LIGHTCongress 2003, held in New York on Feb. 12, gave journalists a preview of the new technologies that could steal the show at this year's LightFair International 2003, to be held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, New York, May 6-8.

The first panel discussion at LIGHTCongress, entitled, “What's Cool in Lighting Design,” highlighted new products and trends and was moderated by Jim Benya, principal, Benya Lighting Design, Portland, Ore. The panelists were: Bill Kressler, specification sales manager, Advance Transformer Co., Rosemont, Ill.; Bill Costa, project manager, custom lighting, FLOS Inc., Huntington Station, N.Y.; and Wolfgang Eggers, president, Zumtobel Staff, Highland, N.Y.

Kressler described the coming developments in electronic ballasts for T5 and T8 fluorescent lamps and metal-halide lamps. A family of ballasts for T5HO, CFL and T8 lamps, using the digital addressable lighting interface (DALI) control protocol, will be introduced shortly. Eggers discussed the trend toward smaller light sources in more compact fluorescent fixtures and the combination of multiple lamp types within one fixture.

Other panel discussions covered the developing market for solid-state lighting such as LED sources and the impact of lighting on the environment. Mark Lein, senior market specialist, Cooper Lighting, Peachtree City, Ga., discussed the federal government's Next Generation Lighting Initiative, which would provide over $480 million to increase the efficiency of LED and OLED light sources.

John Chilcott, president, Earth Protection Services, Phoenix, discussed the value of properly recycling lamps containing mercury and of reusing the discarded glass and other components to reduce material waste and prevent contamination to landfills and waterways.

Pam Horner, environmental marketing manager, Osram Sylvania, Danvers, Mass., discussed anti-pollution product trends including reducing wasted light, recycling of materials, lighting efficiencies and anti-pollution trends.

More than 19,000 lighting specifiers, architects, end users and interior designers are expected to attend LightFair International 2003, which would make it the largest conference and trade show in LightFair's 14-year history.