SSL business and standards: Tridonic names CEO; TALQ and LIA initiatives

May 1, 2020
Tridonic appoints new CEO — again — while the LIA has launched a new certification for emergency lighting products in the UK, and TALQ adds smart-city features.

Tridonic has announced that Hugo Rohner will assume the role of CEO today May 1, bringing extensive experience in the move toward digital technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) to the Dornbirn, Austria-based company. The UK-based Lighting Industry Association (LIA) has announced that the industry, testing, and regulatory body will now certify LED-based emergency luminaires to the new standard developed by the LIA’s Industry Committee for Emergency Lighting (ICEL). The TALQ Consortium has announced an incremental update to its smart city standard that’s increasingly being followed in outdoor, connected solid-state lighting (SSL) projects.

Tridonic CEO

For Tridonic, 2019 was perhaps an unsettling year from a management perspective, and then in 2020 the company has been challenged by the coronavirus as have all companies globally. The dynamic Guido van Tartwijk had joined Tridonic as CEO in late 2016 and we published a lengthy interview with the executive the following spring. He was challenged with managing Tridonic’s market entry into North America and with a major company expansion into IoT.

But van Tartwijk unexpectedly left the company at the end of 2018. In early fall last year, Tridonic announced that it had hired Hedwig Maes from Rockwell Automation to lead the company. Maes briefly assumed the role but made the decision to leave Tridonic, and the company returned to the search process while facing the coronavirus challenge.

Rohner is coming to Tridonic from the CEO position at Salzburg, Austria-based Skidata Group. His experience in moving organizations to a digital world was a prime motivation in Tridonic’s hiring of Rohner, where he will report directly to Alfred Felder, CEO of the Zumtobel Group.

“We are delighted to have acquired the services of such an experienced manager in Hugo Rohner,” said Felder. “Tridonic will benefit from his know-how from the IT industry, among other things. The Tridonic leadership team with CFO Thomas Erath and COO Alexander Jankovsky is now complete again.”

Emergency luminaires

Moving to SSL product certification, the ICEL developed its product endorsement or certification scheme because of added scrutiny being placed on emergency lighting, especially after some major building incidents in the UK and other places. The ICEL developed criteria that will ensure that certified products meet relative safety directives and standards. Specifiers and in turn end users of certified products can have confidence in the operation of the products under adverse conditions.

Products certified by the LIA testing lab and its compliance team will earn a special mark for their product that is indicative of the compliance. Emergency Lighting Products Ltd was the first SSL manufacturer to take advantage of the new services and has received certification for its Emergency Escape/Exit Luminaire range.

“Emergency Lighting Products Limited are very proud to receive official ICEL Endorsement of our first range of twelve emergency lighting luminaires,” said David Wright, managing director. “The new ICEL scheme provides an opportunity to have products, the manufacturing facility, and all of the supporting documentation independently assessed, giving our customers even more confidence when making a purchasing decision. ELP will certainly be submitting more luminaires and conversion equipment for assessment under the ICEL Product Endorsement Scheme.”

TALQ extends standard

Meanwhile, in the connected outdoor SSL area, TALQ continues to add features to its smart-city standard and has released Version 2.2.0. The standard defines both central management systems and network gateways allowing for interoperable products from multiple companies in a smart-city project. The new version adds the following key features to TALQ-based installations:

  • Reporting of statistics on the number of vehicles passing on a road
  • Detection of changes in asset location or identify
  • Recording of asset orientation changes
  • Metering of fluid levels in gullies, lakes, tanks
  • Monitoring of charging and discharging of batteries
  • Managing solar panels such as those used for public transit information, and more

The new version of the standard is backwards compatible with Version 2.1.0. “The integration of smart-city applications in a former pure lighting standard has become reality and shows the significance of the TALQ protocol as a future-proof global standard,” said José Sanchis, chairman of the TALQ Certification Work Group. “But other interesting capabilities have also been added to the Certification Tool, for example, supporting multiple profiles in one certified product and a new command line version of the tool, which eases its integration in a CI/CD software development system.”

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About the Author

Maury Wright | Editor in Chief

Maury Wright is an electronics engineer turned technology journalist, who has focused specifically on the LED & Lighting industry for the past decade. Wright first wrote for LEDs Magazine as a contractor in 2010, and took over as Editor-in-Chief in 2012. He has broad experience in technology areas ranging from microprocessors to digital media to wireless networks that he gained over 30 years in the trade press. Wright has experience running global editorial operations, such as during his tenure as worldwide editorial director of EDN Magazine, and has been instrumental in launching publication websites going back to the earliest days of the Internet. Wright has won numerous industry awards, including multiple ASBPE national awards for B2B journalism excellence, and has received finalist recognition for LEDs Magazine in the FOLIO Eddie Awards. He received a BS in electrical engineering from Auburn University.