Archive for the ‘General Commentary’ Category

Just ran an interesting analysis of social media connections and found an aberration I would like to understand.

Of all invitations and connections requests sent, I find that Lighting Designers specifically stand out as a group that does not respond or accept – more than any other.

I find this truly strange for several reasons.

First, when I moved from lighting design consulting to pursue product development, I did so with the motivation of creating new products that met lighting designer’s needs, that I found missing as a designer myself. This has been successful – based on sales response and growth realized for the companies I worked with, so I evidently provided something of value to the specification community. But my true satisfaction has been in bringing new value to the market that might not have otherwise been realized.

Next, when solid-state technology emerged, I took on the task of educating tech producers on what the specification community needed, decision making approaches, and what products were needed – not to mention the effort of educating them on lighting terms and applications basics they were deficient in. I also dove into the technology in the effort of sifting the hype from the applicable reality, to offer insight to the specification community of the coming new stuff coming at them. This included numerous articles written, presentations at technology conferences, DOE meetings, and regional lighting shows – frequently without compensation, in addition to participation in building trade conferences agendas themselves. I also played a role in the creation of the first specification level publication focused on lighting design with SSL technology, and contributing to it for 12 years, Architectural SSL. All of this was pursued through advocating for the lighting specification community often conflicting with those who believed they could ignore or bypass it, as well as those who were earnestly interested in serving the community well.

Additionally, I have spent a significant amount of uncompensated time and resources (money) experimenting and testing products, test gear, and components, to understand and offer insight into various technical aspects of SSL technology as it applies to using it in actual application. Between this blog, Architectural SSL, and other publications, I have written hundreds of articles that range from exploring end uses, to white paper insight on technical pitfalls and fails, all with an interest in seeing the lighting specification community realize the best results, and avoid some of the worst. I have also authored and assisted in the creation of dozens of CES credited courses. Most all of this has been done with no monetary gain to offset the time invested.

Finally, I have never attempted to re-enter the specification business as a competitor, choosing in stead to stay on my side of the fence in product development/creation and education. For this, I bore the insult of being thrown out of the IALD for my taking a position with a manufacturer, even though I remained committed then, and have since, to serving the specification community through deployment of products that met current needs in a way that manufacturers at the time struggled to – such as ADA compliance, adoption of efficient sources (fluorescent, HID and later LED) in glare-free, visually attractive products. I did these things to provide the market usable relevant product in an altruistic way, beyond just profit margins and sales conquests. In this, I have quit organizations I realized were more interested in profiting from sales of questionable product than advancing lighting through development of new value. I am even named in 14 patents for introducing novel new ideas into the market.

What am I missing here?

I believe that I am known well enough that most will at least recognize my name. I can say here that if you are a lighting design professional, I am your professional friend, in that you are central to much of what I do, and the business I run. I don’t want to connect or be connected to abuse anyone with annoying marketing campaigns (I am as sick of them as everyone else), although I might communicate when I have made a product available, or posted an article here about SSL technology in general. I do need to make a living – like everyone else.

My motivation is to be connected with the community I have served for over 40 years, that has been on my mind, and in my daily life, that I pattern and plan around every day. I seek feedback, insight, and the critique of peers.

Let me know what I can do for you. Give me some feedback as to how I might improve or make myself or what I am bringing to the table more valuable to your design effort. I am not trying to become a mega conglomerate with thousands of employees. My goals are more modest – to provide a small discerning population of designers products, information, and service. Yes, I want to sell products I create, if they are a great fit.

If you wish to share your thoughts on this, you can comment here (no connection required), or on social media, as you feel comfortable. For those who have already connected, I thank you, and appreciate your comments over the years.

In any case, for everyone else in the business of lighting specification, let’s connect!

UVC Disinfection

Posted: October 14, 2020 in General Commentary, Uncategorized

“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more..”

W. Shakespeare

For purposes of furthering the exchange of ideas and information on methods of applying SSL (Light) to address the Pandemic we find ourselves in….



The Great Blue Light Panic Keeping Some Folks Awake

If you read alarmist comments on the inter-webs about the dreaded “Blue Light Hazard”, you may come away thinking that your TV, tablet, phone, and LED bedside lights are depriving you of sleep. Yes, the spectral power content, including blue light, can produce amplified melatonin suppression that can indeed disrupt your ability to fall asleep. And, yes, LED lights and many LED based displays do produce blue light at the wavelengths of greatest concern. We’ve been all over this, like here, and there have been thousands of other discussions on this everywhere, including in mainstream media – which for the most part get it all wrong. (more…)

EMF: Another Outrage Fizzle?

Posted: September 18, 2018 in General Commentary

There has been a bit of a to-do about EMF emission from LED products on the usual outlets carrying SM punditry.  The alarmist assert that EMF from lighting products is harmful to human health, and the EMF emissions from LED light sources is damaging to the eye.

Some of this may be founded on studies like ‘Electromagnetic Field Radiation and Your Eyes‘, published on the EMF-Health web site, which references ‘Scientists Link Eye Cancer to Mobile Phones‘ and ‘Cell Phone Radiation May Cause Visual Damage‘.  Another expert warning of EMF and electronic devices is Dr. Mercola, who wrote ‘The Real Dangers of Electronic Devices and EMF’s‘. (more…)

According to marketers of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, et al, social media is the engine of change, the foundation for bringing information and real transformation to the people. With Social Media, we will see the world connected and refreshed through the voices of the previously unheard. Social Media is the new light, the symbol of freedom and ultimate new world order founded on the concrete foundation of the first amendment, the true voice of “the People”. It has enabled revolution and advanced the human cause. It all sounds so… amazing and spectacular, if not completely incredible.

Behind the scenes, social media is actually just a software/app product that generates (more…)

Recently, there has been news hysteria about the availability of 3D printed gun plans, and the implications of such a product being made available to the general public. There are several facts that must be squared away before this “news” story can be effectively (more…)

Follow along, and see if this sounds familiar…

In the process of designing a new light, you begin by collecting manufacturer data sheets. You rifle through the LED data to find lumen output for LEDs and select one with a rated lumen output of 390@700mA, 3000K CCT / 90CRI (test current), and 188 lumens per LED at 350mA (calculated value), @ 3.4 Vf, for 158 lumens per watt. Nice!

You calculate what you need to make the target 1000 output lumens, and design a product around the data and calculations, use 7 LEDs operated at 350mA, to include 30% over the target to compensate for optical losses and temperature per the manufacturer data sheets. Using first article parts to build a prototype, you send it off to the photometric lab, expecting to see results very close to what you calculated. You can live with a minimum of 900 lumens, but hope to see better than 1000, as the data provided by the component providers indicates this should be the case. (more…)

The AMA has stepped in to take the stand that warm color LEDs are the only products suitable for street lighting. For anyone interested in this, please read it before assuming you know what it says. There are several factual errors in this document. Most in the lighting design business will see them. The LRC has issued a response to this document.  The IES has also issued its own response.   Again, for those interested, read all of these documents before blowing a gasket and spewing conspiracy theories into the realm, deriding the IES, the LRC or the AMA. It is probably worthwhile also to include the recommendations and statements of the IDA (Dark Skies) as they are the ones who actually initiated the <3000K solution. (more…)

Product development and management has evolved from the days of taking a shot on a hunch. In the days of fabricating products with minimal tooling, the risk of failure was low, and profit reward for success quite good. Who needed product management? Design it, build it, catalog it and get it to the reps and wait for the orders to roll in.

The lighting industry also has a long history of operating with lean management structures, particularly in small organizations. Ownership, Marketing, Engineering, Finance, Design, Engineering, and Sales all have a role in product development, planning and line maintenance. How well product management tasks are accomplished is (more…)

The “Internet of Things” has now become the newest, hottest marketing powerhouse. The scale of claims and the breadth of its application transcends lighting, so it eclipses popular lighting themes of Energy Efficiency and Human-Centric Lighting. The idea of everything being connected through the internet, accessible, upgradable, and monitored from anywhere at anytime is the big sell. Refrigerators that not only tell you when a product has expired, but automatically places an order for a replacement is one proposed far-reaching concept. Products that learn from our use cycles to adopt and send data to manufacturers for product development is another. Lighting that responds to local natural light conditions without local sensors. Power grids constantly adjusting in anticipation of user demand. Facilities managers, utilities, and end users accessing and monitoring building activity, condition, and (more…)