LRC Hosts Excellent Partner-Alliance Event; 3D Printing, Lighting for Cancer Survivors, LaaS, and the new Apple Watch

September 11 [addtoany]

The Lighting Research Center held their annual Partner-Alliance Event last week, and your humble editor participated in a panel discussion led by Govi Rao, President & CEO, Noveda Technologies.

The panel discussion focused on the future of lighting and industry stewardship in this time of rapid industry change.  Other speakers included Lori Brock, Head of Innovation Americas, OSRAM, Dr. Paul Schoemaker, pioneer in the field of decision sciences and business strategy, Priscilla Richards of NYSERDA and Mark Lien, from the Illuminating Engineering Society.

A few notes:

  • Rao contrasted the similarities of our panel discussion with a similar event at the same venue in 2003, Bridges in Light.  15 years later and many of the same issues are still important and still unresolved.
  • There was discussion about less utility rebates and their effect on retrofits. Nonetheless, NYSERDA continues their mission even though there is less emphasis on the federal side.
  • Much was made of how the industry has moved from glass and metal to software.  Audience member Terry McGowan reminded us that there is no Internet of Things—without things.
  • Lighting as a Science was briefly mentioned and some feel the time may finally be now for success with LaaS.
  • Paul Schoemaker, who was also the keynote speaker, talked about traits of companies that have lasted 200 years or more.  One trait was no u-turns, 200-year old companies don’t change their plans overnight. Another trait was low debt.
  • Mark Lien discussed the IES Progress Report and how six companies previously made up 50% of the submissions, this year the top six companies only accounted for 11% of the submissions.
  • Lori Brock discussed the importance (and the difficulty) of planning seven-years out.

Your humble editor had first met Dr. Schoemaker at the Bridges in Light Symposium in 2003 also held at the LRC.  At that time Dr. Schoemaker spoke alongside Bill McDonough who challenged several CEOs in the audience to be better stewards. He asked,  “Why do you put mercury in lamps?  Why do you poison our children?”  I remember the Schoemaker/McDonough presentation well as I was whispering in shock with Paul Tarricone, the then brand new editor of LD+A. Time flies.

Dr. Mariana Figueiro, the LRC Director, and Dr. Nadarajah Narendran, LRC Director of Research, shared 33 current and recently completed projects at the LRC. The projects show the breadth of the LRC’s work, from thermal characterization of 3D-printed components to a field evaluation of connected lighting systems to educational modules on roadway lighting. Other highlights include a project funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in partnership with Mount Sinai Hospital to deliver circadian stimulus (CS), using lamps specially built by Acuity, to benefit cancer survivors, and a horticultural lighting project investigating whether UV-C at night can mitigate powdery mildew in strawberries.

At events like this, much of the fascinating conversation happens outside of the actual event during breaks or, in small markets like Troy/Albany, everyone ends up at the same airport bar where they feel more free to talk.  A few off-the-record notes:

  • What if the industry can add Vitamin D to artificial lights?  Although there are some supplements on the market, Vitamin D is best absorbed through the skin. What if the industry can figure a way to add a controlled amount of UV to help create Vitamin D, much the way that some municipalities add a controlled amount of fluoride to our water supply.  I am not sure how practical this is, but it will be fascinating to see this unfold.
  • Speaking of UV, look for Apple to announce on Wednesday a new Apple watch that measures UV.  There will be a graph that can be added to the home screen that will show your daily accumulation.  You heard it here first!

The LRC leads the industry in research and I was honored to participate and report on such an exciting event.

Read the LRC Press Release here.