Sometimes you have to expose yourself to a little risk if you want to reap the rewards of adopting new technology. Nowhere is this more evident than in the world of lighting. The pace of change in this product category over the last 10 years has been amazing. The development of solid-state lighting equipment, coupled with state and federal energy mandates and regulations, has created a sea of new products and systems for you to choose from.
Initially, these new LED products hit the market so fast that real-world test results and standards couldn’t keep up with the pace at which they were being introduced. This resulted in early failure rates, unmet expectations, and a general sense of skepticism on the part of the end-user — all of which occurred during an economic boom and bust cycle. But for those who saw this as an opportunity to take advantage of rebates and incentives being offered by groups like electric utilities, states, and the federal government, they jumped right in. As is always the case when working with new technology, some of those early adopters paid the price. But many others are now reaping the rewards for being early adopters and updating their outdated lighting systems. In this issue, we share the story of one progressive city in the South.
Six years ago, a number of different factors presented the City of Raleigh, N.C., with the opportunity to begin several pilot projects using solid-state-based lighting equipment. The city found itself at the forefront of an emerging LED market that had very little real-world experience. The experiences and lessons learned from implementing citywide solid-state lighting pilot projects are presented in this issue. Although they had a few disappointments along the way, they also had some excellent surprises. The end result is this city continues to expand its investment in new solid-state lighting systems in both interior and exterior applications.
But I’d be doing the industry a disservice if I focused all my attention on solid-state technology. It’s readily apparent that LEDs are a sleek and sexy product line, but they can’t be used everywhere — at least not yet. However, the speed at which they have hit the market has forced more traditional lamp technology makers to step up their game as well. There have been widespread improvements with metal-halide, fluorescent, and induction lamp technology in recent years, too. These have been supported by a wide array of new luminaire configurations and control systems.
The difficulty we all face in the lighting arena is trying to keep pace with the introduction of these new products and truly understanding where each technology fits best for a particular application. We think we’ve developed a product that can help out. On April 3rd, we’re launching the premier issue of “Illumination Insider.” This new twice-a-month e-newsletter will track the research, development, design, installation, and operation of all types of lighting and control products. Our subscriber list will include professionals like you working in the industrial, commercial, retail, residential, institutional, health care, government, and utility market sectors. Our areas of editorial coverage will include market research findings, industry trends, technical analysis, product test results, real-world case studies, manufacturer news, new product announcements, and shows and event coverage. Our goal is to provide you with as much information as possible so you can make an informed decision on all your future lighting projects.
If for some reason you don’t receive our premier issue in your inbox on April 3rd, then please visit the EC&M e-newsletter summary page, click on the “Subscribe to Illumination Insider” link, and sign up for your free subscription.