Updates from ALA Committees
 

ENGINEERING

Chair: Michael S. O’Boyle, Lightolier – Philips Lighting

Progress to Date: Our committee has responded to challenges resulting from rapidly changing state and federal energy legislation relating to residential lighting and has provided input needed to help guide rulemaking.

We actively track the evolution of solid-state lighting in order to educate ALA members on the opportunities associated with this exciting new technology. Our committee works closely with standard development organizations such as National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) and Canadian Standards Association (CSA) to write and revise product standards, particularly those involving solid-state lighting.

Second Half Outlook: Our committee needs to continue to expand on our technical work in response to industry changes, legislative rulemaking and technical opportunities in spite of poor business conditions.

PUBLIC RELATIONS AND COMMUNICATIONS

Chair: Tracy Bilbrough, Generation Brands

Progress to Date: We produced the next issue of Better Homes & Gardens Lighting magazine in a joint venture with Meredith Publishing. More than 450,000 copies of the magazine have been distributed across North America. We also began the development of a program to help showrooms learn to use e-marketing more effectively, and we created the Bright Ideas e-newsletter for members to distribute to their customers. Finally, we continued to drive PR to promote lighting, with especially high interest from publications in “green” facts.

Second Half Outlook: The biggest issue for the remainder of the year is helping showrooms drive incremental business in this very weak economy.

GOVERNMENT AND REGULATORY AFFAIRS

Chair: Clark R. Linstone, Pacific Coast Lighting

Progress to Date: The ALA initiated major new federal legislation to improve the efficiency of residential portable lighting products in the House and Senate. Importantly, the legislation would meet energy efficiency needs while remaining economical and efficient for manufacturers. This legislation somewhat mirrors what we achieved in the state of California last year, and if it passes on a federal level, we will gain an important legislative precedent on which future energy efficiency legislation for other types of lighting products may be based.

Recently, the ALA also protected outdoor lighting from onerous requirements that were introduced for commercial and residential applications, and we worked with other industry associations to stop state legislation in Texas and 12 other states that would have prevented lighting showrooms from producing lighting layouts for consumers.

Second Half Outlook: Clearly the fast-moving federal energy efficiency legislation will require the most focus in the coming months.

EDUCATION

Chair: Eric S. Borden, Sea Gull Lighting Products

Progress to Date: Our committee continues to present new Web-based lighting education programs for showroom members, manufacturers’ representatives, designers and anyone who wishes to further their knowledge of lighting and application. The committee introduced two new certificate specialist programs: Advanced Recessed & Track Lighting and Advanced Kitchen & Bath Lighting. Several online courses are scheduled to be updated shortly. These will be determined and announced soon.

Second Half Outlook: Due to budgetary constraints for many showrooms, we are concerned that there will be a lack of learning about the fast-paced emerging technologies. We need to continue to bring affordable educational programs to our membership.

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