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Times & Trends: The New Game in Town

Oct. 3, 2016
It’s not your mom and dad’s lighting market anymore. Now is the time to adapt to it.

The single biggest trend in the electrical market these days is the lighting market’s steady march toward a more digital future. It’s not enough anymore to just be selling LEDs as replacements for traditional bulbs.

Now you need to know how LED lighting systems link to HVAC, security and other building networks. This union is intended to create a more flexible environment that can be controlled remotely and provide additional energy savings through down-to-the-second analysis of energy use.

This issue is loaded with analysis and news of these historic changes in the lighting market. NewsWatch on page 6 offers a report on a Verizon’s bold move into the lighting market with its acquisition of Sensity Systems, Sunnyvale, Calif.,  a developer of integrated network control systems that controls lighting, security audio/visual systems and Smart City applications.  Verizon wants to blend these tools with its ThingSpace Internet of Things (IoT) platform for Smart City applications.

Then there’s Lighting as a Service (LaaS).  LaaS is a relatively new concept where building owners pay a set monthly fee for a their lighting to an outside energy company that owns, maintains and updates the system. Some of the largest electrical contractors think Lighting as a Service (LaaS) and the Internet of Things (IoT) will provide new business opportunities, according to a survey of the  50 largest electrical contractors by Electrical Construction and Maintenance (EC&M) magazine, EW’s sister publication. Key results of that survey are on page 17. Top 50 electrical contractors also told EC&M’s editors that the installation of lighting and lighting control systems offered more future revenue potential than several other types of energy projects, including energy storage, solar and building automation systems.

You can also get several ideas for repositioning yourself in today’s lighting market  in “12 Tips for Rethinking Your Lighting Business,” (page 32), where lighting veteran Bill Attardi offers a real-world analysis of what distributors need to do to survive in this evolving market niche. He believes LaaS and IoT will revolutionize the lighting market and advises distributors to get a grip on them real fast.

I would also like to alert you about what should be a fascinating discussion on the new lighting market,  “The Real Deal on Smart Lighting: How the IoT is Transforming Today’s Lighting Market,” a panel discussion at Penton Media’s new IoT Emerge event being held Nov. 2-4 in Chicago. I will be moderating this panel, and EW will have  a summary of the discussion in a future issue. Confirmed panelists for this event are listed below. You can count on EW to continue keeping you up-to-date on what’s happening with lighting.