This excerpt comes from our sister magazine Architectural Lighting.
The ongoing evolution of LEDs in lighting has upended the traditional specification process, making it difficult for designers to know whether the luminaires they spec today will be available in a few months or even years, whether the manufacturer will still be in business, or even whether the product’s performance will be competitive with new offerings available when the project is completed. Given these constraints, how should designers and manufacturers specify luminaires today? Manufacturers suggest that designers keep their specs loose and stay in communication with the company. “An overly rigid specification could actually limit the ability of the customer to install the best technology,” says Jerry Duffy, GE Lighting’s global product general manager. (Manufacturers also should be notifying designers about items that might impact product changes and availability.)
The biggest issue, however, is making sure fixtures specified today can be used with increasingly sophisticated lighting controls. “[A] project being designed today may be built in 2018,” says Antonio Giacobbe, a commercial engineer at Osram Sylvania. “Couple this with the trend of lighting manufacturers embedding their own proprietary lighting controls in their fixtures, and you wind up with the potential for a control compatibility problem to extend down the road. How will the lighting professional who specified the project make sure that all of the new fixtures added to the project are compatible from a controls perspective?”