Lightfair International 2008: Field Report

Lightfair International 2008: Field Report

The environment, quality of life, and legislation were recurring themes at the 2008 Lightfair International.

Three concepts dominated this year's Lightfair International show, held at the Las Vegas Convention Center May 26-30. The environment (energy cost trimming, utility demand reduction needs, and minimizing hazardous substances in products), quality of life (design/aesthetics, including daylighting, versatile lighting control, human health, and security), and legislation (efficiency standards and disposal) were recurring themes at the 2008 event.

As an example, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 created higher lamp efficiency standards for the 40W to 100W incandescent and halogen general service lamps. Starting Jan. 1, 2012, 100W lamps will have to become 30% more efficient. By 2013-14, 75W lamps and 40W and 60W lamps must follow the same efficiency route, respectively.

CFL and LED developments

A number of reduced-profile compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) seen at Lightfair can respond to this challenge. Contrary to the reports of their demise, incandescent technology will still be a choice. For example, Philips' Halogena lamps, made in 40W, 50W, and 70W sizes, can be used as a direct replacement for existing 60W, 75W, and 100W incandescent lamps, respectively — providing about 30% energy savings at nearly a 10% output reduction. General Electric's line of HIR (infrared reflecting) lamps can replace higher wattage standard PAR 38 lamps. In one case a 48W lamp delivers more lumens than a 75W halogen. In addition, Advanced Lighting Technology's recent acquisition of the lighting technology division of Schott AG, Auer Lighting, allows new Nano Film Capsule technology to be applied to a hybrid incandescent lamp that claims to have twice the efficiency of a standard incandescent.

Not to be left behind by the CFL push, the benefits of durability and maintainability inherent in light-emitting diode (LED) light sources were seen in a great majority of booths displaying both lamps and fixtures. Because these tiny chips have uses beyond specialized applications, such as “architainment,” a host of interior downlights, accent luminaires, and cove lighting strips offering improved lumen efficiency, more stable color, and warm color temperatures were on display.

Since an LED generates less than half the heat of an incandescent but twice that of a fluorescent lamp, Nexxus and Kramer/Beta/Rudd are using heat pipes (developed by NASA) rather than the larger and heavier finned aluminum heat sinks to withdraw heat from the LED die in recessed fixtures.

Because everyone is looking for meaningful LED performance criteria, the DOE has selected 13 solid-state lighting (SSL) research and developments projects to receive up to $20.6 million in funding to assist in developing general lighting applications. Among the firms selected are: Cree, General Electric, Osram Sylvania Development, and Philips Lumiled Lighting, all of which showed breakthrough products at the show.

Exterior street and parking lot/garage lighting seems to be the first wide application of LEDs in the general lighting market, because these low-profile luminaires use cool white LED sources (from 4,000 to 6,000K, with higher efficiency than warm white sources), and the operating life of five to seven years means maintenance and energy costs are much lower than the HID family. Additional features are: maintained light levels with wide temperature gradients and individual LED lenses with a highly directional beam pattern for excellent uniformity, cutoff characteristics, and enhanced vertical light levels.

General Electric Lighting Systems' 215 W Sitelighter outdoor luminaire can replace a 400W metal-halide source, and its 50,000-hour projected life compares with a 20,000-hour life and a 14,000-hour recommended relamp interval for the metal-halide system. Beta/Rudd Lighting also has a line of LED exterior fixtures for roadway, walkways, and parking garages that is available with various IES roadway lighting distribution patterns. Holophane's LED fixture mounts atop a 50-foot pole, and elumen [a Canadian firm] also has a line of LED luminaires for street and area lighting.

In keeping with energy codes calling for lighting energy reduction, daylight harvesting, and provisions for demand response, a variety of addressable controllable ballasts, architectural control systems, and electrical distribution panel products were displayed.


Sylvania offers T5 and T8 dimming ballasts that accept 0-10VDC control as well as a 2-wire power line dimming command and a PowerSHED demand response 3-lamp ballast that is served by a shared multi-circuit power line communications injector to instantly shed up to 33% of the load upon command. Nearly every state has a demand-response (DR) program in place now or under consideration.

GE's program-start UltraStart Watt-Miser T5 system delivers numerous performance advantages for commercial and industrial facilities; the system for high-bay applications has a 90°C ballast case rating and delivers 93 lumens per watt.

Philips' Advance division participates in the new NEMA-Premium Ballast program with either instant-start or program-start fixed-output models for 32W T8 lamps. The criteria for these premium lamp/ballasts units include: energy savings (minimum initial lumens greater than 3,100), high maintained lumens (a lumen maintenance of greater than 94% or minimum mean lumens of more than 2,900 lumens), reduced maintenance and disposal costs (more than 24,000-hr life at three hours/start), and a high color rendering index (at least an 81 CRI). Advance also has new ROVR DALI-compliant, digital addressable-controllable ballast lines to serve both T5 and T8 lamps.

Universal Lighting Technologies introduced its DEMANDflex ballasts at the show, which feature wireless transmission of commands. Power output can be can be set at the circuit level for maximum energy savings.

Bodine's B4CF3 emergency ballast for compact lamps has a reduced size of 6 inches by 5.5 inches by 1.62 inches and operates from -4°F to 131°F.


The Square D Clipsal Ethernet Network Interface Unit allows remote access to the firm's lighting control network in a commercial building. Designed for use in both offices and homes, the Clipsal Pascal Automation Controller allows operation of third-party products from keypads and touch screens.

Square D's new acquisition, Viewpoint Electronics, offers occupancy sensing/motion control for industrial lighting, with a key feature being the interconnection of multiple high bay/aisleway fixtures with a plastic optical fiber cable as a signaling/control circuit.

Cooper Controls Ltd. introduced iLumin, an architectural control system that responds to today's green market trends and more stringent energy codes, incorporating features such as real-time energy metering and Ethernet connections.

Watt Stopper/Legrand introduced its fixture-mounted FD301 dimming photo sensor for use with 0-10VDC controlled ballasts; commissioning adjustments are made using a handheld remote control device when installation is completed.

Combining bi-level powering with infrared and ultrasonic sensing for accurate occupancy detection, Leviton's ODDMD line of dual-relay wall switch/sensors handles incandescent, fluorescent, and low-voltage lighting.

Lutron's EcoSystem software for fluorescent lighting control and its Sivoia QED shading system permits maximizing both daylight and electric light in a building, and the system features a demand load shed function.

In general, occupancy, daylight-based, and time-based control can be easily integrated with manual wall switching using today's products.


In terms of ecological benefit, the Philips' second generation Alto II fluorescent lamp line reduced its mercury content to only 1.7 mg. The Sylvania T8 series, the Ecologic 3 family, is rated for 36,000 hours operation, at 12 hours per start, and is RoHS compliant.

Ceramic metal-halide arc tube technology continues to improve, allowing discharge lamps to deliver more lumens with a longer life and better color consistency in any burning position. Sylvania has a line of Metalarc Powerball EL PAR lamps from 20W to 150W ratings, which are ideal for open recessed cans or track lighting fixtures; Philips has the Master Color CDM Elite MW lighting system in 210W to 315 W ratings; and GE has its Ultra 70-WG8.5 lamp and G12 lamp for retail and other applications.


Fixtures continue to evolve in response to market needs. Hubbell's DualLight PG series of wall packs uses the LED source for outdoor emergency lighting along egress paths and perimeter walkways. For shallow and cluttered plenums, Cooper's Corelite Class R Ultra Shallow Recessed series requires half the space of traditional lay-ins; Lightolier has similar models.

Part of Lithonia Lighting's Relight solution for retrofitting existing lighting systems, the RT 5 Relight offers the same features of its RT 5 volumetric lighting fixture, without replacing the entire fixture. The ES 8 is a similar solution for T8 lamps.

TCP, Inc., introduced its specification fixture division, EcoVations, which includes a line of T5 and T8 fluorescent lensed and open bottom fixtures for commercial and industrial applications.

Cooper Lighting's line of Iris recessed fixtures features a two-stage optical system, and the lamp type and trim can be changed out and reconfigured from below the ceiling during construction or later.

Looking to the future

During the show, a group of companies announced they had formed the EnOcean Alliance, which seeks to establish technology developed by EnOcean as an international standard for wireless controls in buildings. The ongoing development of interoperable, self-powered, wireless monitoring and control products (for lighting and HVAC systems, as well as other functions) in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings lowers both installation and ongoing energy costs. These battery-less sensors and switches are powered by slight changes in ambient conditions such as temperature and humidity, by ambient sunlight, or by manual operation of a rocker switch. An RF transmitter can be used to communicate with a variety of freely programmable WAGO controllers such as BACnet, LON, Ethernet, Profibus, and Modbus TCP, thus expanding building automation possibilities, such as sunshade control.

Founding promoters of the alliance include: Masco, Leviton, EnOcean Distech Controls, MK Electric (a Honeywell subsidiary), Omnio, and Thermkon. Texas Instruments, Siemens, and Osram Sylvania are just a few of the many participant-level members. A third classification, associate membership, includes building professionals, small distribution partners, and academics. Already, more than 70 manufacturers provide more than 300 products that operate in the 315-MHz band in the United States.

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