February 17, 2024  

5 Things to Know:  Week Ending February 17

2024 04 mlazgar legrand tammy miller governor border states light flicker research.jpg

A shifting tide in Dallas?  Plus, a former industry CEO is running for Governor of the Roughrider State.


Here's a roundup of some of the week's happenings curated to help lighting people stay informed. 


1.  A first for ArchLIGHT Summit

ArchLIGHT Summit, a commercial lighting event now in its fourth year, is set to take place this September in Dallas.

In its first three iterations, the event has historically struggled to attract consensus support from some of the Dallas area’s largest lighting agents. However, this year could mark a significant shift as Architectural Lighting Alliance (ALA), the Acuity Brands representative, and Texas Lighting Solutions, the Cooper Lighting representative, have committed as agent partners for the first time. They join returning event partners Hossley Lighting & Power Solutions and Preferred Lighting Group (PLG), both of which have been instrumental in manufacturer recruitment and customer outreach for past ArchLIGHT events.

Agent partnerships at local and regional trade shows often follow one of two approaches: the "rally and recruit" strategy, where agents actively engage their network of manufacturers and local customers to participate in the event, or the "check the box" method, where agents agree to be involved but maintain a more passive role, allowing for participation without actively driving engagement. This year's inclusion of ALA and Texas Lighting Solutions as partners could introduce new dynamics to the event's overall impact and reach within the region’s lighting community.

With seven months to go, the event still has enough runway to garner even more local support from Dallas and surrounding markets.

ArchLIGHT Summit »



2 Mlazgar required to justify two separate lawsuits against Legrand

MINNEAPOLIS — A seemingly impatient federal judge on Friday questioned the necessity of a recent lawsuit filed by lighting agent, Mlazgar Associates, against Legrand, suggesting potential redundancy with a 2022 case involving similar parties. Mlazgar's recent legal action, initiated in early January, accuses Legrand of trade secret misappropriation and contract interference, marking the lighting agent’s fourth civil lawsuit in three years.

The judge's order, filed on Friday, mandates that Mlazgar provide compelling reason in one week’s time, by February 23, to continue its 2024 lawsuit against Legrand Holding Inc., amid concerns of overlapping claims with a previous suit against Focal Point and Legrand.

The court is considering consolidating the two lawsuits due to their similarities, as discussed in a January 26 status conference. Despite initial discussions to possibly dismiss the new case upon adding Legrand Holding Inc. as a defendant in the 2022 lawsuit, no such agreement has been finalized between the parties.

The complexity of the cases is heightened by potential misidentification of the proper defendant in the 2022 lawsuit, with Legrand North America LLC named instead of Legrand Holding Inc. Legrand Holding Inc. will have until March 1, to respond to Mlazgar’s filing.



3.   Tammy Miller announces run for Governor


For 14 years, Tammy Miller served as the CEO of Border States Electric, a multi-billion dollar electrical distribution business.  Based in Fargo, North Dakota, Border States is currently ranked sixth on the Electrical Wholesaling Top 150 Electrical Distributors list and currently employs over 2,700 people across 104 locations.

Miller left her CEO role in 2020 but stayed on the Board until January 2023, when she became Lieutenant Governor of North Dakota. Now in her second year as Lieutenant Governor, Miller, a Republican, has declared her candidacy for governor, aiming to be the state's first female governor. Governor Doug Burgum, who appointed Miller, is not running for a third term.

Miller will be competing against a field of other candidates which includes Kelly Michael Armstrong, a Republican U.S. House Representative from North Dakota, Democrat Travis Hipsher, and Independent candidate Michael Coachman. The gubernatorial election is set for November 5, 2024.


Campaign page »


4.   Flickering lights may have unexpected benefits

In a recent study published in Cell Research, researchers discovered that exposure to flickering lights at 40 Hz frequency can actually help improve sleep.

The study found that the flickering light triggers a rise in adenosine levels in the brain, particularly in the visual cortex. Adenosine is a chemical known to promote sleep by slowing down brain activity. Interestingly, this effect was specifically observed at a 40 Hz frequency and was shown to enhance both non-REM and REM sleep in mice.

Furthermore, the study extended these findings to human subjects, demonstrating that children with insomnia experienced quicker sleep onset, longer total sleep time, and less waking after falling asleep when exposed to this specific light flickering before bedtime. This research suggests that controlled exposure to flickering light could offer a new, non-invasive treatment option for insomnia, potentially benefiting the 20% of the global population affected by this condition.


Learn more »


5.   Great Britain grapples with government stance on light pollution

UNITED KINGDOM – As reported by Arc Magazine, The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee has expressed dissatisfaction with the UK Government's reaction to their report on artificial light and noise pollution's impacts on health. In a letter to Nature Minister Rebecca Pow MP, the committee criticized the government's refusal to adopt its recommendations, including the establishment of a comprehensive light policy.

The report, titled "The neglected pollutants: the effects of light and noise on human health," suggests that addressing these forms of pollution could enhance public health and alleviate NHS burdens. Despite acknowledging the need for further research, the government has declined to fund a program to investigate the extent and effects of light pollution.

The Lords are also concerned about the lack of commitment to equip local authorities with resources and guidance to combat these issues, contradicting the 25 Year Environment Plan's objectives. The committee urges a reevaluation of government policies on light and noise pollution to better address these "neglected pollutants."


Learn more »