June 1, 2024  

5 Things to Know:  June 1

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A California lighting agent ends all rep contracts.  Plus, an update on the "fundraiser that escalated quickly."


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


1.  San Diego Lighting Agent to Cease Manufacturer Representation

The Lighting Element, a San Diego-based lighting agency, is reportedly ceasing the representation of all lighting manufacturers, effective June 9. This decision follows Signify’s previously reported expansion with Los Angeles-based Forman & Associates, taking over The Lighting Element’s representation of the Genlyte Solutions portfolio in the San Diego market.

The Lighting Element was founded in 2016 and had Signify's Genlyte Solutions brands as its anchor lines along with over 60 other lighting brands. Despite winding down its manufacturer representation, The Lighting Element may not be closing its business. The agency is reportedly going to remain open to pursue other business interests and will also assist with project management tasks beyond June 9 to support customers, manufacturers, and other project stakeholders.

The Lighting Element’s decision comes as Forman & Associates expands its reach within Southern California, now representing Signify's Genlyte Solutions and Philips Lighting businesses across major metro areas, including Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego. Forman is the latest in a growing list of Southern California lighting agents that represent a major lighting anchor brands across Los Angeles and San Diego Markets.

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2 .  UPDATE: IES Boston Gala Raises $26K for Emerging Professionals

In a story that might’ve been lost in some lighting people’s holiday respite a week ago, The Boston and Rhode Island Sections of the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) held their 2024 Awards Gala on May 23, featuring a rapidly escalating fundraiser to support IES Emerging Professionals initiatives.

Acuity Brands pledged a minimum of $5,000 and promised to match additional funds raised at the event. Inside Lighting reported last week that the initial $10,000 goal was greatly surpassed to an undetermined amount, with a total of $26,000 now being confirmed by Acuity Brands. This included $13,000 from the evening’s call for donations, matched by $13,000 of contributions from Acuity's Mark Architectural Lighting and Peerless Lighting brands.

The fundraising success began when Sara Schonour, a section officer, announced the need for $10,000 to support Emerging Professionals. Donna Sumner of Acuity Brands had previously committed at least $5,000 and offered to match other donations. Motivated by this challenge, attendees, including representatives from design firms and manufacturers, began shouting out pledges of $1,000 each.

This surge of philanthropy far exceeded the original $10,000 goal and makes us wonder if the IES Boston Section might incorporate live auction paddles at next year's gala.


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3.   Thou Shalt Not Light Trespass

A Michigan court has ordered the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church of Traverse City to shield its exterior lights following complaints from resident Amelia Hasenohrl about light intrusion. The court found that the school's lighting violated Traverse City's outdoor lighting ordinance, which requires 100% cut-off shielding and limits light levels at property lines to 0.2 footcandles.

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Despite attempts to dim the lights, measurements showed that the school’s lighting exceeded these limits, with fixtures initially emitting up to 3,600 lumens and later dimmed to 2,250 lumens and then to 1,125 lumens. The court directed the school to install cut-off shielding within 60 days and maintain a lumen output of 350 until the shielding is installed. Moving forward, the school must now ensure its lighting meets the specific standards to reduce glare and light trespass, thereby improving the quality of life for affected residents.


More info »


4.   Bright idea hatched in Estonia

As reported by Colossal magazine, a 5-year-old's drawing has inspired an illuminated public art piece above Noblessner Port in Tallinn, Estonia. Created by Velvet and UN-LIKE, the installation features three glowing polyethylene eggs in a nest atop a former mast. The concept originated from a sketch by Stina Onemar during a ferry trip, which her aunt shared with Velvet designers who embraced the idea.

Commissioned by Merko Ehitus Eesti, the design utilizes salvaged roof trim to ensure durability against seaside and Arctic weather. Over time, the metal will rust, forming a patina that blends with the revitalized mast. The installation, named "Nest," serves as a striking beacon of light and creativity inspired by a child's imagination.


5.   Medical Tests Link Woman’s Seizures to LEDs

Texas Public Radio (TPR) reports that Jamie Troese of Pennsylvania may be the first in the U.S. to undergo tests linking LED exposure to non-epileptic seizures. According to the report, Troese's seizures began in 2005 as LEDs became more common in public spaces, leading to severe reactions including migraines and numbness. In 2023, she experienced a full-blown seizure triggered by a neighbor’s LED headlights, prompting her to seek medical testing.

TPR reports that in a controlled laboratory setting, doctors confirmed her seizures were exclusively triggered by LED lights. As LED usage increases, cases like Troese’s may become more prevalent, potentially increasing the calls for further research and regulation. Troese now lives in near isolation to avoid exposure, hoping for increased awareness and action to mitigate the risks of LED lighting.