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Legrand Building Control Systems: Your Guide to the Great American Eclipse of August 2017

Reduce Light Pollution, Go Outside, and Stay Safe

SAN JOSE, Calif., August 11, 2017 – On August 21, 2017 the United States will experience its first total solar eclipse since 1979, and everyone will be trying to get the best view possible. That’s why Legrand Building Control Systems (BCS) is offering a few tips to prepare the nation as it plans to look toward the sky. We can offer some insight here; the Grand Canyon South Rim Visitor Center uses our lighting control solution to enhance its star gazing parties during the late spring and summer months.

Here are some tips from the lighting control experts to enhance your experience watching the eclipse:

• Dim the Lights: When the sky begins to grow dark, make sure to dim or turn your lights off. Light pollution will be a factor in the eclipse viewing experience. If your building or home has lights programmed to automatically trigger when the outdoor light gets below a certain level, take a little extra time to reprogram them for that day. The once in a lifetime view is well worth the effort. For commercial spaces, just make sure that there are no safety issues.

Many facility managers and building owners won’t have control over their building’s lights, but why not reach out and give a simple reminder of the eclipse and pass on the suggestion to hit the switch during the eclipse.  Also, if the lighting system is connected to a network, then facility managers that need to make any scheduling changes to accommodate this event can do it remotely in real time. 

And if you’re in a private office, at home, or braving the trip toward the path of totality, you can do your part and make sure any lights you can control get turned off and then step outside to an area with no or minimal light.  Watch out for those street lights.

• Get Outdoors: Even if we all can’t be in the line of totality, everyone in the U.S. will still be able to experience the solar eclipse. Just like with meteor showers and other astronomical events, the best place to be is in wide-open countryside. If possible, get out of the city where there are buildings and trees in the way of looking at the stars.

If you’re working that day, and don’t have the option to drive out of city limits, then check out any nearby rooftop decks, restaurants, or bars. Though they’ll be crowded, you’re going to have the best seat in the house if you can get above the skyline.

For those in charge of the rooftop decks, restaurants, and bars where people will be congregating, remember the above advice: any non-safety and non-code required lights can be considered for powering down during the few minutes the eclipse takes place.

• Protect your Eyes, and your Lenses…: We can’t offer eclipse advice without one of the most important reminders of all: do not look directly at the eclipse without eye protection.

While it may seem strange to use sun protection for your eyes as the sky gets darker, it is important to never look directly at the sun. Even if it is at 99 percent coverage from the moon. While it is technically safe to look at the eclipse during the full stage of totality, most experts highly advise against this as even a fraction of a second of viewing the sun can lead to permanent eye damage.

Seek out certified eclipse glasses if you intend to look directly at the eclipse. NASA says only four manufacturers have certified that their eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard: Rainbow Symphony, American Paper Optics, Thousand Oaks Optical, and TSE 17. Make sure your glasses are from one of these manufacturers and have the ISO 12312-2 certification on them.

Also remember that a solar eclipse can be extremely harmful to a camera lens. Specialized solar lenses can be purchased, depending on your camera or device. And no, an app on your phone won’t be enough. Just like your eyes, you need hardware to protect the lens.

For many people, this will be the one and only total solar eclipse they experience in their lifetime. Come prepared to any eclipse viewing sites or parties so you can enjoy the experience without worry.

And, as a final piece of advice, take some time to appreciate the sky above you even once the eclipse is done. Just as Legrand’s Wattstopper products helped the Grand Canyon South Rim Visitor Center dim their lights for stargazing, you too can take the above steps to reduce light pollution year-round to help everyone look up and appreciate the night sky.

About Legrand, North America

Legrand is a global specialist in electrical and digital building infrastructures. Its comprehensive offering of solutions for use in commercial, industrial and residential markets makes it a benchmark for customers worldwide. Innovation for a steady flow of new products with high added value is a prime vector for growth, including, in particular, connected devices stemming from Legrand’s global Eliot (Electricity and IoT) program. Legrand reported sales of $5.3 billion in 2016. Legrand has a strong presence in North and Central America, with a portfolio of well-known product lines that include C2G, Cablofil, Electrorack, Luxul, Middle Atlantic, Nuvo, OCL, On-Q, Ortronics, Pass & Seymour, Pinnacle, QMotion, Quiktron, Raritan, Solarfective, Vantage, Wattstopper, and Wiremold. Legrand is listed on Euronext Paris and is a component stock of indexes including the CAC40, FTSE4Good, MSCI World, ASPI, Corporate Oekom Rating and DJSI (ISIN code FR0010307819) www.legrand.us.

Media Contact:
Mary Placido,
Legrand Building Control Systems
(415) 218-3627 mary.placido@legrand.us