Lightfair, the annual meeting of the clans in the lighting industry, once again gave lighting professionals an intensive three-day immersion into new lighting products, dozens of lighting education classes and the usual kibitzing with industry buddies.

Held May 6-10 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, New York, Lightfair 2007 was alive with chatter about the latest fixtures for light-emitting diodes (LEDs), the anticipated bans on some types of incandescent lamps, new sales opportunities created by EPAct legislation, LEED design standards and the increasing interest in incorporating daylighting into lighting design.

LEDs once again seemed to attract the most attention. Many LED component manufacturers had their wares on display, and traditional lighting fixture manufacturers were eager to show off their latest designs for LEDs.

Because of their long life, color-changing design options and small size, LEDs will revolutionize the lighting world when they can cost-effectively produce white light for general lighting applications. They are not quite ready for prime time. One manufacturer said LEDs are at the stage of development where it's best for manufacturers to give lighting designers LEDs to “play with,” to see what applications they can invent.

One group of LED manufacturers recently banded together to promote LEDs in a joint effort. Launched in December 2006 with a parking garage relighting project in Raleigh, N.C., LED City is supported by Cree, Lighting Science Group, AmTech Lighting Services and Progress Energy. The companies want to teach cities around the world how to deploy LED lighting for municipal applications. In their pilot project, they replaced high-pressure sodium fixtures with LED fixtures and demonstrated a 40-percent energy savings.

Two emerging players on the LED scene actually have their roots in the distribution business, the Arrow Electronics Lighting Group, Englewood, Colo., and Future Electronics, Pointe-Claire, Quebec. Arrow Electronics is one of the worlds largest distributors of electronics, with 260 locations in 55 countries and 2006 sales of $13.6 billion. The company already distributes a large package of LED-related products and intends to be a major player in the lighting market. Future Electronics has 155 locations in 35 countries and has a major partnership with Lumileds (part of Philips Lighting), a market leader in LEDs.

Lightfair International 2008 will take place at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, May 26-30.

Pick of the Pack

Research and development in the lighting market is alive and well, as 139 new products were submitted for LightFair's annual new product competition, now called the LFI Innovation Awards. The following winners were announced at LightFair International 2007 in New York on May 8.

Most Innovative Product of the Year

ARC Keeper Arctic 175 HID Backup Ballast, The Bodine Co.

Design Excellence Award

Orus Roadway Luminaire, North Star Lighting.

Technical Excellence Award

(co-winners) Luxeon Rebel, Philips Lumileds; and Alto II T8, Philips Lighting.

Specialty lamps

Luxeon Rebel, Philips Lumileds.

Conventional lamps

Alto II T8, Philips Lighting.

Downlights, Wallwashers and Accent Lights

Round Gear Driven Adjustable Downlight, Lucifer Lighting Co.

Track, Low-Voltage, Cable and Rail Systems

Tangent Line-Voltage Track, Lightolier.

Fluorescent-based Troffers, Suspended and Surface Luminaires

Lightplane 11, Architectural Lighting Works.

Chandeliers, Pendants, Sconces, Task Lights and Decorative Luminaires

Avanti Miniature, Dreamscape Lighting.

Landscape, Pool and Fountain

4426 60W LED Swimming Pool and Fountain Fixture, Hydrel/Acuity Brands.

Theatrical and Specialty Luminaires

EW Flex SLX, Color Kinetics.

Industrial, Vandal, Emergency Exit Lighting

ARC Keeper Arctic 175 HID Backup Ballast, The Bodine Co.

Controls, Daylight Integration and Controls

ROAM, Holophane/Acuity Brands.

Ballasts and Transformers

Quicktronic Powersense, Osram Sylvania.