From the Street (and Area Lighting Conference) - Sunday

Sept. 14, 2009
Our Contributing Editor Brian Owen reports from the opening day of the IES event in Philadelphia, which will include extensive discussion of LED technology.
Sunday was the first day of this year’s Annual Street & Area Lighting Conference (SALC) in Philadelphia, which commenced with full-day pre-conference training workshops, this year featuring a new workshop specifically on LED, with instructors Mark McClear from Cree and Perry Romano from Beacon Lighting.
McClear and Romano Working together for the first time, this dynamic duo gave great insight into the technology, current state and advancements, as well as commenting on where the technology is going in outdoor lighting. Not always agreeing with each other, this commentary gave good balance and an effective and informative discussion even between the presenters.

McClear opened the day-long event with a technology overview along with the caveats about asking the right questions, commenting that, as he sees it, “a truthful sales pitch still may be an oxymoron” unless supported by data and testing. He also noted that “a photon is a terrible thing to waste” and that chip manufacturers are working hard to yield more photons; an attendee commented that some fixture manufacturers are working hard to waste them.

McClear gave the attendees an interesting list of engineering trade-offs in when evaluating different phosphor deposition approaches, such as lm/W efficacy, (delta) CCT, size, binning, IP, color, color stability, reliability and cost.

Romano, an outdoor fixture manufacturer, provided an overview from the fixture or luminaire design perspective, and what attributes lend themselves to good design (and, conversely, poor designs). An important observation was the focus on the 4100K color temperature from the perspective of buyers, lighting designers and the public, and the reception to SSL in outdoor lighting products.

SALC overview

The IES SALC is the most highly-focused event on street and area outdoor lighting in North America. At the opening Committee meeting, I learned more about attendance demographics and now being a part of the Marketing and Membership Committee, I am pleased to work with other industry personnel to advance the marketing strategy to attract more end-users from municipalities, utilities and the private sector, including property developers and owners to this “must attend” event when planning their outdoor lighting. This year’s conference is back-to-back LED action, with DOE SSL program Director Jim Brodrick providing Monday’s “Trends and Future Outlook” opening address, followed by Mark McClear who returns today to give an “LED Reality Check” and an overview of where we are with highlights from Sunday’s workshop.

It is assured that other topics throughout the day will reference LED, from the “Mesopic Vision and White Light” presentation from Ron Gibbons, to David Keith telling attendees “What We Know and What Can Hurt Us”. A breakout stream in Emerging Technologies will also focus on LED. Brodrick will return on Wednesday with PNNL’s Michael Meyer to give a presentation on LED Parking Lot Lighting.

Over 400 attendees are expected at this year’s SALC, but “no one will be turned away at the inn” as there is still room if you don’t want to miss this opportunity. So if you happen to be near the streets of Philadelphia, you can visit the streets of IES and register onsite. More details at