With all of the publicity surrounding ChatGPT in the news media, David Gordon, founder of our sister resource Electrical Trends, decided to “chat” about lighting and find out just how much a machine could accurately determine about the industry.
A Lighting Chat With Chat
By David Gordon
ChatGPT is all the rage lately. People are swarming to it, asking questions, and conceiving new capabilities — and then there is the “fear” of jobs that will be replaced or papers submitted for academic (and business) credit that are AI-driven.
Adding to the concern is the likelihood that the next version of “Chat,“ ChatGPT4 will integrate new digital asset sources such as graphics, data, video, and more.
Microsoft is at the forefront with their proactive investment in OpenAI but, more importantly, its “quick” integration of ChatGPT into MS Office and their launch of Viva Sales and CoPilot, which both can be very powerful. From what I understand, Microsoft has been working on these tools for the past four years.
AI, or more accurately Machine Learning as the software is aggregating existing “data,” will put meaning into the term “digital transformation.”
So, I had a little time on my hands and decided to query the system with some “basic” questions.
David Gordon: What are the trends in the U.S. outdoor lighting market?
ChatGPT: As of my knowledge cutoff date of September 2021, some of the trends in the U.S. outdoor lighting market included:
- LED Lighting: The adoption of LED lighting technology has been steadily increasing, as it offers energy efficiency and long-lasting durability. Consumers are becoming more aware of the benefits of LED lighting, and are choosing this option for their outdoor lighting needs.
- Smart Lighting: Smart lighting technology is also gaining popularity, with the ability to control and automate outdoor lighting using smartphones and other devices. This allows for greater convenience and energy efficiency, as well as the ability to customize lighting to individual preferences.
- Solar Lighting: Solar-powered outdoor lighting is another growing trend, as consumers seek out more sustainable and eco-friendly options. Advances in solar technology have led to more efficient and effective solar panels, making solar lighting a viable option for many consumers.
- Decorative Lighting: Outdoor lighting is no longer just about functionality; it has become a way to add style and ambiance to outdoor spaces. Decorative lighting options such as string lights, lanterns, and other decorative fixtures are becoming increasingly popular.
- Safety and Security: Outdoor lighting is also being used as a safety and security measure, with motion-activated lights and other security lighting options. This trend is expected to continue as more consumers prioritize safety and security in their outdoor spaces.
It is important to note that trends in any market can change quickly and may have been impacted by global events, technological advancements, or shifts in consumer behavior since my knowledge cutoff date.
DG: Why are these important?
ChatGPT: The trends in the U.S. outdoor lighting market are important for a number of reasons:
- Energy Efficiency: LED lighting and solar lighting options are more energy-efficient than traditional lighting sources, which helps to reduce energy consumption and lower utility bills. This can have a positive impact on the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and conserving resources.
- Convenience: Smart lighting technology offers greater convenience for consumers, allowing them to control their outdoor lighting from anywhere and at any time. This can be particularly useful for those who may be away from home or have mobility issues.
- Aesthetics: Decorative lighting options can help to enhance the visual appeal of outdoor spaces, creating a more inviting and welcoming atmosphere. This can be particularly important for businesses that want to create an attractive outdoor environment for their customers.
- Safety and Security: Outdoor lighting can also help to increase safety and security by illuminating walkways, entryways, and other areas. Motion-activated lighting and other security lighting options can help to deter intruders and improve visibility in low-light conditions.
Overall, the trends in the U.S. outdoor lighting market are important because they offer consumers more options for lighting their outdoor spaces in a way that is energy-efficient, convenient, aesthetically pleasing, and safe. These trends also reflect changing consumer preferences and priorities, which can have implications for businesses and policymakers alike.
DG: What impact does this have on electrical contractors?
ChatGPT: The trends in the U.S. outdoor lighting market can have several impacts on electrical contractors, including:
- New Skills and Training: As the outdoor lighting market evolves with new technologies and trends, electrical contractors may need to acquire new skills and training to meet the demands of customers. For example, contractors may need to learn how to install smart lighting systems, work with solar panels, or install decorative lighting fixtures.
- Increased Business Opportunities: The growing popularity of outdoor lighting options can also create new business opportunities for electrical contractors. Contractors who specialize in outdoor lighting installation and maintenance may see an increase in demand for their services, as consumers seek to upgrade their outdoor spaces.
- Cost Considerations: LED and smart lighting options may have a higher initial cost compared to traditional lighting sources, which can impact the affordability of outdoor lighting projects for consumers. Electrical contractors may need to work with customers to identify cost-effective options that meet their needs and budgets.
- Safety Considerations: As outdoor lighting is often used for safety and security purposes, electrical contractors may need to ensure that their installations meet relevant safety codes and standards. Contractors may need to work with customers to identify the best lighting solutions for their specific safety needs.
In summary, the trends in the U.S. outdoor lighting market can create both challenges and opportunities for electrical contractors. Staying up-to-date on new technologies and training opportunities, while also considering cost and safety considerations, can help contractors meet the evolving needs of their customers.
DG: Which manufacturers are leading the way in this market?
ChatGPT: As of my knowledge cutoff date of September 2021, there were several manufacturers that were leading the way in the U.S. outdoor lighting market. These manufacturers included:
- Philips Lighting: Philips Lighting is a global leader in lighting solutions and has a strong presence in the U.S. outdoor lighting market. The company offers a wide range of outdoor lighting products, including LED fixtures, solar-powered lights, and smart lighting systems.
- Acuity Brands: Acuity Brands is another major player in the U.S. outdoor lighting market, offering a range of LED lighting products for commercial and residential applications. The company also offers smart lighting solutions, including wireless controls and automated lighting systems.
- Hubbell Lighting: Hubbell Lighting is a leading manufacturer of outdoor lighting fixtures, including LED lighting, decorative lighting, and security lighting options. The company also offers smart lighting systems that can be controlled using smartphones and other devices.
- Eaton: Eaton is a global manufacturer of electrical and lighting products, including a range of outdoor lighting options. The company offers LED lighting fixtures, solar-powered lighting solutions, and decorative lighting options for commercial and residential applications.
- Signify: Signify is a global leader in lighting solutions, offering a range of outdoor lighting products for residential and commercial use. The company’s portfolio includes LED lighting fixtures, smart lighting systems, and solar-powered lighting solutions.
It is important to note that the leading manufacturers in the U.S. outdoor lighting market can change over time, and there may be new entrants or changes in market share since my knowledge cutoff date.
DG: What are key product categories for outdoor lighting?
ChatGPT: There are several key product categories for outdoor lighting, including:
- LED Lighting Fixtures: LED lighting fixtures are a popular choice for outdoor lighting due to their energy efficiency, long lifespan, and low maintenance requirements. LED fixtures can be used for a variety of outdoor lighting applications, including street lighting, area lighting, and accent lighting.
- Solar-Powered Lighting: Solar-powered lighting solutions are becoming increasingly popular for outdoor lighting applications, as they do not require a direct power source and can be installed in areas without access to electricity. Solar-powered lighting options can include LED fixtures, decorative lighting, and security lighting.
- Decorative Lighting: Decorative lighting options are used to enhance the visual appeal of outdoor spaces, and can include string lights, lanterns, and decorative fixtures. Decorative lighting can be used for both residential and commercial applications, and can be designed to complement the overall aesthetic of the outdoor space.
- Smart Lighting Systems: Smart lighting systems allow users to control their outdoor lighting using smartphones or other devices, and can include features such as automated scheduling and motion detection. Smart lighting systems can be used for both residential and commercial applications, and can help to improve energy efficiency and convenience.
- Security Lighting: Security lighting options are designed to improve safety and security in outdoor spaces, and can include floodlights, motion-activated lighting, and other types of lighting fixtures. Security lighting can be used for both residential and commercial applications, and can help to deter intruders and improve visibility in low-light conditions.
Overall, the key product categories for outdoor lighting can vary depending on the specific needs and preferences of customers. However, LED lighting fixtures, solar-powered lighting, decorative lighting, smart lighting systems, and security lighting are all popular options for outdoor lighting applications.
DG: Can you be more specific about the types of fixtures used in outdoor lighting?
ChatGPT: Certainly! There are several types of fixtures that are commonly used in outdoor lighting applications, including:
- Wall-Mounted Fixtures: Wall-mounted fixtures are typically used to provide general lighting for outdoor spaces, and can be installed on the exterior walls of buildings, garages, or other structures. Wall-mounted fixtures can come in a variety of styles and sizes, and can be designed to provide either direct or indirect lighting.
- Post-Mounted Fixtures: Post-mounted fixtures are often used to provide area lighting for outdoor spaces, and are typically installed on poles or other vertical structures. Post-mounted fixtures can come in a variety of sizes and styles, and can be used for both decorative and functional lighting applications.
- Floodlights: Floodlights are typically used for security or area lighting applications, and are designed to provide a high-intensity beam of light over a wide area. Floodlights can be installed on the exterior walls of buildings or other structures, or can be mounted on poles or other vertical structures.
- Landscape Lighting: Landscape lighting fixtures are used to highlight and accentuate landscaping features such as trees, shrubs, and gardens. These fixtures can include spotlight or floodlight fixtures that are designed to provide focused lighting on specific areas, as well as low-voltage path lights that are used to illuminate walkways or other areas.
- String Lights: String lights are a popular decorative lighting option for outdoor spaces, and can be used to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. These lights can be hung from trees or other structures, and can come in a variety of styles and bulb types.
Overall, the types of fixtures used in outdoor lighting can vary depending on the specific needs and preferences of customers, as well as the lighting requirements of the outdoor space.
My Experience Overall
I asked relatively “simple” questions, but I was just “playing around.” This interaction with Chat took about 15 minutes, but you can see some of the limitations:
Chat admitted that its data “memory” stopped in September 2021. I assume the system will become more current, but don’t take everything it responds with as “gospel.”
You can see some errors. For example, Eaton Lighting no longer exists, but, there is value in the information.
The system can be informative and can provide the basis for moving forward … after all, it led to the creation of this article!
As for the takeaway, I think AI, ChatGPT and functionality inspired by AI will quickly become integrated into our everyday work life. Within the lighting space:
- Lighting audits could be done by simply putting on AR glasses (or Microsoft’s HoloLens), looking around the space and the audit will be completed as the system – using its GPS elements and the address of the facility – will instantly pull in utility rates, other weather parameters, and integrate rebate information. The system will recommend fixtures and their placement for optimal effectiveness given the application.
- Takeoffs either are electronically transferred or – for those ageists who still want to draw them – a photo is taken, fixtures determined and alternatives to specified items with the same performance characteristics and aesthetics are automatically displayed. A simple “click” will determine cost, lead time, availability, and provide spec sheets, installation instructions, and determine additional installation material needed. A lighting control solution would also be recommended.
- If you need to figure out which fixtures to recommend, upload some pictures, draw some circles where you want the fixtures, verbally describe the application and some other parameters and then watch the Chat recommend suppliers, fixtures, calculate costs, energy savings and find applicable rebates.
Get ready for a new lighting world. Are you ready for Chat? (or if you’re a Google fan, Bard.)