Although blackouts have been a recent problem in the Golden State, San Francisco’s Moscone Center was a bright light in the region a few weeks ago, thanks in part to Lightfair International 2002. More than 14,600 lighting architects, designers, engineers, and end-users from around the world were on hand to preview thousands of products offered by more than 550 exhibiting companies. As energy and sustainability issues have become increasingly important in the lighting world, lamp and ballast choices now center around incandescent-halogen or halogen infrared (HIR) lamps, T8 and T5 linear fluorescent lamps, CFLs, and second-generation, pulse-start metal halide lamps. These sources and electronics-based controls and ballasts were among the biggest attention getters June 3 to 5 at the show.

New technology receiving a lot of attention from show attendees included solid-state light sources like LEDs and the further development of the digital addressable lighting interface (DALI), a communications protocol for lighting control currently under development as an open standard.

Solid-state lighting. A number of exhibitors, including Cooper Lighting, showed traffic signals and other LED-powered fixtures for specific applications, such as step lights or in-ground patio uplights. Here, the long-life and ruggedness of LEDs can be put to good use. Many at the show considered LumiLeds’ Luxeon Star 5W to be the most powerful solid-state light source currently available because it generates the highest possible flux density (lumen/mm2) in a white light source and produces a flux of 100W.

In a pre-show seminar, Jim George of Permlight, Tustin, Calif., said the definition of an LED varies depending on whom you ask. “We need to get hold of this as a group so we can bring this science into practical applications,” he said. “The solid-state industry uses two colormetric terms of ‘dominant wavelength’ and ‘purity’ to classify LEDs, which are not part of the lighting industry vocabulary. In addition, LEDs are just a component of a larger, evolving solid-state light source industry that has a different starting point than our lighting industry.”

The future of solid-state lighting will be directed somewhat by the Next Generation Lighting Industry (NGLI), a $5 billion proposal from the U.S. Deptarment of Energy. The House and Senate have two separate bills concerning the NGLI that are expected be consolidated into a single bill by a joint committee and presented for final passage and funding later this year.

Digital Addressable Lighting Interface (DALI). Already used in Europe, DALI-enabled wall controllers and ballasts supporting this communications protocol were shown at a number of booths, and they’re making inroads into the domestic market as evidenced by the list of manufacturers that support the technology, including Hunt, Leviton, the Watt Stopper, Universal Ballasts, Osram Sylvania, and Philips.

For the first time, the Judges Citation Award went to two products, both DALI enabled: Starfield Controls, Inc.’s, Louisville, Colo., line of wall box controllers and Tridonic, Inc.’s, Norcross, Ga., PCX Excel ballast, which serves two 26W CFLs. This strengthens the idea that DALI could revolutionize lighting controls in a few years, allowing simplified dimming of fluorescent ballasts and easy monitoring and control of every type of light source and other powered devices, such as window draperies and shades.

Product highlights. As is usually the case, new products took center stage at Lightfair this year, and the spotlight was trained on the Product Showcase Award winners. Cooper Lighting went home the big winner as its Lumiere Monaco 2002 took the prize for Best New Product of the Year. The winners in 17 other categories can be found here. The award winners weren’t the only ones who made a good showing in San Francisco, though. The following products were some of the most eye-catching at the show.

  • The SPXX from GE Lighting, Cleveland, is a 350W ceramic metal-halide lamp with a 92 CRI, 80% lumen maintenance, and 35,000 initial lumens, making it ideal for compact fixtures in display applications. The company’s Diamond Precise line offers the same concentrated beam as a low-voltage source in a line-voltage screw-in lamp, using an integral transformer. With a 21W rating and 5,000 hr life, the lamp provides 250 lumens. In addition, the company’s Silv-Ir lamp, rated at 4000 hrs, has a silverized reflector and a rugged filament, helping to reduce maintenance.

  • The Octron XPS Ecologic high-lumen T8 U-lamp from Osram/Sylvania, Danvers, Mass. offers 3,000 initial lumens, 85 CRI, and up to a 30,000-hr life when matched with a PSX ballast for 2X2 fluorescent fixtures. The company’s Quicktronic DALI ballasts for T8 and T5 lamps are suited for daylight harvesting and energy management as well as architectural dimming. The company also has a line of LED modules, called Backlight, Effectlight, Linearlight, and Markerlight, with circular, rectangular, and square designs.

  • The MasterColor T6 single-ended CDM metal halide lamp from Philips Lighting, Somerset, N.J., is available in 35W and 70W ratings and designed for use in compact accent and retail display fixtures. With a color temperature of 3000k and a CRI of 83, the lamp-to-lamp color consistency of this new source is very high. A 65W incandescent halogen reflector lamp with a 3,000-hr life can replace other reflector lamp types.

  • Universal Lighting Technologies’, Nashville, Tenn., line of Triad T8 low-profile electronic ballasts operates standard or high efficiency T8 lamps and is available with a 0.78 or 0.88 ballast factor and <10% THD. This company’s line of compact fluorescent electronic ballasts range from 13W to 70W, provide universal input voltage (108V to 305V) and operate on programmed rapid start technology. Its low profile ballasts serve 14W to 54W T5 and T5/HO lamps and are available for 347V applications.

  • The Optanium line of electronic ballasts, dimming ballasts for T5/HO lamps, and Matchbox line of miniaturized electronic ballasts from Advance Transformer Co., Rosemont, Ill., fit a variety of 4-pin CFLs and T5 diameter fluorescent lamps. The company also introduced its Xitanium line of drivers for LED light sources.

  • The Cold-Pak low-temperature fluorescent emergency ballast from Bodine, Collierville, Tenn. can withstand temperatures from –20°C to +55°C, making it suitable for cold storage facilities, exterior stairways, and parking garages.

  • Lutron Electronics, Coopersburg, Pa., promoted architectural dimming for T4 4-pin compact fluorescent lamps for a variety of locations, such as boardrooms, restaurants, patient rooms in hospitals, and partitioned spaces/ballrooms. The company shared its research on light perception through display charts, which indicated that a 1% light level is perceived as 10% by the human eye. It also introduced Faedra, a single-gang box dimmer, which allows multiple location dimming, user present light levels, variable fade time, and tap-on/off operation. The Sivola motorized drapery system allows automatic window shade operation, which is appropriate in commercial and industrial facilities for cutting glare and permitting daylight harvesting techniques.

  • The PerfLyte line of fluorescent fixtures from Lightolier, Fall River, Mass., can be pendant- or wall-mounted. Models are available in a variety of direct and direct/indirect distributions for T8, T5, and Biax lamps.

  • The performance series FNPV enclosed and gasketed fluorescent fixture from Hubble Lighting, Orange, Conn., holds T8 and T12 lamps in 2-ft, 4-ft, and 8-ft housing lengths. The luminaire is suitable for 25C operation.

  • Garden City, N.Y.-based WAC Lighting’s new line of metal-halide track heads serve 20W to 100W metal halide lamps. The company also presented its 009L framing projector track head that creates a rectangular or square area of light.

  • A unique two-piece, quick-release fixture mounting system offered by Accessmount LLC, Twinburg, Ohio, uses magnets for placement and clips for securing lighting fixtures as heavy as 15 lb. Concentric rings provide electrical contact in any orientation. A pole with two-pronged a handle at one end allows fixture removal without the use of a ladder.

Next year’s event will take place May 5 to 8 in New York City at the Jacob Javits Convention Center.