Lighting Is the Thing

We learned from the 2018 Profile of the Electrical Contractor that lighting is the most important money-earning category for electrical contracting firms. So, this month, the magazine staffers bring you a special report with articles to help your company stay up-to-date and get inspired by some cool jobs your fellow ECs have done.

Jeff Gavin writes about residential work opportunities for ECs in “Home Automation Nation.” He reminds us that there’s nothing wireless about wireless; ECs are needed more than ever. Claire Swedberg addresses OLEDs, which are coming along slowly but steadily, in “Sheets of Light.” Gavin also explains dynamic white lighting control in “The Next Frontier." He writes that building owners, designers, manufacturers and ECs all are working toward applying lighting to achieve “healthy” buildings for occupants. The final lighting feature is by Craig DiLouie on how the internet of things, by connecting building systems and sensors into an intelligent network, could unlock new value. Find “Front and Center" here.

We have a double dose of lighting-related project profiles by Claire Swedberg that are set in Minneapolis and presented particular challenges to the ECs. “A Work of Art” is about upgrading one of the largest urban sculpture gardens in the country, the Walker Art Center. The EC worked around thousands of visitors, harsh weather conditions and marshy soil that is prone to flooding. The other profile is about A-Mill Artist Lofts located in a former Pillsbury mill, the largest such operation in the world until the 1920s. Installing a new hydroelectric turbine to power the building, staying within National Historic Landmark restrictions and dealing with walls that ranged from 2 to 8 feet thick kept the EC on its toes. See “From Flour Mill to Art Studio."

Of course, this issue addresses lighting in many of the columns, and luminaires are the featured products this month.

We end this year with goodbyes to some longtime contributors. Charles R. Miller, the Code in Focus author and illustrator; David Shapiro, who writes the print-only residential column; and our business columnist, Denise Norberg-Johnson. They have been highly valued writers for Electrical Contractor for close to two decades, and we really appreciate their significant contributions.

Also, we bid a fond adieu to Keith Krueger, our Midwest marketing representative, who is retiring after 42 years with Electrical Contractor. We will miss his wacky sense of humor and encyclopedic institutional knowledge. This magazine would not be where it is today without Keith.

Farewell to Charlie, David, Denise, Keith and 2018. Hello to 2019; we’ll see what that brings. As Denise writes in her column, she looks forward to a world in which ”all electrical contractors are honored as heroes who set the standard for ethical behavior, integrity and benign yet effective leadership.”

Wouldn’t that be nice? Happy New Year!

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