The NECA Conference this year includes a new feature to highlight the latest technologies in the rapidly changing market for lighting and lighting controls. In response to requests for more lighting and controls companies, NECA has prominently located a learning space on the show floor dedicated to short learning sessions presented by a rotating cast of manufacturers, distributors and service providers in the lighting and controls industry.
Attendees at the Lighting & Controls Theater settle in on cushioned cubes for a brief discussion on an issue of importance in regard to lighting and controls. Each session lasts 18 minutes and encourages questions and answers so the sessions move quickly but cover a lot of ground.
Topics covered on Sunday included a session by Acuity on why smart lighting is so complicated and things contractors can do to simplify the process by asking the right question at the right time, a talk on using automation to reduce installation costs, a couple of different looks at the Internet of things (IoT) and lighting-integrated controls.
In one session hosted by Graybar, David Moeller, the company’s director, customer markets, addressed ways contractors can work more closely with distributors to improve profitability on lighting jobs by bringing them in early in the design-build process to troubleshoot installation schedules and leverage project order management expertise to make the best use of increasingly scarce labor resources.
Talking about the distributor's ability to offer services like lighting fixture staging and preparation, he told NECA contractors, "You don't want electricians you don't have enough of anyway counting boxes. We count boxes for a living."