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West Coast Lighting Insider: DC Lighting - Empowering Our Digital Future

August 21, 2018

(Taken from original article by West Coast Lighting Insider)

LEDs are innately DC, so DC power for LED lighting is natural fit. But with a wide variety of system configurations and lack of standards – or is it too many standards? – DC lighting faces formidable challenges from 100 years of AC infrastructure. Even where system intelligence benefits energy managers and the grid, it will likely take another decade for the advantages of DC-powered lighting and appliances to capture the construction industry.

Innovation and lower cost are driving the DC lighting market; whether they’re easy-to-install, low-voltage “dumb” distributions of luminaires or IoT-enabled systems comprising luminaires, sensors and more on a connected load-balancing microgrid. Removing the AC driver from the luminaire and directly powering LED fixtures with DC reduces the drivers’ 10-15% in energy losses and eliminates a common point of failure. Stephen M. Frank, a senior systems engineer in Building Energy Sciences at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) cited DOE’s picture of our digital future: due to increased use of variable-speed motors, personal electronics, computers, electric vehicles and energy storage, electricity flowing through power electronics is expected to increase rapidly. By 2030, an estimated 80% of all US electricity is projected to flow through power electronics. DC lighting also overcomes problems with poor power factor in drivers, which can waste significant power (though the user does not see this in their electric bill) and limits the capacity of lighting circuits.

Grid-tied DC lighting systems offer the advantage of a single AC-to-DC transformer per system – small or large. Even with low-voltage DC power distribution systems, LED lighting boards still require a current regulator at the LED board. But DC-to-DC transformations generally incur about half the losses of AC-to-DC, according to Frank. He warned that actual savings compared to AC varies widely with system design and the installation. A topic he is exploring at NREL.

Several systems that integrate DC lighting into grid ceilings are seeing early success. USAI Lighting and Mark Lighting, among others, have partnered with Armstrong to run fixtures off a DC-powered rail that is part of the ceiling grid. JLC Tech replaces selected cross tees in ceiling suspension systems with ½ or 1 inch lines of light in orthogonal patterns or staggered designs. “Unlike most linear fixtures where you need to modify the ceiling in some way, we’re more of a lit building element,” said Jeff Corvese, product development manager. A few different fixture types (including lensed, RGB and a drop-down, indirect fixture) are compatible with several 24V DC distribution systems; they also market their own dimmable DC distribution system.

Low-voltage wiring to the luminaires does not require a licensed electrician, which can save on the initial installation and in reconfiguring lighting. Mike Lunn, director of product marketing for Eaton’s Lighting Division described increased interest this year in their DLVP (Distributed Low-Voltage Power System) lighting products. Eaton promotes the system as Title 24-compliant and easy-to-install: a 20% savings in materials and 40% in labor. An electrician is needed to connect the DC distribution module, but after that, technicians or facilities personnel run low-voltage wire and install the luminaires and other system components. “It’s plug-and-play from the standpoint of, as you connect those loads and connect the switches, occupancy sensors and plug loads, the system actually knows how to operate,” he explained. The low-voltage wiring powers loads and carries control signals comparable to a conventional, addressable wired or wireless lighting control system. The huge DLVP retrofit at H5 Data Centers in Denver (pictured at top) used Metalux pendants to upgrade from an AC fluorescent system – installed in 1 day.

Audacy has partnered with Armstrong to layer their advanced wireless controls system (DLC-listed) on top of the DC distribution system. Audacy also acts as integrator, installing small systems currently, but with the capacity to scale up with multiple gateways on their proprietary cloud-based controls platform. Their primary pitch is flexibility to not just quickly rezone lighting and controllers, but to quickly and easily change out and reposition fixtures as occupant preferences and space use change, according to Nolan Bello, business unit manager for advanced wireless solutions. Audacy’s YouTube channel shows a good (albeit promotional) overview of one system installed in Boston. In Phoenix, two classrooms at the Independent Electrical Contractors Association of Arizona use an Audacy set-up to train technicians in both DC lighting and advanced controls. Low-voltage DC power is inherently safer in terms of burns and shocks. But according to Bello, falls from ladders can also be reduced: contractors often report falls after being startled by a spark from line voltage.

DC lighting: wired for connectivity

Low-voltage DC lighting also opens the door wide to data gathering to better leverage lighting controls, energy management and building use. “The bigger picture there is, as you get into more sophistication with the control you get more automation,” explained Frank. Automation can maximize energy savings and serve end-users – and it requires power electronic circuitry.The Power over Ethernet (PoE) platform provides a strong US standard for DC lighting and scalable, adaptable connected lighting. “Power over Ethernet is the only standardized method to have intelligent lighting brought into a new building, from a wired solution standpoint. And the key piece is the E, the Ethernet,” explained Randy Jones, engineering manager – new product development and connected lighting solutions for H.E. Willliams. The Ethernet data communication protocol has been in use since 1980, evolving faster transmission speeds over the decades. Since accommodating power transmission in 2003, the protocol has increased to 90W DC, maintaining Ethernet’s reliable, plug-and-play automatic handshake and interoperability.Because lighting is generally powered and distributed throughout a building, PoE lighting permits multiple – previously siloed – building systems to be wired on the same network: HAVAC, lighting, life safety, security, AV, telephony, etc. “It makes for great efficiency from a project standpoint: project costs both in the materials and installation,” said Jones. “Because one low-voltage contractor can now get above the ceiling and layer in this low-voltage distribution, which is Ethernet cables, versus say eight or ten different contractors.” Wiring standard practices are well established, and building systems are customarily isolated from valuable business data networks.

These project cost savings begin many conversations with owners about data collection, energy management and out-of-the-box value propositions. “When we talk about big data, there is no generic answer. You’ve got to look at it case by case, customer by customer, and type of business by type of business to say how much data you need to gather and what you can do with it,” Jones added. He emphasized the importance of occupant feedback over AI in evaluating the effectiveness of connected lighting systems. He describes the capabilities of PoE as comparable to wireless connectivity with AC-powered lighting, but called out PoE for higher reliability. “If I can wire it, I’ll wire it every time versus wireless. And that’s not coming from me, that’s coming from 80 to 85% of the specifying engineers that we’ve been working with over the past 3 years.”

Microgrids: for resilience

Solar power and improvements in battery storage are driving experiments with microgrids. Microgrids are characterized by their ability to operate completely independent from the grid, or to isolate and continue operation during a grid failure. Currently, the vast majority of US solar power installations do not have batteries and will not power loads during an outage. Even a with an LED light just a few feet away, solar power must convert to AC to feed into the grid and then incoming grid power must convert back to DC to power the light. Complex, intelligent DC microgrids balance loads, generation and battery storage within a building, factory, campus or neighborhood. Microgrids curtail loads and dim lighting on a DC bus (often imperceptibly); draining and charging batteries according to the variable supply from solar panels. Such systems can also support grid stability second-by-second, according to demand response signals from the utility.Resiliency in the face of natural and manmade disasters is a prime benefit: the ability to power computers, lighting, communications, and critical operations loads eliminates downtime in a grid outage. (Outages are less of an issue in the mainland US than in developing regions; off-the-grid DC solutions are ideal in unelectrified regions.) Given sufficient battery storage, backup generators and their maintenance are eliminated: backup and standard operating systems are one and the same.Honda recently deployed a microgrid at their campus in Torrance, CA. A large solar array there and 546 kWh battery feed a 380V DC microgrid by Bosch. This connected system (powerline communications) operates 300kW in lighting, ventilation fans, forklift charging stations and other loads in the facility. Back East, the American Geophysical Union is renovating their net-zero headquarters (ironically, in Washington, DC), where a DC ceiling grid will power lighting and DC desk loads, including monitors and laptops and USB task lighting.

The nonprofit Alliance Center in Downtown Denver employs a small DC microgrid powering some lighting and desktop loads. This demonstration project provides real-world data for researchers, according to Jason Page, director of operations. “The technology is just not mature yet. Hopefully, demonstration projects will reduce the barriers to entry and increase the options on the market. Fortunately, we’re seeing a lot of interest, which indicates demand. But in terms of supply of product, that’s what needs to come.” It is a big lift to move an entire industry and thousands of lighting manufacturers away from the AC standard. (Note that the Alliance Center recently deployed DC fast charging for electric vehicles [EVs] – a natural application for solar power. However, their solar plant is too small to support EV DC fast charging.)

“Most people will say the problem with adoption of DC lighting is the lack of standards,” says Derek Cowburn, founder and CEO of LumenCache. “The opposite is the problem. There’s lots of standards. There’s too many standards already, and they’re evolving. So builders don’t know which one to pick. So they just put in old AC.”The LumenCache platform supports smaller “nanogrids” for residential and small commercial applications. These systems offer low-voltage installation savings and resilience, balancing renewable energy and powering lighting and many types of DC-native plug loads, e.g., appliances, WiFi repeaters, etc. Distribution modules can be networked with wired or wireless home controllers, including a demand response feature. The LumenCache gateway is designed for upgrades in communications protocols and accommodates different ISPs and global standards.“We think there will be technologies allowing us to increase power over Cat 5. And we know that because the same thing happened with data and data compression,” Cowburn postulated. “You can take a reasonably good bet to say that power can do the same kind of thing. That’s exactly what we’re doing. The DC world is digitizing power.”

To view original article click here.

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AV Insider Podcast Episode 121: Audacy Wireless: Advanced Controls For Commercial Applications

January 19, 2018

Mark Lachman, western regional sales manager at Audacy Wireless, a wireless lighting control company from Ideal Industries, speaks with me about this 4 year old companies success in the lighting control category. We discuss how Audacy’s different than the competition, advantages to their system vs. the competition, system capabilities, some things to come, and a few other key points to Audacy’s success. Mark also mentions some notably big venues that have benefitted by using Audacy’s cloud controlled & monitored lighting control system. Unfortunately, we didn’t discuss the Audacy roadmap…Or, did we? You can only find out on this episode of AV Insider.

Play Podcast

Link to original article.

 

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Electrical Business: Will Wireless Lighting Management System Help the Cubs Win?

August 16, 2016

(Taken from original article by Electrical Business Magazine)

Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, is undergoing major expansion and restoration "to ensure the viability of the ballpark for future generations of Cubs fans." Known as the 1060 Project, the 4-year upgrade plan includes structural upgrades, improved player facilities, new fan amenities, outfield signage, expended concessions, new and improved restroom facilities, and more. And, as you can imagine, there's going to be a lot of lighting - some new, some legacy - and all of it requiring control.

So how do you control all that lighting? Project stakeholders settled on a wireless lighting control backbone from Ideal Industries called Audacy® that promises to connect virtually any new or legacy lighting fixture to a secure cloud-based operating platform.

"We'll be able to easily set lighting parameters for optimal impact and energy conservation in almost every venue across Wrigley Field," said Carl Rice, VP of the 1060 Project. "What's more, we can easily make adjustments based on event type, game delays and energy usage patterns from a tablet or mobile phone.

"The Cubs will also have the ability to automatically monitor and report on energy usage to city, state and federal agencies," Rice added.

Audacy will be installed first in the new 30,000-sf clubhouse and fitness facility for the Cubs (being constructed behind the 3rd base grandstand), scheduled to open in April 2016 for the team's home opener.

According to IDEAL, the Audacy wireless system can reduce energy use from lighting by up to 50% for almost any space type - e.g. office, retail, multi-use and institutional buildings - and is simple to install in large-scale retrofit and new construction projects. The same technology, adds the company, has been integrated in large-scale HVAC applications at Universal Studios in Orlando, FL and the Stanford University technology hub.

The system provides wireless control via an iOS phone or tablet app over multi-building lighting systems while automatically sensing and adjusting to ambient light, movement and room occupancy to maintain desired settings - all while being virtually maintenance-free, says IDEAL.

"Our push-in wire termination expertise combined with our 915 MHz wireless technology makes it incredibly easy for facilities managers and building owners to deploy advanced lighting control solutions that had previously been difficult to implement and unreliable to manage," said Nolan Bello, Business Unit Manager of Advanced Wireless Solutions by IDEAL. "Audacy was designed to make wireless control extremely simple to install, configure and operate while delivering effective, reliable results."

Jim James, Chairman and CEO of IDEAL, explained Audacy exploits the company's "push-in wire termination expertise and a proprietary, patented wireless technology that can extend the life of battery-powered devices, such as sensors and switches, to 25 years with a more secure transmission and significantly extended range."

Over the next several years, the 1060 Project team will [potentially] install Audacy sensors, control units, Gateways and reporting components into team facilities, retail spaces, entertainment clubs and suites throughout the ballpark.

"The Audacy system will be integrated throughout the ballpark and will be evaluated for potential inclusion in the office building and entertainment plaza adjacent to Wrigley Field," said James, adding, "There is tremendous global demand for superior energy management systems that enable facilities executives and design engineers to drive down both installation and operating costs across large-scale projects."

 

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Electrical News: IDEAL INDUSTRIES INC. INVITES ELECTRICAL NEWS ON EXCLUSIVE WRIGLEY FIELD CLUBHOUSE TOUR, UNVEILS INNOVATIVE ADVANCED WIRELESS LIGHTING CONTROL SYSTEM

July 8, 2016

(Taken from original article by Electrical News on May 12th)

Electrical News was treated to a behind the scenes tour of IDEAL INDUSTRIES INC’S Audacy, advanced wireless lighting control system at Wrigley Fields’s new 30,000 square-foot clubhouse and fitness facility, courtesy of Nick Shkordoff, IDEAL Group Vice President and General Manager, Nolan Bello, Audacy Business Unit Manager and Carl Rice, Vice President of Wrigley Field Restoration & Expansion , also known as 1060 project.

Audacy has taken the 102 year old ballpark into the future with the new wireless lighting technology as Rice demonstrated first-hand how easily adjustable the lighting can be altered via smart phone or tablet device to provide different mood lighting based on the situation. “We’re impressed by both the system and IDEAL INDUSTRIES’ engineering and customer service team, which has met every deadline and challenge thrown their way,” said Rice. “Their product support consistently exceeded every other system we reviewed, and we now have what we believe is a state-of-the-art clubhouse.”

The system connects virtually any new of legacy lighting fixture to a uniquely secured cloud based operation platform. The system offers up to 60 percent energy cost savings for any space type, from office, retail, institutional buildings, to large-scale retrofit and new construction projects. With a 25-year battery life, it’s virtually maintenance free.

“There is tremendous global demand for superior energy management systems that enable facilities executives and design engineers to drive down both installation and operation costs across large-scale projects,” said IDEAL Chairman and CEO, Jim James.

Over the next several years, the 1060 Project team will install Audacy sensors, control units, gateways and reporting components into team facilities, retail spaces, entertainment clubs and suites throughout the ballpark.

The momentum continues to build for IDEAL’s Audacy system as the wireless lighting controls have also been selected for a variety of other installations including Petco Park, San Francisco International Airport, college campuses, IBEW facilities and Fermilab, to name a few. Their partnership with Armstrong Ceilings, also gives them the flexibility to upgrade a space quickly, and in a short time, which has allowed them to secure interest from national retailers. 

 

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Electrical Contractor: Wrigley Field Project Showcases Wireless Lighting Control

June 15, 2016

(Taken from original article by Electrical Contractor Magazine)

Only time will tell if 2016 will be the year that the Chicago Cubs' 104-year title drought ends. For now, fans are reveling in new improvements to the stadium and the surrounding area.

The improvements began several years ago and are expected to continue into 2018 or 2019.

One of the showpieces of the new construction and retrofit project was the installation of the Audacy wireless-energy-management and lighting-control-system, manufactured by Ideal Industries Inc., Sycamore, Ill.

“Wrigley Field was a challenging environment of concrete, rebar and other construction materials," said Nolan Bello, business unit manager, Audacy. "We have achieved uncompromised signal strength and range, and it’s a positive proving ground for [Audacy's] integrity."

Audacy features push-in wire termination and proprietary, patent-pending wireless technology that extends the life of battery-powered devices, such as sensors and switches, to 25 years.

The system at Wrigley Field uses only one repeater for the entire lighting-control solution. The repeater is located 30 feet below ground level in the ballpark's basement.

The solution also includes one proxy server that can be run off a laptop or PC, two backbone, gateway controllers and hundreds of sensor devices. The Audacy system integrates with the building-automation system using BACnet internet-protocol interface communications.

Of particular import to the installation is the 30,000-square-foot clubhouse and fitness facility. All controls are administered through an iOS or Android mobile device. According to Ideal, the wireless system can reduce lighting energy use by up to 50 percent.

“In addition to signal strength in challenging environments, Audacy provides ease of installation and commissioning,” said Nick Shkordoff, group vice president and general manager of the company’s electrical division. “The actual amount of time we were at the project was about eight to 10 days, which is a further testament of ease of deployment.”

In the next several years, the project will include the additional installation of Audacy sensors, control units, gateways and reporting components into the team’s facilities, retail spaces, entertainment clubs, suites and new five-story office building.

To view original article click here.

 

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Facility Executive: Wrigley Field Upgrades with Wireless Lighting Controls

June 1, 2016

(Taken from original article by Facility Executive)

In 2014, Chicago’s Wrigley Field marked its 100th year with the launch of a multi-phase renovation and upgrade that will impact every square inch of the stadium facility. Named The 1060 Project (a reference to the site’s street address), the four-year plan includes structural upgrades, improved player facilities, new fan amenities, outfield signage, expanded concessions, and new and improved restroom facilities. Begun at the conclusion of the 2014 baseball season, the project comprises four phases—with completion slated for 2018.The primary focus of the first phase of The 1060 Project (completed in 2015) was structural work to prepare Wrigley Field for enhancements and improvements over the course of the construction plan. Another focus was expanding and improving the left- and right-field bleachers, as well new outfield signs.Overseeing the project is Carl Rice, vice president of the Wrigley Field restoration and expansion — a role he took on in July 2015 (he was previously vice president, ballpark operations). Three pillars of the project are historic preservation, connectivity/technology, and sustainability. And during a recent press tour of the stadium, Rice described The 1060 Project as “bringing the ballpark into the future… without changing a thing.”

This approach has involved the Cubs choosing to work with Sycamore, IL-based IDEAL Industries to install the company’s Audacy wireless energy management system to control the lighting throughout the recently completed clubhouse for players and coaches (part of phase two of The 1060 Project). This new facility comprises 30,000 square feet, nearly triple the size of the former player clubhouse (11,000 square feet).

In the new space, the Audacy system provides wireless control via an iOS or Android mobile phone or tablet app, while automatically sensing and adjusting to ambient light, movement, and room occupancy to maintain desired settings. The system also aims to minimize maintenance; the components feature batteries with a 25 year operating life.

Rice has described Audacy as a “significant leap forward in wireless energy management control technology. We’re impressed by both the system and IDEAL Industries’ engineering and customer service team, which has met every deadline and challenge thrown their way. Their product support consistently exceeded every other system we reviewed.”

Over the next several years, The 1060 Project team will consider installation of Audacy sensors, control units, gateways, and reporting components into other team facilities, retail spaces, entertainment clubs, and suites throughout the ballpark, as well as the team’s new five-story office building, currently under construction.

At the stadium, the Audacy system can connect virtually any new or legacy lighting fixture to its cloud-based operating platform. “We are able to easily set lighting parameters for optimal impact and energy conservation,” said Rice. “We can easily make adjustments based on event type, game delays, and energy usage patterns from a tablet or mobile phone.” He also notes the Cubs have the ability to automatically monitor and report on energy usage to city, state and federal agencies.

This new clubhouse at Wrigley Field includes a locker room for players and coaches, a strength and conditioning center, training and hydrotherapy areas, a media center, team offices and a player lounge.

At the conclusion of the recent press tour, Rice shared, “The product has performed to our expectations, and we’re evaluating where we might use it for the rest of the project. The partnership with Audacy has been great.” To view original article click here.

 

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Facilities Maintenance Decisions: 'Ultimate Retrofit' Brings Wireless Lighting System to Wrigley Field

May 25, 2016

(Taken from original article by Facility Maintenance Decisions)

Baseball fans consider Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, one of the ultimate stops on their bucket list of stadiums to visit. In the design and construction world, as the venerable ballpark takes on a massive renovation, Wrigley also could be considered “the ultimate retrofit” project.

That’s how Nolan Bello, the business unit manager for [Advanced Wireless Solutions] at Ideal Industries based outside Chicago, views the $300 million Wrigley job better known as the 1060 Project, which represents the stadium’s address at 1060 W. Addison on the city’s north side.

The Wrigley project stadium upgrades and new construction at the 102-year-old stadium known around baseball for its ivy-covered outfield walls and a long history that includes Babe Ruth’s hallowed called home run in 1932.

The Cubs selected Ideal’s Audacy wireless energy management system for its 1060 Project, a four-year plan that includes upgrades to the stadium including scoreboards, the addition of a five-story office building, and the team’s new underground 30,000 square-foot clubhouse that that includes a fitness facility. The Audacy system automatically senses and adjusts to ambient light, movement and room occupancy while being maintenance free and can be controlled from a mobile device such as a tablet or cell phone.

Ideal and the Cubs recently invited about a dozen media members to Wrigley Field to tour the new clubhouse area and learn how the team implemented the wireless system into the clubhouse expansion. The system allows managers to adjust light settings depending on the time of day (pregame, postgame, etc.). The system also gives the Cubs the ability to automatically monitor and report on energy use to city, state and federal agencies.

The installation was completed in time for the team’s 2016 home season opener on April 11. Tests of the system have delivered energy savings from 30 to more than 50 percent, according to an Audacy press release.

“We’ll be able to easily set lighting parameters for optimal impact and energy conservation in almost every venue across Wrigley Field,” says Carl Rice, vice president of the project. “We can easily make adjustments based on event type, game delays and energy usage patterns from a tablet or mobile phone.”

For original article click here.

 

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Commercial Integrator: Chicago Cubs Let There Be (Easy-to-Control) Light in New Wrigley Field Clubhouse

May 20, 2016

(Taken from original article by Commercial Integrator)

How do you bring a 100-year-old baseball cathedral into the future without changing anything? That’s been the challenge facing the construction crew, integrators and manufacturers leading the 1060 Project at Wrigley Field, home of the 1908 World Series champion Chicago Cubs.

And, although the second phase of the five-phase overhaul of America’s second-oldest Major League Baseball stadium didn’t get nearly the attention of when the Cubs played their first night game in 1988, the move to build a 30,000-square-foot clubhouse equipped with a web-based lighting control system could be even more important to the team’s future.

“We wanted to do something a little different than anyone else,” says Carl Rice, VP of the 1060 Project, more formally known as the Wrigley Field Restoration and Expansion. “We have what we believe is a state-of-the-art clubhouse. We hope it makes it a little easier for our players to prepare for games and recover.

“We’re trying to change the culture and make it about winning. There’s a focus now on the ‘where’ to get to the ‘when,’” he says.

The lighting control is far from the only major upgrade going on in the Windy City, where the occupants are hoping to end a World Series drought that stretches more than 100 years. AV integrator Diversified also built a full-scale control room and distributed audio system this year after staging the equipment in two trailers outside the ballpark for almost a year.

Diversified also worked with Daktronics on the installation of two replay boards at Wrigley, one in left field that was completed just before the start of the 2015 season andone in right field that was finished in the middle of the season.

Diversified, which has done AV integration in about 75 stadiums across the U.S., is talking to the Cubs about being involved with the hotel, fan plaza and IPTV installations that will be part of future phases of the 1060 project, says senior VP Craig Taylor.

“Everything they’re doing is about keeping the fans at the facility before games and after games and even when there are no games going on,” he says.

Ideal Industries, a 100-year-old company, launched Audacy—a web-based lighting control system—at Lightfair 2015 and attracted the attention of Cubs ownership. The company has a similar installation at Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres and the 2016 Major Leaguer Baseball All-Star Game, and will install the system at Sports Authority Field, home of the Denver Broncos, and is in the final stages of installing it at San Francisco International Airport. Audacy will also help college campuses and Fermilab in Batavia, Ill., shave big bucks off their energy bills.

“When we first started talking to people about what we’re doing, there was some real resistance to wireless systems, but I think we’ve overcome that,” says Nick Shkordoff, Ideal Industries’ electrical division group VP and general manager. The system features a 25-year battery life and “infinite” range, with the sensors able to be daisy-chained.

“This is a real proving ground for the robustness of the system,” says Shkordoff of Wrigley Field. He sees it having potential in hospitals, schools and large corporate offices that have or want to install large-scale building automation systems.

The centerpiece of the Audacy system is in the clubhouse, one of only two round clubhouses in MLB. The system allows for four scenes, depending on the mood of the players and the results of their most recent game, says Nolan Bello, business unit manager for Audacy. The scene that’s been seen least this season has been dubbed “the angry bear” because it surrounds the Cubs logo in red.

The Cubs media room, where manager Joe Maddon and players give press conferences, features a Crestron control panel and the video room includes interactive smart TVs to help players study for their next at-bats or trip to the pitching mound. The players’ lounge, meanwhile, has 13 TVs of various sizes and a constantly updated sports ticker sprinkled among a ping-pong table, air hockey table and Eddie Vedder guitar.

The training room includes hot and cold plunge tanks, hydrotherapy station, hyperbaric chamber, underwater treadmill, cryotherapy station and salt water sensory deprivation pod.

“We took a little bit of a leap with everything we’re doing here,” says Rice. “No one has ever done anything like this in sports.”

To view original article click here.

 

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Building Design+Construction: Audacy Brings Wireless Lighting Controls to Wrigley Field’s New Clubhouse

May 19, 2016

(Taken from original article by Building Design+Construction)

Sixty feet, six inches. For most, that figure is nothing more than an arbitrary distance. But on a baseball field, it means everything. It is the distance between the pitcher and batter, a stretch of grass and dirt all eyes focus on throughout the game waiting for it to produce the thrill of victory, or the acrimony of defeat. It is a distance that can elevate players to ephemeral legends, only to drag them in the opposite direction and debase them as the ‘goat.’ Sixty feet, six inches is more than just a distance in baseball, it’s the front line, the tip of the spear.

On a less dramatic and theatrical note, it is also the diameter of the Chicago Cubs brand new locker room, the main component of the recently completed clubhouse located beneath Wrigley Field, a clubhouse that is one of, if not the best in the entirety of the Major Leagues. It is details like the 60 and a half foot diameter of the locker room, the giant Cub logo on the ceiling at the center of what is one of the only round locker rooms in sports, and a man cave/game room perfect for those particularly lengthy rain delays, that make the clubhouse so special.

Another detail lighting the way (pun intended) for the Cubs clubhouse to become one of the best in all of sports is the inclusion of Audacy wireless lighting controls from Ideal Industries.

The Audacy wireless control system uses a combination of motion sensors, luminaire controllers, light sensors, and switches that are all connected by Gateways. Each Gateway coordinates fixtures and sensor components, in whatever way they were grouped together, and provides constant communication with the Audacy Interface that can be accessed via a tablet or smartphone.

When you think of commercial lighting controls, images of giant Frankenstein-esque knife switches may pop into your mind, but really, commercial lighting controls have become much more refined and are not all that different from lighting controls one may find in a residential setting.

As such, the lighting for the entire Cubs clubhouse can be controlled with a tablet via the online Audacy Interface. All that is necessary is to know which room you are in and, a few taps and slides of a finger on the tablet later, the lights can be adjusted to any of their various levels or scenes (pre-calibrated settings for a particular room meant to quickly “set the scene”).

For example, the Cubs adjust the lighting in the locker room based on a circadian rhythm of sorts, not dependent on the time of day, but, instead, more closely related to game time. Prior to a game, a scene may be selected so the lights are bright and white, helping to stimulate the players and get them prepared and energized for the game. Afterwards, as the players return to the locker room to unwind and recharge, a separate scene can be selected that offers a dimmer orange or red glow.

Overall, the new clubhouse utilizes occupancy control, vacancy control, remote system control, and custom scenes that can be programmed for different areas of the clubhouse (such as the scenes in the locker room for before and after a game). Audacy didn’t miss out on adding its detailed, fine brush strokes to the overall painting that is the Cubs clubhouse, either. A Cubs “W” flag can be lit up at the entrance of the locker room after a victory, the Cub logo in the center of the locker room can alter from red to blue lighting, and the tunnel leading from the locker room to the dugout is lined with white walls that include thin openings for blue light to seep through, an allusion to the classic blue pinstriped white uniforms the Cubs wear for home games.

The Audacy system serves an environmentally friendly function, as well; the system will help the Cubs save on energy costs, cutting them by anywhere from 50% to 60% compared to where they were with the old clubhouse, which essentially had no lighting controls whatsoever (remember, this is a ballpark that didn’t even have exterior lights installed for playing after dark until 1988).

The Chicago Cubs’ new clubhouse is a spectacle, in the most honorific way possible, and is more akin to a luxury resort existing under the second oldest ballpark in the majors than facilities for a sports team. And this is due, in no small part, to the lighting controls contributed by Audacy.

To see original article click here.

 

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Press Release

IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. Taps Former Motorola Executive to Lead New Technology Group

January 23, 2018

SYCAMORE, Ill. (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC., a global, diversified, family-owned business that designs and manufactures American-made superior products and systems for professional tradesmen across various industries, announced today the hiring of Jeff Miller, a former Motorola Mobility corporate executive, as the Group President, Technology Group. The new division has been created to lead the company’s portfolio of advanced solutions for enhancing spaces - including wireless lighting controls, state-of-the-art charging systems and software.

“Jeff’s entrepreneurial spirit combined with a remarkable track record of strategic management and leadership of successful sales operations makes Jeff the perfect person to lead our new IDEAL Technology Group,” said IDEAL Chairman and CEO Jim James. “We’re confident in his ability to lead the charge to grow market share and drive demand for our collection of innovative technologies within the advanced lighting and charging/power delivery space. These innovations have been engineered to help facility managers, design engineers, building executives and architects around the world fulfill their visions – while also making their lives easier - for decades to come.”

The IDEAL Technology portfolio includes AUDACY®, an advanced wireless lighting control system that has been successfully installed at large-scale institutions across the country, such as Wrigley Field and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, can deliver up to 60-percent lighting energy savings per year while providing more flexibility. PowerPuck™ is a system that aims to transform the way people charge their electronic devices in public spaces. Both will be priority innovation areas of focus as Miller takes on his new role at IDEAL.

Miller’s 17-year career with Motorola included roles such as Corporate Vice President and General Manager of North American Operations, Vice President of Sales, Vice President of Global E-Commerce and Global Strategic Account Management. Previously, Miller worked at AT&T and served as Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Somera Communications, a startup providing network equipment and asset management solutions to global telecom operators.

Miller will remain a board member of 1871, a Technology and Entrepreneurship Center in Chicago, as an advisor to startups. He holds an MBA from The Ohio State University and a Bachelor Degree in Business from Miami University (Ohio).  

For more information about IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. and Technology Group’s systems, please visit http://www.idealindustries.com.

About IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC.
IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. is a global, diversified family business designing and manufacturing superior products and tools for professional tradesmen in the electrical, wire processing, data communications, aerospace, automotive and construction industries.  The 102-year old company was founded in 1916 on the premise of forging ideal relationships with customers, employees and communities.  The company has consistently grown and expanded under five generations of family ownership.

 

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Press Release

AUDACY® Qualified by DesignLights Consortium™

January 18, 2017

IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. Audacy® Advanced Wireless Lighting Control system has been selected by the DesignLights Consortium® (DLC) to be included in their Qualified Products List (QPL) for Networked Lighting Control (NLC) systems.

The goal of the list is to provide a credible NLC System product recommendation to lighting designers, specifiers, contractors, building owners, facility managers and utility energy efficiency programs.

The QPL also provides a new resource to the lighting market and energy efficiency programs to understand, evaluate, and compare NLC Systems. The QPL identifies systems eligible for new financial incentives and rebates from utilities and energy efficiency programs across North America.

To qualify for the QPL in the NLC Systems category, eligible systems must have met required system capabilities such as occupancy sensing, daylight harvesting, zoning and continuous dimming – all areas where the Audacy system was thoroughly tested and proven to succeed after intensive review.

The Networked Lighting Control Specification and Qualified Products List is part of a larger Commercial Advanced Lighting Controls (CALC) initiative by the DesignLights Consortium.

For more information, visit http://www.designlights.org/lighting-controls/

To download the QPL, visit http://www.designlights.org/lighting-controls/download-the-qpl/

About the DesignLights Consortium (DLC)

The DesignLights Consortium (DLC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the widespread adoption of high-performing commercial lighting solutions. The DLC promotes high-quality, energy-efficient lighting products in collaboration with utilities and energy efficiency program members, manufacturers, lighting designers, and federal, state, and local entities. Through these partnerships, the DLC establishes product quality specifications, facilitates thought leadership, and provides information, education, tools and technical expertise.

 

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