2017 has been an exciting year of progress for the National Lighting Bureau, highlighted by what has become a hallmark event for North America’s lighting community: The Bureau’s Annual Lighting Forum, this year titled “Illuminating the Future,” and – as before – co-produced by the EdisonReport and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and moderated by EdisonReport Editor and IES Past President Randy Reid.
The Bureau conducts the Forum to present up-to-date discussion of important developments and trends in lighting, and to share that information with the lighting community as well as the general public. That service is extremely important, because of the dramatic changes that are occurring and the rapid pace of development. Lithonia’s Bob Besal, NECA’s Lew Tagliaferre, along with prime-mover personnel from GE, NEMA, and others created the NLB in 1976 to transfer lighting information to others, in a form they could readily understand. And that’s what the Bureau continues to do, with recognition that the Bureau’s efforts are more important than ever before. As five-time Chair Howard Lewis observed two years ago, “As technology contributes steadily more to the future of lighting, the knowledge gap can grow wider and, in my judgment, the Bureau’s services will be needed more than ever.” That helps explain why this year, for the first time, the National Lighting Bureau’s Annual Lighting Forum featured six panels, instead of the usual five:
- TM-30 Now,
- Smart Cities and Connected Lighting,
- The Well Building Standard,
- Workforce Development,
- It’s Not Your Father’s Lighting Maintenance, and
- The Non-Energy Benefits of LED Lighting.
The videos of these discussions are either done or in the finalization process, with “TM-30 Now” being the first one out of the gate. The quality of these presentations is phenomenal, thanks to the professionalism exhibited, the quality of the speakers and the importance of their remarks, and the excellence of the production itself, thanks to Randy Reed, who edited everything, and, of course, to the outstanding capabilities and performance of the IBEW’s production staff.
The Bureau continues to address High-Benefit Lighting® and the extraordinary value-add it can provide. While energy savings are beneficial in terms of financial and environmental factors, a well-designed High-Benefit Lighting system can deliver financial benefits that are 100 or more times greater than energy savings alone, thanks to improvements in factors such as productivity, error rates, safety, security, and more – as when better outdoor lighting makes a business more visible at night, and safer, too, encouraging more shopping in the evening, and – when rental rates are based on sales – that additional shopping translates directly to higher building-resale value. As we have been saying for 41 years, light is for people. The lighting that performs best is the lighting that helps people perform best. But great outcomes are not the result of serendipity. Lighting systems must be designed well to achieve the many bottom-line impacts available. Regrettably, that is not happening as frequently as it should, often because lighting decision-makers focus only on efficiency and overlook the importance of lighting quality. And, increasingly, the benefits involved surpass economic benefits, given electric illumination’s growing importance in wellness and health care.
The Bureau continues to earn its support by reaching millions of people since our beginning in 1976, and 2017 is no exception. Bureau materials have been used by newspapers and their websites. We have been quoted in magazines and e-zines, brochures, newsletters, and websites; in Facebook and on Twitter; in textbooks, scholarly research reports, and white papers. We call the Bureau the independent voice of America’s lighting community, and that’s 100% accurate. Just a few of the publications we will have reached by year’s end include:
180 Degree Education
AES Advanced Energy Solutions
Bill Frovich Electrical Service
Buro Happold Engineering
Cary IL News
Guangzhou Tyanshine Photoelectric
Lighting Controls Association
Lighting Solutions Middle East
# Make Me Feed
McKnight’s Long-Term Care News
Philips Lighting Cyprus
SMBH, Inc. (FB)
Solid State Lighting Design
Stewart Caithness Gray (NZ)
Think Natural Today
Visual Impairment Charitable Trust
We cannot be certain about how many people the Bureau reaches, because we only monitor the Internet, and only partially at that. Nonetheless, when the calendar is turned to January 1, 2018, the Bureau will have reached about six million or more people who want to know more about lighting.
This year also marked the introduction of an exciting new website. As effective as it is handsome, the new website makes it easy to review and retrieve Bureau materials, including our case histories, news releases, videos, and more, and easier, too, to find a lighting consultant no matter where you live in North America. The website also includes a comprehensive Twitter feed to capture news from our Sponsors and an array of others. We will be able to showcase our Sponsors more than ever – possibly via our own YouTube lighting channel – and we will be asking all Sponsors to provide content. We will also be looking for more Sponsors to get on board in 2018, and we have updated our recruitment materials to help. The more Sponsors we have, the more we can do; it’s that simple.
None of this would be possible without the support of our Sponsors and our staff. Working together, our staff and Sponsor volunteers have imbued the Bureau with more than four decades of credibility, making it the trusted voice of the North American lighting community, if not the lighting community of the world.
Serving as the Bureau’s Chair is an honor, especially so because of the other Board members I am truly privileged to work with. I look forward to 2018.