LEDS Connected SSL & Controls
News and resources on connected lighting, controls, and IoT implementation for smart buildings and cities
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LEDS Connected SSL & Controls
 NOVEMBER 8, 2021

Welcome to the LEDs Magazine Connected SSL & Controls Newsletter for Nov. 8, 2021. Networked connectivity and controls could and should be utilitarian in nature. They should add value to lighting systems first by achieving additional energy savings. Then they could add other simple features such as programmed scenes that make a space more enjoyable for employees, students, visitors, and more. Or controls and programmability can bring downright fascinating and thrilling experiences to a space. We have some of both for you this week.

For a look at the mystifying, let’s travel to midtown Manhattan in New York and the city’s newest 1401-ft high-rise building called One Vanderbilt. The new building sports a specially designed space atop the floors in what the builders call an observatory experience. British engineering firm Arup worked with artistic consultancy Kenzo Digital to create a mirrored space with programmatic lighting that delivers an illusion of floating in the New York sky for visitors. Architects from Snøhetta further participated in the project and the building owner is SL Green. That’s another spot to see on my growing list that has gotten far longer in the last two years.

Meanwhile, Signify offered some input back towards the utilitarian nature of controls, using the COP26 global climate conference in Glasgow to do so. Signify CEO Eric Rondolat spoke in favor of what LED-based lighting can do to cut carbon emissions globally. Rondolat specifically emphasized networked controls, noting that such technology is necessary for industry to achieve the full carbon-reducing benefits of solid-state lighting (SSL).

We certainly applaud the message delivered by Rondolat and recognize that it’s the second time he has lamented the slow pace of LED adoption in commercial settings. Of course, Signify still does manufacture mercury-containing lamps that are bad for the planet in multiple ways. And we recently published an open letter from the Minamata Convention on Mercury asking Rondolat to accelerate Signify’s pace away from mercury lamps.

We also had a recent Signify news item regarding the company’s financial results. The bad news is the growing backlog of orders attributed to supply chain issues that I covered in our weekly newsletter last Wednesday. I mention it again here because the supply chain problems have apparently impacted connected lighting and controls disproportionately. Signify seems to have had progress in connectivity derailed somewhat, and for the sake of the LED and SSL sectors’ health we need some relief there.

In closing I will mention again the recent major acquisition that has happened in our industry. I’ve covered it several times, but the deal happened since our last controls-oriented newsletter. GE Current buying Hubbell will have great impact on the networked controls space. We just don’t know the direction or magnitude of that impact yet. Both companies have connectivity portfolios that span single-room controls to Internet of Things (IoT)-ready buildings. We will watch this merger carefully.

There is more interesting connected lighting content down below. Always feel free to contact me to discuss content that we post or to pitch a contributed article.

- Maury Wright, (858) 208-9442, [email protected]

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