“If you lead with advance control you will sell LED”
Panel Session 4: System Integrator Point of View
Benjamin Buchanan, CEO, SBT Alliance
Rich Hanlon, COO, SBT Alliance
Smarter Building Technologies Alliance, or SBT Alliance, is a system integrator (SI) headquartered in Las Vegas. It’s actually comprised of three companies that, according to the company website, collectively “help streamline energy efficiency and advanced controls projects from end to end”. Benjamin and Rich, with their combined 45+ years of leadership experience in the lighting industry, shared their lessons learned on the challenges of deploying networked lighting control solutions.
For example, Benjamin proclaimed that connected lighting has created unprecedented challenges for the lighting industry. To sell an IoT-centric lighting control solution, Benjamin argued, a different sales approach and skillset are required. Furthermore, the ownership for design, commissioning, and support of the control system can be a contentious issue. Far too often, Benjamin said, “every mistake that we have seen has spurred from the design. And even when you get a great design, another mistake is underestimating the need for commissioning”. Does that sound familiar?
Rich reiterated a key message that resonated with what I mentioned in my 1/23 webinar with the LEDs Magazine: “You need to put the foundation in there so that your [lighting] system can grow.” Having the digital driver such as the Xitanium SR LED driver inside the LED fixture, for instance, is like putting down the digital foundation that help you “future-proof” the LED system. Benjamin put a different spin on this concept during the panel session: “If you lead with advance control you will sell LED because they go together”.
If you want to know who Benjamin thinks are the new gatekeepers for the IoT-enabled lighting control solutions, please click here to watch the full recording.
So what is my main takeaway from these panel sessions? It’s the realization that emergency of IoT in the lighting industry has had a disruptive effect that leads to new paradigm shift. New technologies, new market entrants, new gatekeepers, and new ways of doing business are emerging. Companies such as Enlighted, Magnum Innovations, SBT Alliance, and Synapse Wireless bring unique perspectives and solutions that not only complement, but also enhance, Signify’s indoor/outdoor connected lighting product offerings. As connected lighting becomes more mainstream, now is the perfect opportunity to lay down the digital foundation for indoor or outdoor LED lighting system.
In conclusion, I’m very grateful for the opportunity to organize/host these four panel sessions. Everyone I’ve spoken with agreed that all the panelists have helped them broaden their perspective and gain a deeper understanding about connected lighting. Next year I look forward to inviting all of them back for another set of panel sessions at Lightfair.