Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

Feb 13, 2020

Commercial Lighting Trends in 2020A broadening of the role of luminaires and a continued focus on people and energy efficiency are three top commercial lighting trends projected for 2020.

Luminaires go beyond illumination

The number of smart components integrated into every luminaire will increase in the coming year; this includes occupancy sensors, controls, and the latest wireless communications technologies such as BLE.

Why? Because luminaires with integrated smart component technologies are a critical part of the infrastructure required to support smart building applications such as asset tracking and digital wayfinding. Integrating smart components in luminaires has several key benefits: they can leverage the ubiquitous location of luminaires across a specific space and get direct access to power. Fixture-integrated component functionality will go beyond what is required for general illumination and will create the backbone for intelligent building IoT applications—a trend that will be most evident in the commercial real estate, healthcare, and education industries. Smart building IoT powers numerous advantages for organizations, including energy efficiency, improved staff productivity, predictive maintenance, and increased security.

The spotlight is on people

As companies work to build a better workforce and a more loyal one, they are putting people first when it comes to workplace design. Employers that value and prioritize the employee experience help ensure their organizations thrive. Focusing on occupant health and wellbeing is now a critical priority and part of this effort is around how people interact with light.

According to the Well Building Standard, the hues and brightness of nature during a 24-hour cycle can have a profound effect on humans by positively impacting the human body’s circadian rhythm, which is our 24-hour sleep-wake cycle. And to maintain optimal, properly synchronized circadian rhythms, the body requires periods of both light and darkness. Insufficient illumination or improper lighting design can lead to drifting of the circadian phase, especially if paired with inappropriate light exposure at night. Light exposure directly impacts mood, reduces symptoms of depression in individuals, and has been linked with health, including affecting how we recover and heal.

Tunable White (TW) technology, which is the enabling technology for human-centric applications, creates artificial light that mimics the natural 24-hour light cycle. It mirrors the natural daily warm to cool cycle by adjusting the color temperature of a luminaire’s white light output. This modification to artificial light is essential to those that spend many hours indoors. TW technology is gaining momentum in commercial real estate, education, and healthcare settings.

For example, TW technology supports today’s learning styles and teaching methods. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) GATEWAY program released a report in 2017 on a successful trial installation of tunable white LED lighting systems in three classrooms that provided valuable insights into the use of this technology in a real-world setting. The trial took place in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District in Carrollton, TX. Two teachers interviewed by DOE stated that the lighting system improved the overall learning environment.

Energy efficiency is still top of mind

As the urgency of climate change surges, energy efficiency remains top of mind across the building sector. Facility managers and building owners continue to seek ways to cut energy usage and associated costs. Therefore, lighting designers and specifiers that persist in implementing lighting controls at the system and fixture-integrated component level will persist in playing a key role in energy efficiency strategies.

In support of green building, industry organizations, including U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the Well Building Institute, and the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC), are gaining ground. More and more projects are signing on to incorporate sustainability into their objectives, and many projects will incorporate these standards to improve occupant health and wellbeing.

Plus, there has been some movement by the US government on reducing energy consumption. ANSI/ASHRAE/IES 90.1, the national energy standard for energy-efficient design of commercial buildings, goes into effect February 2020. The aim of this new version is that it will reward designs for achieving energy cost levels above the standard minimum that result in more efficient buildings and more innovative solutions. The U.S. Department of Energy ruled back in February 2018 that all states must adopt a code at least as stringent as ANSI/ASHRAE/IES 90.1 by February 2020 or justify why they cannot comply.

The buildings sector constitutes about 76%* of electricity use and 40% of all U.S. primary energy use and associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Additionally, according to the EPA, buildings account for 30% of the total carbon dioxide, 49% of the sulfur dioxide, and 25% of the nitrogen oxides emitted in the U.S. Therefore, it stands to reason that the building sector has a high potential for additional energy efficiency measures.

This article was first published online by Osram:https://info.osram.us/blog/commercial-lighting-trends-for-2020 

CEW market research 400By John Kerr

The past nine weeks have been to say the least a challenge across the electrical industry. From agents to suppliers, from end users to the electrical channel, all have been affected, all have been forced to think differently and all have begun the journey to retooling the way we operate.

This is the third report in our series quantifying and exploring how electrical wholesalers have had to adapt and how they are looking to find a way forward. For this we have taken a different approach from our previous reports in that we have incorporated the results from our recent survey alongside personal interviews and discussions with electrical distributor teams across Canada

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arkest Before the Dawn, Part 2

CEW 9 JK Figure 1 700By John Kerr

I spoke in my previous article about my father’s quote darkest before the dawn. Well, he had another saying clearly brought forward by his growing up in the depression. He would say, “Money is not everything. It just helps,” and at a time like this when there are so many storylines of effort above and beyond the call, and so many initiatives underway by electrical distributors, there will be a rallying right across the country. The electrical distributors are moving, reacting, and more adaptable than ever before. 

The current situation we find ourselves in is to say the least fluid, dynamic and somewhat disconcerting for many, but underlying it is a focused, disciplined approach to addressing the new norm and new reality. Some branches remain closed, some open with minimal staff, and others rotating staff and working differently than ever before.

Recent public reports by Wesco and Rexel have indicated drops approaching 23% through mid April and clearly ones that demonstrated a slowdown from mid March. Our discussions with both distributors and end users/contractors alike confirm their buying and purchasing activity were curtailed more aggressively in early April.

Over 106 electrical distributors responded to our recent survey with 73% from corporate and branch management. 

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Gurvinder ChopraBy Gurvinder Chopra

This June, Canadians will commemorate Electrical Safety Month; June also marks the fourth month of the COVID-19 pandemic national lockdown. For many Canadians, working from home has become the new normal. As confinement continues, the demand for constant power feed to connect to the world we now live, work, and play in at home has grown substantially. Homes are being equipped with new technologies that offer plenty of benefits, but they also place high demand on electrical systems at home, potentially causing serious safety risks. 

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David GordonBy David Gordon

In talking with distributors and manufacturers it is clear that many are actively in the planning and pivoting mode, moving from survivability to thriveability. They’ve stabilized their business financially, emotionally (from a staff viewpoint) and operationally. Now they are looking at “doing business,” and more financially secure ones are identifying ways to take share.

This doesn’t mean that others are not planning and pivoting. Some didn’t miss a beat; others typically don’t do much planning and live in the moment. 

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Building Permits - MarchThe total value of building permits issued by Canadian municipalities decreased 13.2% to $7.4 billion in March, with declines reported in seven provinces and two territories. The $1.1 billion national decrease was the largest since August 2014. This reflected notable drops in Ontario (-12.9%), Quebec (-18.1%) and British Columbia (-19.4%), which coincided with efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.

 Value of residential permits down

The total value of residential permits decreased 13.1% to $4.6 billion in March.

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Changing Scene

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EIN evolve 400As we continue to respond to the changing status with the COVID-19 outbreak, EFC is taking preventative measures to protect conference delegates from any further risks associated with this virus. After much consideration and consultation, the EFC Board has decided to cancel EFC’s Industry Conference in Banff which was rescheduled from late May to September 1 - 3, 2020. This decision was difficult but necessary for the safety of our members, employees, and the community.

One of EFC's key mandates, is to deliver a premier national thought-leadership conference for industry members, partners, and affiliates. 

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Sonepar's Gaurav SharmaA new video featuring Sonepar’s Vice President of eCommerce and Digitalization, Gaurav Sharma, answers COVID-19 related questions regarding Sonepar Canada’s digital solutions, his team, and the future of eCommerce in the electrical wholesale industry.

Among new solutions introduced by Sonepar: customers can now create an online account through a simple text message. Traffic on Sonepar’s website has tripled since the pandemic began, and the number of new accounts has doubled. Many Sonepar locations also feature curbside pick-up.

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Schneider ElectricThe Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Hugo Lafontaine, Vice-President Digital Energy at Schneider Electric Canada. CABA is an international nonprofit industry association that provides information, education and networking to help promote advanced technologies for the automation of homes and buildings.

“We are delighted to welcome Hugo Lafontaine to CABA's Board,” said Ron Zimmer, CABA President & CEO “He brings a stellar background in building systems integration and the building automation market, and a wealth of insight into the digital platforms and solutions that will define smart-building innovations now and into the future.”

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Harold HayesHarold Hayes, a stalwart of the electrical industry, passed away peacefully in Scarborough, Ontario at the age of 90 on May 9, 2020.

Harold joined the industry as an apprentice at age 18, working first for his father’s business, Power Cable Installations, and then for Comstock. Among his later accomplishments, he formed Federal Pioneer Electric’s electric heating division, served as president of the Ontario Electric League in 1985, and while in his 80s consulted for Intellimeter Canada Inc.

 

 

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Sarah SilversteinBlake Marchand

Sarah Silverstein is a principal with Liteline along side her two brothers Mark and Daniel. Together, they lead the company founded by their father, Steve Silverstein, who retired in 2018.

Although she initially pursued a career in outdoor education, Sarah was instrumental in the company’s expansion into architectural lighting and the U.S. market. She joined Liteline as a project manager in between stints working in outdoor education. Now she leads Liteline’s U.S. distribution arm and marketing department.

 

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