Lighting Systems Index Stalls, Slumps, National Lighting Bureau Reports

Second-quarter 2010 Lighting Systems Index performance was 0.3% below first-quarter 2010 results.


The modest but encouraging, steady growth exhibited by the NEMA Lighting Systems Index (LSI) since the third quarter of 2009 has come to an end, the National Lighting Bureau (NLB) reports: Second-quarter 2010 LSI performance was 0.3% below first-quarter 2010 results.


Established in 1998, NEMA’s LSI is a composite measure of lamps, luminaires, ballasts, emergency lighting, exit signs, and other lighting products shipped nationally and internationally from the United States by the 450 companies that comprise the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA). Adjusted for the season and inflation, the Index uses 2002 data for its 100-point benchmark. View it at


“Three months ago we had every reason to be optimistic about a sooner-rather-than-later turn-around, given nine consecutive months of LSI growth,” Bureau Executive Director John Bachner said. “While we of course remain optimistic about the future, it will take longer for that optimism to be validated.” Bachner noted that lighting equipment sales are driven principally by new residential and commercial construction. “Both those markets are fairly anemic right now and they’re likely to remain that way for perhaps as much as another year, if not longer.”


Brian Lego, NEMA’s director of economic analysis, concurred, noting that “any

appreciable growth in commercial or industrial construction activity is not expected for at least several more quarters, especially since most of the major income property markets are still saddled with a large volume of vacant or underutilized space. On the residential side of the market, housing starts were volatile during the winter and spring months, thanks to the federal homebuyer tax credit. But demand for new homes has regressed to levels near historical lows following expiration of the tax-credit program. As a result, residential lighting demand is expected to remain weak for the foreseeable future as the housing market continues to cope with falling prices, tight lending standards, and a feeble rate of job growth.”


Bachner noted that commercial lighting “should be less affected by new construction, given the vast amount of obsolete, expensive-to-operate commercial and industrial lighting systems that need to be upgraded or replaced, and the array of incentives to modernize.” Some of these incentives come in the form of federal tax breaks and state and utility partial-cost underwriting. Others take the form of savings nonresidential-building owners can derive through energy and demand cost reductions, as well as the productivity, safety, security, retail sales, and building value improvements associated with enhanced lighting quality. “Some of the carrots that can be applied to lower the cost of upgrading and replacement will not be around that much longer,” Bachner said, “because sticks are in place, too: It will soon become almost impossible to maintain lighting systems that use the most outdated technologies, like T12 fluorescent lighting, because it’s no longer legal to manufacture or import key parts. Why incentivize people to do that they’ll be required to do no matter what? Right now, an investment in high-quality, modern lighting is probably one of the most cost-effective investments any business could make.”

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Raising the standard: What's new with NFPA 70E; A global view of manufacturing; Maintenance data; Fit bearings properly
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Upgrading secondary control systems; Keeping enclosures conditioned; Diagnostics increase equipment uptime; Mechatronics simplifies machine design
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.