The Contractor Crunch is not an exercise drill; it refers to the skilled labor shortage facing most electrical contractors in this market where workloads continue to stay strong. The best talent is committed, and it can take two-to-four years to get a new electrician licensed and out into the field. Contractors must be able to work as efficiently as possible to meet demand and keep new jobs coming in.
Lighting innovation presents yet another challenge for contractors looking to streamline projects. Thanks to networked controls, today’s digital lighting systems enable a host of new functionality, including the potential to connect various building systems. This means contractors can deliver more value through the lighting systems they specify.
Unfortunately, greater connectivity often means greater complexity. When LED lighting is deployed as a system, a critical symphony of driver, light engine, luminaire housing, thermal system and control must take place. Getting all of these components harmonized can be challenging and can make digital lighting installation seem like a complex puzzle — one that requires more time to address. But, time is always scarce for the “crunched” contractor.
So how can contractors mitigate the risks of complexity and incompatibility in these high-functioning lighting systems without sacrificing functionality and performance?
There’s a simple answer: by selecting and implementing luminaires, digital components and controls that are simply designed, engineered and tested to work together. We recognized the opportunity to create this type of simplicity through A+ Certified™ solutions.
At the heart of every A+ Certified solution is a rigorous testing and certification program of more than 60 specialized tests from 19 categories, which assure that the luminaire, controls and technology components perform together every time. We are so keen on the benefits of A+ Certified that we opened a 167,000-sq.-ft. Integrated Solution Factory (ISF) in Atlanta just to drive integration and compatibility testing further into our product lines.
A+ testing ensures that all parts of the solution are consistent – initial lumen output and color consistency are factory-calibrated and verified; and compatible – components are designed, manufactured and tested for interoperability with other A+-capable products including luminaires, controls, network components and ancillary systems. And, since we design and manufacture every A+ Certified component, the contractor gets a single point of contact with a vested interest in their success.
Once a contractor has decided on the right lighting applications for a project, identifying the A+ products that fit the application is easy. For starters, each A+ capable luminaire and control has an A+ logo on its spec sheet. Further, LED driver and control options that qualify a luminaire for A+ certification are clearly detailed in our product ordering trees located on the Acuity Brands website. There’s even an easy-to-use product search filter on acuitybrands.com that allows you to filter for A+ capable products by brand/application.
Another benefit of A+ Certified solutions is the opportunity to specify and install “contractor-friendly” luminaires and/or controls to further save on project time. And these can be for projects as simple as a network installed in a private office, a group of rooms or floors within a building … or even across an entire campus. One example of an easy-to-install, A+ Certified solution is our BLT low-profile LED luminaire paired with the nLight® AIR wireless lighting control system.
In this solution, the fixture comes with an embedded smart sensor and is controlled by a wireless nLight AIR, battery-operated wall switch. After installing the fixtures in the ceiling with line voltage wires, a contractor would simply download the CLAIRITY™ mobile app to start up the system and adjust the sensor settings.
So, beat the “contractor crunch” by taking the complexity out of your next lighting project. Choose an A+ Certified solution that allow contractors to quickly and confidently select and implement lighting systems that are both compatible and chromatically consistent.