Lightfair Daily – Friday May 8: Lights Out!

May 11, 2009
Our contributing editor Brian Owen concludes his series of updates from the Big Apple with notes from the last day of Lightfair.
As mentioned in the Thursday morning instalment, like a last minute Christmas present shopper just starting on Christmas Eve day, I was off to the show floor to see what hasn’t yet been seen … Where do I go first?, What do I look for in these last few hours? The shorter final day of Lightfair had no shortages of experiences other than time. I packed in a final complete walk of the tradeshow floor, as wells as attending a couple of seminars and conducting interviews. Believe or not, like forgetting to call home, I accomplished most items planned, but didn’t get to one booth in particular, that being LEDs Magazine. What a bad son I am!

I have seen some great new advancements and product releases at Lightfair, including the new Cree LRP-38, a PAR 38 replacement lamp, as well as the Lemnis Pharox III and the CCrane GeoBulb, both A19 replacement lamps; all are contenders in the race to the L Prize finish line. In the MR16 division, unfortunately not an Energy Star or an L Prize category, the CRS offerings lead the race for lighting space.

I had a Philips morning, first with fellow Canadian Heather Goldsmith from Future Electronics, global distributor of Philips Lumileds. Heather apprised me of the newest product offerings and will give me a ‘Future’ heads up as to how the new Lumileds product is being turned into luminaires by designers and manufacturers throughout Canada and North America. Waiting for me a table away was my next interviewee, Daniel Gaudet of Philips Intellectual Property and Standards. The interview was enlightening and informative, but likely not overly reassuring to small manufacturers that might be on the Philips radar. The Gaudet / Philips IP interview will be the subject on a separate article in the not too distant future.

I was ever so impressed to see the number of Canadian lighting designers and manufacturers exhibiting this year, in fact too many to name, in fear of missing someone and being refused entry when returning home. The number of Canadian attendees was also quite dramatic, of course with the New York venue being closer than Las Vegas to Canada. I will work with show organizers to extrapolate the actual statistics for a future report as one may see a Canadian force next year and possibly “Made in Canada” designations or even a pavilion.

I made my way to visit our respected organization colleagues at both the IESNA and IALD booths, speaking to both Valerie Landers and Rita Harrold at IES (winner of a Lightfair Innovation Award for the LM-80-08) and to Renee Campbell at IALD. Both organizations offer so much to the development of SSL education and standards development. If you are not a member, consider joining. For those in the business of lighting streets, the IES will be hosing the Street and Area Lighting Conference in Philadelphia from September 13-15 followed by the proceedings of the IES Roadway Lighting Committee. I have attended these events for the last 2 years and have watched the change in the educational program and on the trade floor, another event transformed with LED and more proof of the validity of SSL. This trip to Lightfair, I certainly had an extensive shopping list for the outdoor SSL luminaire manufacturers. As well the City of New York’s Department of Transportation was in attendance, scouting product for proposed projects in Central Park and on the FDR Expressway. The IALD Annual Conference, “Enlighten Americas 2009: Leading With Light” will take place in Sonoma County, California on October 8-10. I was pleased to be a part of the program last year in Cancun, where our panel exchanged perspectives with noted lighting designers regarding the use of SSL.

The 26th Annual IALD International Lighting Design Awards were presented on Wednesday, May 6 at the Sheraton NYC Hotel & Towers in New York City. Of the 19 projects recognized, three entries earned Special Citations, 13 earned Awards of Merit and three earned Awards of Excellence. A number of these magnificent projects featured the application of SSL in their design.

On another note about outdoor lighting, there has been quite a bit of buzz regarding US ARRA or stimulus projects, as discussed at the CBEA summit on Monday and elsewhere. All agree that quick purchasing decisions without process or protocol can result in disappointment and even disaster. Also, SSL outdoor lighting CANNOT be purchased on price without performance, despite the unfounded assumptions contained in a report recently released. Both topics will be the subject of an upcoming article.

On my final round of the trade show floor, I came across the National Association of Independent Lighting Distributors. I look forward to further discussions with this organization regarding SSL capacity building education for lighting agents and distributors.

Well, 45 days have gone and past in the DOE / EPA Energy Star debacle, with DOE’s David Rodgers quite possible being calendar-challenged. Incidentally, I checked with sources and in the testimony of Brian McLean, EPA counterpart of Rodgers, to the congressional committee he indicated that he (McLean) understood 45 days to be calendar days. Mr. Rodgers, put on that nice comfy sweater and tell us another story!

Better DOE news to report from the DOE pavilion is Part II of the Manufacturing Workshop series, to be held in Vancouver, WA (Portland, OR area) on June 24-25 and the 2009 Market Introduction Workshop slated for Chicago from July 13th to 15th. Also, upon returning to the Press Room to review email, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a draft of a new DOE Fact Sheet entitled, “Understanding Photometric Reports for SLL Products.” From first glance, I was quite impressed with the work of PNNL in the development of this “How to Read” guidance document. For those on the upside of the learning curve, this will be a valuable resource tool. Like a new Harry Potter book, this is definitely a wait in anticipation of release. Other valuable resources and tools will be the subject of an upcoming LEDs Magazine article.

Seminars of note on Thursday included ‘The Skinny on Retail Lighting’ presented by Chip Israel and Archit Jain and ‘Outlaw Incandescent Lamps?’, a panel moderated by Gary Dulanski with speakers, Howard Brandston, Donald Peifer and the infamous Alex Baker, Lighting Program Manager at the EPA. One of the questions asked at the latter seminar was, “Does the existence of the incandescent retard innovation?”, while I would like to add, “Does the existence of the EPA retard SSL innovation?”

In celebration of Lightfair International’s 20-year Anniversary, two historic Masters’ courses were presented on Wednesday. Both Dave Dilaura who presented “20 Years of Light and Lighting: A Look at the Recent Past with Lessons for the Future” and a panel of Masters, including Howard Branston presented “Celebrating the History of the Independent Lighting Designer” were inspiring and memorable gong forward into the next 20 years of lighting and Lightfair.

Once again, Lightfair organizers offered its Student Outreach Program, now in the 2nd year, where students can exchange a volunteer commitment for free registration and program discounts.

While at the Javits Convention Center, I noticed another show, which has been running concurrently with Lightfair during my two previous trips to Lightfair in New York. What caught my eye? Not just the trendy fashions but the over 3000 MR16s on almost every display, as provided by the show contractor. Watt the heck! Over 100 kilowatts! A light show next door with multiple LED solutions and no one has made a sales call! Well LED lighting folk, guess who went and paid them a visit, told them about the benefits of LED, the availability of an LED solution and the chance that even the local utility may partner in the project with an incentive or rebate, which could possibly ‘seal the deal’. Then again, despite all that talk on the tradeshow floor, who could really deliver 3000 LED-based MR16s anyway?

Thank you to Lightfair organizers for their hospitality and for the fantastic 2009 program. Now, like a child in anticipation, there are 365 more sleeps until Las Vegas!

Lights Out, Brian!