Products Award from Building Operating Management Magazine.

Gamma lighting controls can be integrated into building automation systems to control lighting, shading, setpoints and values. Support alarm monitoring, trend display, date and time display and password protection. Available in one-, two-, or four-pair configurations. Touchpanel interface supports up to 20 scrollable interface pages with four templates.

Click here to learn more about the Gamma Lighting Control System by Siemens.

For more information about Siemens Corporation, visit

Kevin J. Cosgriff, Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy (Ret.) Appointed New President and CEO of NEMA

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) recently appointed Kevin J. Cosgriff as president and chief executive officer of the organization. Cosgriff, a former vice admiral in the U.S. Navy, comes to NEMA after serving as Senior Vice President of International Business and Government for Textron Systems Corporation, a position he held from 2010 to 2013.

Cosgriff graduated from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, NY, and began active duty with the Navy directly thereafter. As a vice admiral he commanded the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, overseeing roughly 30,000 sailors throughout a region encompassing 22 countries, and the U.S. Fifth Fleet, directing naval forces in the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Arabian Sea, and off the coast of East Africa. Previously he commanded Cruiser-Destroyer Group 8, Theodore Roosevelt Battle Group. He also served as director of Warfare Analysis and Integration in Navy Headquarters, and his first Flag Officer position was as director, Office of Program Appraisal, reporting directly to the Secretary of the Navy. Earlier in his career, Cosgriff served as the director of the White House Situation Room and director of Systems and Technical Planning for the National Security Council.

He was among the first to receive a Master of Science in Strategic Intelligence from the Defense Intelligence College (now National Intelligence University). He also earned the Naval War College Foundation Award for Outstanding Performance. He is an alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Seminar XXI Program, a nine-month educational program for senior military and government officials in the U.S. national security and foreign policy communities.

NEMA is the association of electrical equipment and medical imaging manufacturers, founded in 1926 and headquartered in Rosslyn, Virginia. Its 400-plus member companies manufacture a diverse set of products including power transmission and distribution equipment, lighting systems, factory automation and control systems, and medical diagnostic imaging systems. Total U.S. shipments for electroindustry products exceeds $100 billion annually. NEMA is the parent organization of the Lighting Controls Association.

WattStopper Earns 2013 IDW Platinum Level Band of Excellence for Superior Online Product Support

WattStopper has been recognized with the top level in IDEA’s (Industry Data Exchange Association) 2013 IDW (Industry Data Warehouse) Bands of Excellence program. The program recognizes electrical manufacturers for providing exceptional marketing support to trading partners.

The Bands of Excellence rating system measures each manufacturer’s completion percentage for providing robust product marketing content to distributors through the IDW. Specification documents, attributes, images and descriptions must all be populated for 100% of a manufacturer’s stock products to achieve Platinum status. Distributors can then download the information and share it with their customers using web storefronts, print catalogs and other media.

“The 2013 banding criteria address the proliferation of eCommerce websites and associated demand from end users,” says Jeff Skiles, Director of Information and Technology and Shared Services, Kirby Risk Electrical Supply, and IDEA Innovation Advisory Council Chairman. “This marketing content is essential for distributors to stay competitive, and will help us get the right products in front of buyers while they are searching online. On behalf of all distributors, I’m extremely appreciative for the exceptional leadership and support the 2013 banded manufacturers such as WattStopper have demonstrated to the channel.”

The Industry Data Exchange Association is the official technology service provider and eBusiness standards body of the electrical industry. IDEA was founded in 1998 through a partnership rooted in the collective leadership of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) and the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) members.

For more information about WattStopper, visit

DOE to Host Webinar on Dimmable LED Downlights in Hospitality Facilities

On Tuesday, September 9, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Alliance will host a 60-minute live webinar entitled “Better than CFL? Dimmable LED Downlights in Hospitality Facilities.”

LEDs represent less than 1% of the installed base of U.S. downlights, which in 2012 numbered about 700 million. In hospitality facilities, past efforts to reduce lighting energy use have mainly involved switching to CFLs, which offer reduced energy consumption, higher efficacy, and much longer lifetimes than incandescent and halogen lamps but also have drawbacks. LEDs improve upon many of these drawbacks and offer an attractive combination of additional energy savings, longer lifetime, and other lighting and control benefits.

The Hilton Columbus (OH) Downtown hotel installed more than 3,700 dimmable LED downlights in the guestrooms when the facility opened in October 2012. Why did they choose LED and not CFL? Do the LEDs deliver the light levels and color quality needed? How did they make sure the dimming and controls would work properly? Are they saving energy? Did they pay more initially? Would they do it again, and what would they change? The webinar will answer these questions and many others. Bob Davis of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will review the results of a recent DOE study on the project, and lighting designer Ardra Zinkon of Tec Studio Inc. will discuss the strategy behind the design and some lessons learned.

The webinar will begin promptly at 1:00 p.m. ET (10:00 a.m. PT) and will include a 45-minute presentation followed by a 15-minute question-and-answer session with attendees.

Click here to register.

Outdoor Lighting Controls: The State of the Art

Outdoor lighting controls is undergoing a mini-revolution that offers new design and selling opportunities while challenging electrical professionals to stay on top of technological change.

Traditionally, outdoor lighting control was relatively simple. A typical scheme featured a controller providing automatic ON/OFF based on time of day (using an astronomical time switch) or daylight (photosensor). The luminaires were typically controlled at the circuit level with no individual luminaire control.

Commercial building energy codes imposing requirements for more advanced sequence of operations, coupled with greater controllability of LED lighting, have resulted in outdoor lighting control design becoming more sophisticated.

Energy codes and outdoor lighting control

ASHRAE/IES 90.1-2010, the national energy standard, requires all outdoor lighting be controlled by a photosensor. Building façade and landscape lighting must be controlled by a time switch that turns the lights OFF at some point during the night.

The energy standard also requires all outdoor lighting power—other than building façade and landscape lighting, but including advertising signage—be reduced by at least 30% after normal business operations based on a schedule or occupancy.

Parking garage lighting power must be reduced by at least 30% based on occupancy, with control zones limited to 3,600 sq.ft. Daylight harvesting and separate control for daylight transition areas (i.e., entrances and exits) must be implemented.

These simple requirements, created to save energy, have had a big impact on the world of outdoor lighting control, increasing demand for sensors, individual luminaire control and controllability. This in turn has increased demand for good design and commissioning.

While not all states have adopted an energy code at least as stringent as ASHRAE/IES 90.1-2010, the products and experience developed around compliance provide ready-to-go solutions for other states as well as existing buildings.

Control options

Today’s product offering from manufacturers offers electrical professionals a spread of choices for outdoor lighting control with distinct capabilities.

A lowest-cost solution for outdoor lighting may include circuit-level, contactor-based switching of luminaires grouped in functionally appropriate control zones, each with its own schedule and/or photosensor as needed. The lighting would be controlled at a panel. If the lighting is dimmable, control wiring must be run the luminaires.

A more robust solution might include luminaires with attached control devices that provide individual multi-level occupancy- and daylight-based luminaire control. The photosensor activates the lighting, while the occupancy sensor raises/lower light output and electrical input based on occupancy. In a parking lot, for example, this solution would be appropriate for area lighting, while signage and security lighting could be operated dusk to dawn using a photosensor of a limited time of night using a schedule.

Outdoor lighting control is trending toward individual multilevel control. At the Collection Auto Group Fort Mitchell dealership, the lights dim to 10 percent of light output at night (schedule) but automatically ramp up to full output if a vehicle approaches (occupancy sensing). Image courtesy of GE Lighting.

Outdoor lighting control is trending toward individual multilevel control. At the Collection Auto Group Fort Mitchell dealership, the lights dim to 10 percent of light output at night (schedule) but automatically ramp up to full output if a vehicle approaches (occupancy sensing). Image courtesy of GE Lighting.

The most advanced solution in terms of capabilities is an integrated wireless control system that provides ON/OFF and dimming implementing daylight-, occupancy- and time-based strategies. In a parking lot, for example, the area lighting could be zoned and controlled as individual luminaires or groups, while the signage lighting could be controlled on a schedule and security lighting dimmed as individual luminaires or groups.

Occupancy-based multi-level outdoor lighting control is a relatively new phenomenon. Currently, options are limited to passive-infrared (PIR) detection. These options may expand in the future to include options for digital imaging (non-recording video), which offers more precise detection in the dynamic outdoor environment.

While the LED continues to displace other light sources in many applications including outdoor lighting, it will not eliminate the need for control; in fact, it facilitates the adoption of greater flexibility. Intelligent multilevel control is well suited to LED lighting due to the inherent controllability of the digital LED source.

Wireless lighting control

Wireless control demand and technology continues to advance at a rapid rate due to its advantages of allowing devices to communicate without costly installation of wiring. It offers further advantages of two-way communication and individual luminaire control.

Kim Altitude LED luminaire with integrated wireless (wiHUBB) control.

Kim Altitude LED luminaire with integrated wireless (wiHUBB) control.

Two-way communication creates two distinct capabilities. Operators can calibrate/recalibrate the system, change schedules and distribute commands from a central point. Many wireless control solutions incorporate intelligence enabling the capture of performance data that can be reported to a central point for maintenance, performance and security purposes. Systems such as these are supported by a web-based interface that enables operators to remotely visualize real-time performance, set schedules, zone luminaires in groups, and generate custom reports that can optimize management of outdoor lighting as an asset. Some offer GPS-location capability allowing operators to understand what is happening at each control point and where that point is, which can be highly useful for maintenance of street, public space and large area lighting.

Because it’s a relatively young technology, it’s unclear as to what the best and most reliable methods are at this point. ZigBee, 6LoWPAN, proprietary and cellular approaches are all on in various stages of implementation.

What’s best for your application?

Selecting the optimal solution involves evaluating necessary control sequence of operations, need for multilevel control, configurability and information needs for predictive maintenance, energy analysis and security. The selected control solution should be able to reliably deliver the desired feature set.

During their decision-making, electrical professionals should consider outdoor lighting control not as an isolated system but part of the total building lighting control system. With the integration of luminaires and controls, the traditional view of these as two separate items is changing to one that regards lighting as a system. In existing building lighting upgrades, controls should be considered as part of a lighting and control solution supported by utility rebates that recognize controls as well as lighting. With intelligence, communication and the ability to collect data, today’s lighting can be viewed as systems that deliver sensing, decision-making, control and prediction. Electrical professionals involved in the selection and delivery of outdoor lighting controls should stay educated on what’s new and how it works to continue offering the best value to clients.