Lighting is no longer just a device to light up the night. As Steiner’s experienced lighting consultants and application engineers advise, it can increase productivity, improve a person’s mood and health, help monitor machinery, promote communication and more.
These concepts were clearly highlighted in a recent Banner Engineering newsletter, in which the company discusses “Four Ways Lighting Solutions Support Lean Manufacturing in the Pharmaceutical Industry.” The paper explores how the “right kind of industrial lighting can help increase efficiency and reduce material waste while ensuring product quality and compliance with FDA regulations.” In each case, the right lighting is available for purchase from Steiner Electric.
In its first example, Banner looks at how the uniform illumination of LED lights, as compared to the flicker of fluorescent bulbs caused by intensity changes, allows an inspector to detect minute particulates reliably and efficiency.
In example 2, pick-to-light sensors are used in a kitting assembly application. As the kit assembler takes a part in sequence a beam is broken. The controller then determines if the correct component was selected and if it was selected in the correct order.
Indicator lights can be used to streamline communication in a pharma factory. As described in example 3, they can be used to indicate environmental status such as temperature and humidity. Green indicates the room is within normal limits. Red means a potentially out-of-control situation. A more typical example would be when assistance is needed on a machine, perhaps one that is operating unattended. Green means the machine is performing with-in specification, yellow is a warning that it is approaching upper or lower control limits, and red indicates the machine is out of specification.
Lastly, Banner Engineering looks at how wirelessly connected lights enable overall equipment effectiveness. Tower lights equipped with wireless communication capabilities display a visual indication of an event for immediate action; plus, they can transmit wireless alerts to operators outside of the visual range.
For assistance with general lighting inquiries or more specific project needs please contact us or call 1-800-STEINER (783-4673) to speak with an experienced Steiner lighting application engineer.
June 30th is Social Media Day. In honor of the special occasion we will reflect on some interesting and successful social campaigns being implemented across popular social channels by three different brands. The following campaigns provide great examples of effective uses of social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube) any company can beneficially emulate to drive customer engagement.
Carhartt has campaigns across Facebook and Twitter that allow interactivity for fans and followers – for example, hashtag contests like #OutWorkThemAll encourage users to share photos of themselves working on tough projects while wearing Carhartt gear.
Carhartt engineers consistency across Twitter and Facebook, with many similar campaign attributes being utilized in both networks. Hashtag campaigns like #OutWorkThemAll thrive cross-network, sharing photos of customers and products, providing Carhartt with a cost-effective grassroots promotional product campaign.
Carhartt also actively posts several videos and playlists on YouTube – one of which is the helpful “Do-It-Yourself” series of videos. These instructional videos provide customers with an easy guide of how to use products or how to complete tasks. They help answer customers’ questions giving Carhartt a practical extension to their customer service operations.
Kohler too promotes their individual campaigns across multiple social media networks. For instance, the #HurricaneStrong campaign is run across Twitter and Facebook. This hashtag campaign is dedicated to preparing for power outages caused by Hurricane storms.
Kohler also tweets about timely events, tying into their brand. For instance, how they partnered with another company to help with the Flint Water Crisis. An organization or brand that posts content in relation to current events allows followers on social media to see real-world examples of how brands can affect or have a positive impact in responding to a current crisis.
Kohler additionally provides up-to-date information on details from trade shows and other events that they attend. This allows users to find an event they may be interested in attending to learn more about industry-related topics pertinent to their business.
Kohler further has an active YouTube channel used to showcase their products and technology. From videos on the manufacturing of Kohler Generators to the importance of backup power generators for both homes and businesses, there are several reasons for users to view the Kohler YouTube channel.
Audiences can find value in Kohler videos for a multitude of reasons – perhaps they want to see a step-by-step guided process or learn how to undertake a task. Some videos can help teach processes, while other videos may show future technology and upcoming product releases, providing sneak previews of next generation innovations.
Photos of Philips lights and lamps used for illuminating the exterior of buildings around the world are displayed on Twitter. Philips’ Twitter account shares colorful lighting photos that showcase the latest innovations from the lighting industry. Philips also shares articles from magazines, promoting stories that feature Philips products and services. Sharing these publications gives Philips positive recognition from third-party trusted sources.
Philips Lighting’s Facebook page contains contests, such as a chance to win Philips and Star Wars lights by simply telling them what makes your child a Star Wars fan. Philips also shares images of LED lights in use, such as in the Amsterdam Arena. Similar to Kohler, Philips utilizes current events to advantageously position their brand.
With several videos, from “How To” demonstrations to featured products, there are numerous choices available for viewing on the Philips YouTube channel. The “How To” videos provide guidance, while the featured products showcase the range of innovative products that Philips Lighting offers.
As a worldwide company Philips also localizes their videos by translating them into several languages catering to the copious local markets they serve, which means you’ll find many Philips videos offered in multiple languages.
Philips additionally shares invitations for seminars and webinars through LinkedIn, encouraging more participation from readers and followers. The free seminars offer pertinent information on relevant and timely industry topics providing continuing education on practical applications of the latest trends.
Posting a variety of useful and timely content on social media networks – from current event related information on community outreach initiatives – to featuring new products – to event invitations – to contests – provides information that is helpful and engaging to your target audience. Having customers continually return to engage with your brand underscores the importance of utilizing social media to capture mindshare that ultimately leads to market share.
Additionally, another benefit of being active on social media is interaction – not only with customers but with other companies that are also present and active on social media. This allows for the potential of cross-promoting each other to audiences, sharing to each customer base, as well as creating the opportunity for building a working relationship between the two (or more) interacting companies.
There are countless strategies and uses for social media that any company can benefit in, but even simply being active and maintaining a presence online (answering customer feedback or questions) is advantageous to any brand. In this digital age, more customers and prospective customers flock to the internet to learn more about a company, or to just find a brand for their particular interest or need, therefore it is absolutely essential to be ready and represented online.
Now that the weather is warming up, it is the ideal time to upgrade to the latest energy-saving outdoor lighting technology. With the upcoming autumn season comes reduced sunlight. Because of this, street lights are on overtime throughout the fall and winter seasons.
Cities should start inspecting or optimizing their lighting before the fall hits. While maintaining and changing lamps, it’s the perfect time to assess new lighting system options. For instance, poles may need to be replaced as well as fixtures to more energy efficient LEDs.
Energy Efficient Lighting Reduces Carbon Footprint
Many local streetlights today have fixtures that are about 25 years old and may perhaps be in dire need of an upgrade that can save cities money through the installation of more energy efficient lighting systems. More and more people are moving into cities, continuing the ever-increasing growth of urban areas across the country. This population boom causes a city’s carbon footprint to rapidly grow along with it. Switching from High Pressure Sodium or Metal Halide to LED lighting solutions can help mitigate the production of environmentally harmful carbon byproducts brought about by exponential population expansion.
As cities continue to develop they will be required to provide long-term livability solutions through infrastructural changes. LED lighting is the next evolutionary technology for cities to adopt moving into the future. Many cities, including Chicago, already have started plans on installing LED lighting systems.
Over 25 million streetlights in the US consume 40% of cities’ electricity use, equal to 2 million households each year with CO2 emissions equal to 2.6 million cars. Changing all US outdoor lighting to LEDs could prevent the emission of as much as 90 million metric tons of CO2.
Why LED Lighting Systems
Why is LED Lighting so attractive? LEDs have significantly decreased operating costs and simultaneously increased the lifespan and efficiency ofthe fixture. Making lighting more energy efficient is known as lighting retrofitting. Although switching to LED lighting alone can result in 50-70% energy savings, it is not sufficient enough to meet global targets for savings and sustainability.
Adaptive and inter-operable lighting is essential to bring cost and performance improvements to a next level of significance. Enabling LEDs to dynamically change lighting levels in response to local conditions can generate total system energy savings of up to 80%. These responsive or “Intelligent” sensor lighting systems allow for lighting to be activated only by motion, saving money and improving efficiency.
Physics is fun. Sure, it’s complex, full of formulas and jargon, but it’s important to know that without an understanding of quantum mechanics, we might still be at the mercy of the dark in the night. Quantum physics endeavors to explain the motion of things at the smallest of scales. No one has ever even seen an electron. Yet, experiments in quantum physics bear fruit. It explains how everyday objects function, objects that we usually take for granted, such as the technologies we use to light up our homes and communities. Continue reading “The Difference Between HID and LED”
A lighting retrofit can significantly impact any household, business, or municipality budget. In fact, many major retrofit projects pay for themselves in less than five years. That’s because older ballasts gulp energy in order to power bulbs that channel most of that energy into unwanted heat. All those heat sources mean your HVAC system has to work harder to cool the air in the summer months. Continue reading “When it’s Time to Retrofit Your Lighting”
The future of lighting is Solid State Lighting (SSL). While other artificial light sources aren’t quite obsolete, SSL technologies such as LEDs are at the forefront of innovations in quality, efficiency, and application. For example, last month Philips Lighting opened its GrowWise Center research farm in the Netherlands. Its goal is to investigate the expansion of artificial lighting for indoor gardening, with applications that extend to industrial-level city gardening to raising crops on other worlds.
Studies in SSL for farming are welcomed news for horticultural scientists at Purdue University. Researchers there have published work on using LED lighting to grow fresh food under conditions likely to be experienced during space travel. For a crew to make it to Mars and back, they will require more food and water than they can carry. Growing their own food will be essential, and such technology could make extended stays on Mars and the moon a reality.
With this kind of interest from industry and academia, the possibilities for SSL are endless.
And even though we don’t have a colony on the moon yet, today’s technology shows us that the future is already here. We have entered the era of the “internet of things,” which refers to all the interconnected devices that share space with us online. From HVAC systems to kitchen appliances, devices in virtually every environment are connecting to the internet. SSL is a natural fit for centralized connectivity.
Philips has already helped Los Angeles move towards a more efficient lighting system. The second largest city in the country became the first use Philips CityTouch system which lets the city control everything through mobile and cloud-based tech. The city’s Bureau of Street lighting says the LED solution will save energy, reduce maintenance and make for safer streets.
SSL technologies are changing the way we light up the dark.
My wife laughs when she sees me wearing a headlamp. It’s usually when I’ve just gotten done working in the crawlspace, or changing oil in the driveway, or unclogging a pipe somewhere around the house. But when the power goes out at home or when I’ve got to throw the rain-fly on the tent because of a sudden storm in the middle of the night, she’s the first one asking for the spare headlamp so she doesn’t have to fumble around in the dark.
It’s those times that she learns what field crews everywhere have always known: there’s nothing like a portable light when you’ve got to get a job done where it’s dark.
There are portable work lights for every need these days. From lights on motors for indoor gardeners to filtered lights to help photographers recreate the golden hour, there’s a portable lighting solution for virtually any purpose. Of course, having access to an outlet box opens up those options considerably, but power-packed battery technology coupled with energy-sipping bulbs have combined to give us work lights that can shine for days on a single charge. Take a look at this simple Cooper Lighting 60 LED Plug-in Work light.
Milwaukee Tools has a M18 LED Flood Light that shines 30% brighter than a corded 250w halogen and offers an 8 hour run-time. It also comes with a limited lifetime LED warranty. It’s impact resistant and will be there in the toughest conditions when you are relying on that light to get the work done.
There’s also the Banner LED Work Light that is best for area lighting and offers several mounting options so you can place it and shine it where needed. It will illuminate a huge area without shadows and it consumes less than 2 watts.
Remember us the next time you have any portable lighting needs. Because no matter how goofy someone looks wearing a headlamp in the light of day, no one wants to be left fumbling around in the dark.
A great way to save energy and provide a bit of ambience to any space is to install dimmable lighting. Residential installations of a dimmer switch is something an experienced homeowner can do, although a qualified electrician is still advised – particularly in an older home, where the conditions may not marry well with today’s technology.
There are several factors to consider when adding or replacing dimmable lighting in the home.
The primary consideration is in the choice of quality components, which is true for any electrical supplies purchase. When it comes to dimmable lighting, inferior products always provide poor performance. Common experiences with subpar products include buzzing, flickering, and intermittent performance. One of the reasons problems occur is that low quality dimmers simulate dimming by flashing power rapidly – up to 120 times a second. The result is electromagnetic resistance, which results in vibration and buzzing.
High quality switches actually raise and lower the voltage to the fixture, allowing for a smooth transition between light levels.
When it comes to residential remodeling plans or a commercial build, sometimes the lighting is left till the end. Calling Steiner Electric early in the planning of any changes to your home or business will help dim any headaches!
Last week, New York City hosted Lightfair International – the world’s largest annual trade show and conference dedicated to architectural and commercial lighting innovations and education. Coming off of a record-breaking 2014 conference in Las Vegas, which also happened to be its 25th anniversary, this year’s Lightfair International event harbored high hopes and plenty of anticipation throughout the industry. As you can glimpse in these reports from LFI News, this year’s trade show met those expectations and more. Continue reading “Lightfair International Amazes Once Again”
Imagine a thriving new fast-food restaurant moves next door or across the street from where you live. Along with the scent of grease and the sound of crackling speakers comes an assault on the night’s darkness. Headlights pull in and out of a new parking lot that’s lit up like a stadium. A glut of crisp light crashes through every window in your home, and the curtains close. Continue reading “Endless Twilight Looms Over City Nights”