June 15, 2024  

5 Things to Know:  June 15

2024 06 sci lighting wanderlux business of light zweig seminar.jpg

We had a ball at SCI's agency shindig.  Plus, are billions of energy rebate dollars at risk?


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


1.  SCI Lighting Solutions: Wanderlux 2024



Inside Lighting was thrilled to join the festivities at SCI Lighting Solutions' Wanderlux 2024, a much-anticipated lighting agent event held every two years. This year, the vibrant scene unfolded Thursday night in Orange County, California, blending the charm of an indoor-outdoor restaurant setting with the gentle allure of a summer evening.

Wanderlux 1a.jpgAs the sun set, the lighting community from across Southern California came together to revel in an evening filled with live entertainment, a bounty of eclectic food options, and impressive displays by SCI’s key manufacturers showcasing the latest in commercial lighting and controls. The venue buzzed with energy, hosting architects, engineers, lighting designers, general contractors, distributors, and developers, all celebrating their collective passion for lighting and SCI’s appreciation for its partners.

Wanderlux 2024 was not just about dazzling lights, great food and potent adult beverages; it was a hub of networking and camaraderie. Tom Thomson and Scott Anderson, agent principals at SCI, were constantly mingling with attendees, reinforcing the strong relationships with their guests. Additionally, a luxury bus service coordinated by SCI’s San Diego office provided convenient and safe transportation, making three stops from Poway to Irvine, ensuring that dozens of guests could enjoy the evening worry-free.

Feedback from attendees was overwhelmingly positive. Designers from top firms and Southern California distributors praised the event and expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to collaborate with SCI. Notably, manufacturers also sent their West Coast teams and top executives from various parts of the country, emphasizing the strength and reach of the SCI partnership.


2 .  Business of Light Hosts Key Events

The architectural lighting design organization Business of Light recently hosted two in-person events to help designers enhance designers’ business acumen. The sessions, aimed at transforming talented architectural lighting designers into successful business professionals, took place at the Lutron showroom in New York and the ERCO showroom in Los Angeles.


Above:  Attendees at Business of Light at the ERCO showroom, Culver City, California

Led by Justin Smith of Zweig Group, a research and advisory firm, the events equipped participants with essential project management skills. Topics included developing robust project plans and structuring project fees for optimal profitability. The New York event on June 6 attracted 14 attendees, while the Los Angeles session drew 18 participants, with some of the most notable firms in New York and SoCal metros represented as well as firms such as Dark Light Design which flew representatives to each event.

These seminars focused on the business side of architectural lighting design, highlighting the importance of fee structures, retainers, and timelines to ensure profitable projects. Smith emphasized the challenges of managing payments, noting that AEC firms typically collect payments 76 days net after invoicing.

The Business of Light events demonstrated a commitment to fostering a comprehensive understanding of both creative and business aspects among architectural lighting designers, aiming to empower them to run successful design firms and manage impactful projects effectively.


3.   Concerns Arise Over $9B Energy Rebate Distribution

An analysis by POLITICO’s E&E News reveals that a significant portion of the $9 billion allocated for home energy rebates under the Inflation Reduction Act may not be distributed before the November election. The rebate funds, intended to help low- and moderate-income Americans with efficiency upgrades, have only seen one state program launched to date, sparking worries about the effectiveness of this major climate initiative.

According to the report, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm announced a “summer of rebates” but the report indicates that much of the funding may remain unused if not expedited. Former Trump administration officials suggest that if the money is not allocated before a potential change in administration, the program could be retooled or even repealed, jeopardizing the original intent of the funds.

The distribution delay has also highlighted a partisan divide, with most Democratic-led states applying for funds, while many Republican-led states have yet to do so. This discrepancy raises concerns that the funds may primarily benefit states with Democratic governors, further complicating the political landscape surrounding the rebate program and its implementation.


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4.   Sponsored Instagram Ad Seeks LEDMyPlace "Victims"

stop-consumer-harma.jpgA recent paid Instagram advertisement from an anonymous law firm is calling on individuals who purchased "on-sale" items from the online retailer LEDMyPlace to join a class action lawsuit. The firm claims LEDMyPlace has engaged in false reference pricing to mislead customers. However, this initiative appears to be less about addressing specific issues within the lighting industry and more about targeting an online retailer for potential legal violations under an obscure law.

The law firm alleges that LEDMyPlace advertised products at discounted prices that were never actually sold at the original listed prices, potentially violating California’s pricing laws, which mandates that sales promotions last no more than 90 days or that the last date an item was sold at its supposed MSRP be disclosed.


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5.   Former CEO Tammy Miller Loses North Dakota Primary

North Dakota Lieutenant Governor, Tammy Miller, the former CEO of Border States Electric, a multi-billion dollar electrical distribution company, was defeated in the state’s Republican primary for governor. U.S. Rep. Kelly Armstrong, who currently holds North Dakota’s lone House seat, won the primary, positioning himself as the leading candidate for the November general election in this conservative state.

Miller’s tenure as CEO of Border States Electric and her role as lieutenant governor were central to her campaign, emphasizing her leadership skills and business acumen. Miller also secured the endorsement of Gov. Doug Burgum, who is not seeking a third term. However, Armstrong’s political experience and established presence in North Dakota’s political landscape ultimately swayed GOP voters in his favor.