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Commercial Lighting: 6 Trends to Watch Out for in 2016

When it comes to lighting, businesses are concerned about their bottom line. They want efficient lighting options that can help decrease their operating costs. As a result, the lighting industry is taking notice and developing more cost-effective lighting products.

 “We’re marching to more efficient, healthier lighting options that can be easily controlled,” says Duane McCall, president and CEO of Dekor Lighting. “Advances in lighting technology even make it possible to change [your] lighting through an app.”

Here are six commercial lighting trends that are gaining popularity in 2016:

1. Complete LED Retrofitting

Commercial buildings are converting their older lighting technologies to light-emitting diodes (LED) for reduced energy and maintenance costs as well as better quality of light.

“Businesses can cut energy costs by 50 to 80 percent and stop spending money on changing light bulbs by switching to LED lighting,” says Latif Jamani, president of Calgary Lighting Products.

2. Color Rendering Index (CRI)

CRI measures how accurately a light source reproduces the colors of various objects—the higher the CRI rating, the more accurate the color. The CRI rating system is on a scale from 0 to 100.

Before manufacturers added CRI to light bulbs, lighting could produce various tints on objects in the room. McCall recommends purchasing LED lights that have a CRI rating of at least 85.

3. Internet of Things

The Internet of Things allows business owners to easily control and automate lighting with their smartphones and tablets to decrease energy costs, increase employee productivity and improve customer comfort.

Whether they want to turn the lights on or off (or dim them), they can do so with a click of a button from anywhere in the world.

Controlled lighting can also help businesses deter crime, says Julia Raish, senior manager at Paladino and Company.

“If lights are programmed to dim in the late hours of night and movement is detected during this time, the lighting can brighten to 100 percent and can even audibly alert that the trespasser is being recorded,” she says.

4. Built-in Light Sources

LED lights have longer-lasting power than traditional light bulbs, and they don’t have to be replaced as often. McCall says this feature gives electrical designers the creative freedom to come up with unique designs for light sources—they don’t have to be the shape of light bulbs anymore.

5. Power Over Ethernet

Power Over Ethernet technology allows an Ethernet cable to carry electrical currents instead of a power cord. This development reduces the number of wires needed to run a single network, which results in lower energy costs, simplified wire installation and easier maintenance.

Raish says this technology also creates a more comfortable work environment by making it easy for employees to adjust the lighting in their workstations. If staff members prefer less light, for example, they can easily dim the lights.

6. Circadian Rhythm Lighting

Circadian rhythm lighting is designed to change the indoor color temperature to mimic the color temperature outdoors. It helps keep lighting patterns in better harmony with the time of the year and location of the sun. If it’s sunny outside, for example, it’s not necessary to have the lights on at full level.

Raish says circadian rhythm lighting provides great benefits for employees. “If people have a connection through lighting, it can improve their cognitive function, productivity and mood.”

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