This piece was originally published in the March/April 2019 issue of electroindustry.
Karen Willis, Industry Director, Lighting Systems Division, NEMA
The NEMA Lighting Systems Division, made up of five NEMA Product Sections, is a cohesive and collaborative group of Member organizations. The semiannual meetings of the Sections are well-attended, as are two Divisionwide forums conducted during the week, with Members initiating projects and having multiple cross-section discussions. It is this environment that produces the organic growth of collaborative thought.
Members of the Lighting Controls and Light Source Sections have joined forces to create a Dimming Compatibility Program so consumers can easily identify specific light sources (bulbs) that are compatible with specific dimmers. The Luminaire and Emergency Lighting Section Members are using individual expertise to help identify the ambiguity between the National Electrical Code®, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Life Safety Code®, and UL 924 (regarding luminaires for emergency use) to assist field professionals who confront questions on a daily basis. The Ballast and Driver Section, Luminaire Section, and Lighting Controls Section, along with other NEMA Product Sections, are tackling the difficult issue of standardized wire color.
These are not just examples of collaboration—they are a reflection of the lighting industry. Lighting products are no longer simple stand-alone devices that connect to a single holder. Multiple devices now communicate with each other in ways unimaginable just 15 years ago.
During the U.S. Department of Energy R&D Workshop held at the end of January, Mr. Steve Chalk, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency, U.S. Department of Energy, noted that the Energy Information Administration’s recently released Annual Energy Outlook projects that the largest energy reduction in the building sector for the next 30 years will be lighting. This accomplishment will not come from LED luminaires alone. It will be a result of communication and integration of all aspects of the lighting system, or a collaboration of parts.