Not long ago, the commercial lighting space was dominated by inefficient fluorescent tube lighting. The advent of LED technology brought an unprecedented year-over-year proliferation of commercial lighting options and applications. And while this fast-paced evolution has made commercial lighting more complex than ever, it also offers building operators and managers a wide variety of nuanced solutions to provide long-lasting energy- and cost-savings for building owners and every-day benefits to occupants.
“When I first started, the lighting industry was very straightforward,” said Alison Miles, a NXT Level 2 designee and Project Manager at Pacific Lamp & Supply Company in Seattle. “Back then, when a fluorescent tube went out, you just went in and replaced it. With the switch to LEDs, it’s become far more complicated and convoluted.”
When weighing their options for lighting retrofits or redesigns, building operators, managers and contractors have more to consider than ever. Advanced lighting gives them the opportunity to increase occupant comfort and productivity by taking into account the varying lighting needs for different occupant tasks. For example, dimmable fixtures allow occupants to adjust their light levels depending on their specific task, and tunable LEDs are adjustable from warm white to cool white depending on time of day or occupant preference.
In so many ways, advanced lighting design can guide the experience and behavior of building occupants and visitors, impacting everything from the ways in which occupants travel through a building, to their feelings of safety and security while traversing inside and outside the structure.
Empowering Northwest professionals with advanced lighting expertise
Understanding the benefits of advanced lighting is one thing—optimizing these benefits through expert design and implementation is something else entirely. The rapidly evolving nature of lighting technology created a gap in the Northwest’s trained workforce. This made it difficult for regional lighting professionals to take advantage of the flourishing opportunities to provide energy savings and advanced lighting environments for Northwest commercial buildings.
The nonprofit-backed NXT Level training curriculum was created to fill this gap with support from Northwest utilities. This specially developed coursework is designed to build an elite group of lighting experts that can deftly navigate increasing technological complexities to deliver tailored lighting solutions for building operators and managers throughout the region.
“It’s more important than ever to provide educational support to lighting contractors in the Northwest,” said Angela Pilant, Senior Lighting Specialist at Evergreen Consulting, a leading Pacific Northwest energy efficiency consulting firm that helped develop the NXT level curriculum. “By helping them adapt the latest technologies to the particular needs of their clients, we can help them design more comfortable and healthy indoor environments while driving deep energy savings across the region.”
Offered in two tiers—Level 1 and the more advanced Level 2—the NXT Level lighting program was designed with the many benefits of advanced lighting in mind, and with an understanding that the best lighting solutions are tailored to the specific circumstances of each building and project. By educating and equipping Northwest lighting contractors with the latest and most efficient techniques and technologies, NXT Level ensures that building operators and managers have access to the best lighting solutions to meet the needs of their interior spaces, occupants, owners, and environmental goals.
“It’s so important to adapt our lighting approach to each customer,” said Miles, who earned her NXT Level 2 designation in 2019. “NXT Level not only emphasized lighting techniques and technologies, it also helped us learn to work with customers’ needs and help them make the most of the incredible lighting technology that is available today.”
Visit the NXT Level Designation List to find an industry-leading advanced lighting professional in your area https://nxtleveltraining.com/nxt-level-designated-companies/
The Multileveled Benefits of Advanced Lighting
The smartest advanced lighting and controls can save commercial buildings a great deal of energy—but that’s just the start. Check out the infographic below (or download a PDF version in the top right) to learn the many health, environmental and economic benefits of advanced lighting for building owners and occupants.