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A Brilliant Year Ahead: 2015 is the International Year of Light!

In observation of light science and application innovation, 2015 marks the International Year of Light and its importance to humankind, sanctioned by the United Nations General Assembly. IYL recognizes the importance of lighting on our everyday lives and raises global awareness of the role lighting plays in energy, sustainability, agriculture, and health.

For many, the impact of lighting on our everyday lives is overlooked. Lighting quality affects more than the ambiance of our surroundings. We need high quality light to be productive in our everyday activities and to feel our best. In honor of IYL2015, I wanted to discuss the importance of quality lighting, the evolution of lighting technology over the last decade or so, and how Franklin Energy is lighting the way for the industry.

Light alters mood, performance and even our wellbeing – too little or too much light in a work area can make it difficult to complete tasks and can even pose safety concerns. For example, while natural daylight has excellent color quality and offsets the need for electric lighting, too much direct sunlight can create glare or reflections. Conversely, too little light can strain our eyesight, making it difficult to read text and take longer to complete a task. The key is using the right amount of light — where it is needed, and only when it is needed. Expertise is required to understand different applications and maximize the capabilities of the correct lighting technology and control system.

So just how significant is lighting to our industry? Well, it is the largest source of electric energy savings for most efficiency programs. CFLs are a cost effective option and have been for at least 15 years. However, CFLs have developed a dim reputation through the years, ultimately affecting adoption. Early CFLs had poor color quality and other performance problems, which led to dissatisfied customers who were used to the great color rendering and dimming that their trusted incandescent provided.

Light Emitting Diode (LED) is a transformative technology, but requires some education to understand the differences from traditional light sources. LED is rapidly becoming the better value for replacing incandescent and halogen bulbs. This alternative technology offers better quality, performance and even cost effectiveness. LED replacement lamps surpass less expensive CFLs in performance areas, such as dimmability and color quality. In fact, in 2015, one of our large multifamily direct install programs will be fully transitioning to LED bulbs for replacement of standard incandescent!

Through program design and support of national qualification standards, Franklin Energy is committed to promoting high quality lighting. All products used for direct install programs are carefully screened to crosscheck cost effectiveness, energy savings and performance, including color quality, light distribution and warranty. Our goal is to ensure our clients’ end-use customers are satisfied with the products that we install in their homes and businesses.

Franklin Energy is an industry leader with four Lighting Certified experts in house including Kyle Kichura who successfully passed the LC exam this past fall. Each professional has earned the NCQLP LC credential, demonstrating the necessary knowledge and understanding in multiple lighting areas. Kyle’s recent accomplishment further solidifies our lighting expertise to our clients and lighting industry allies.

Kyle Kichura
Written by Kyle Kichura

Lighting Channel Manager, LC
Kyle Kichura is our team’s subject matter expert when it comes to lighting. From design to implementation, he has acquired over a decade of experience with lighting efficiency. Kyle manages the lighting aspects of Franklin Energy’s programs, including upstream product engagement and lighting product qualification. Kyle holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and is lighting certified (LC) through the National Council on Qualifications for the Lighting Professions (NCQLP). He serves as a member of the Illumination Engineering Society of North America, board member for the Milwaukee Chapter, and represents Focus on Energy within DesignLights Consortium’s™ (DLC) technical committee.

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