The Daily Lightfair, sponsored by CRS Electronics: Wednesday, May 12

May 12, 2010
Reports and previews from the third day of Lightfair.
CRS Electronics (booth #2604) Welcome to the third issue of five this week of The Daily Lightfair.

Yesterday (Tuesday May 11) the Lightfair Institute educational program came to a conclusion. Once again, this very successful annual program prior to the main Lightfair Conference and Trade Show (which opens today) drew thousands to its many courses and workshops.

As could be expected, Cree’s Mark McClear and his panel of 4 industry professionals offered up an excellent full day of education and inspiration for lighting and luminaire designers during “LED Luminaire Design.” This course highlighted fundamental design considerations and the integration of four engineering disciplines: optical design, electrical design, thermal management and mechanical design. Attendees were taken through the “12 Questions your LED Fixture Manufacturer must answer.”

ICE Lighting from CRS “Photometry 101” outlined the photometric reporting process and took the mystery out of photometric reports. Attendees learned the difference between relative and absolute (LED) photometry, and that absolute photometry was the only way to measure LED performance, absolutely! [Editor’s note: the EPA, in its draft Luminaires specification, disagrees]. McClear, along with Jeffrey Miller presented “Chip Heads vs. Bulb Heads - Can't we all try to get along?” addressing why lighting designers been slow to embrace LEDs and confronted the wide gap of understanding that currently exists between the LED industry, architectural lighting designers and their clients. The DOE and IES hosted the 2nd annual Commercial Building Energy Alliances Lighting and Controls Supplier Summit. At the Outdoor Area (Site and Signage) Lighting breakout session, Walmart’s Ralph Williams commented that barriers for SSL adoption still include cost and output. Lynn Taggart of Sonic noted that they have over 100,000 under-canopy lighting units, a key opportunity for SSL. Target’s Cheryl Penkivech mentioned that SSL for parking structures is being investigated. When the panel was asked about utility partnerships, incentives and rebates, each panellist gave an overview of stronger and weaker geographic areas in the US. The panel also discussed maintenance and service contracts, as well as managing lumen depreciation and end of life or failure issues.
Jim Brodrick Carina Betts, North American Sales Manager, National Accounts of CRS Electronics, sponsor of The Daily Lightfair, reported from the Retrofit Technologies session. Betts noted that all 3 panellists stated that there is more interest in investing in retrofit-friendly products because the existing building stock is much greater than expected new builds. Most desired LED replacement products, such as the 2x2, PAR lamps in common areas & hallways and Exit Signs. The panel discussed the selection process, commenting that DOE standards have made it easier for end users and owners to chose products and suppliers for the testing of products. Alliance members share information on products tested at the site level. They prefer products that do not require any structural changes, especially the avoidance of ceiling plane penetration. They also prefer Municipal, State & Federal incentives, which are less onerous than going through an ESCO. Manufacturers that offer assistance in attaining rebates are preferred over those that do not offer the extra service.

Test & measurement

Offsite, the Council for Optical Radiation Measurements or CORM held its Annual Conference and Business Meeting at Planet Hollywood. Yesterday’s technical agenda dealt specifically with Solid-State Lighting. Scott Riesebosch, President of CRS Electronics, sponsor of The Daily Lightfair, attended and reported that repeatedly the message was that the LM-80 requires 6,000 hours of testing, and only once every 1,000 hours. This simply isn't enough data to get good lumen maintenance predictions. The concept of claiming an L70 lifetime of 4X to 6X testing time was presented by Emil Radkov of Illumitex, so if you have 6,000 hours of data you can claim no more than 24,000 to 36,000 hours. The reason is that numerous models all fit the data quite well up to 6,000 hours, and then become completely inaccurate shortly thereafter. The bottom line? Test more often than 1,000 hour intervals and test for longer periods of time if you want to claim long life expectancy. This is the only way at this time to get accurate prediction models. Even just a few more data points such as out to 8,000 or even 10,000 hours help some of the prediction models become a lot more meaningful.

Andrew Jackson from Philips Lighting covered the topic "SSL / LED Road to Standardization". North America has numerous standards evolving, but so do many other countries. And none of the standards (at this time) are being accepted in other countries, so multi-nationals are having to go through the same or very similar test procedures in a number of countries, wasting time and money. There needs to be more co-operation among standards groups / organizations throughout the world in order to help streamline standards compliance and speed market adoption.

Mia Paget showed some results from long term testing being done by CALiPER. 5mm LED products performed poorly as expected while the more suitable ‘power LED’ based products performed for the most part much better, with some products exhibiting no detectable lumen depreciation after more than 12,000 hours.

Cameron Miller from NIST shared some interesting results, demonstrating how various labs can get very different results in his talk entitled "Results, Findings, and Oddities from NVLAP SSL Proficiency Testing". Luminous Flux, power consumption, CCT, and CRI all varied substantially under certain conditions. For example, one SSL product that uses optical feedback demonstrated significantly different CCT values depending on the setting of the auxiliary lamp source in the integrating sphere. Another SSL product drew more than 30% additional power from one power supply versus another depending on the internal impedance of the power supply, while both power supplies were set to identical voltages. The lesson? Certified labs need to understand LED products and the limitations of their test equipment and their test fixtures. Some labs have fixtures allowing them to quickly switch components in and out. Such fixtures can cause significant changes in some measurements. Cameron's message was "keep to a minimum configuration".

More from Tuesday’s events

Over the luncheon yesterday, Cooper Lighting announced the winners of the 33rd annual SOURCE Awards Competition and Canada’s Lightbrigade Architectural Lighting Design took away 2 awards, one for their Murale project in Toronto, Canada and the other for their project at the W Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. Following the SOURCE awards, the DOE’s Jim Brodrick was the keynote speaker. Brodrick offered his usual humour and wit blended with his insight and technical acumen. In his presentation, ‘Solid-State Lighting: Preparing for the Opportunity’ he outlined the stages as Promise, Precaution, Perspective, Product testing, Demonstration and Buyer Guidance. He related anecdotes in the SSL program, one being in regards to dimming, where the literature for the one product that dimmed the best stated that the product shouldn’t be used with a dimmer! Every attendee received Brodrick’s list of questions to ask SSL manufacturers when on the trade show floor.

Maury Wright and I attended the Toshiba Media Dinner to get an insider view into what Toshiba will be announcing and releasing at Lightfair. Toshiba has been in the lighting business for 120 years since 1890, creating Japan’s first carbon filament lamp and now Toshiba has become Japan’s first manufacturer to cease production of incandescent lamps. Toshiba unveiled an LED A-lamp with an output of 1690 lumens, set to rival the 100W incandescent lamp. When asked about participation in the DOE Lighting Facts program and about an L Prize submission, Michael Ayers of Toshiba responded that both were under consideration.

Events on Wednesday

Lightfair, North America's largest architectural and commercial lighting tradeshow and conference opens officially today at 10:00 a.m. with close to 500 exhibitors to visit and runs until 6:00 p.m. Repeating a note from yesterday’s issue, LED chip and luminaire manufacturer Cree has some suggestions for making the most out of your Lightfair experience – see Cree's 7 tips.

Prior to show opening this morning, the annual LFI Innovation Awards get underway at 8:30 a.m. Those new to Lightfair can benefit from attending New Attendee Orientation at 10:00 a.m. There is a Lighting Education Meet & Greet at 12:00 pm in the Lighting Education Lounge (Booth #2650) followed by Student Tours of the LFI Exhibit Hall at 1:00 pm. The Nuckolls Fund for Lighting Education Luncheon is at 12:15 pm and the Building Integration Pavilion Cocktail Reception starts at 4:00 pm on the show floor. The IES Toronto Section and Light Canada are hosting a Canadian Cocktail Reception at the Renaissance Las Vegas Hotel at 4:30 pm.

The DOE will be making an L Prize Update in the DOE Pavilion on the trade show floor at 12:00 pm. The DOE will also be running a training schedule with free tutorial sessions in their booth (#2121) during show hours from Wednesday to Friday. Today’s schedule is:
10:30 am - Getting Involved with DOE SSL Commercialization Programs
11:00 am - Solid-State Lighting Basics
11:30 am - CALiPER Testing Update
1:00 pm - How to Reduce the Risks of Specifying LEDs
1:30 pm - Understanding the Lighting Facts Label
2:00 pm - Dimming and LEDs: Can this be a Happy Marriage
2:30 pm - Recent SSL Installations: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
3:00 pm - Understanding IESNA LM-79 & LM-80
3:30 pm - Comparing LED Integral Replacement Lamps
4:00 pm - DOE's CBEA Parking Lot Lighting Specification

As previously reported, BetaLED and Ruud Lighting will host Tech Break free seminars in booth #1031, under the motto “As technology evolves, learning never ends.” Today’s schedule is:
10:30 am - LED vs. Induction
1:30 pm - Five Tips to a Fair Comparison
3:00 pm - Have you considered solar!
4:30 pm - Great Expectations / Great Applications

Today’s must-see presentations include:
2:00 pm - LEDs hit Landscape Lighting
2:00 pm - Lighting and Cognitive Response
4:30 pm - Smoke, Mirrors and LEDs

Media and press events and receptions today that LEDs Magazine will be at to bring to the hot news are at Nexxus and Renaissance Lighting, the GE Media Luncheon, the Lutron Electronics Press Conference. Evening events include the Sharp Press Dinner and the Traxon and Osram Sylvania Presentation and Reception.

Wherever there is LED news at Lightfair, LEDs Magazine will be there to bring to you in The Daily Lightfair.