If the idea of losing your shirt at the black jack table isn't enough to get you to Las Vegas, Lightfair 2001 should be.

Power shortages continue to be a hot topic for anyone involved with energy supply, and the lighting industry is no exception. More than 17,000 architects, engineers, and other industry professionals will gather in Las Vegas from May 29 to June 1 to check out the latest in energy-saving lamps, fixtures, and control systems at Lightfair 2001.

In particular, visitors will be looking at more fluorescent ballast lines with “program-start” features. Program start provides a delay before energizing the lamps (similar to a rapid-start ballast) thus allowing you to use an occupancy-sensor type of control. The features eliminate concern for lamp life, because they reduce ON/OFF operation. It also increases lamp life compared to the instant-start electronic ballast.

Another new technology expected to get a lot of attention is end-of-life circuitry, which cuts power to the lamp leads when the ballast detects a burned out fluorescent lamp. The feature is becoming standard equipment for all lamps with T5 diameters (.625 in.) and smaller.

Fixture manufacturers will be showing suspended fluorescent units for T5 linear lamps as a high-performance alternative to T12 and T8 systems. All three major lamp makers offer the T5 lamp in nominal 2-ft, 3-ft, 4-ft, and 5-ft lengths, in both standard and high-output HO models. The T5 HO fluorescent system is increasingly popular, because it permits a shallow indirect fixture to provide a high lumen output. According to Phillips Lighting, Somerset, N.J., the lamp's phosphor has a 5% efficacy increase over the T8 lamp, and it has a lumen maintenance of 97%. Osram/Sylvania's, Danvers, Mass., entry in this category can match the lumen output of typical T12 and T8 systems, while using half as many lamps.

The biggest news in the metal halide (M-H) lamp market continues to be the pulse-start design for lamp and ballast, which provides a number of advantages, including faster warm-up to full brightness, faster restrike time if interrupted while hot, and improved color uniformity over a standard probe-start M-H lamp.

Depending on the wattage, pulse start lamps can provide either substantially lower energy costs with equal or better light levels compared to a probe-start metal halide lamp, or a substantially higher light level per watt with moderate energy savings. In new construction, fewer fixtures are necessary for the same light level.

Staying connected with other members of the industry is important, but checking out the new products is the real reason for coming to a trade show. The following new products are a few of those that will appear at the show.

GE Lighting's, Cleveland, line of StayBright M-H lamps provide “pulse-start” performance on standard CW/CWA ballasts, eliminating the need for a new ignitor system or a new fixture. The 750W PulseArc M-H lamp is a replacement for higher wattage lamps.

Advance Transformer offers a full range of ballasts for pulse-start M-H lamps with wattage ratings extending up to 750W and 1000W M-H lamps.

MagneTek, Nashville, Tenn., has a line of universal input voltage, low-profile AccuStat ballasts for frequency switched fluorescent applications. The company also has an expanded line of high-wattage ballasts for compact fluorescent lamps that extend lamp life.

Lithonia Lighting, Conyers, Ga., will show its specification grade SP8 fluorescent troffer for both horizontal and vertical tasks. The troffer uses a patent-pending lens design that creates uniform illumination over the lens face, and excellent light distribution from the three T8 fluorescent lamps.

Day-Bright Lighting, Tupelo, Miss., offers the Sealsafe HID line with a sealed optical chamber that keeps out dust in an industrial environment.

Under the Metalux label, Cooper Lighting, Elk Grove Village, Ill., has a line of T5 luminaires suitable for surface mounting, walls washing, coves, valances and soffits.

Osram/Sylvania will show its Quicktronic T5 HO dimming ballast and Quicktronic universal voltage compact fluorescent system.

Leviton Mfg. Co., Bothel, Wash., will show a number of control lines for residential applications. Its traditional lighting package consists of toggle style dimmers and illuminated toggle switches.

Lutron's, Coopersburg, Pa., Ariandi preset dimmer has a slide control and a toggle switch to turn the lighting on at the preset level.

Lightolier's, Fall River, Mass., Brillance II whole-house lighting control system is now available in a version for existing homes using power line carrier signal transmission. The Compose PLC retrofit multiscene/multiroom professional lighting system uses the CEBus control protocol.

The Watt Stopper's, Plano, TX, AS-110 automatic control switch plays a dual role with lighting control panels, occupancy sensors, and other control systems. It provides automatic facility-wide lighting control while still retaining local control at the wall switch.

Holophane, Newark, Ohio, will exhibit an accessory the company says will reduce the potential for nonpassive end-of-life on continuously operating M-H lamps. The HALT automatic lamp timeout device deactivates the lamp for a 15-min period each week, which is a recommended procedure.

WAC Lighting, Garden City, N.Y., will show a line of multiple recessed spots in both square and rectangular-shaped housing. The housing (for one, two, or three, lamps) accepts MR-16, AR-111, PAR-36 and PAR-38 bulbs. The unit features gimbal ring trims that can be adjusted 360° for a range of applications that includes downlighting and wall-washing.

Exhibit visitors will be able to inspect fixtures using General Electric's new line of 24V tungsten-halogen lamps, which include 35W and 50W MR 16, 35W MR11, 20W G4 bipin capsules, and 5W and 10W wedge-based miniature lamps.

Rising energy costs are making it important for everyone in the electrical industry to stay ahead of the power conservation curve, and lighting professionals are no exception. If the prospect of losing your kids' college fund at the black jack table isn't enough to get you to Las Vegas, the information and product exhibitons at Lightfair 2001 should be.