Lighting professionals from around the globe viewed the latest products and newest technologies at Lightfair International 2007, held May 6-10 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York. Sponsored by the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) and the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD), the event drew more than 21,000 attendees and exhibitors, making this year's event the largest showing in the trade show's 18-year history.

This annual gathering for the architectural and commercial lighting industry offered 72 educational seminars on subjects ranging from lighting software and applications to business and lighting fundamentals and design innovations.

Because lighting designers and specifiers are among the professionals charged with creating “green” buildings in a collaborative effort, the term “sustainable lighting design” was heard frequently at this year's event. The U.S. Green Building Council administers the influential Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system, which includes several points pertaining directly to lighting design. This includes goals for minimizing light pollution, maximizing daylighting, and reducing energy use. To address these issues, Lightfair presented 12 workshops and two seminars on daylighting as it relates to other lighting design subjects.

In the light of day

When daylighting becomes integral to a structure, the lighting designer has a voice in the building's orientation, window design, interior space configuration, and interior finish selection. The Daylighting Pavilion included exhibitors such as Ciralight, manufacturer of SunTrackerOne — a 4-foot-long by 4-foot-wide by 2-foot-high skylight. A solar-powered cell and controller drive a three-mirror array inside the unit's clear acrylic dome. A programmable microprocessor accounts for time of day, time of year, and the building's latitude and longitude. This microprocessor signals the motor to adjust the mirrors every 10 minutes, thus tracking the sun across the sky. Designed primarily for buildings with flat roofs, these light-gathering devices allow electric lighting to be curtailed during the day.

Installing a daylight component in a building also allows the Lutron Grafik Eye GS to operate both lighting scenes and individual fixtures. It also incorporates an optional column of buttons that lets users control shades independently of lights while providing power and communications for occupancy sensors.

For buildings that receive a large amount of daylight, EnOcean's Wireless Powerless daylight harvesting control for offices and classrooms can easily be retrofitted to a 20A load.

Schneider Electric's new Square D Clipsal Area Lighting Panel offers a convenient way to realize daylight-harvesting schemes in an individual conference room or suite within a commercial building. The lighting panel can be used as a standalone system or connected to a larger network. A Cat. 5 UTP cable allows integration of light level detection, occupancy detection, keypads, and switching. The firm's two-channel digital addressable lighting interface (DALI) gateway adds convenience by permitting control of DALI dimmable ballasts through a building control network.

Because sustainable design and the LEED system value the use of recycled and recyclable materials, many exhibits promoted the use of low mercury-content lamps, packaging reduction techniques, and pollution prevention measures.

Fluorescent lamps/luminaires

Fluorescent lighting continues to improve in energy efficiency, useful life, mercury reduction, and color-rendering characteristics, with features to satisfy any application. Lamp manufacturers are offering T8 lamps with 30,000 to 36,000 hours for instant-start ballasts (on a 3-hour cycle) from the previous 20,000-hour life. Program Rapid Start (PRS) ballasts allow up to a 46,000-hour life (on a 12-hour cycle) due to “soft starting” of the lamp.

Amalgam technology is now available in T5HO as well as compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), allowing a broad array of lamps to have consistent light output over a wide ambient temperature range. These luminaires are a good choice for outdoor applications and extreme temperatures, including parking decks, warehouse, and high-bay manufacturing areas.

DOE legislation has a goal of transforming the linear fluorescent market from magnetic T12 to electronic T8 ballasts. After July 1, 2010, ballast manufacturers will no longer be able to sell luminaires that include non-compliant (magnetic) ballasts. Furthermore, the DOE is looking at dimming ballasts and fluorescent ballast bi-level load-shedding technology operating via utility power line control. The bi-level ballasts — whose use is intended to shave peak loads and avoid brownouts in major metropolitan areas — can reduce load by 30%, and the imposed reductions would apply for a maximum of 200 hours per year.

In addition, Osram Sylvania unveiled its Quicktronic electronic dimming ballast for T5 and T8 lamps. Operating on a standard 0VDC to 10VDC control circuit or 2-wire power line control, the ballast features lamp detection technology to provide uniform output throughout the dimming process. A power line carrier signal receiver in the ballast provides automatic dimming in response to a load shed alert from a utility system operator. Typically, communication is via the Internet to the lighting distribution panel, where the power line signal is distributed over branch circuits to individual ballasts. Moreover, the Quicktronic QHE compact fluorescent system operates Dulux L 28W fluorescent lamps, providing energy savings of up to 6% over a standard system.

The General Electric (GE) Ultra-Start WattMiser T5 fluorescent lamp/ballast system offers high ambient temperature output while providing 5,000 initial lumens, parallel lamp operation, and a 30,000-hour rated life at 12 hours per start. Bi-level switching is also provided.

Alto II T8 fluorescent lamps from Philips Lighting have reduced the mercury content by 50%, from the previous level of 3.5 milligrams to 1.7 milligrams, without compromising lamp performance or life.

Numerous manufacturers featured softly balanced, visually comfortable illumination in recessed 2×2 and 2×4 linear fluorescent fixtures, which can help designers achieve LEED certification. For example, the Lightolier HP 90 line of recessed fluorescent luminaires for 28W T8 lamps fits both standard and slot grid suspended ceilings, while providing step dimming and daylight dimming.

HID lamps/luminaires

The EPACT 2005 legislation addresses mercury vapor (MV) ballasts; thus, magnetic MV ballasts cannot be manufactured or imported into the United States after Jan. 1, 2008. At the state level, the California Energy Commission (Title 20) states that, as of Jan. 1, 2008, all 150W to 500W luminaires shall not contain a probe-start, metal-halide (MH) ballast. Consequently, any ballast type used must have a minimum efficiency of 88% — with a few exceptions. Arizona, Maine, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington have similar regulations slated to go into effect in 2008 and 2009.

Looking to the future, users will be able to select from a quartz or ceramic arc tube, pulse-start, MH lamp to achieve the performance and energy savings they desire. Users of quartz MH products will choose from horizontal and universal-burning pulse-start MH lamps in 175W to 450W ratings, with efficacies up to 70 lumens per watt, a CRI up to 96, and a useful life up to 20,000 hours. A subset of the quartz body lamp is the slightly more expensive ceramic lamp, which offers very high color rendering and minimum color variation over an operating life that will soon eclipse 20,000 hours. Ceramic MH lamps are suitable replacements for tungsten halogen lamps in display and accent lighting. Watch for ceramic products with integral reflectors, improved and unique base styles for enhanced optical control, and an integrated lamp/ballast unit as a tungsten halogen lamp replacement.

GE displayed the most extensive range of 20W ceramic MH lamps. The GU6.5 versions will be re-rated to between an 11,000-hour and 12,000-hour life. New models of the 39W in spot and flood versions also are available.

Philips Lighting introduced its CosmoWhite MH lamp in 60W, 90W, and 140W sizes, which uses an electronic ballast and special socket, and is designed to replace MV, HPS, and quartz MH sources in outdoor lighting applications. The system provides a 2,800K white light and color-rendering index (CRI) of 70 for improved nighttime visibility.

The progression toward electronic ballasts for ceramic MH lamps is because electronic ballasts have less ballast losses, which permits substantially more fixtures per circuit. Furthermore, the lighter weight and smaller size of these ballasts allows for miniaturized fixtures. For example, the Advance e-Vision Mini 20W ballast, which is 4 inches wide, can deliver lamp wattage regulation that reduces lamp-to-lamp color variations.

Incandescent fixtures

Although the newer low-wattage ceramic MH sources are welcome additions to the lineup of display lighting sources, tungsten-halogen lamps that redirect infrared energy back to the filament still have a place in accent lighting. GE's HIR Plus in 45W, 48W, 54W, 60W, 67W, and 83W spots and flood designs is designed to replace higher-wattage standard PAR 38 lamps, while offering up to a 54% reduction in energy costs and a 4,200-hour life.

LEDs

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) continue to make inroads into the traditional lighting market. Many fixtures displayed at the show boasted a new level of maturity in design and application. Benefits offered by these tiny chips include long life, ruggedness, ease of dimming, and decreased hazardous material content. However, because the light comes from solid-state materials, such as aluminum gallium arsenide, users must learn about new subjects, including power supplies (or drivers), junction temperature, thermal management, chromaticity, and binning. Hence, the expected release of the DOE Commercial Product Testing Program will see the emergence of LED performance standards and test methods intended to reduce confusion in the selection of LED products.

Lightfair goers were also interested in high brightness (HB) white LEDs, as evidenced by their constantly growing market segment. By 2011, these products are projected to encompass 60% of a $1 billion market, compared with 43% of a $205 million market in 2006.

High brightness, white LEDs are usually divided into two classes based on their apparent color temperature (Kelvin): cool white and warm white — with the cool-white type having a higher lumen per watt efficiency (suitable for exterior applications) than the warm-white versions.

LEDs incorporated into fixture types or major components include:

  • Philips Lighting expanded its palette of specialized LED sourced fixtures with a number of products, including a low-bay unit for parking garages, a floodlight for exterior spot and floodlighting, and an indoor/outdoor luminaire suitable for grazing, backlight cove lighting, and wall wash applications.

  • Lightolier displayed an array of LED products from color-changing wall wash units to recessed downlights to track accent fixtures and under-cabinet lighting.

  • Cooper Lighting introduced the Circadian Series, a family of LED nightlights and chart/reading for a variety of applications, including health care, hospitality, and senior living facilities.

  • The Jesco Lighting Group presented some of its 250 indoor and outdoor fixtures, focusing on high-end residential and light commercial applications. The fixtures, transformers, drives, and wiring harnesses are all UL-listed.

  • Beta-Kramer Lighting's area luminaire, called “The Edge,” has up to 10 light bar modules, each consisting of 20 LEDs with 70 lumens per watt output and integral optics to achieve roadway-type light distribution. The luminaries' slim body minimizes wind load requirements.

  • Dialight featured Safesite, a prototype Class I, Division 2 LED downlight that provides approximately 4,500 total lumens while using only 95W, thereby replacing a 175W MH explosion-proof fixture. Weighing 19 pounds, the T4A rated fixture uses proprietary optics to achieve the desired light distribution. Applications include refineries, oil platforms, or similar hazardous locations.

  • LED Lighting Fixtures' LR6 downlight provides 650 lumens yet consumes only 11W, and is designed to replace a 75W incandescent recessed fixture. With year-round use, the energy consumption of the fixture would be 95 kilowatt-hours compared to 522 kilowatt-hours, resulting in a $40 annual savings, while offering a 12- to 18-month payback period.

  • Traditionally, the industry produces white light by either coating a blue LED with YAG phosphor or by combining the output of a red, green, and blue LED. LED Lighting Fixtures, however, introduced its patented method for creating white light. The company also displayed a prototype 2-foot by 2-foot architectural luminaire that produces 3,500 lumens and is intended as a replacement for existing fluorescent troffers.


Sidebar: Don't Ban the Bulb!

The humble incandescent lamp, which has brightened our lives for more than a century, is apparently in disfavor. Approximately 4-billion screw-in Edison sockets throughout America hold these bulbs, which burn up about $15 billion in energy each year. Replacing them with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) would slice that total in half because the CFL is more than twice as efficient in producing lumens, as many recent reports proclaim. However, some important facts relating to the environment have been overlooked in this rush to judgment, such as disposing of tons of mercury from the tiny fluorescents.

Just in time, GE announced its intent to market a so-called high-efficiency incandescent (or HEI) source in 2010. According to GE, the HEI will have a different filament. In addition, the bulb will be comparable to CFLs in efficiency yet more economical, while matching the illumination quality of the traditional incandescent source. The initial goal is a 30 lumens-per-watt bulb by 2010 and a 60 lumens-per-watt bulb by 2012.