ARCHITECTURAL SSL • Chronicling the advancement of LEDs in the built environment
PRODUCTS See the honorees of our 13th annual Product Innovation Awards that are redefining what is possible with solid-state lighting technology.
PROFILE For our first-ever Designer Files, meet BEAM, ltd., a women-owned design firm outside of Philadelphia with a connection to Benjamin Franklin.
INSPIRATION Fun and functional illumination of two sports and recreation centers draws in athletes and visitors to their facilities, equipment, and public events.
NUMBER 72 • FALL/WINTER 2023 architecturalssl.com
2023 PRODUC T INNOVATION AWARDS
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Northport Highlight Heritage We’re experts in the outdoors, innovators of the modern streetscape, and artists of the visual experience. Northport : Modern traditional lighting illuminates the spirit of place. Designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects Landscape Forms | A Modern Craft Manufacturer
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S330/iLAS 2 1133 Avenue of the America Americas New York, NY Architect: Emery Roth & Sons Photographer: Paul Rivera
Single or dual head options Newest integrated pocket framing system Wall wash and Grazer optics Adjustable aiming and locking Perfect for tall walls Static white 90+CRI/R9>50 standard Tunable white or RGBW options Single Optic Dual Optics
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Architectural SSL, Vol. 15, No. 2
FALL/WINTER 2023 FEATURES
24 The 2023 Product Innovation Awards See the honorees exemplifying versatility and creativity. By Wanda Lau and Hayden Beeson
18 Illumination Matters: Sports and Recreation Centers
Bold, bright, and built for performance and durability. by Jeff Link
DESIGN + PRODUCTS
09 In Application
The Sphere in Las Vegas offers a new and eye-opening event space.
Change is in the air at Architectural SSL and we’re here for it. By Wanda Lau
Lighting design tips for residential, multifamily, and hospitality projects. By Wanda Lau
12 Designer Files
16 Crash Course
Meet Philadelphia-based BEAM, ltd. in our new magazine department profiling emerging and established lighting designers. Edited by Wanda Lau
How to design with linear light: Tips for supporting architecture and user needs. By Alyssa Unciano
40 SSL Observed
Supporting infant health with new research in circadian lighting. By Rebekah Mullaney
07 Business Creative Systems Lighting undergoes a brand refresh to help reach potential customers.
08 Products Landscape Forms and Robert A.M. Stern Architects look to repeat success with their Northport lighting collection.
ON THE COVER Optique Lighting, Pivotaire Nano Linear Recessed Mud-in System. p. 34 Photography: Optique Lighting
02 • FALL/WINTER 2023 • ARCHITECTURAL SSL
Glow: Discover the Art of Light returns to San Francisco’s Exploratorium. By Hayden Beeson
38 White Pages
Architectural SSL, Vol. 15, No. 2 Architectural SSL is published 2 times annually, May & November, by Endeavor Business Media, LLC. 1233 Janesville Ave., Fort Atkinson, WI 53538. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Architectural SSL, PO Box 3257, Northbrook, IL 60065-3257. Printed in the USA. Copyright © 2023 Endeavor Business Media, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopies, recordings, or any information storage or retrieval system without permission from the publisher. Endeavor Business Media, LLC does not assume and hereby disclaims any liability to any person or company for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions in the material herein, regardless of whether such errors result from negligence, accident, or any other cause whatsoever. The views and opinions in the articles herein are not to be taken as official expressions of the publishers, unless so stated. The publishers do not warrant either expressly or by implication, the factual accuracy of the articles herein, nor do they so warrant any views or opinions by the authors of said articles.
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NUMBER 72 • FALL/WINTER 2023
Change is in the air Exciting developments are in store for Architectural SSL that will evolve the brand, including the arrival of new editor-in-chief Linda Becker.
ENDEAVOR BUSINESS MEDIA, LLC Chris Ferrell June Griffin Mark Zadell Patrick Rains Reggie Lawrence Tracy Kane
CEO President CFO COO CRO Chief Administrative & Legal Officer EVP Buildings/Lighting/Technology EVP Marketing Solutions & Data VP, Group Publisher Lighting & Digital Infrastructure
Lester Craft Jacquie Niemiec Janice Oliva
In life, the frequency at which we experience
change is itself always changing. For decades, the lighting profession was content with incandescent, fluorescent, and halogen lamps— until it decided it wasn’t. From 2012 to 2018, LEDs’ market share in commercial building use rose from 9% to 44%, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Five years later, LEDs’ share has only ticked higher and its greatest competitor in commercial lighting— standard fluorescent lamps—is on the chopping block in multiple states. Even lighting designers who might have once considered hoarding halogen MR16s have jumped on the LEDs ship and are navigating the sea of change. Similarly, Architectural SSL has also undergone changes over its life. What began as a publication focusing on the latest releases in lighting products, controls, and technologies has morphed into a print and online brand that celebrates the architectural lighting profession holistically. Don’t get me wrong: We still love our products, as evidenced by this issue’s cover story presenting the honorees of Architectural SSL’s 13th annual Product Innovation Awards (PIAs). Manufacturers worldwide submitted their latest and greatest launches for PIAs consideration. They shared technical achievements, diverse use cases, stunning imagery, and noticeable traction in sustainability efforts beyond leaning on LEDs’ innate efficacy improvements over conventional sources. This issue is also introducing a new magazine department, Designer Files. Here, we profile emerging and established architectural lighting design firms, highlighting their office culture and personalities beyond their portfolios and websites. Philadelphia firm BEAM, ltd. bravely agreed to be our first
04 • FALL/WINTER 2023 • ARCHITECTURAL SSL
EDITORIAL Wanda Lau Editorial Director email@example.com Linda Becker Editor-in-chief firstname.lastname@example.org
subject, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Feel free to throw your company’s name in the hat for consideration in future Designer Files, which will also run online. Other stories in this issue: design advice for high-end residential and hospitality lighting; a primer on linear lighting; illumination strategies deployed at two distinctive and award-winning athletic and recreational centers; and awe-inspiring innovation in circadian lighting by experts in neonatal care, lighting, and architecture for our most vulnerable patients. The brand has a few more exciting changes in the pipeline, including one that I’ll share here. As of October, Architectural SSL has a new editor-in-chief. Hailing from Greater Chicago, Linda Becker has extensive background in B2B media, overseeing titles such as Process Heating and Process Cooling for nearly three decades. She is ready for the change in subject matter and the opportunity to cover experts, topics, and products in the field of architectural lighting. Since her hire, she has already expressed newfound appreciation for the far-reaching impact of lighting on our built and natural worlds. Wanda Lau, editorial director
Hayden Beeson Associate editor email@example.com DESIGN & PRODUCTION Lauren Lenkowski Art Director firstname.lastname@example.org Karen Runion Production Manager email@example.com CIRCULATION MANAGEMENT Laura Moulton firstname.lastname@example.org ADVERTISING SALES Veronica Foster 918-832-9256 email@example.com Tim Carli 510-701-0512 firstname.lastname@example.org EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS Email: email@example.com SUBSCRIPTION INQUIRIES Publisher reserves the right to reject non-qualified subscriptions. Subscription prices: U.S.: $27.00 per year; Canada/Mexico: $47.00 per year; All other countries: $47.00 per year. All subscriptions are payable in U.S. funds. Send subscription inquiries to: Architectural SSL, PO Box 3257, Northbrook, IL 60065-3257. Customer service can be reached toll-free: 877-382-9187 or ASL@omeda.com for magazine subscription assistance or questions. For free subscriptions, visit: architecturalssl.com/subscribe For article reprints, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit architecturalssl.com for more news and products and for guidelines to submit story ideas and projects.•
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PROJECTS: EVENT VENUE
BY WANDA LAU, editorial director
Immersive, bright, paradigm-shifting, and unsettling are all words that can describe the Sphere in Las Vegas. The 366-foottall, 516-foot-wide, geometrically distinct entertainment and event venue located at the Venetian Resort kicked off its first concert series on Sept. 29 with U2:UV Achtung Baby Live, a 25-show residency by the famed Irish rock band U2. “What a fancy pad,” lead singer Bono was quoted as saying by the Associated Press, as he gazed up at the high-definition (HD), multistory LED screen wrapping him and the audience inside the $2.3 billion, 17,600-seat dome-shaped venue. This interior skin of LEDs comprises a 160,000-square-foot display with a resolution 100 times that of an HD television. But it is only part of the pioneering LED technology on display at the Sphere. Cladding the Sphere’s round exterior is the world’s largest LED screen, according to owner Sphere Entertainment. Known as
TRANSFORMING A SPHERICAL STRUCTURE INTO A DIGITAL CANVAS ARE 1.2 MILLION LEDS PUCKS. this Exosphere, this 580,000-square-foot, 360-degree surface has captivated news and social media outlets since July 4, when the expansive surface was entirely illuminated for the first time. Following the obligatory “Hello World” message, the Exosphere has displayed everything from fireworks to underwater scenes, to branded promotions and advertisements, emojis, landscapes, abstract art, and giant eyeballs in vivid detail and color, creating an instant landmark just off the Las Vegas Strip. Transforming a spherical structure, designed by Populous, into a surreal digital canvas are approximately 1.2 million LEDs pucks, spaced 8 inches on center and containing 48 individual light-emitting diodes each. According to Sphere’s July 5 press release, the 360-degree Exosphere canvas was
06 • FALL/WINTER 2023 • ARCHITECTURAL SSL
Sphere in Las Vegas kicks off its first concert series
EYE-OPENING: The 17,600-seat Sphere at The Venetian, in Las Vegas, opened to the public in September.
developed by Sphere Studios, a Burbank, Calif.–based interdisciplinary team of creative, production, technology, and software experts, which partnered with Montreal-based SACO Technologies, a LED video lighting and media solutions leader, and 7th Sense, a creative software and technology company with offices in the U.K. and in Orlando, Fla. In addition to U2’s residency, the Sphere is also currently showing Postcard from Earth, an immersive film by director Darren Aronofsky that leverages not just the venue’s multidimensional screen, but also its haptic seats, in-auditorium climate system, and array of 167,000 speakers. The venue also offers environmental effects such as breezes and familiar scents, according to a Sphere fact sheet. As Variety writer Chris Willman described the experience of the Sphere in his Sept. 30 concert review, “Not to take any credit away from U2, but the most impressive moment of the Sphere show may be when you first walk in the room. … Above you, that massive domed ceiling has been made to look like you are in some industrial grain silo that has
been constructed sky-high. (One seatmate described the feeling of looking up at this while waiting for the show to begin as ‘terrifying … but not in a bad way.’)” To power the Sphere, Sphere Entertainment recently announced a 25-year agreement with Nevada’s largest electricity utility company, NV Energy, to maximize the amount of renewable energy serving the venue, according to an Aug. 24 press release. For any portion of electricity not sourced from renewable resources, “Sphere will voluntarily acquire certified renewable energy credits to fully mitigate the impact of emissions from the creation of electricity for the venue.” The company estimates Sphere will ultimately derive 70% of its power from dedicated solar and battery resources. The venue also uses a distributed heating and cooling system to avoid wasteful reheating, while its data centers “have been designed to conform to state-of-the-art energyefficient hot-aisle containment strategies and in-row cooling,” according to the press release. However, with the Exosphere sending lumens into the sky largely all day and night,
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BUSINESS: COMPANY REFRESH
Creative Lighting Systems announces rebrand
In September, Creative Systems Lighting (CSL) announced a rebranding effort, wherein the subdivision of Hudson valley Lighting Group (HVLG) revamped its brand aesthetic, logo, messaging, and website. According to a press release, CSL wanted to distinguish itself among recessed lighting competitors. A large aspect of the rebranding will be the way in which technical information is presented. CSL will now be using a more conversational voice.•
K-GRIP® Sphere Entertainment
Twin Conductor Low Voltage Suspension
many lighting and design professionals are concerned about the amount of light pollution that the Sphere contributes. Oregon State University professor and former Leukos editor-in-chief Kevin Houser asked on LinkedIn, “Can we, the professional lighting community, do better?” Many lighting professionals in their comments to Houser lamented the Exosphere’s contribution to skyglow, but others noted that what one profession values and prioritizes can be very different from what a business owner or investment team values and prioritizes. The project was first conceived in 2015 by James Dolan, a New York–based owner of multiple sports teams, including the New York Knicks and Rangers; real estate properties, including Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall; and entertainment ventures, including MSG Networks, MSG Sportsnets, and now Sphere Entertainment Co., which owns this first iteration of Sphere. Future locations of the Sphere preliminarily in discussion include London.•
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Landscape Forms has a record of collaborating with renowned architects and lighting designers on different product lines, including one that launched on Sept. 13. The Northport collection is the third collaboration involving the Kalamazoo, Mich.–based designer and manufacturer of hardscaping, furniture, accessories, and LED luminaires and the New York–based Robert A.M. Stern Architects (RAMSA). “Designing the outdoor hardscape gives us the opportunity to create distinctive and vibrant open spaces that complement the architecture of our buildings and welcome the wider community at the same time,” RAMSA partner Daniel Lobitz tells Architectural SSL. About a decade ago, the companies introduced their first collaboration, Concord, a family of modern traditional site furniture elements. In 2016, Landscape Forms, RAMSA, and New York–based lighting designer Fisher Marantz Stone collaborated on Ashbery, a family of three outdoor area lights. This collection went on to become Landscape Forms’ best-selling lighting solution; it was updated in early August.
NORTHPORT BALANCES A TRADITIONAL AESTHETIC BUT WITH CONTEMPORARY LIGHTING COMPONENTS. “We have found a huge attraction to modern traditional site furniture offerings in our portfolio,” says Landscape Forms senior designer Brian Revoir. Northport is a “natural addition” and is intended “to play between—and with—both Ashbery and Concord,” he continues. “Ashbery doesn’t have furniture to go with its lighting, and the Northport collection could be used with Concord as lower cost pieces to give it broader appeal across the market.” Northport, examined The collection of Northport area lights balances a traditional aesthetic that harkens to gas streetlamps, but with contemporary lighting
08 • FALL/WINTER 2023 • ARCHITECTURAL SSL
James Powell / courtesy of Landscape Forms
Landscape Forms and RAMSA look to repeat success with Northport lighting collection
IN APPLICATION: Northport light, Landscape Forms with Robert A.M. Stern Architects.
components, including engineered optics and LED sources, set within an open metal frame. Its form factor is a “curvilinear complement” to Ashbery, Lobitz says: “Northport took as its starting point the classic acorn form that dates back to the early days of candle burning streetlamps in Europe and America. Our goal with the design was to create a luminaire that grows out of traditional forms but is fresh and modern at the same time—a luminaire that will be equally at home refreshing and updating the streetscape of a historic town or lending distinction to a modern campus with a charming, cohesive aesthetic.” The acorn shape is defined by three sculpted tapering arms surrounding a modern “flame” element created by an individualized LED package, Lobitz says. The flame’s light appears to bounce off the acorn cap when, in reality, the fixture’s primary light source is housed within this upper fixture housing, which “conceals our advanced LED technology and state-of-the-art optics.” Revoir adds that each RAMSA collection with Landscape Forms has a “distinct cross section to its casting,” which can be seen in the
arms of pedestrian lights and bench legs. For Northport, the team created a unique cross-section that has the angularity of Ashbery and the gesture and arcs of Concord. Nailing a modern– traditional aesthetic is difficult, he adds, and end users looking to lean in either direction can leverage color as a factor. “Mercury turns the collection visually more modern,” he says. “Bronze shifts are toward more traditional.” The Northport area light is offered in 12-, 14-, and 16-foot pole heights and in several single- or double pole-mount configurations, as well as a path light. The luminaire head itself is 3 feet tall with an 18-inch-diameter top. Northport fixtures come in a full-color palette and are finished with Landscape Forms’ proprietary Pangard II, a HAPs-, VOC-, and lead-free polyester powdercoat. Also in the collection are Northport benches, bike racks, planters, trash receptacles, and decorative bollards. —W.L.•
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LIGHTING DESIGN TIPS FOR RESIDENTIAL, MULTIFAMILY, & HOSPITALITY PROJECTS BY WANDA LAU
Architectural lighting design is not immune to trends, which can change annually and even seasonally. For a building owner or designer seeking a long-term investment and product with staying power, Architectural SSL spoke with three industry experts on their go-to design moves—which, spoiler alert, often include not rules of thumb, but rather lines of inquiry.
CLEAN LINES AND QUIET LIGHTING. In the early stages of design development, Chad Rothe,
owner and founder of Lightform Lighting in Scottsdale, Ariz., brings clients, architects, and interior designers into his approximately 3,000-square-foot showroom. If the visitors have done any prior research on Lightform Lighting, they will know the firm’s designs are “extremely modern and technical,” Rothe says. Still, he will ask clients for their aesthetic preferences as well as how they intend to use the space. For products that require a clean installation, like a minimalist fixture with no visible infrastructure, Rothe and his team will lay out approximate locations on the drawings before walking the site with electricians to determine where exactly to locate drivers, receivers, controls, and power supply and to ensure everything is accessible for maintenance. In kitchens, Rothe estimates that 90% of residential lighting designs show individual junction boxes for pendant lighting. “What I do is get rid of the pendants and do something linear,” he says. “A lot of times the kitchen island and dining table are in the same vicinity, and [the designer or owner] wants a decorative element over both.” He prefers one or the other, though he makes an exception for linear fixtures, which he will specify for both locations. “If [the look is] too minimal,” he adds, “then we can create a cool array of [linear fixtures] overlapping at different sizes and lengths.”
Cirrus Suspension D1 Downlight PureEdge Lighting REPLACE MULTIPLE PENDANTS with something linear.
“INDIRECT LIGHTING IS THE MOST QUIET APPROACH TO LIGHTING, MEANING THAT ONE SEES THE LIGHTING EFFECT WITHOUT SEEING THE ACTUAL FIXTURE ITSELF.” courtesy of PureEdge lighting
— CHAD ROTHE, OWNER & FOUNDER, LIGHTFORM LIGHTING, SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ.
Though Rothe personally tends toward “incredibly avant-garde and modern” luminaires, particularly the work of Italian architect and designer Achille Castiglioni, he also enjoys highlighting architectural elements and materials. “Indirect lighting,” Rothe says, “is the most quiet approach to lighting, meaning that one sees the lighting effect without seeing the actual fixture itself.” For bathroom or shower walls with textured tile, Rothe demurs at recessed cans. “I recommend a 3-inch-by-3-inch shade pocket along the [wall]. I then take the tile up that additional 3 inches and put in [a wall grazer] with a 10-degree lens that is either surface mounted or recessed into the drywall.” And when all other lights are off, the space looks like a spa, he says. “It’s gorgeous.” Rothe is always on the lookout for new products to curate for Lightform Lighting’s showroom, which goes through an overhaul at least annually. “Our window display is absolutely incredibly impactful and situated on one of the busiest streets in town,” he says. Though he knows his modern tastes may not appeal to those of every client, Lightform Lighting lead designer Abbie BruchPeterson brings in “a few transitional pieces, against my better judgment, because we also have to cater to the masses and what sells. It’s a team effort.”
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courtesy of PureEdge lighting
RECESSED WALL GRAZERS highlight textures.
Stratus LED Linear Wall Grazer, PureEdge Lighting pureedgelighting.com
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courtesy of Light Up Your Life
For this contemporary living room, Light Up Your Life specified PureEdge Lighting’s TruLine, which aligns with the artwork and seating areas.
Question everything, preferably before the ceiling is closed
10 • FALL/WINTER 2023 • ARCHITECTURAL SSL
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SPECIFY FIXTURES based on the intention of the space.
courtesy of Light Up Your Life
Visitors to Light Up Your Life’s 6,000-square-foot showroom in Sarasota, Fla., need not worry about walking into a space brimming with “chandeliers and fans,” says co-owner and lighting designer Monika Oberer says. “It’s a very slick destination, and people can come in for both a lighting design and walk out with a fixture.” When Oberer works with design professionals, she first updates them on the latest lighting technologies and capabilities, as well as on her lighting approach. “Designers often don’t know how to [light] in a discrete way,” she says. “We work closely with them to understand how they want to use their spaces. We don’t light up a room just to light it up. For us, lighting is emotional.” In a yoga room, for example, she might include a ceiling fan and perimeter fixtures to keep users comfortable and to limit glare during floorwork. Knowing a wall is destined for artwork is not enough. Oberer will press further: “What exactly are you putting on the wall? Are you a collector? Do you need the whole wall lit all the time, or is it one centerpiece?” Similarly, she won’t commit to rules of thumb, like hanging a dining table fixture 36 inches above the tabletop. Instead, she will ask, “What is behind the table? Is there a piece of art or a window with light coming in? Are you hanging up a slick piece of glass or a big crystal chandelier? Is the table round, square, rectangular, glass?” Each answer can change the ideal fixture position significantly. Oberer recommends owners reach out to lighting designers early on in their project and preferably while ceilings are open, revealing structural elements and ductwork. “Lighting should be in the first go-around of designing a project,” she says. “Then the owners can get what they want rather than an, ‘OK, let’s just put it there.’”
To illuminate the entry ceiling cove, Light Up Your Light specified PureEdge Lighting’s Lazer LED strip, allowing the art glass in the windows to stand out.
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IN APPLICATION SELECT LIGHTING that suits the art medium.
Frequently, her clients do not know what look they want or how exactly they will use a space. That’s where owning a showroom becomes handy. Not only can visitors see a fixture in person and in use, but Oberer also has insight into its installation. “We’re the guinea pig,” she says, for a few electricians with whom she regularly contracts and to whom she can then refer her clients.
WARM DIM LIGHTING can create ambience all day.
Finally, Oberer stays mindful of costs not only for the fixtures themselves, but also their installation. “If I have a product that is easy to install and a similar product from a different vendor that is harder to install but ¼ inch thinner, I’m not going to [specify] that one because my client’s going to pay more money for the install,” she says. “If it gives me the same end result on the lighting, that’s what counts for me.”
Good, better, and best must-haves An electrician by trade, Gregory Kay has been designing products for more than 35 years, first at Tech Lighting and then with PureEdge Lighting, which he founded initially as two companies in 2006; he also serves as CEO. Kay recommends lighting designers create spaces that are “functional, yet also evoke emotion for different times of the day and for various settings. Designers should consider the color of light, whether it is bright white or golden warm. Pastels or bold, saturated colors can also play a role in creating a mood for a space.” Kay advocates for layered lighting, which he describes as specifying more than just a pendant or decorative lighting, but also task lighting, such as undercabinet lighting; ambient lighting, such as recessed architectural lighting; and accent lighting, such as downlights or track lighting. Every residence, Kay believes, should have some form of warm dim lighting, which replicates the effect of dimming with halogen sources from, for example, full brightness at 3000K or 4000K to 1800K. Even better, Kay says, is a product with tunable white, which can be set “from bright daylight white at 6000K to warm amber at 2000K, to help with circadian rhythm. All tunable white lights can dim to warm.” For luxury residential or hospitality projects aiming to go above and beyond, Kay recommends smart lighting, which can be controlled through multiple devices, wall switches, or via voice. This lighting technology can offer tunable white as well as color-changing capabilities. The advanced features are more expensive, but Kay believes the investment is worthwhile. “Warm dim costs about 5% to 20% more than cold dim LEDs, and [smart lighting with tunable white and colorchanging capabilities] can be 10% to 30% more. … Considering these lights will last 20 years, and winters in the [North] are long and dark, it is a small price to pay for emotional well-being.”•
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PureEdge Lighting’s Warm Dim luminaires and dim from 3000K to 1800K, replicating the effect of halogen and incandescent light sources.
LAYERED LIGHT provokes emotions and is versatile.
courtesy of PureEdge lighting
— MONIKA OBERER, CO-OWNER & LIGHTING DESIGNER, LIGHT UP YOUR LIFE, SARASOTA, FLA.
courtesy of PureEdge lighting
“WE DON’T LIGHT UP A ROOM JUST TO LIGHT IT UP. FOR US, LIGHTING IS EMOTIONAL.”
TruColor RGBTW products by Pure Smart, a partnership between PureEdge Lighting and Signify’s WiZ Pro brand, include color-changing, tunable white luminaires with smart controls.
ARCHITECTURAL SSL • FALL/WINTER 2023 • 11
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Halkin Mason Photography
MYSTIQUE CONDO •
Halkin Mason Photography
Mystique Condo, located inside a luxury tower overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, features an extensive 2D and 3D art collection, reflective and mirrored surfaces, low ceilings, and an aging client needing higher illumination and minimal glare. Concealed lighting at the perimeter of the glass floor leads one into the space, extending the view into the dining room and to the outdoors. A color-changing wall within a wine display creates a dynamic centerpiece to the entire unit.
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DESIGNER FILES // BEAM, ltd. courtesy of BEAM, ltd.
In this new department, we take a detailed look at a leading or emerging individual or firm involved in the profession of architectural lighting. EDITED BY WANDA LAU
For Architectural SSL’s inaugural Designer Files, we head to our nation’s first capital, Philadelphia, to feature design studio BEAM, ltd. Established in 2002, the women-owned firm selected its name for its ability to be both an architectural and lighting element—a fitting analogy to its co-founders, registered architect Kirsten Kent Carangi and lighting designer Adam Carangi, LC, MIES. Kirsten earned her B.Arch. from North Dakota State University and has been practicing since 1993; Adam graduated from nearby Temple University with a B.A. and has been practicing since 1999. They lead their eight-person studio alongside senior lighting designers Christina Spangler and Jeffrey Kahn. Together, they share more about their firm’s approach and several key projects.
Firm objective // We are true collaborators of design. Our clients enjoy working with our designers. We are a small but nimble firm that meets all deadlines and has the knowledge to communicate our designs. Knowing how to use light to enhance the architecture, understanding the latest fixture technologies and state of the construction market, and being excellent communicators give BEAM a competitive edge. First commission // After consulting on smaller projects, we won our first commission to illuminate the historic Christ Church Philadelphia. Dating to 1744, this church was standing when the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were being authored just blocks away. The building was the tallest in North America for 54 years due to its steeple, which had never been illuminated, inside or outside. After we successfully illuminated the steeple, our commission was extended to the interior. We added electrified replicas of candelabra sconces, highlighted the organ, and designed a specialized lift to lower a chandelier once gifted to Benjamin Franklin’s daughter on her wedding to accommodate the installation of new candles for each event.
Favorite project by our company // Doing something simple for maximum effect can be satisfying, especially when it comes to architectural lighting. One favorite is the PhillyCAM Façade, a simple project featuring a sawtooth façade pasted with a graphic mix of colored geometric squares reminiscent of CRT television fuzz— except this fuzz was painted and fixed. Using a simple RGBW flood light scrolling through different colors of light, we made the façade look animated. It was basically a study in color science as some colors disappeared when the light changed hue. We created an enchanting effect within a budget that could not afford a pixelated sign. Second favorite project // The headquarters of Entercom Communications Corp. (now known as Audacy), one of the country’s largest radio and media companies, had a diverse program, including offices, recording and production studios, and performance spaces. Our design team blended practical as well as playful spaces that included sound- and motion-activated lighting design as well as lighting suited for performance, on-air video broadcast, or simple in-house meetings. Overall, the project was complex, but it brought incredible flexibility with tremendous design. What people don’t know about us // Our firm’s level of expertise and experience is often overlooked. In our 21year history, we have completed well over 1,100 projects. Our two most senior designers each have more than 25 years’ experience in architectural lighting. Our principal has 30 years of experience. The remainder of our team collectively adds more than 30 years of experience in lighting design and in adjacent fields.
BEAM, LTD., PHILADELPHIA CO-FOUNDERS KIRSTEN KENT CARANGI (CENTER) AND ADAM CARANGI (RIGHTMOST) LEAD THEIR EIGHT-PERSON STUDIO ALONGSIDE SENIOR LIGHTING DESIGNERS CHRISTINA SPANGLER (FRONT ROW, LEFT) AND JEFFREY KAHN (BACK ROW, RIGHT).
EVERYONE IS CROSS-TRAINED TO LEARN ALL ASPECTS OF THE PROJECT. OUR HIERARCHY IS BASED ON EXPERIENCE AND EXPERTISE ONLY. WE HAVE A TEAMWORK MINDSET.
Our firm culture // Everyone is cross-trained to learn all aspects of the project. Our hierarchy is based on experience and expertise only. We have a teamwork mindset: When deadlines are critical, the team rises to complete the project for our clients. We also work hard to ensure a quality work–life balance, which should be integral to any business.
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Industry generalization or perception that should be debunked // Lighting designers are only needed for the important spaces of a project because they cost too much otherwise. Not true! An architect can benefit from using a lighting designer for many reasons, including better design, better energy efficiency, higher probability of achieving WELL or LEED certification, and ultimately, to develop a better overall finished project.
A lighting trend to leave behind // Throw-away luminaires. Luminaires need to be more easily maintained and have LEDs that can be replaced. Too many luminaires are built to be recessed with housings or mounting plates, meaning their “end of life” replacement requires an unacceptable amount of work and investment. LEDs have done wonders to reduce our electricity consumption. In the era of the disposable flat panel luminaire and inaccessible micro apertures, are we considering the energy required to produce each new, replacement luminaire? How can a manufacturer be incentivized to take back the mechanical components and reuse them for the next batch? Lighting aggravation // “Or equal” or “guaranteed approved” fixtures—either on paper, in the bid process, or as substituted fixtures installed on-site that will never perform as the designer intended or, importantly, as the owner may have wanted. Design heroes // Tadao Ando, John Pawson, Rick Joy, James Carpenter, Claudio Silvestrin, Louis Kahn, SHoP Architects
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SAINT MARK’S CHURCH • Philadelphia Built in 1849, Saint Mark’s Church presented many lighting design challenges, including historical materials, darkened wood, and its tall and narrow space. Existing pendants were relamped with warm dim LEDs. A continuous track along the length of the nave simplified the installation, requiring an electrical feed from only one end of the sanctuary.
WE NEED TO EDUCATE OUR CLIENTS THAT LIGHTING CREATES A POWERFUL AESTHETIC AND HAS A TREMENDOUS IMPACT ON THE WIDER COMMUNITY.
At Saint Mark’s Church, track lighting highlights the baptismal font and organ pipe cases. Additional accents on adjacent columns illuminate sculptures from below, minimizing shadows.
A lighting trend that needs to return // Appropriate design. Light can be lively and fun, make a statement, or be majestic and monumental. Applying light to an object or space is an honor and should be approached with respect. We are experienced professionals asked to make thoughtful lighting recommendations. Whereas a flamboyant lighting style can be delightful and fun, it is not appropriate for every project. In addition to being technical wizards of light, we need to educate our clients that lighting creates a powerful aesthetic and has a tremendous impact on the wider community.
Top industry concern today // The lack of lighting designers entering and staying in the profession. A large percentage of lighting designers eventually move into manufacturing or product sales due to financial constraints. We have that concern at our firm, but we run an excellent design practice with benefits.
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Halkin Mason Photography
MAZUR HALL • Temple University. Philadelphia At Mazur Hall, a popular event venue designed by Erdy McHenry Architecture and sited at a primary campus entrance, a warm-glowing atrium connects a second-floor terrace and the courtyard.
An illuminated, architectural cove follows the graceful curves of the mezzanine and stair, providing ambient light. The minimal downlights preserve a clean ceiling. Indirect floodlights meet specific distribution criteria and minimum depth to match the horizontal beam. The finish colors of the luminaires blend into the interior elevation.
Must-see city or place for any lighting designer // Any James Turrell Skyspace. We are lucky to have a Skyspace installation near our studio, but it should be a destination goal for anyone in the lighting business. There, you will get a firsthand experience of the eye and brain connection, and how tenuous our perception of reality is.
Halkin Mason Photography
Advice to anyone interested in entering the lighting industry // Keep working toward visceral lighting fluency. Take any and every opportunity to hold a working luminaire. Move it around. Aim it at different angles on the same object. Change the optics and experience the variation. Take note of the quality of light, how it changes, and what changes it. Understanding the science of light is fundamental, but not until the effects of light become intuitive can lighting become the medium of your art.•
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How to design with
Rendering, ERCO Invia linear light in multiple use cases.
Electric Gobo, Axel Groß / © ERCO GmbH, erco.com
How to design with linear light: Tips for supporting architecture and user needs lines influence the perception of buildings and are important design elements in architecture. They can define a building’s contour, structure, and three-dimensionality, and they can create or break symmetries. When used skillfully, light lines, also known as linear luminaires, direct our gaze and control the flow of movement through a building. They serve as a visual guide for orientation. Light lines can not only fulfill a design task, but also take on the task of providing functional lighting everywhere from offices to airports and educational and cultural facilities. Their linearity structures the space, and their light supports the visual task of individual functional areas. In an open-plan office, for example, an informal lounge can be visually separated from workstations by a zoned ceiling design, which can frame specific areas and provide lighting as required by its program and users.
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This lighting approach is not new. The linearity of the fluorescent lamp arose for such purposes, in part. But modern, miniaturized LED technology today allows designers to develop far more nuanced concepts. LEDs can deliver lumens more precisely and in different ways so that fixtures provide more than uniform general illumination. In addition to classic linear applications, such as wayfinding and navigation in airports or office illumination, new applications are emerging by combining linear wall washing and accent lighting. Light structures with luminaire inserts arranged in rows, or slots, can be equipped with downlights, wall washers, track elements, and spotlights. For exhibition lighting, diffuse linear general lighting can be combined with accent light. What follows are ERCO’s tips for integrating linear luminaires in lighting designs.
Electric Gobo, Axel Groß / © ERCO GmbH, erco.com
BY ALYSSA UNCIANO, field marketing associate, ERCO Lighting
Rendering, ERCO’s Invia linear light
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ILLUMINATE WITH LINEAR LIGHTING LIKE AN EXPERT
Tall heights Linear luminaires can illuminate from tall heights, such as in the atriums. To illuminate a foyer from a height of 8 meters (26 feet), for example, luminaire inserts with high luminous flux and narrow distribution optics are needed to project the light onto the target surface over a large distance.
Arrange luminaires in their optimal location For general lighting in rooms up to 4 meters (13 feet) tall, use up to 1.5 times the height (shown as “h” in the below diagrams) of the luminaire from a horizontal working plane as a rough distance (d) between two light lines. An extra wide flood distribution of approximately 90° should create uniform illumination. For room heights exceeding 4 meters, use a narrower distribution, such as a 70° wide flood optic. The horizontal distance between light lines should correspond to the distance to the floor. In circulation zones, 20 centimeters above finished floor is considered the working plane, according to the European EN 12464 lighting standard for indoor workplaces. To illuminate office workstations, position the track profiles so they are centered on the longitudinal axis of the desks. To meet the requirements for UGR<19 glare limitation, the downlights in the linear luminaires must not produce glare, and they must have high visual comfort. This might correspond to a
BELOW, TOP AND BOTTOM: Corner luminaires installed at the consistent distance (a), or approximately 0.4 times the room height (h), can provide consistent light around room corners.
BELOW, TOP: The distance from the ceiling (d) for an linear uplight should be at least 0.5 meters (1.6 feet). BOTTOM: The distance between linear lights should be up to 1.5 the height (h) from the ceiling to the working plane.
High-quality LED light structures allow the use of luminaires with different distributions. The luminaires should be available both in linear form and as corner luminaires to enable a seamless and continuous lighting effect and visual appearance at corner and rectangular geometries.
well-shielded wide flood distribution of 70°. To illuminate entire work areas regardless of the positioning of the desks, the distances (d) between the luminaires should not exceed the height (h) above the working plane. For office workstations, the working plane is the height of the desktop, or 75 centimeters (30 inches). Uplights emphasize the dimensions of tall rooms. In office environments, this effectively lowers the contrasts in the room, resulting in a balanced ratio of self-illuminating computer screens to room light. The ideal distance (d) of the linear luminaire to the ceiling should be at least 0.5 meters (1.6 feet). Wall washing and accent lighting Linear luminaires also can provide uniform wall washing, creating a higher perception of brightness and emphasizing the architectural space. Linear wall washing is well suited in circulation areas and offices as a pleasant contrast to computer screens. Modular light structures allow designers to combine lighting methods without having to install two separate lighting solutions. Good wall washers, for example, allow the replacement of individual luminaires with short track elements without affecting the uniformity of light on the wall.
MODERN, MINIATURIZED LED TECHNOLOGY TODAY ALLOWS DESIGNERS TO DEVELOP FAR MORE NUANCED CONCEPTS.
Invia corner condition, by ERCO
Christian Hoffmann / ©ERCO GmbH, erco.com
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Invia linear light, in multiple configurations, by ERCO
A system with individual luminaire inserts, rather than LED strips in a single slot, can significantly expand a system’s functional range, particularly when compared to solutions with fixed LED strips and uniform optics. For general lighting, wall washing and accent lighting can be combined in accordance with the architectural design and user needs. The key factor for ensuring uniform wall washing is a consistent and unchanging distance between the wall-washer light structure and the wall, shown as (a) in the far right diagram. This distance should be approximately 0.4 times the room height (h). With a room height of 3 meters, use a wall distance of approximately 1.2 meters. Corner wall washer products can ensure that the uniform impression of light wraps room corners perfectly with no unsightly occurrence of overlapping light beams.•
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BY JEFF LINK
BOLD, BRIGHT, + BUILT FOR PERFORMANCE + DURABILITY LIGHTING DESIGN CAN BE THE DIFFERENTIATOR between an average and an outstanding sports and recreation center. But the solutions specified must be affordable and built to last.
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ARCHITECTURAL ILLUMINATION MATTERS
Lighting a sports and recreation center presents challenges far different from those of a commercial building. Not only are budgets often tighter because such projects tend to be financed by public money, says Matthew Crumney, an associate principal at the Dallas office of global design firm Perkins&Will, but the facilities often have complex programs, from natatoriums to cafés, with requirements for light intensity, glare levels, and sight lines that vary widely. Then there’s the matter of fixture durability. “If you’re working in a corporate lobby,” Crumney notes, “you don’t expect people to be throwing around basketballs and Frisbees.” While the lighting must tolerate an expected degree of user abuse, it also must support the projects’ civic functions. For many cities and institutions, says Robyn Goldstein, a principal at the Boston office of HLB Lighting Design, these projects serve as signature spaces to recruit athletes, host competitions and events, and advance community health and wellness.
EASTSIDE RECREATION CENTER, EL PASO, TEXAS © James Steinkamp Photography / courtesy of Perkins&Will
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ARCHITECTURAL ILLUMINATION MATTERS
Eastside Recreation Center delights both the local and swimming communities Taking cues from the nearby earth tones and distinctive folds and forms of the petroglyphs at Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site, the $40 million Eastside Recreation Center seemingly erupts from the desert landscape of El Paso, Texas. The result of a broader design collaboration between Perkins&Will and local firm In*Situ Architecture, the entrance to the 180,000-square-foot facility integrates stained concrete expanses, steel columns,
glass windows, and a fabric canopy to invoke “a softness and sensitivity to place,” says Perkins&Will associate principal Matthew Crumney. While the entry columns rise to 35 feet from a paved public plaza, directional cans with lamps by Ecosense Lighting and Meteor are mounted halfway up the steel columns to complement low, softly lit bollards that welcome visitors at a pedestrian scale. With high visibility from the main road to its south, Jason Crandall Drive, the center offers an engaging exterior showpiece. Each night, its array of concrete fin walls on the south elevation are illuminated with multicolored light from linear Lumenfacade LED luminaires by Lumenpulse. Tucked into the pockets between the projecting fins, the tempered glass fixtures are housed in extruded aluminum casings and stacked endto-end to the full 30-foot height of the walls. Together, they cast a bright, uniform glow on the full expanse of each Brutalist concrete slab. The DMX/RDM-enabled light tubes can be programmed remotely on a Lumenpulse 2.0 control panel to produce holiday- or eventthemed displays. El Paso is a city that loves vibrancy, Crumney notes. The design, he says, “helped
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All images: James Steinkamp Photography / courtesy of Perkins&Will
THE DESIGN HELPED MEET EL PASO’S “DESIRE TO HAVE COLORED LIGHTS AND CREATE A FESTIVAL-ESQUE FEELING.”
us to meet the city’s desire to have colored lights and create a festival-esque feeling.” Inside the building, the primary challenge was meeting the safety and performance requirements of a natatorium with an Olympic-size, 50-meter pool and smaller training pools. To abide by World Aquatics (formerly FINA) facilities rules recognized by the International Olympic Committee for aquatic sports, the pool needed to maintain a 1,500-lux light intensity level at the water’s surface while minimizing the glare of direct light, which can interfere with sight lines for swimmers and spectators. Further complicating the design requirements was the issue of maintenance. To service a natatorium with 32-foot-tall ceilings, the lighting fixtures needed to be situated above the pool deck, where they could be accessed by a scaffold or scissor lift, Crumney says.
TOP: South elevation from the southeast (left) and southwest (right), Eastside Recreation Center. ABOVE: The main entry features directional cans mounted halfway up the steel columns to complement the illuminated bollards. OPPOSITE: The entry, lobby, and gymnasium utilize relatively straightforward lighting solutions, though the natatorium required strategic luminaire placement.
LIGHTING PRODUCTS Lumenpulse Lumenfacade LED luminaires for the exterior fin walls lumenpulse.com Meteor Tetriss high-bay luminaire meteor-lighting.com
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EASTSIDE RECREATION CENTER
All images: James Steinkamp Photography / courtesy of Perkins&Will
In an elegant response to both constraints, the team decided to install Meteor’s high-lumen, 560-watt, 4000K Tetriss LED fixtures in custom-built stanchions under the acoustic-paneled ceiling. Angled slightly upward, the fixtures reflect light off the ceiling to throw diffuse indirect light at the water’s surface. The stanchions house low-voltage Wi-Fi hotspots, and light from the Tetriss lamps complements the refracted natural light filtering into the natatorium from the windows between the sawtooth concrete panels. Lighting in the recreation center’s remaining major program areas—a 10,000-square-foot gym with an upper-level seating mezzanine and running track, and a 12,000-square-foot senior center—was comparatively straightforward and kept the project within budget. “This building, more than any other I have worked on, is of its place,” Crumney says. “It’s part of the landscape, and [lighting] it in a sensitive way [required] a tricky balance. It needed a softness and sensitivity to get it right.”
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ARCHITECTURAL ILLUMINATION MATTERS
health and wellness, the 350,000-square-foot facility—the largest building project in the state at the time of its construction—is home to a long list of spaces and venues, including a multipurpose field house, an ice arena, a 50-meter pool, a competition gymnasium, squash courts, a fitness center, a climbing wall, locker rooms, offices, and sports medicine facilities. In field houses and gymnasiums, says HLBLD principal Robyn Goldstein, uniform illumination is essential to ensuring highflying balls don’t get lost in the lights and players can safely navigate courts and
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© Matthew Arielly / courtesy of HLB Lighting Design
UNIFORM ILLUMINATION ENSURES HIGH-FLYING BALLS DON’T GET LOST IN THE LIGHTS.
ABOVE: Extensive glazing connects the indoor and outdoor spaces, such as in the indoor track and field facility, Harold Alfond Athletics and Recreation Center, Colby College. RIGHT: Single and twin Holophane Phuzion fixtures with a 28-inch diameter provide uniform downlighting, as well as a little uplighting, in the Alford Center’s ice arena (top) and basketball court (bottom).
tracks. Guided by that premise, HLBLD used simulation software by Ansys Government Initiatives (formerly known as AGI) to perform photometric calculations on all specified fixtures. Using data from manufacturer-supplied IES photometric files, which describe how light from a particular luminaire is distributed in rooms, these models generated image maps of each venue showing the optimal number and spacing of fixtures to ensure uniform light on playing surfaces and sufficient facial illumination. These calculations also helped the building achieve a 53% lower lighting power density
© Matthew Arielly / courtesy of HLB Lighting Design
HLB Lighting Design (HLBLD) has a long history of partnering with Boston-headquartered design and engineering firm Sasaki on lighting plans for recreation facilities. However, its collective collaboration with London-based Hopkins Architects on the luminous, $130 million-glass and gray brick-clad Colby College Harold Alfond Athletics and Recreation Center is arguably one of HLBLD’s most daring and innovative projects. Designed to elevate the stature of the Division III athletics program for the college, located in Waterville, Maine, and to serve as a campus hub for student recreation and
Matthew Arielly / courtesy of HLB LIghting Design
© Jeremy Bittermann, courtesy of Sasaki
Lighting elevates Colby College’s Alfond Athletics and Recreation Center
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COLBY COLLEGE’S ALFOND ATHLETICS AND RECREATION CENTER
© Jeremy Bittermann, courtesy of Sasaki
than required by the ASHRAE 90.1-2010 building standard. To keep lighting costs in check—roughly $7 per square foot, or $2.45 million for the entire project—the team specified throughout much of the project 28-inch diameter Holophane Phuzion LED high bays with impact-resistant lenses and protective wire caging. A total of 74 single and 140 twin Phuzion fixtures brighten the fieldhouse and ice arena. Mounted on stems and hangers suspended from the ceiling, the high bays are connected to passive heat exchangers and cast light through prismatic, frosted silicate glass
lenses. About 16% of their total illumination is directed upward, a rarity for high bays and a pivotal part of the design strategy. “With one fixture, we’re able to get two layers of lighting,” says Amy Huan, a senior associate at HLBLD. “That helped with both energy and budget, as well as visual comfort, because we’re able to apply a portion of the light to the ceilings, which helps especially in ball sports.” Other program areas required more specialized lighting approaches. Mounted on a custom-designed architectural truss system designed in collaboration with Sasaki, Quantum 12-inch diameter LED floodlights by Ligman Lighting in the natatorium are equipped with frosted glass lenses and a corrosion-resistant,
LEFT: In the squash courts, domed linear fluorescent LEDs illuminate headwalls and sidewalls while providing general illumination. BELOW: A custom solution prevents the natatorium’s overhead lights from causing glare for swimmers while remaining accessible for maintenance.
anti-glare finish. The system is designed to protect swimmers from glare and withstand the conditions of the wet, chlorinated environment. In the squash courts, where fixtures are especially prone to being struck by fast-moving balls, the team chose Kenall’s Millenium Stretch, an 8-inch-wide × 4-inch-tall domed linear luminaire protected by an extruded aluminum casing and a high-impact pearlescent polycarbonate lens. While the building’s athletic areas had specific requirements, abundant natural light from the almost entirely transparent façade does much of the heavy lifting, Goldstein says. Over time, Lutron’s Quantum smart networked lighting control system, which is preconfigured to adjust light levels based on daylighting levels and preset scenes, is expected to lead to significant energy savings. “The big part of the energy story is that [the building] is on a network control system,” Goldstein says. The “fixtures dim or turn off when there’s a lot of daylight. In many ways, the lighting design is simple. But it creates a bold visual presence at the same time.”•
LIGHTING PRODUCTS Ligman Lighting Quantum 12-inch diameter LED floodlights in the natatorium ligmanlightingusa.com
© Jeremy Bittermann, courtesy of Sasaki
Holophane Phuzion PHS LED high bays in the fieldhouse and ice arena holophane.acuitybrands.com Kenall Millenium Stretch in squash courts kenall.com
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2023 PRODUC T INNOVATION AWARDS
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2023 PIA honorees BY ARCHITECTURAL SSL STAFF
ARCHITECTURAL SSL'S 13TH ANNUAL PRODUCT INNOVATION AWARDS CELEBRATES THE INCREDIBLE DESIGN AND TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENTS MADE IN SOLID-STATE LIGHTING SOLUTIONS—ALL OF WHICH ARE AVAILABLE COMMERCIALLY FOR THE BUILDING INDUSTRY. LIGHTING CATEGORIES
• FAÇADE AND FLOOD • TRACK • OMNIDIRECTIONAL • LINEAR • CONTROLS • PROJECT APPLICATION
Versatility. This year’s slate of Product Innovation Award (PIA) honorees demonstrates that, practically speaking, anything is possible when it comes to fulfilling a designer’s most exacting, rigorous, or fantastical lighting needs. Within the past decade or so, lighting manufacturers have developed extraordinary command of solidstate lighting technology. Today, a single LED luminaire capable of delivering multiple lumen outputs, color temperatures, and distributions is hardly a rarity, but rather a necessity in the flexible, human-centric, and multifunctional spaces that are increasingly common to commercial environments.
The solutions are grouped loosely in the general product categories—linear lighting, downlights, decorative, and so on—but don’t limit your ideas of their use as such. Multiple solutions can morph across different categories and use cases. For example, several honorees can brave extreme conditions outdoors but also look right at home in a high-end interior or interstitial space to support a consistent aesthetic from, as Luminis put it, “corner to cube.”
• SPECIALTY • DECORATIVE • DOWNLIGHTS • MULTIFORM FACTOR • STREET, AREA, AND PARKING
Imagine the design possibilities as you browse the following pages presenting the 45 PIA honorees.
Never content with the status quo, the manufacturers behind these honorees will continue to push the capabilities of LEDs. How many more lumens can one watt deliver? Can a fixture be lighter, smaller, or easier to disassemble for maintenance or recycling? What new form factors will both
complement lasting trends and blaze new ones? One promising area of growth in this year’s honorees is the progress that increasingly more lighting manufacturers are making toward a more sustainable and circular economy. Many entrants shared how their products are utilizing more efficient or lightened packaging strategies to reduce transport costs; preserving dark skies; integrating salvaged, waste, or recyclable materials; and offering reclamation programs for a solution’s end of life. We look forward to seeing more of these strategies in the coming years. If one thing is certain, the lighting industry has no shortage in its ability to adapt, experiment, and revolutionize.
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2023 PRODUCT INNOVATION AWARDS
Targetti USA Ivy Designed by Stefano Boeri Interiors, Ivy is a 24V smart lighting system for outdoor architectural and green spaces. Its linear, minimalist profile made of extruded aluminum can support different building elements, including audio units, wireless environmental sensors, and different light modules. Ivy can be surface mounted on walls and ceilings, or recessed into drywall or wood. Its LED light source and control gear are replaceable to extend the product’s life.
Kirlin Lighting Hitsville Task Light
Kenall Manufacturing MedMaster MCRT
Diode LED AlphaTech X
Designed for health care settings, this wallmounted task light has a minimalist faceplate with an LED module mounted at a 45° angle. Its adjustable light engine with variable beam spreads means that the ligature- and vandal-resistant fixture does not have to be directly above the area to be illuminated, enabling a reading light without protrusions above a bed. The IK10- and IP66-rated fixture can give patients touch control for on/off and continuous dimming to 1%.
This 24"-diameter troffer provides uniform lighting with a full backlit LED array and high-diffusion lens, allowing lighting designers to maintain design consistency throughout a space while also meeting cleaning and infection-prevention performance standards. The IP64- and NSF2-rated luminaire features a continuous indigo-clean visible light disinfection option and delivers 2,951 to 7,724 lm. Patients can regulate lighting with optional lowvoltage controllers (LVC/LVCD).
Designed and produced in Reno, Nev., this diffused and flexible linear light is suitable for customshaped runs up to 20 feet in indoor and outdoor environments. UV stabilized, IP69 rated, and with a UL 676 certification, AlphaTech can fully submerge in water and work in environments from -40 to 180° F. The top- or side-bending fixture offers seamless end-to-end connections. AlphaTech’s made-to-order manufacturing process reduces the environmental impact of transportation and production waste.
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OCL Architectural Lighting Neo Neo’s bell-shaped diffuser provides soft, uniform illumination with a 60/40 distribution. The luminaire can light an entire room from a single source with extremely low surface luminous intensity, reducing or eliminating the need for supplemental lighting. It has field adjustable suspension lengths, and the pendants are available in three sizes: 18”, 24”, and 36”. Available in standard white, warm dim, and RGBW and in a range of CCTs, from 2700K to 4000K, and with an 80+ or 90+ CRI and R9 > 50. Neo is also suitable for damp locations, allowing it to be used in mid-door or transitional applications. ocl.com
LightArt Ocean Coil Marina
Eureka Lighting Tangram-Cut
Focal Point Lia
LightArt’s Ocean Coil collection of pendants is 3D printed using 100% recycled polypropylene. The latest color, Marina, is created by combining the two existing Ocean Coil stock color options: creamy white Sea Foam, made from ocean-bound plastic; and deep green Seagrass, made from nearshore plastic, including discarded fishing nets, trawls, and ropes. Equipped with LightArt’s Performance Lighting Core and available in small (6.7" diameter × 4.9" tall) and large (13.5" diameter × 9.75" tall) sizes.
Cut from a solid block of crystal glass, this jewel-like pendant features a COB light engine that sparkles as its internal frosting and concave bottom diffuse light. Tangram-Cut’s 4"-wide, UVresistant nylon straps provide strong, geometric lines that can define a space while hiding its imperceptible, flat power cable. The fixture’s lumen output is dependent on the two available diffuser finishes—frosted glass and clear—and ranges from 1,216 to 2,500 lm.
This acoustic pendant arrays PET felt fins that allow its light to peek through, creating shadow and transparency effects. The felt is made of 100% polyester and contains up to 50% recycled plastic bottles. Delivering 2,000 to 17,000 lm, the luminaire is suitable for a variety of lighting and acoustical applications. Lia comes in 3', 4', and 5' diameters, and 12" and 18" heights. It can be used as a single pendant or in a cluster and suspend from a cord or fixed stem. Lia is certified as LBC Red List Free by the International Living Future Institute.
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Focal Point ID+ 2" Cylinder Family With its miniaturized form factor, this cylinder is suited for ambient, wall wash, task, and accent lighting. Delivering 500 to 1700 lm, the fixture features a 50° cutoff for brightness control and visual comfort, along with a super short cone with Solite lens for uniform light output and 20° to 90° beam spreads. Available in a variety of CCTs, CRIs, and two warm dim ranges at 90 CRI that mimic the black body curves of halogen and incandescent lamps. Optional housing details include a glowing or non-glowing reveal, and knife edge.
Acuity Brands DMF Lighting Gotham EVO/Incito 4" and 6" X Series 2" Modular Downlights Emergency Battery Backup Cylinders Featuring a housing trapdoor and tool-less,
To provide emergency backup power for cylindrical lights, Gotham’s integral battery pack, which requires no power canopy, comes in a 6W emergency battery and provides up to 2,500 lm and 4,500 lm for 4" and 6" cylinders, respectively. For higher ceiling applications, the remote sidecar option offers 7W, 10W, and 15W batteries with 24" conduit length that can power the 4" cylinder up to 5,000 lm and the 6" to 8000 lm. In compliance with NFPA 101.
field-changeable trims, modules, and optics, this serviceable downlight provides design flexibility and post-installation access from below the ceiling plane. The downlights are shipped with a patent-pending collar to minimize the risk of overcutting drywall. The downlight or adjustable (360° rotation and 35° tilt) light modules deliver 750 to 1,500 lm—comparable to 3" and 4" downlights in 10' ceilings, according to DMF. Title 24 JA8 and RoHS compliant and Declare-listed.
This family of discrete recessed or surface-mounted luminaires delivers short and distinct linear light via an ultra-narrow optic channel in the ceiling plane. The 10" or 20" luminaires offer single or twin optics and create dashed paths no wider than a finger while outputting between 800 and 3700 lm. Available in three distributions—65° wide, 45° medium, and a 25° × 75° narrow ellipse—suitable for retail and hospitality projects, contiguous vertical surface coverage, and increased on-center spacing.
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2023 PRODUCT INNOVATION AWARDS
Luminaire LED VRDL Vandal Resistant Downlight For its subtle aesthetic, Luminaire LED’s VRDL might seem surprisingly strong, designed for impact, ingress, and ligature resistance; it passed IP66 after IK10 testing. The NSF2-rated downlight has a ¼"-thick polycarbonate lens, in 4" or 6" apertures, and vandal-resistant center pin reject Torx hardware. The dimmable downlight outputs up to 4,000 lm in several CCTs and offers warm dimming and red and amber options to support human-centric lighting. Offered in flanged or flangeless construction in a range of finishes to support different design objectives. It also qualifies for Buy American requirements. luminaireled.net
Aculux/Acuity Brands Aculux WarmDim Solution
Creative Systems Lighting Acrobat Wall Wash Optic
Enjoy the golden hour of light inside every evening with this patented, user-controlled technology for Aculux’s AX3 and AX4 series of downlights. WarmDim smoothly warms color temperatures (3000K to 1800K) during dimming while maintaining a 90+ CRI and 1-step MacAdam ellipse of the black body locus for color consistency. With WarmDim, the 3” and 4” recessed downlights come in a range of distributions, from 10° to 60° beam angles or a batwing distribution. The AX series also offers tunable white technology (2700K to 5000K) with a 2-step MacAdam ellipse. aculux.acuitybrands.com
Modular International Inc. 579e LED Modules
Delivering uniform light that can intuitively be directed in any direction, this wall washer highlights only the desired area without shadowing or glare through CSL’s patented silent Vu optics. Its light module snaps into place separately from the housing at the end of installation; it can also fit into tight spaces and be adjusted independently from the housing. Available with round or square reflectors and trim and in multiple finishes and CCTs. A decorative cover snaps in place for a clean aesthetic.
Developed to deliver high lumens, low wattages, and a high CRI at a reasonable price, each 579e module— available in 50mm-, 70mm-, and 90mm-diameter lumen packages—delivers more than 108 lm/W. They can work in 98% of Modular International’s standard product lines. The company sources domestically produced raw materials, excepting LED components and third-party drivers. The manufacturer’s reclamation program welcomes back 579e modules at their end of life for responsible recycling or reuse of metal components.
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Luminis Inline The Inline range combines a contemporary urban aesthetic with adjustable light
modules. Its curved opening and recessed lens direct light beams downward, minimizing uplight and controlling glare. Bollards are available in 24", 39", and 46" heights and can support up to two light modules. Inline columns are up
to 20 feet tall and can support up to four light modules each. Available with 15°, 30°, or 55° beam angle reflectors and a Type III distribution. luminis.com
Selux Corp. Melli
This IP65-rated family of luminaires offers five mounting options—surface, wall, catenary, rigid stem, and pole—to deliver diffuse, precision, or spot lighting for exterior applications with its cohesive aesthetic and form factor and a clear or diffuse cylinder. IP65 and IK10 rated, Melli uses Selux’s Gen5 light engine, which offers Type I to Type V round distributions. Available in CCTs of 2700K, 3000K, 3500K, and 5000K and in several finish colors. Declare-listed.
This family of interior and exterior luminaires allows designers to mix and match optic requirements while maintaining a consistent aesthetic for “curb to cube” applications, including roadways, pathways, offices, and lobbies. A classic, beveled silhouette with no visible screws or bolts houses microprisms that uniformly output up to 18,442 lm in Type II, III, IV, or V standard IES distributions. Cast metal components are made from recycled aluminum, while extruded and fabricated parts are made from at least 58% pre-consumer recycled aluminum. Luminis recycles at least 95% of scrapped aluminum material.
MaxLite Enhanced Canopy/ Parking Garage Luminaire This fixture offers an economical retrofit solution for 70 to 150W HID luminaires. Offered in five wattages from 20 to 60W, this low-profile fixture allows for greater vehicle clearance in garage and canopy applications, while its patent-pending single-screw and hinge design provides quick access inside for conduit or controls installation. The series comes standard with MaxLite’s c-Max control receptacle, enabling the use of c-Max controls that can be field installed. Available in CCTs of 3000K, 4000K, and 5000K. maxlite.com
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street, area, and parking
2023 PRODUCT INNOVATION AWARDS
Cyclone Lighting Tribeca This sculptural, sleek luminaire for contemporary urban landscapes integrates advanced thermal management technology that enables its efficient delivery of 12 performance packages, ranging from 7,000 to 34,000 lm, and in 14 standard roadway distributions. Its Orion light engine is paired with optics that deliver light in dual directions while eliminating the need for a glass face to maintain the IP66-rated fixture’s watertightness. A push-button latch allows tool-free access for maintenance. Manufactured in a North American factory powered entirely by hydroelectricity. cyclonelighting.com
Selux Corp. Line Black Selux Corp. Arca Pro DarkSky Approved, this IP66-rated architectural post top luminaire minimizes glare and light trespass and delivers zero uplight for exterior applications, including pedestrian pathways, campuses, parking lots, and plazas. Its minimum square-pole form comes in single to quadruple pole configurations, with one or two light engines per luminaire. The versatile, Declare-listed luminaires is offered with Type I, II, III, IV, V round or square distributions, true amber LEDs, and CCTs ranging from 2700K to 5000K. selux.us
For illuminating landscapes in a manner mindful of preserving dark skies, Line Black is a 4.5"-diameter bollard or column that produces less than 0.5% uplight, but has a wide distribution for increased spacing. Its linear optic modules come in four sizes, which can be mixed and matched to illuminate different applications from one location. Each module has a micro-faceted black or silver reflector system engineered to illuminate local roads, paths, plazas, and parks with minimal scattered light. The integrated optics in the slender form factor eliminate the need for additional housing. Available in CCTs from 2700K to 4000K and with a CRI of 80+. selux.us
Acuity Brands Lighting D-Series LED Area Luminaire, Extreme Backlight Control This redesigned D-Series updates a longstanding line by Lithonia Lighting with three sizes and 15 photometric distribution patterns. New BLC4 optics allow for wider pole spacings, uniform lighting, and corner and backlight control near property lines; they also reduce the amount of light behind the pole, achieving zero ft-candles in as little as 5.5'. Its efficacy is also 18% better, while a new packaging design has doubled the number of luminaires shipped per pallet. acuitybrands.com
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façade + flood
Hydrel SAF RGBW with Flame Hydrel’s architectural floodlights SAF7 RGBW, SAF14 RGBW, and SAF28 RGBW are now offered with Flame, a new lighting technique that combines a central beam and an outer beam in one luminaire, creating a distinctive accent gradient effect that blends colors or mixes white lighting with color. Three distributions are available: narrow (30° outer beam and 10° central beam); wide (70° outer beam and 30° central beam); and lotus (70° outer beam and 10° central beam). Available in 2700K, 3000K, 3500K, 4000K, 5000K, and amber color temperatures, and with ground, wall, pole, stanchion, and tree-mounting accessories. hydrel.acuitybrands.com
Traxon e:cue Traxon Washer Pro
Acclaim Lighting Unity
Insight Lighting Viga
The Washer Pro family of wall washers produces high brightness and color saturation from a small luminaire. The system is rated for IP66, IK07, and ANSI 3G vibration, and its faceplate can be removed for accessory installation and integration. Available in RGBW—with white CCTs coming soon—and five sizes, ranging from 10W DC to 150W AC. The output power can be preset to achieve a fixed maximum power consumption. Rock-guard, glare-shield, and mounting accessories are optional.
Unity uses the Spectrum Five engine and a large aperture Fresnel lens to output up to 11,600 lm with CCTs from 2500K to 8000K and dynamic white operation, and RGBAL color mixing in the same unit. The luminaire’s fully homogenized beam has no color striations and comes with a 10° × 10° native beam with optional accessories that can produce beam angles of 30° × 30°, 50° × 50°, 70° × 70°, 100° × 100°, 10° × 60°, and 30° × 60°. Unity can be remotely controlled through cabled or wireless DMX-512A.
Functional and decorative, Viga provides a comfortable ambience in spaces that require indirect light. The optics of the linear light produce a batwing beam of indirect light and a reflected lateral/ downlight beam. The luminaire is offered with low, medium, and high outputs, CCTs of 2700K through 4000K, with a standard CRI of 82+ and optional 90+ CRI. Viga is available in single fixture lengths of 24" to 96" and in multiple mounting options: power-overcable, rigid pendant, and extended arm wall-mount.
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track / omnidirectional
2023 PRODUCT INNOVATION AWARDS
Lucifer Lighting Co. Monopoint This patent-pending cylinder contains an integrated J-shaped elbow that allows for a full 90° tilt and 365° rotation with a 1' maximum drop length. Suitable for many interior environments, Monopoint can be installed with a zero-sightline, junction box mounting plate, or ceiling mount junction box; optics that integrate reflection, refraction, and TIR; and 10°, 15°, 25°, 40°, and 60° beam spreads. Available in anodized aluminum finishes, as well as powder-coated options or custom RAL matching. Compliant with JA8-2019 standards and Declare-listed. luciferlighting.com
Juno Lighting/Acuity Brands T105xL Narrow Profile Wall Wash Track Fixture family
Juno Lighting/Acuity Brands Juno Trac WarmDim Technology
ERCO Lighting, Inc. Uniscan
The wall wash fixture offers seven possible lumen packages, ranging from 1,700 to 6,300 lm and in CCTs from 2700K to 4000K. A patented hyperbolic reflector regresses its two LEDs, minimizing glare while creating a smooth, wide beam. Its designed center of gravity prevents the track from tilting or twisting regardless of its aim or rotation, while its carbon footprint is 30% smaller than the company’s current track wall wash fixture family.
Now available with Juno’s T381L and T261L track fixtures, the company’s WarmDim technology replicates the feeling of halogen lighting, but with the operating life and efficiency of LEDs. Compatible with several factory-approved dimmers, WarmDim provides gradual and uniform control—3000K to 1800K—while delivering up to 1195 lm using 16W and a minimum CRI of 90. The LED driver is contained in a side-mounted, vertical housing to maximize thermal efficiency and minimize fixture size.
To meet the specific illumination needs of gallery and museum exhibits, the compact, cylindrical Uniscan track light offers 12 interchangeable optics. ERCO’s darklight lens enables precise light distributions with no spill light or glare. Available in CCTs ranging from 2700K to 4000K, tunable white, and RGBW. On-board dim, Casambi Bluetooth, or Zigbee allows for interactive control and design. ERCO procures and disposes materials for its products in accordance with the European Environment Agency’s WEEE directive.
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Optique Lighting Pivotaire Nano Linear Recessed Mud-in System Pivotaire offers a flexible linear lighting solution for designers. The customizable sleek linear system is available in four standard configurations: straight, wrap, picture frame, and zig zag. It can rotate 360°, allowing the fixture to be mounted vertically, horizontally, or at any angle. Pivotaire has no dark edges; the lens design provides even illumination across the entire surface. The system is available in 0.5" and 1" widths, a CRI of 95+, and seven CCTs ranging from 2200K to 5000K CCT. Available in multiple lumen packages from 100+ to 700+ lm/ft. optiquelighting.com
LightArt Acoustic Stratta A linear sound-dampening fixture with a minimalist design, Acoustic Stratta features a 2"-wide profile and 1" aperture. Made with 9mm-thick Sola Felt, comprising 50% post-consumer recycled content, the luminaire boasts sound absorption of up to 11 sabins and is available in uplight, downlight, or unlit versions in 6", 12", and 16" heights and 3' to 8' lengths. Stratta can output 250 to 1050 lm/ft with CRIs of 80 and 90, CCTs ranging from 2700K to 4000K, and a UGR<19. LBC Red List Free. lightart.com
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Mark Architectural Lighting Slot 2 | Slot 4 – Pendant, Surface, Wall
Vode Lighting Nexa
A continuous row joining system ensures Slot 2 and Slot 4 are installed in uniform rows, while a snap-link fosters tight, straight runs. A quick connect wire harness makes joining rows simple, and the continuous flush lens can be rolled out to specific lengths for a customized appearance. Available in CCTs from 2700K to 6500K and with tunable white. The fixtures are 90% composed of materials sourced from within 30 miles of their manufacturing facility.
Nexa is a low-profile, edge-lit linear luminaire with versatile magnet mounting options and suspended ceiling system compatibility. With a depth of 9/16"— thinner than drywall—Nexa can be surface mounted to mimic the look of recessed lighting. Available in 3.25" and 5.25" widths with run lengths up to 12', it delivers up to 1650 lm/ft and 80 or 90 CRI. Tunable white (2200K to 5000K) and dim to warm (2200K to 3000K) are options. Available with critical edge or honeycomb optics to reduce glare.
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2023 PRODUCT INNOVATION AWARDS
elliptipar by The Lighting Quotient S330 Linear Adjustable for iLas2 Perimeter Pocket Framing System Capable of illuminating walls up to 40' tall, the S330 luminaire is designed for use with iLas2 Perimeter Pocket Framing and offers fully adjustable linear optics, including wall washer and grazer, in single or dual heads. Available in increments from 2' to 6', the S330 features fieldadjustable aperture widths of 4" to 6", 9" to 12", or custom sizes; the pocket framing comes in 2' to 8' lengths. The dual head version of S330 provides up to 3200 lm/ft. Available in CCTs ranging from 2700K to 4000K CCT; in tunable white, from 2700K to 6500K; and RGBW (3500K white). thelightingquotient.com
Peerless Lighting Proper
Eureka Lighting Tangram-Trace
iLight by Luminii Plexineon
Proper offers a seamless line of light and direct/ indirect illumination that can be controlled independently. With an emphasis on color quality and glare control and in support of the WELL Building Standard, this luminaire has a continuous lens that can extend up to 100 feet. The tunable white option features two ranges: productivity (3000K to 5000K) and rhythm (2700K to 6500K). The direct output ranges from 300 to 1300 lm/ft, while indirect output ranges from 300 to 1500 lm/ft.
Tangram-Trace features a slim, bold aesthetic with two 4"-wide, UV-resistant, nylon straps and diffused linear illumination. Available in 2', 4', and 6' lengths, the straps can be configured into 12 pre-set shapes or used to create custom designs. Trace fixtures can be selected with CCTs ranging from 2700K to 5000K and with tunable white and wireless nLight controls as options. The luminaire's output range can be adjusted, delivering between 670 and 1,027 lm/ft.
Plexineon offers a flexible alternative to neon that can be bent and shaped to create custom designs. Recently re-engineered, it offers a 45% higher visible light output, 25% higher efficacy, and a higher CRI than legacy products. IP67, IK10, and 3G rated, it can withstand extreme weather. It can be mounted with surface and catenary ring options (6" to 288" diameters) for horizontal and vertical viewing or suspended in vertical rings (minimum 16" diameter). With CCTs from 2700K to 4000K.
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controls / linear
2023 PRODUCT INNOVATION AWARDS
Cosmicnode Infinity IoT Platform An enterprise-level IoT platform, Infinity offers cloud-connected lighting management for multi-tenant and multi-site applications. The platform offers wireless lighting and sensor control technology and supports sustainability efforts by monitoring energy usage, occupancy levels, and environmental conditions to provide the optimal lux output. Infinity can generate reports and metrics data in an intuitive manner for end users to deploy. The platform can be accessed off-site or on-site with an app that has a simple user interface. cosmicnode.com
MHT Technologies Inspextor Super Node Inspextor Super Node reduces the number of drivers needed for effective RGBW and CCT environments from two to one. It enables granular control with multiple inputs and outputs and uses low-voltage, PoE rails to improve the hotel experience for guests while reducing energy use and installation costs. This node operates as a junction box within a digital ceiling, routing DC power to a variety of smart devices and implementing power-on-demand, which uses renewable energy immediately as it becomes available. mht-technologies.com
Kirlin Lighting MCL Cove Light A purpose-built solution designed for MRI suites with versatile lighting options that enhance the MRI experience, the MCL Cove Light produces a range of colors that can be dynamically adjusted, creating a calming environment for patients. Available in both static white and color-changing versions, this luminaire can dim down to 0.38% using 0-10V (static white) or DMX (color-changing). The static white version is offered in CCTs of 3000K, 3500K, and 4000K with a CRI of 90+. The color-changing version features RGBW quad chip technology. kirlinlighting.com
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project application / linear
Optec LED Lighting, OLPG1 Potawatomi Casino Hotel parking structures The lighting system in three parking structures at Potawatomi Casino Hotel, in Milwaukee, had reached its end of life. After reviewing the technical performance, pricing, and lead times of lighting systems by the previous manufacturer and by Optec, the hotel’s facilities team chose the latter. Manufactured in Milwaukee and sourced domestically, the OLPG1 parking garage fixtures had a lead time of less than six weeks—perfect for the facility, which wanted 30% of the new luminaires installed in two months to accommodate its busy winter months, with the balance installed by early spring. The OLPG1’s indirect, edge-lit technology and UV-stabilized, diffused lenses increase its light distribution and uniformity, while a quick-connect mounting bracket frees installers’ hands to ease connections. IP66 rated with CCTs ranging from 3000K to 5000K with a CRI of 80 or 90. optecled.com
Elemental LED Inc. Graze X Fixture This discretely sized dual-lens luminaire produces clear, precise light with near-zero glare. The fixture has an UGR as low as 4 when viewed from a 20° angle. The extruded optic emits a true 10°, 30°, or 60° beam angle with near-zero spill light, and the clarity of the lens eliminates discoloration at the edge of the beam angle. Graze X is built to length in 1" increments up to 96" and can be daisy-chained up to 40' from one 24VDC power supply.
PHAROS ARCHITECTURAL CONTROLS
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Supporting infant health with new research in circadian lighting At Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, a multidisciplinary team developed a custom luminaire for NICUs. BY REBEKAH MULLANEY
A century ago, a baby born prematurely in the U.S. had little chance of survival. Today, thanks to major advances in neonatal care, preterm infants, defined as babies born more than three weeks early, can live long and healthy lives. But challenges remain. Many preterm infants have trouble growing and gaining weight. Some suffer from chronic lung disease or immune system issues. They are also at a greater risk of abnormal retinal development, which can lead to permanent visual impairment. The country’s first neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) was established in Connecticut in 1960. Initially, NICUs were brightly illuminated 24/7 so that physicians and nurses could observe and tend to their vulnerable patients. The late 1980s saw a reversal: Medical directors began dimming their NICUs, believing that lighting should remain at very low levels 24/7 to replicate the darkness of the intrauterine environment. A growing body of research is challenging past assumptions on the type of lighting that infants require. In the womb, the fetus receives circadian cues, including changes in the mother’s body temperature and hormones, which follow a pattern throughout the 24-hour day. However, once the baby is born, they no longer receive these cues from their mother. The earlier this connection is lost, the greater the risk of permanent health issues to the baby.
A team of physicians, researchers, and architectural lighting experts are currently addressing the problem of lost circadian cues through lighting science and application. Since the turn of the 21st century, scientists have learned much about the importance of circadian light–dark cycles for human health. Light has an impact on human health via opsins, located in the brain: Melanopsin plays a key role in controlling circadian rhythms, including sleep/wake cycles, while encephalopsin and neuropsin influence physiologic and metabolic processes, such as growth. In 2020, Richard Lang, director of the Visual Systems Group at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, discovered that opsins sense specific wavelengths of light that are found in sunlight, but not in electric light. This finding inspired Lang’s colleague James Greenberg, co-director of the Perinatal Institute at Cincinnati Children’s, to develop a lighting system for the institution’s NICU. Greenberg envisioned building a circadian lighting system capable of providing the full range of visible wavelengths found in sunlight to support optimal neonatal growth and development. At the time, Cincinnati Children’s was working with ZGF 38 • FALL/WINTER 2023 • ARCHITECTURAL SSL
Architects on the design and construction of a major facility expansion—an eight-story, 632,500-square-foot Critical Care Building. Greenberg began collaborating with ZGF, Pivotal Lighting Design, BIOS Lighting, and Acuity Brands to develop a lighting system for the NICU that would support the health and well-being of preterm infants. The lighting system cost approximately $4 million to design, test, and build. In November 2021, the biologically aware circadian lighting system was installed in 56 patient rooms at the Critical
ONCE THE BABY IS BORN, THEY NO LONGER RECEIVE CIRCADIAN CUES FROM THEIR MOTHER. THE EARLIER THIS CONNECTION IS LOST, THE GREATER THE RISK OF PERMANENT HEALTH ISSUES TO THE BABY. Care Building. Linear in form, low-profile, and approximately 6 feet in length, the luminaire looks like the standard headwall fixtures in other patient rooms with one major difference: It delivers the ideal quantity and quality of light that newborns require during this critical period of development.
From research to product
Through its tunable LEDs and custom user interface, which support sophisticated spectral manipulation, the lighting system is programmable for any latitude, reflects the seasonal variation in length of day, and accurately mimics the gradual and constantly changing spectral composition of light during the 24-hour progression from dawn to midday, dusk, and through the night. The circadian lighting system provides the full range of visible wavelengths found in sunlight, including violet light, to support vision, circadian rhythm, and growth. “Violet light found in skylight and sunlight plays a role in human development, but you cannot rely on daylight within a NICU environment because of sensitivity to temperature and glare,” says ZGF principal Marty Brennan. “Even if you can control those variables, the glazing assembly can diminish violet wavelengths.” “Beyond just hitting the spectral targets, it was important that the spectrally tuned fixture be able to produce a color quality and appearance that felt natural and cohesive with the rest of the architectural lighting,” says Grant Kightlinger, senior lighting designer at Pivotal Lighting Design. “Before the manufacturer began architecturalssl.com
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Ryan Kurtz Photography / courtesy ZGF Architects
Courtesy of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
NICU ROOM, CRITICAL CARE BUILDING, CINCINNATI CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL MEDICAL CENTER The custom circadian lighting system is mounted on the headwall above NICU isolettes at the Critical Care Building at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
fixture development, we defined the acceptable ranges for color temperature, color fidelity, and gamut that needed to be met.” The wall-mounted luminaires use a fully indirect distribution to minimize glare and protect the delicate eyes of the infants. The fixture illuminates the ceiling directly above the infant to optimize the delivery of reflected light. “High-output direct exam lighting is also available for certain procedures and for emergencies,” Kightlinger says, “but the indirect-only mode is sufficient for routine observation and tasks, and it fills the patient’s field of view with the prescribed spectrum of light.”
Growing the literature
Before and after the lighting system’s installation, Cincinnati Children’s provided training and education to nurses and physicians, along with its infrastructure management and IT team. “To get healthy outcomes from nonvisual spectral lighting requires education and outreach,” Brennan says. “If care staff and families understand the lighting as medicine, there is a much greater chance of acceptance and participation.” architecturalssl.com
Cincinnati Children’s has also conducted three post-occupancy surveys of bedside care providers, receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback. “Our nurses really like the light,” Greenberg says. In fact, the lighting system will soon be installed in 23 additional rooms at Cincinnati Children’s NICU. Though the technology is not yet available for other medical facilities, Greenberg’s goal is for the system to become more widely available in the next three to five years. “We think it would be valuable,” he says. Parents of the newborn patients at Cincinnati Children’s NICU have also offered positive feedback about the lighting system. “There has been general acceptance and support for the lights,” Greenberg says. The lighting system is designed not only to support the health and well-being of preterm infants, but also to facilitate continuing research on the impact of full spectrum lighting on infant growth and development. As might be expected, parents have also expressed interest in how the lights would benefit their child. The first research study started in November 2022, and a second study is starting now. “We are looking at how light can regulate metabolic activity and growth through activation of nonvisual opsins,” Greenberg says. “We are hopeful that preliminary results for some of our studies may be available to share in the next 12 months or so.” Lang and Greenberg envision using a multidisciplinary approach to connect basic discoveries on light-sensing pathways in humans to the practice of medicine and the delivery of health care. “Health care design must be evidence-based, which calls for collaborative applied research processes,” Brennan says. “Our hope is that the clinical trials administered through the Science of Light Center at Cincinnati Children’s, led by Drs. Richard Lang and James Greenberg, contribute new findings about the health benefits of visible light and inform future lighting design guidelines across the built environment.” “Modern glass blocks important parts of the spectrum,” Greenberg says. “Replacing this part of the natural daylight spectrum will help not just babies, but everyone.” This might include individuals with circadian disruptions who, for example, must stay indoors for work or for health reasons.
Design software solutions
For architects and lighting designers interested in creating environments that support health and well-being through the nonvisual effects of light, Brennan recommends utilizing Lark Spectral Lighting, a peer-reviewed, open-source software developed by ZGF and the University of Washington. Version 3, which adds opsin 5 (neuropsin) to the toolkit, was recently released. The tool allows users to input custom spectral power distributions for the sky, sun, electric lights, glazing, and finish materials; it then computes the impact of design strategies on nonvisual, circadian light. Read the full story: bit.ly/sslcchmc. ARCHITECTURAL SSL • FALL/WINTER 2023 • 39
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‘Glow: Discover the Art of Light’
The annual event will return to San Francisco’s Exploratorium this winter from Nov. 16, 2023 to Jan. 28, 2024. San Francisco’s Exploratorium will host the exhibition Glow: Discover the Art of Light this winter, Nov. 16, 2023 to Jan. 28, 2024. The exhibition will feature works from seven interdisciplinary artists like Berlin-based Robin Baumgartner, who combines tactile hardware and LEDs to create art installations and games; and Maria Constanza Ferreira, who explores visual perception through crystal patterns and structures. Baumgartner will feature his work Quantum Jungle, which uses rings of LED lights to depict a mathematically accurate model of a quantum object. Visitors can also interact with Baumgartner’s Line Wobbler. Featured in more than 30 exhibitions around the world, Line Wobbler is a one-dimensional game played with a custom controller made of a spring and an LED strip. Ferreira’s crystal paintings, created from synthetic crystals she grows herself, will be on
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display in the Exploratorium’s Bechtel Gallery. To view the images, visitors must use a handheld polarizing filter. Several of Ferreira’s short films, including Lattice (2017), VIA (2018), Righteous Energy (2019), and Hillocks (2022), will also be playing at the Microcinema in the Osher Gallery. Luke Jerram’s Museum of the Moon will also be viewable in the Bechtel Gallery. The popular touring art piece is an approximately 1:500,000 scale model of the moon, equating to 7 meters in diameter, that was made using 120 dpi imagery of the moon’s surface captured by NASA with the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera. Another artist displaying work at Glow is Chaco Kato, a founding director of the sustainability-focused Slow Art Collective. Kato invites viewers to meditate on color in motion with her evolving installation Color Study, which features color-changing lights and
courtesy of The Exploratorium
All Seeing Media
BY HAYDEN BEESON, associate editor
INSTALLATIONS AND EXHIBITIONS Clockwise from left: Museum of the Moon by Luke Jerram; Sound Sculptures by MASARY Studios; Flux by Collectif Scale.
geometric patterns cast on thousands of pieces of string. Museum mainstay Daniel Rozin will be represented by his mechanical mirrors, as experienced in his pieces Self-Centered and Self-Isolating Mirrors, which are viewable at the Exploratorium year-round. The Glow exhibit will feature Rozin’s CMY Shadow Mirror and RGB Lights Mirror, as well as the debut of a new piece, One Candle Mirror, which explores viewer participation and image creation. Collectif Scale, the Parisian multidisciplinary collective, is contributing its kinetic sculpture Flux to the exhibition. The sculpture’s 48 LED light bars move in accompaniment to music, creating hypnotizing patterns. The Exploratorium is located at Pier 15 on San Francisco’s waterfront. Tickets to the museum and Glow exhibition can be purchased at the Exploratorium website. •
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