The LED at the End of the Tunnel

In the “Downton Abbey” series finale, Cousin Isobel says, “We’re going forward into the future, not back into the past.” And the Dowager Countess replies, “If only we had the choice.”

Well, we don’t have a choice, so we embrace the future. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are the future of the lighting industry, and they are happening now. The prices on this long-lasting technology have come down to practical levels, and electrical contractors (ECs) are deploying LEDs and controls with abandon. Manufacturers have excised most of the drawbacks, and they are much more efficient and controllable than the fluorescent technology that history may eventually see as a stepping stone. In that sense, it’s a good thing we’re moving forward.

Much like your favorite TV show on which you can choose to binge or pace yourself, in this issue of Electrical Contractor, our writers break down the lighting industry into delicious, digestible chunks.

In “Coming Soon,” Chuck Ross explains how LED manufacturers are focusing on data gathering and communications to add value to their products. In “Illumination With a Brain,” our lighting guru, Craig DiLouie, tells us that the future of LEDs will be highly, digitally controlled.

We have two winners from Jeff Gavin this month: “Getting It Right,” about the value of on-site lighting demonstrations; and “Calculating LED Life,” outlining the variables that affect LEDs, which may help you inspire confidence in your customers’ LED choices.

With more than 45 million street and highway lights in the United States, and nearly 300 million streetlights worldwide, most of the work to upgrade aging infrastructure is still ahead. In “Smart Cities,” Claire Swedberg writes about the market for retrofitting streetlights with LEDs and controls.

This edition of Integrated Systems Contractor focuses on cabling and connectivity. Claire Swedberg writes about Cat 8 cabling. It’s actually here, guys! Learn more in “High-Speed Copper.” Deborah O’Mara breaks down the technology evaluation for network infrastructure in "Effective Deployment."

As usual, we have some neat Cool Tools in electrical contractor (page 96) and Integrated Systems Contractor and many new products to satisfy your hunger for new toys.

And don’t pretend you have never heard of “Downton Abbey;” it’s a cultural phenomenon.

P.S. Look out for the 2016 Profile of the Electrical Contractor surveys in your mail or inbox in the coming weeks. If you receive it, please fill it out and send it back. It helps us shape editorial content that is relevant and useful to you.

About the Author

Julie Mazur

Julie Mazur is the editor of Electrical Contractor magazine. Contact her at .
About the Author

Timothy Johnson

Timothy Johnson is editor—digital for ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR magazine. Reach him at

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