Solid-state LED lamps, a communications protocol for lighting control and evermore efficient T8 and T5 fluorescent and incandescent/halogen or halogen infrared (HIR) lamps attracted the most attention at this year's LightFair conference, June 3-5, at San Francisco's Moscone Center. The event, which smashed attendance records by attracting 14,633 lighting professionals and 553 exhibiting manufacturers, is the lighting industry's largest annual gathering of the clan.

Winning LightFair's “2002 Best New Product of the Year” was Cooper Lighting's Lumière Monaco series, which features the Monaco 2002 T4 Area and Accent landscape luminaire. Powered by HID lamps, these specification-grade fixtures are designed to give designers smaller, more durable and better-performing fixture choices for outdoor architectural and landscape lighting designs.

LightFair attendees were also very interested in the new light-emitting diode (LED) lamps on display at the show because of their extraordinary life span (100,000-plus hours) and increasing range of colors.

A number of exhibitors, including Cooper Lighting, Peachtree, Ga., showed traffic signals and other LED-powered fixtures for specific applications, such as step lights or in-ground patio uplights.

The Luxeon Star 5-Watt, from LumiLeds Lighting, won a “Best of Category” award in LightFair's annual New Product Showcase awards. The lamp, which provides up to 60 times the output of competitive devices, is said to greatly expand the types of light fixtures and luminaires that can benefit from the small size and long life of LED lamps.

The Tetra channel lighting system, made by GELcore, Valley View, Ohio, is currently the only UL-listed LED system for signage applications. The Tetra offers the signage market a low-voltage, new alternative to neon that is equivalent in brightness, yet significantly reduces energy and maintenance costs.

The iColor Accent intelligent LED luminaire by Color Kinetics, Boston, Mass., won the Roeder Award in the New Product Showcase for overall design excellence. The iColor Accent marries Color Kinetics' intelligent digital control with the latest LED advancements in an affordable, low-voltage indoor/outdoor direct-view linear light. It offers designers and architects a low-maintenance option for incorporating colored lighting and color changing effects in direct-view applications.

The future of LED lighting may get a boost from the Next Generation Lighting Industry (NGLI) project, a $5 billion proposal of the U.S. Dept. of Energy. The House and Senate have two separate bills covering NGLI, and are expected to be consolidated into a single bill by a joint committee and presented for final passage and funding later this year.

Another cluster of electronic lighting products on the show floor are using the Digital Addressable Lighting Interface (DALI), a communications protocol currently under development as an open standard. Already used in Europe, DALI-enabled wall controllers and ballasts supporting this communications protocol were shown at a number of booths. DALI-enabled products are now available from Hunt Dimming, Fort Collins, Colo.; Leviton Manufacturing Co., Little Neck, N.Y.; Watt Stopper, Santa Clara, Calif.; Universal Lighting Technologies, Nashville, Tenn.; Osram Sylvania, Inc., Danvers, Mass.; and Philips Lighting Co., Somerset, N.J. Two DALI-enabled products won the New Product Showcase's Judges Citation Award: A wall-box controller line from Starfield Controls Inc., Louisville, Colo., and the PCX Excel ballast, which serves two 26W CFLs, from Tridonic Inc., Norcross, Ga.