TECHNOLOGY PROFILE – LIGHTING
Lighting and Learning
The new ProSource Lighting Technology and Education Center recently opened at the Market Center in Dallas.
By DOUGLAS WEINSTEIN
AN INCREDIBLE LIGHTING EXPERIENCE AND LEARNING CENTER was recently inaugurated at the Dallas Market Center. Headed up by ProSource, the largest audio, video and system integration buying group in the United States, the new Lighting Technology and Education Center was conceived as the hands-on Level Two education curriculum to the exclusive ProSource Lighting Technology Certification Program launched last year through ProSource University. The space will also provide an opportunity for Dallas Market Center retail and design-build customers to learn about lighting applications and advancements in an immersive setting.
The Dallas Market Center is also home to popular trade shows such as Lightovation, which welcomes customers from around the world. The customized space was designed by David Warfel and Mark Langston, both of Light Can Help You, a lighting design firm and exclusive ProSource partner for education. The center features various rooms – living, dining, kitchen, bath – as well as landscape spaces and pathways – that encompass the many layers of lighting design.
Of particular note are spaces exposed behind the walls where you can see the studs which provide a close look at how wiring is run and how fixtures and decorative lights are integrated into a design commission. This gives students hands-on experience on how a lighting technical plan comes together and how to manage proper installation when electricians or low-voltage technicians are brought into the mix.
Of critical importance is the addition of several lighting control platforms so that a properly laid out lighting design can be accurately controlled and managed. In total, the lighting center is a hands-on laboratory for ProSource members who wish to stay current with lighting technologies and applications that continue to evolve.
I sat down with David Warfel to talk about the space and the baseline goals that ProSource has set for the center. I also talked with representatives of the initial six vendors who are supporting the Lighting Technology and Learning Center.
DOUG: David, where did the concept come from originally?
DAVID: Originally, it was going to be a travelling experience. As I recall, we would be able to load up a truck and take what in essence would be a trade show booth around the country and visit ProSource members. We were trying to figure out how we could reach as many people as possible, based on the membership that today has over 580 members, with some members having multiple locations. But membership said, if you can give us more, we are willing to come to you. And so now, at the end of the beginning if you will, we have a much larger canvas to work with which gives us multiples of advantages.
The first big advantage of having a fixed space is that as technology changes – and it does continually! – we will be able to keep up with the various new technologies, fixtures, etc. The second big advantage is that our members have a place to come to show their clients in real time what great lighting is all about.
Finally, we will be able to educate more members, and members will be able to come back for refresher courses and to see new lighting technology from time to time.
DOUG: Give us an overview of the education objectives.
DAVID: The space is based on education. When we discovered there was a knowledge gap with our members when it comes to being a lighting technologist, we knew we could cover some of the education on-line. But you really have to see it, and touch it and experience it to fully learn lighting technology. We needed a space where we could show them how a wall could be lit poorly and how it could be done well. How you could layer light. In other words, push a button and here is bad lighting. Push this button and here is great lighting.
And most of all, how do you talk about lighting to someone who doesn’t really know about it or hasn’t experienced it?
In other words, when you walk into a space, how does it feel? Is there glare, or is it welcoming? When you walk into the living area, what do you want? Relaxing or entertainment mode? What if it’s morning where there is a lot of glare? I could go on and on, but what our members will be learning and viscerally understanding by getting their hands dirty is the experience necessary to become better tuned to how to integrate lighting design and lighting management into their projects.
DOUG: Talk about the certification program.
DAVID: Level One Certification focuses on the essential foundation of lighting. Lots of technical information and practical information because lighting is a complex and large industry. You don’t need to know all of it, just the practical parts. So we sorted through what was practical for our members. You can go through it at your own pace – because it is dense. On-line learning is good at that, learning at your own pace.
It takes approximately thirty to forty hours. The quizzes are tough. We can see how many people fail and how long it takes them to pass as they go through the modules.
Level Two Certification is a day and a half of intense education. Strictly hands on based on what can we do in person that we can’t do on-line. Keep in mind that we are training them to be lighting technologists. How to take a floor plan, substitute in the lighting, and then choose the right technologies to support the lighting design.
We also explore how to talk about design. The more comfortable you are with talking about it the more comfortable you will be talking with the different constituents. The conversations they will have with the architect or a lighting designer or an electrician – they are all different. And of course we cover what it takes to wire tape light, how to properly install a downlight, etc.
Finally, you can’t do great lighting without great controls and vice versa. We combined multiple control systems under one roof and now systems can talk with each other across three different systems. Control and lighting management complete the experience.
lighting experience and education center vendors
Director of Business
Painting with light changes the environment from lighting to living. Most people will never change their lighting after they move in. They’ll change the flooring, do a kitchen remodel, but hesitate to invest in a product that evokes emotion and creates the ambiance that makes a house a home.
We have a number of color-changing and tunable recessed downlights installed, including landscape products with the step lights and marker lights that are specified almost daily in design work. Additionally, we’ve incorporated our brand new Remote Power Supply System for low-voltage, next-gen lighting solutions. You’ll also find full spectrum color-tuning LEDs, natural tunable white fixtures, dim-to-warm lighting and our Revolutionary Strut system which incorporates direct and indirect illumination, wall wash, downlighting, accent lighting and pendants .
President and Co-Founder
It’s no longer exclusively about what a fixture looks like in the ceiling, it’s about the light and what we can do with it. Colorbeam’s complete portfolio of RGBW recessed fixtures, tape and accent lighting and outdoor landscape lighting products are perfect for creating a desired lighting effect in any environment.
Colorbeam’s lighting selection includes tunable bi-white LED tape, RGB LED tape, skylight panel, our exterior linear wall washer, recessed trimless tunable luminaires, inground lights and step light application for stairs, corridors, cabinets and closets.
National Sales Director
The way that DMF envisions any given space, we believe integrators are uniquely positioned to offer lighting as a solution. They can do controls, fixtures, window treatments and design under one roof. That’s something our partners in other verticals don’t have the ability to do. To have a single point coordinating those efforts, ensures you get the right product and avoid the pitfalls that advanced lighting can present.
Proluxe by American Lighting
National Sales Manager
Linear lighting continues to be a growing category especially in the CI channel for a multitude of reasons; it’s low voltage, customizable, easy to control and can be used just about anywhere. Most importantly, it has changed the preferred way to light a space, creating a continuous line of light that reduces glare, eliminates shadows and evenly illuminates the space.
From tape light to task lighting, we feature fixed, warm dim, tunable and dynamic lighting products to demonstrate not only the impact that different color temperatures can have within a space but give visitors an interactive experience that evokes an emotional response. “This room makes me feel relaxed.” “This room is bright and welcoming.”
The assortment of Proluxe products includes warm to dim tape light, wide-range tunable tape light, our Microlux low-voltage under-cabinet lighting and tunable canvas sheets.
Vice President of Sales Operations
Savant redefines the modern smart home with a new feature called Daylight Mode that can align lighting schemes to match the natural circadian progression based on the time of day. The wellness experience can be personalized by the end user to adjust timing, intensity and color temperature.
Savant’s lighting technology provides an intuitive way for homeowners to experience the power of personalized lighting—light that is as dynamic and ever-changing as we are.
Featured Savant and USAI Lighting selections include LED DMX light strips, smart LED bulbs, tunable white fixtures, infinite color fixtures, lighting control with personalized smart home functionality, and Savant shades available in wireless and wired versions.
Vice President Sales North America
Managing light. You can design lighting, temperatures and fixtures but if you can’t control it you cannot maximize the design.
The new Learning Center will demonstrate the seamless way in which Vantage integrates with lighting fixtures and third-party platforms. Visitors will see how the Vantage controller can precisely determine the center’s longitude and latitude, which allows it to automatically calculate sunrise and sunset times on any given day for that location. It can then set the lighting schedule accordingly to replicate the ideal conditions of daylight based on color tone and intensity throughout the day, without any intervention required.
Visitors to the Learning Center can interact with the Vantage HCL system using the Equinox 41 glass LCD touchscreen controller and the EasyTouch Glass modular keypad station, both of which combine powerful functionality with a sleek, contemporary design. Using the Equinox 41 and EasyTouch Glass interfaces, visitors can easily change between five pre-programmed natural light scenes: Daylight Sync, Sunrise, Midday, Night Light and Solar Cycle.