Acuity Brands Joins Volunteer Initiative to Build Green Schools

July 17, 2012

Phoenix schoolhouses will be LEED certified and feature Acuity Brands Smart + Simple Solutions for School Lighting

As part of its initiative to promote and deliver high-performance school lighting, Acuity Brands, Inc continues its support of the Green Schoolhouse Series, which has broken ground on its second project in Phoenix.

The self-described “studio-themed” addition to the Orangewood School is a state-of-the-art schoolhouse, designed to achieve Platinum status under the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standard. Orangewood School is a K-8 school in the Washington Public School District.

“Acuity Brands is proud to continue to be a flagship sponsor to help create schoolhouses in Arizona,” said Tim Hogan, Acuity Brands Lighting Vice President for Education Solutions. “Our Smart + Simple Solutions integrate electric lighting, daylighting, and controls to both improve the learning environment and help reduce the overall long-term cost of the structure.”

The 6,000 square-foot “studio-themed” school features the full breadth of the Acuity Brands lighting and controls portfolio, including advanced indoor and outdoor lighting using both LED and traditional high-efficiency fluorescent light sources, together with integrated controls.

Acuity Brands provided Lithonia Lighting®, Mark Architectural Lighting™ and Peerless® general indoor ambient luminaires, as well as Gotham® and Winona® Lighting architectural and accent lighting. Lithonia Lighting and Hydrel® outdoor LED solutions enhance visibility for occupants before and after school hours. And, Sunoptics® skylights are integral components of the lighting and daylighting harvesting design strategy.

“The building maximizes functionality and minimizes energy use through Sensor Switch®  controls, sensors and switches, enabled by nLight® technology, that integrate the building’s lighting and control operations,” said Hogan. “The school also features Lithonia Lighting emergency and exit lighting and RELOC® modular wiring products.”

“Studio” is the second in the series of green schoolhouses that features lighting and controls solutions by Acuity Brands. The program strives to educate students and community members about the importance of sustainable living and building practices. The building features a STEM-devoted (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) classroom, rainwater harvesting capabilities, interactive white boards and an indoor/outdoor amphitheater.

The state-of-the-art school facility was designed by the architecture firm Emc2 Group Architects Planners, PC, with construction being completed by Kitchell. Engineering services are being provided by Heideman Associates, a Zak Company; Larson Engineering; and Olsson Associates.



Acuity Brands Opens New State-of-the-Art Daylighting Training Center as Part of Newly Renovated Sunoptics Facility

July 12, 2012

12,000 square-foot building expansion allows customers to explore the performance and energy-saving benefits of integrated daylighting

Acuity Brands, Inc. announces the opening of its renovated Sunoptics® facility and new Daylighting University training center located in Sacramento, CA. The new offices and training facility provide an opportunity for industry professionals to explore the benefits of daylighting. The facility features a 1,600 square foot daylighting training center where Sunoptics will host its Daylighting University, which offers monthly training seminars and opportunities for customer presentations.

“In February 2011, Acuity Brands, Inc. acquired Sunoptics with the vision of providing customers with a complete lighting solution – electric lighting, natural lighting and lighting controls,” said Grant Grable, Acuity Brands Lighting Vice President, and Value Stream Leader for Sunoptics. “Expanding this facility not only supports the growth of Sunoptics® products, but also provides a state-of-the-art, fully integrated daylighting training center to better educate architects, specifiers, lighting designers and building owners on integrated daylighting design.”

Training seminar attendees explore multiple daylighting, electric lighting and controls solutions from Acuity Brands that focus on performance and energy savings. Coursework showcases daylighting solutions for suspended-ceiling applications, including applications in classrooms, offices and manufacturing spaces.

For more information, please contact an Acuity Brands representative or visit

Acuity Brands Experts Presenting at The LED Show in Las Vegas

July 11, 2012

Acuity Brands, Inc. LED lighting technology experts John Selander, director of specification sales for Acuity Brands Lighting, and Kurt Vogel, director of product development at Lithonia Lighting®, will present “The Intelligence of LED Lighting” at The LED Show in Las Vegas. The 90-minute presentation is on August 1, at 9 a.m. (session five).

Selander’s presentation defines intelligent lighting and demonstrates ways in which solid-state lighting products are suited for interactive communication between the luminaire and occupants of the space. Vogel will explore how the latest LED lighting retrofit technologies reduce costs, help reach sustainability goals and achieve the benefits of LED lighting without disrupting the workplace.

“We are pleased with the opportunity to share our research and expertise with a wide range of lighting professionals helping to engage the conversation surrounding lighting and controls technology,” said Selander. “Through innovation, we are able to leverage various solutions spanning retrofitting, integrated lighting and controls, to maximize light quality, reduce energy usage and minimize cost.”

Selander recently finished his term as the 2010-2011 President of the Illuminating Engineering Society. He is Lighting Certified from NCQLP and is a LEED Accredited Professional from the US Green Buildings Council (USGBC). He currently serves on the Board of Directors for USGBC.

Vogel brings more than 22 years of experience to the lighting industry. Most recently he drove the development of Lithonia Lighting’s first indoor, ambient LED relight product, RT Relight Series. Vogel’s extensive knowledge of renovation lighting and its unique requirements keep him consulting, training and speaking with clients across the country.


Acuity Brands Illuminates New LEED Certified Atlanta Airport International Terminal

July 10, 2012

Acuity Brands Indoor and Outdoor Luminaires and Controls Installed Throughout $1.4 Billion Construction Project

More than 14,000 indoor and outdoor lighting luminaires from Acuity Brands, Inc.  are now illuminating the new Maynard H. Jackson International Terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The new terminal, which is certified Silver under the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standard, incorporates 12 new gates, eight security checkpoints, separate arrival and departure levels and new access roadways. The $1.4 billion project includes a comprehensive array of Acuity Brands lighting and digital controls solutions designed to enhance the terminal user’s experience by delivering quality, energy-efficient lighting.

Multiple lighting products from the expansive Acuity Brands portfolio are installed in nearly every application throughout the 1.2 million square-foot facility. A blend of custom and standard lighting solutions are employed to highlight the building’s signature architecture and deliver required light levels throughout the terminal space, while addressing multiple energy-usage challenges.

“The main challenge revolved around the requirements of designing the first LEED Silver® certified building at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and executing this with lighting strategies and technology that were energy efficient, cost effective and easy to maintain,” said Domingo Gonzalez, president of Domingo Gonzalez Associates and head lighting designer on the project. “We looked for lighting solutions that would comprehensively address this massively complex family of spaces, and do so with a degree of consistency and commonality of light sources.”

Mark Architectural Lighting™ custom T5 and T8 Slot 6 fixtures and custom cove lights were modified specifically to accommodate the architectural needs of the space. Luminaires from Gotham®  accent the column architecture.

Mounted on round-tapered poles, Omero™ area and roadway luminaires from Lithonia Lighting® light the terminal roadways. In the arrival area, Lithonia Lighting fluorescent high bays, modified for T6 lamping, are mounted to the canopy and illuminate incoming gate pathways. The baggage claim and conveyer belts located throughout the space are entirely lit with Lithonia Lighting I-BEAM® fluorescent high bays.

In addition, Acuity Brands provided the Synergy® and Lighting Control & Design™ lighting control systems used throughout the new terminal. The systems reduce light levels in times of low gate occupancy in order to save additional energy.

“Mark Architectural Lighting slot fixtures were the key to the whole project because Acuity Brands was able to customize the Slot 6 fixtures to fit our needs,” said Gonzalez. “With that came the responsibility of helping us with all the configurations and modifications needed for meeting program objectives and LEED certification compliance. Acuity Brands’ engineering support throughout the process was nothing short of outstanding. Acuity Brands engineers were excellent collaborators in developing all of the lighting control system configurations, which were all so critical in meeting all of the energy aspects of LEED.”

“We are honored to provide industry-leading, complete lighting and controls solutions for the new international terminal at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in our home state of Georgia,” said Geoff Marlow, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Acuity Brands Lighting. “Our extensive portfolio of luminaires and controls, combined with tailored labor saving logistics support, made it possible for us to meet the requirements of such a large project. Working closely with the lighting designer, and integrating delivery and labor saving programs to the contractor, proved to be an invaluable experience in achieving the best quality lighting and service to satisfy the project’s focused and demanding requirements.”

For more information about lighting and lighting controls solutions, please visit

Acuity Brands Launches Web-based Design Tool That Calculates the Total Life Cycle Costs of Lighting Systems

July 3, 2012

New Visual Economic Tool™ offers a comprehensive, economic analysis to properly evaluate multiple lighting systems; provides superior business assessment than typical “payback” methods.

Acuity Brands, Inc. has developed a leap-forward financial tool that allows users to determine the true economic value of a lighting system, greatly exceeding the simple data output found on many industry “payback” calculators. The Visual Economic Tool™ is a free, web-based, user-friendly design tool that uses recommended  industry practices to simultaneously estimate and compare the life-cycle costs of up to three lighting systems.

“This is a breakthrough tool that provides users with more data, deeper evaluations and more choices,” said Randall King, Director of Illuminating Engineering Services for Acuity Brands Lighting. “You can choose to perform energy-only estimates or input additional information to create estimates that include maintenance, lighting controls and HVAC data. The resulting calculated costs can include economic return as well as life-cycle costs, net present value, and internal rate of return. These second-level analysis methods provide an owner with a better business assessment than the typical payback methods currently employed because they account for the time value of money and total cost of ownership,” said King.

The Visual Economic Tool is an integral part of the Company’s Visual® lighting design tools and is available as a free resource; no log-in is required. Users can input data from any products within the Acuity Brands interior and exterior lighting product portfolio or even data from non-Acuity Brands lighting products. The tool has the flexibility to compare lighting systems using various lighting controls methods and common light sources, including LED, metal halide and fluorescent.

The Visual Economic Tool calculations are based on the widely accepted IESNA RP-31-1996 “Recommended Practice for the Economic Analysis of Lighting” standards. Data is presented using vivid, easy-to-follow charts. A built-in help feature reviews definitions, displays calculation formulas and links to additional resources. Comprehensive reports can be printed or saved as a PDF format, or easily shared with other users to review and edit data if desired. Luminaire data can be loaded in any of the other Visual design tools, saving user time while promoting data consistency.

Visit the Visual Economic Tool online or watch a short demonstration video.




Illuminating Engineering Society Elects Distinguished Acuity Brands Lighting Expert Cheryl English to Board of Directors

July 2, 2012

Cheryl English, IES Board of DirectorsCheryl English, Vice President of Government and Industry Relations at Acuity Brands Lighting, has been elected to the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) board of directors for a two-year term beginning July 1, 2012. In her role, English will provide strategic council to the Society’s long-term planning, operations, education and research priorities.

“The transformation in the lighting industry creates an exciting challenge for IES,” said English.  “The Society’s leadership faces many challenges in promoting standards for high efficiency and lighting quality. I’m excited and honored to be involved with IES.”

Actively involved with IES for more than 30 years, English will help ensure IES is positioned to support the industry as it transforms to integrated, smart lighting systems. She was previously awarded the IES Distinguished Service Award, IES Fellow Award and an IES Presidential Award for her service related to lighting education, technical standards, legislative and regulatory activities and standards for controlling outdoor light pollution.

At Acuity Brands Lighting, English is responsible for energy and environmental policy, collaboration with trade associations and the lighting specification community. English is the executive director of the Jim H. McClung Lighting Research Foundation and also serves on the Besal Lighting Education Fund board of directors, the National Institute of Building Sciences board of directors and Lighting Division of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association board of directors.