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Author: Erik Sorenson

Reflection on Lightfair

Reflection on Lightfair

Last month, the lighting universe came together at Lightfair (or LEDfair, depending on who you ask).  Manufacturers from far and wide were displaying their best and brightest new technologies.  And though the weather was not always the most inviting, the city of Philadelphia most certainly was.  What a great venue. For those of you who missed it, a couple of key trends for the lighting systems of tomorrow seemed to surface as the week progressed. Flexibility.  Wherever Read more [...]
Performance Makes a Comeback with New Light Bulb Labeling System

Performance Makes a Comeback with New Light Bulb Labeling System

Ever thought about what you should consider when buying a light bulb?  Any clue what a lumen is? Chances are if you’re heading out to your local supermarket or hardware store to pick up some light bulbs, you’ll find a store attendant and ask what aisle the 100W (or 75W, 60W, etc.) light bulbs are in and pick up a package. Now, say you head to the car dealership looking to purchase a new ride.  You’ll walk around the lot as a salesperson shows you vehicle after Read more [...]
Luminaire Intelligence

Luminaire Intelligence

New lighting technologies such as LED and fluorescent light sources, lighting controls, and daylighting create excellent opportunities for energy savings.  As the market shifts toward greater energy efficiency and intelligence in systems, luminaires (a.k.a. light fixtures) are the first thing to consider when planning your lighting strategy. In the lighting world, luminaires are the complete package.  Luminaires are electrical devices that integrate everything from the power supply Read more [...]
DOE Rulemakings, With Savings in Mind

DOE Rulemakings, With Savings in Mind

The Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 established an energy conservation program for major household appliances.  Since then, various amendments to EPCA have given DOE the authority to regulate the energy efficiency of various technologies, to include appliances and lighting technologies. The purpose of these rulemakings is to establish energy conservation standards and test procedures for technologies that are feasible, economically justified, and result in energy savings.  Read more [...]
EISA Sets Standards for Lighting the Future

EISA Sets Standards for Lighting the Future

Since the invention of electric light, the incandescent lamp has been the standard.  Why?  They are cheap to produce, can be made in a wide range of sizes, and require no external regulating equipment.  The trouble is that incandescent lamps are based on a design that was developed over a century ago and the majority of their electrical energy consumption produces heat, not light.  If we wanted them to heat our house, this would be a good thing.  For a light source Read more [...]
Lighting Controls for Energy Savings

Lighting Controls for Energy Savings

If you’re ever looking for an interesting perspective on technology, chances are your parents have one.  Take my father for instance; he has taken lighting innovation to the next level.  As opposed to upgrading his lighting controls to reduce his energy bill, he has evolved to develop echolocation sensory capabilities (what bats use to navigate in the dark) so he can walk through our house with scarcely any light.  Honestly, two fixtures, dimmed to their lower limit, is Read more [...]
Mining for Savings

Mining for Savings

When looking for gemstones or precious ore, you’ll do well to prospect the land for the resource you seek before you begin mining.  Likewise, when looking energy savings, it’s best to prospect the components of your building for saving potential before you go making upgrades. Thankfully, you don’t need a pick axe to locate fertile ground for energy savings, just the internet.  A couple of websites that will aid you in your search for savings are the enLIGHTen America Read more [...]
The Value of Visual Comfort

The Value of Visual Comfort

When designing your lighting system, it is best to follow the path of least resistance.  That is, the path of least resistance for the eyes of the occupants utilizing the light.  The eye is a marvelous organ and can adapt to a wide variety of conditions.  However, like any other organ or muscle, when overexerted it can become exhausted; and exhausted eyes makes for an exhausted occupant. Hence, you should keep in mind three factors to maximize visual comfort for occupants when Read more [...]
Commercial Building Tax Deduction 101 for Tenants and "Non-Commercial" Building Owners

Commercial Building Tax Deduction 101 for Tenants and "Non-Commercial" Building Owners

Through the Commercial Building Tax Deduction (CBTD), building owners have the opportunity to write off the complete cost of upgrading a building’s interior lighting, up to $0.60/sq. ft.  Given its title, one might think that the only people able to take advantage of the CBTD would commercial building owners.  However, public entities – that operate buildings such as government offices, schools, post offices, etc. – and building tenants may be eligible to take advantage Read more [...]
Energy Efficiency to Bring Energy Independence “Back to the Future”

Energy Efficiency to Bring Energy Independence “Back to the Future”

For those of you who were hooked by the title, sadly this is the only sentence where Marty McFly will be mentioned.  But fear not, movie quotes are still in play. As mentioned in my last blog entry, commercial building retrofits present a very cost-effective option for reducing energy consumption and utility costs.  Not only are there existing federal, state, and utility incentive programs available for these energy efficient retrofits, but energy efficiency also presents America’s Read more [...]