Engineering and Technology Report - June 2018


A brief summary of ALA's engineering/technology activities

1. 2017 Lighting for Tomorrow

Promotion of the 2017 winning products will continue at trade shows and other promotional events through 2018. An LFT Planning Meeting was held during June 18-19 to look at future possibilities for LFT as utility rebate programs change and disappear. 30+ attendees representing ALA, utilities, energy offices, the DOE, Energy Star, Lighting Research Center and other stakeholders discussed program options and benefits to the sponsors, the lighting industry and utility customers. A full report of the meeting will be sent to the ALA Board with recommendations about continuing or replacing LFT.

2. 2018 ALA Engineering Committee Meeting

This annual 2-day technical meeting is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday July 31–August 1 at the Intertek Laboratories in Chicago. All ALA members interested in the technical aspect of residential lighting are welcome to attend. The meeting is in two parts consisting of a half-day manufacturers’ meeting and a full-day member meeting. This year topics include:

-  New Technology for Connected Home Systems
- Cybersecurity and Lighting Products
- U.S. and Canadian EMI Regulations
- LED Driver Technology and New Standards
- UL, CSA and NEC Updates
- “Class P” LED Drivers
- LED Flicker – Recent Research Findings
- California Prop. 65 – New labeling Regulations
- NRCan Energy Efficiency Amendments – CF & CFLKs
- Technical Review of the New ALA/IES/ANSI RP-11

3. CA and DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes Programs

While zero energy ready homes continue to be promoted by the DOE and mandated for new homes in California, there is pushback as documented by CEC postings. One writer pointed out that the cost of developing homes in Sonoma Country increased by 100% between 2000 and 2016. A second concern is that utility systems are reaching a saturation point because they cannot absorb all of the energy being provided by solar and wind installations. Nevertheless, these homes use 25-50% less energy than conventional homes and have ROIs of 20%+. The DOE has added “smart lights” (connected lighting) to the roster of approved products. Why is this important? Because it affects both grid reliability and costs for consumers who have time-ofuse utility rates. The graph shows a utility load (power) profile over a 24-hour period. Conventional power generation is low around the noon period because of solar and wind generation, but ramps up quickly in the late afternoon as the sun fades and individual home systems provide less energy and add to usage and demand. Utilities must respond quickly which affects reliability and generation capacity which, in turn, affects costs.

This all points to an opportunity for smart lighting controls (and homes) to save energy by programming for minimum energy use during peak cost periods.

The DOE is currently certifying about 1000 zero energy ready homes per year as part of their program.

4. Energy Star

ALA will be represented at this meeting and participates in the development of Energy Star product performance standards because of the use of Energy Star standards by NRCan for lighting product regulations in Canada and utility rebate programs which affect ALA manufacturers and retailers. The current standards are:
- Luminaires V2.1 Effective 6/1/16 with minor adjustments on 3/15/18
- Lamps V2.1 Effective January 2, 2017
- Residential Ceiling Fans and Ceiling Fan Light Kits V4.0 Effective June 15, 2018.

5. New Technical Standards

California Energy Commission: Title 20 – new performance and listing requirements became effective on 1/1/18. All products must be listed on the CEC’s MAEDBS Database before they can be sold. Affects portable fixtures, ceiling fans/light kits and lamps. Lamp products must be specially marked.

California Prop. 65: Revised product labeling requirements become effective on August 30, 2018. Warnings on lighting products are required if the use of the products results in human exposure to a toxic material or classified as harmful by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) See:

6. 2018 ALA Conference - Technical Session

An expert technical panel consisting of Mark Lien (IES), Steven Parker (author and lighting business/technical expert) and Erik Anderson, (Lutron) has been organized to provide a Connected Home Technical Progress Report. The speakers will discuss new smart systems, trends and products, how to design and integrate systems and how to use smart products in retail showrooms not only for lighting product sales, but also as part of the retail showroom business.

7. Rollout Plans - ANSI/IES/ALA RP-11 Residential Lighting Standard

This new joint standard is now available from both the IES and the ALA. The price is $90, but ALA members receive a discounted price of $63 when ordering via the ALA. Both printed and electronic versions are available and the electronic version can be instantly downloaded. The initial rollout of RP-11 was at the Lightfair Conference and Trade Show in April, but a series of additional webinars and presentations are scheduled as follows:

     - 6/22/18 Presentation at LIGHTOVATION.
     - 7/12/18 IES Online Webinar
     - 8/9-11/18 Informal Meeting at the IES Annual Conference (Boston)
     - 9/25/18 ALA Annual Conference (Asheville, NC) Presentation and informal discussion with the co-chairs of the IES Residential Lighting Committee to plan how RP-11 will be used by ALA members and integrated into the ALA educational programs
     - 10/18 (no date/time have been set) ALA Online Webinar
     - Article in September/October ALA Lightrays
     - Press Release (no date) to industry media including the National Lighting Bureau Doreen Le May Madden and Eric Borden, co-chairs of the joint ALA/IES committee that wrote RP-11 along with Terry McGowan, ALA’s Dir. of Engineering, will organize and speak at the various presentations. Others from the committee will be invited to speak and to attend the 9/25/18 meeting being planned for the ALA Annual Conference.

8. IES Lighting Research Symposium – Light and Human Health

This symposium was organized to bring together the research that describes how light exposure during both the day and night hours affects our human circadian, biological and behavioral responses. Topics included what we know about the effects of light on humans, assessing light at night, developing metrics for light and health applications, human health considerations in indoor lighting applications and new approaches for using light and lighting controls in healthcare settings. Of particular interest to the residential lighting community were reports of research involving:

     - Light Level Exposure Conditions in Residences
     - The Effect of Lighting On Older Adults – Visual and Non-Visual Performance
     - Comparison of Circadian Lighting Metrics
     - Tuning Indoor Lighting To Human Needs

Speakers pointed out that research on this subject now goes back to the 1970s and 80s and ongoing work has confirmed the results, so now is the time to adopt metrics, establish standards and develop lighting recommendations that improve human health and quality of life. In response, the Lighting Research Center announced this month via a press release that the LRC has organized a task group to develop a Circadian Lighting Recommended Practice working with Underwriters Laboratories and a committee of industry experts. The goal is a set of practical recommendations that can be broadly specified and implemented through the use of standard electric lighting and daylighting products and design practices. The full LRC press release may be read at:

Download a PDF of this report

Terry McGowan, 06/14/18

Previous Article ALA Conference Offers Opportunity to Focus on Business Success, Professional Growth
Next Article Nora Lighting Staffs Up to Meet Demand for LED Products