“Leading the way to a connected future” was a theme for this year’s LIGHTFAIR International, a show in which industry leaders showcased a variety of connectivity, ease of use, and future proof concepts.
Technologies ranged from smart, turnkey lighting systems to lamps with improved AC/DC converters to reduce flickering. Wireless technology was omnipresent with many companies staking their technologies to Bluetooth and Zigbee mesh network protocols. LiFi, the high speed bi-directional protocol that comprises multiple LEDs that form a wireless network was also seen at the show.
Other booths, filled with improved connectors, relays, filters and cabling abutted those with low powered, plug-and-play devices, more efficient control modules, ballasts and drivers, and myriad other technologies. Even the most disparate product, seemingly, played a role in furthering the connectivity and ease-of-use concept at this annual event held this year on the shores of Lake Michigan.
Back to Chicago
LIGHTFAIR, the annual architectural and commercial lighting trade show and conference, sponsored by the Illuminating Engineering Society and the International Association of Lighting Designers, ran for a total of 5 days at Chicago’s McCormick Place.
Held in Chicago for the first time since 1995, the event drew more than 25,000 attendees. A two-day, pre-show conference held May 6-7 led off the show, followed by three days of exhibits and more conferences.
Amid that throng was a group of more than 100 Steiner customers who caravanned to the show from Steiner’s new Lighting Technology Center (LTC) in Chicago. The group came on buses that originated from Steiner’s Elk Grove and Rockford facilities. The group stopped to breakfast and tour the LTC, and then head to the LIGHTFAIR show with the lighting experts from Steiner.
Steiner distributes lighting and lighting control products from several of the companies who were exhibiting at LIGHTFAIR. Here are a few of those companies:
|Steiner Suppliers at 2018 Lightfair (sampling of vendors)|
* Juno Lighting, Inc.
* Cooper Lighting
To learn more about the constantly changing array of lighting options or make an appointment to view the new Lighting Technology Center, contact (800) STEINER (783-4637).
A Gamut of Applications
While LED technology was ubiquitous, of course, what was most telling was not the amount of LEDs on display, but its breadth of use. Indoors to outdoor. From glamorous booths showing refined interiors and exteriors to artistic, futuristic booths of many colors and design shapes, companies from around the world found ways to showcase LED technology. Robust LED technology helped display smart city street lighting to horticultural lighting solutions.
Most of the industry’s leading companies exhibited at the show, including many whose products are distributed by Steiner’s lighting division, and showcased wireless management systems facilitated by LED technology and augmented by sensor technologies.
Traditionally, individual rooms feature separate, individual control systems. A thermostat on the wall takes care of comfort controls; light switches or dimmers control lighting; and shades may have another type of controller, or, equally possible, a pull cord.
Whether for new construction, retrofits or multi-phase construction projects, these wireless light management systems are meant to simplify the installation, setup and management of lighting systems and also will reduce energy usage from lighting by as much as 50-75 percent.
The systems, showcased by a variety of company’s such as Acuity Brands (nLight AIR), Lutron (Vive), Philips (Hue), Eaton (WaveLinx), and more, utilize user-friendly interfaces, set-it-and-forget it control options, and a variety of sensors ranging from occupancy, temperature, quantity and quality of light, etc. . Each technology easily accessible from any smartphone, web browser or similar device.
The total room automation wireless devices, which are compliant to multiple municipal building codes such as ASHRAE 90.1-2016 and Title 24-2016, combined everything from HVAC, lighting and shade control systems to additional building automation devices such as for security and fire awareness into a single platform with a simplified user interface.
These devices are, for a large degree, scalable. This allows contractors, facility managers and others to utilize the technology at their own pace and integrate the technologies use as desired. They can grow from single rooms to whole floors and to entire buildings and campuses. They can turn simple structures into smart buildings with IoT capabilities.
As one company put it, these connected lighting solutions are designed with intelligent power to enhance everyday life; from personalizing smart home solutions that cater to homeowners’ lifestyle needs, to empowering city leaders to improve the safety and quality of life in their communities, and streamlining facilities management and operations for businesses worldwide.
Preceding and setting the stage for the trade-show opening was the announcement of the winners of the prestigious LFI Innovation Awards. These awards highlight the industry’s most innovative products and designs introduced during the last 12 months.
The 2018 LFI Innovation Awards drew 238 entries spanning 14 categories, with each submission judged by an independent panel of lighting professionals. Winning entries exemplified the best in innovative design and thinking.
One of the 7 judges from the IES and the IALD was Richard Wyton, a well-known, corporate lighting consultant with Steiner Electric. Wyton said that each product was scrupulously examined and the vast number of entries were whittled down to 14 entrants and finally down to 1 overall winner and a total of 18 winners in various categories.
The all-star panel of judges honored a broad range of technologies. Several of the awards went to companies whose products are distributed by Steiner.
For instance, multiple innovative LED lighting solutions from Acuity Brands earned top recognition. Winning lighting solutions from Acuity Brands included:
- Juno FlexConnect(TM) luminaires won both the competition`s overall
Design Excellence Award and its Best of Category award in the Dynamic Color, Theatrical, Cover, Strips and Tape category. FlexConnect luminaires incorporate the industry’s smallest and most configurable linear optic system, and are ideal for wall grazing, wall washing, and other architectural lighting applications.
- CHISEL family of luminaires from Mark Architectural Lighting(TM) won Best of Category in the Commercial Indoor Luminaires category. CHISEL indirect, recessed luminaires present soft luminous gradients and textures that can bring depth and character to any design.
- Quantum® ELM2LF Fixed Optics emergency luminaires from Lithonia Lighting® won Best of Category in the Industrial, Vandal Emergency and Exit category. The Quantum ELM2LF emergency luminaires combine the latest LED and optical technologies to deliver an easy to install wall-mount design featuring fixed optics. This design requires no contractor aiming, yet provides uniform distributions.
- IOTA Engineering, recently acquired by Acuity Brands, won Best of Category in the Ballasts and Drivers category for its Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) emergency lighting LED battery pack.
“This year`s recognition from the LFI Innovation Awards reflects our commitment to continuous innovation in the lighting space,” said Acuity Brands Lighting Senior Vice President, Sarah Golish. “Winning multiple Best of Category awards and the Design Excellence award further underscores our commitment to offering our customers great lighting solutions that blend quality of lighting and performance.”
Another Steiner supplier to win an LFI award was Philips Lighting, which utilized its LED expertise to win the category of Parking, Roadway and Area Luminaires.
Philips’ winning entry, the Gardco PureForm luminaire, available to view at the Steiner Lighting Technology Center, combines LED performance and advanced LED thermal management technology with a distinct purity of style to provide outdoor area lighting that is both energy efficient and aesthetically pleasing. The family of products includes a bollard, post top, wall sconces and medium and large area luminaires. The entire family can be integrated with a range of control options to easily connect your entire site.
Technology Never Stops
The 2019 LIGHTFAIR International is scheduled for May 19 – 23, 2019, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia.
You don’t have to wait until next year, however. You can tap into the lighting expertise of Steiner. For further information, and to speak with an experienced Steiner lighting and controls application engineer, please call 1-800-STEINER (783-4637).