Drawing more than 16,000 visitors to the Las Vegas Convention Center, the 12th annual LightFair International 2001 conference, May 29-June 1, offered a parade of products suitable for every type of facility. Around the floor were many examples of equipment that can squeeze the most light out of every energy dollar without sacrificing looks, and ever-more intelligent dimming systems. At the same time, the power shortage woes will boost business for those electrical contractors who can apply the new technologies emerging in the lighting industry.

DIMMING SYSTEMS

Several manufacturers promoted new programmable dimming systems that offer contractors' customers better control over their lighting and potential energy savings. For instance, the LCD-based Viseo display lighting control unit by Lutron Electronics Co. Inc., Coopersburg, Pa., can program the firm's lighting control systems without the need for computers or other plug-in devices. It's ideal for applications that require multi-room lighting control such as ballrooms or conference centers. The unit has large buttons for ease of use.

Lutron also introduced the Digital microWATT system, which provides automated on/off light switching, full-range dimming capabilities, precise real-time monitoring of a building's entire lighting system and load shedding for peak demand reduction. The system can also enhance life safety concerns by integrating building lighting with the fire-alarm system.

Lightolier, Fall River, Mass., also added to its lighting controls offering with the introduction of its Addressable Track Module System (ATOM), which allows individual dimming and switching of track luminaires on the same or multiple circuits with incandescent lamps or the switching of fixtures with compact fluorescent or high-intensity discharge lamps. The ATOM module is installed between the track and track head and is activated with a laser or by remote control. The system provides up to seven programmable scenes, time delays, fading effects or cycle effects. (For more information on ATOM, see Product of the Month, page 1.)

Color Kinetics, Boston, has attracted lots of attention at the show in recent years for its innovative LED lighting products. At this year's LightFair, along with announcing a new LED that produces white light, the company rolled out its iPlayer 2, a lighting control that can store up to eight custom light shows. The device can be controlled by an optional controller keypad, Lutron's Grafik Eye, Homeworks Interactive or Radio RA products and standard contact-closure keypads.

Manufacturers of these dimming products now want a universal language that will allow products made by different manufacturers to speak with each other more easily. Osram Sylvania Inc., Danvers, Mass., is spearheading a new control language, DALI, or Digital Addressable Lighting Interface, which was first developed by lighting equipment manufacturers in Europe. The digital protocol (an open protocol) allows simplified control wiring that provides greater flexibility than traditional 0-10V analog systems. Additionally, two-way communication over a pair of low voltage wires provides opportunities for monitoring lighting systems with direct input from both ballasts and lamps. The company also introduced DALI dimming ballasts for its T8 32W and T5 28W and T5 HO 54W lamps.

For example, electronic circuitry allows the “soft start” of incandescent, fluorescent and HID lamps, thus extending the life of the filament or cathode. New electronic circuitry and material processing (quartz-pinching technology) and improved infrared reflection coatings that turn heat into light, offer the potential of nearly 40 lumens per watt efficacy for an incandescent lamp.

NEW LAMPS

Osram Sylvania showed the G9 Capsylite, a 2-in. by 0.5-in., 120V halogen incandescent lamp, with a snap-in base, suitable for unshielded fixtures. Using quartz pinching in the manufacturing process, the new lamp opens up a wide variety of new fixture possibilities that could replace MR-16 lamps.

GE Lighting, Cleveland, presented the Integral Electrical MR-16 lamp, which combines the advantages of low-voltage MR-16 lamps and the convenience of a screw-base by using a built-in transformer to convert from line voltage to 12V.

Continuous improvements in fluorescent lamps — barrier coatings, improvements in electrode design and electrode depletion and better management of mercury consumption — reap a higher color-rendering index and reduce the wattage of the popular 32W T8 linear lamp to 30W. At the same time, new ballast designs work as a system with specific lamps for optimum efficiencies. Examples are GE's T-8 Watt-Miser ULTRA System and Sylvania's Xtreme System. The T-8 linear lamp life, at three hours per start, is also stretched to 20,000 hours, and, in some cases, even to 30,000 hours.

Philips Lighting, Somerset, N.J., has the Alto Universal T-8 lamp that offers full-rated life on all T-8 ballast systems, and 33% longer life on instant-start ballasts than standard T-8 lamps. Another version, the Universal Advantage, includes a special phosphor for 95% lumen maintenance and 86 CRI.

Osram Sylvania's high-output OCTRON lamps, with 3,200 initial lumens, and an 86 CRI, offers 18,000-hour to 30,000-hour rated average life, depending on ballast used.

Similarly, improvements in layout and lead forming, higher quality parts, better managing of ripple currents and control of preheating allow compact fluorescent (CFL) lamps to come in a high-lumen package, such as GE's 57W (4,300 lumens) and 70W (5,100 lumens) triple-tube CFL that can be applied in high-bay industrial areas, retail ceiling, outdoor general lighting or arenas. Another notable example is the Philips PL-L 80W lamp, which offers 6,000 lumens and a CRI of 82.

Metal-halide lamps also boast design improvements. Ceramic arc tubes and smaller arc tube shapes provide better control of the metallic salts to deliver longer life and better color.

GE's Hi-Watt Ceramic metal-halide lamp has a CRI of up to 94 in 250W and 400W ratings for use in higher ceiling applications. Sylvania's True-Color Metalarc Ceramic pulse-start metal-halide lamp features a “bulgy” ceramic arc tube design for improved reliability and performance.

Philips' Master Color HPS-RetroWhite metal-halide lamp, in 250W and 400W ratings, operates on a high-pressure sodium ballast, so a simple lamp replacement brings improved color rendition.

Venture Lighting, Solon, Ohio, has the 125W Uni-form pulse start, a metal-halide lamp ballast system that offers 12,000 initial lumens, a rated life of 15,000 hours and a color temperature of 4,000K. Also available in a coated version, the system is designed for new and retrofit applications where energy consumption and lumen output are important considerations.

Attendees showed interest in light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and lamp makers are working hard to find the best way of producing high-output white light. Philips has the Lumeon Power Light Source, and Osram Sylvania offers complete modular solutions for this type of lighting, including SMD-mounted LEDs, secondary and tertiary optics and power supplies.

GELcore LLC, Valley View, Ohio, a joint venture of GE and Emcore Corp., showed a replacement for a 35W halogen lamp and a replacement for a low-wattage MR-16 lamp.

Control schemes received a lot of attention on the show floor, since they allow a facility to turn off lighting when not needed and to optimize the light level for various activities in a space.

LIGHTFAIR ANNOUNCES NEW PRODUCT SHOWCASE AWARDS

Lightfair International has announced the New Product Showcase Awards, Image Awards and best Booth awards winners. Lightfair's panel of judges picked the winnning products from the show's featured 526 exhibitors, which occupied more than 1,274 booths.

Winners of the New Product Showcase Awards

Best New Product of the Year Award and Best of Category Award for Components Category: Meso Optics by Ledalite Architectural Products

Design Excellence Award and Best of Category Award for Flood and Facade Lighting Category: Oculus by Architectural Area Lighting

Technical Innovation Award and Best of Category Award for Specialty Innovations Category: cl-200 Color Temp Meter by Minolta Corp.

Energy Award and Best of Category Award for Systems Category: Ergolight-Discus by Ledalite Architectural Products

Best of Category Award for Incandescent Lamps Category: Capsylite G9 120VHalogen Capsule Lamp by Osram Sylvania

Best of Category Award for Fluorescent Lamps Category: Octron XPS by Osram Sylvania

Best of Category Award for HID Lamps Category: MasterColor HPS Retro-White by Philips Lighting Co.

Best of Category Award for Specialty Lamps Category: The Luxeon line of Power Light Sources by Lumileds/Philips Lighting Co.

Best of Category Award for Downlights, Wallwashers & Accent Lights Category: Pro-Optic Firebox by Progress Lighting

Best of Category Award for Tracklighting, Low Voltage Cable and Rail Systems Category: Jilly Spotlight by ERCO Luechten GMBH

Best of Category Award for Troffers, Commercial Recessed and Surface Fixtures Category: Cubetto by Zaneen Lighting

Best of Category Award for Suspended Direct and Indirect Pendants Category: Eins Collection Pendant by Transnational Enterprises

Best of Category Award for Decorative Sconces, Chandeliers, Ceiling, Table and Task Lamps Category: Link by Zaneen Lighting

Best of Category Award for Site and Roadway Lighting Category: LCD Series by Teka Illuminination Inc.

Best of Category Award for Landscape and Fountain Lighting Category: “Stealth” Steplight by Lucifer Lighting Co.

Best of Category Award for Fiber-Optic and Remote Source Lighting Category: Fiberstars Underground by Fiberstars Inc.

Best of Category Award for Vandal Resistant and Industrial Specialty Lighting Category: Occu-Smart Stair Safe by LaMar Lighting

Best of Category Award for Exit Signs and Emergency Lighting Category: Orientation Luminaires with High Protection Mode by ERCO Leuchten GMBH

Best of Category Award for Controls Category: Handshake Portable Lighting Control by High End Systems Inc.

Best of Category Award for Research, Publications and Software Category: AGI32 version 1.4 by Lighting Analysts Inc.

Best of Category Award for Ballast and Transformers Category: Power-Select Electronic Metal Halide Ballast by Reliable Ballast Inc.

Winners of the Image Awards

Attendance Promotion/Direct Mail (single piece): Lucifer Lighting, booth size: 300-400 sq ft

Attendance Promotion Campaign (single piece): Electronic Theater Controls Inc., booth size: 700 sq ft and larger.

Attendance Promotion Campaign (multiple pieces): Color Kinetics, booth size: 300-400 sq ft

The two award winners for the On-site Promotional Giveaway were: Philips Lighting Co., booth size: 700 sq ft and larger and Prescolite, booth size: 500-600 sq ft

Winners of the Best Booth Awards

600 sq ft and larger: Louis Poulsen Lighting
400 to 600 sq ft: ERCO Leuchten GmBH
300 to 400 sq ft: Intrepid Lighting
100 to 200 sq ft: Stonelight Works

Next year's Lightfair Show is scheduled for June 2 through June 5 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. For more information, see the Lightfair Web site at www.lightfair.com or call (404) 220-2217.