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Paul James on Light+Building 2010

Issue 55 Jun / Jul 2010

Light+Building 2010 had a different look and feel to previous shows as the penny finally dropped for manufacturers desperate to incorporate LEDs into their products.

An editor’s lot is a busy one at the world’s biggest trade show for our industry. The fact that it’s biennial (surely a good thing that should be duplicated by all the major trade shows) means that the manufacturers are even more desperate to bend your ear about their latest products that are so much better than everyone else’s. For the four days I was at the show I had a press conference or stand appointment to attend every hour (sometimes more) and that was before the evening events and dinners kicked in.

But this year there was something different in the air (and I’m not talking volcanic ash). I was genuinely impressed with many of the innovations I saw at the show and, in 90% of cases, it boiled down to one thing - successfully integrating LEDs into the luminaire’s architecture.

I say 90% as there were a couple of very interesting non-LED products if you knew where to look. As part of the World Architecture tour with Gabrielle Allendorf I came across Lumini, an interesting Brazilian company that employs brilliant yet simple ideas to enhance its lighting products. As well as their ingenious Bossa - the pendant light with a direct and indirect light system, that allows the creation of different atmosphere and the light intensity control in a room by gently pulling the lampshade - they also had their new product, Ginga, on show. Named after the swaying movement in Capoeira, the Brailian martial arts/dance, Ginga is a cleverly functional table lamp.

Tucked away in Hall 5.0. Global LightZ e3 technology (a type of plasma) offers a convenient alternative to LED because it’s very functional principle obviates colour deviation. In terms of energy-efficiency, brightness and environmental impact, the technology’s performance is similar to or better than that of LEDs.

The service life of e3 light sources is comparable to that of LEDs as well. There are empirical records for more than 50,000 hours of continuous service. No individual deviations in light colour and brightness occurred in e3 lamps over this period. In LEDs, however, individual colour deviation becomes more likely as the light sources age. Not to mention the much wider operational temperature range of e3 lamps, especially at higher temperatures.

“Dynamic light is the new major trend in the lighting market”, says Klaus Wammes, CEO of Global LightZ (pictured below). “In this context, our procedure offers attractive advantages currently unavailable from large manufacturers such as OSRAM or Philips. At the Light + Building fair, we are aiming to acquire licensees and manufacturers who are interested in using our light sources to produce luminaires and lighting objects for the consumer lighting market.”

I wish them well with this technology as it could offer a viable alternative to the LED. That being said, it was definitely the advances made in solid-state lighting that caught everyone’s eye.

The influx of the new breed of Asian electronics giants (Toshiba, Sharp, LG et al) was remarkable to see and made up for some high profile absentees such as Havells Sylvania and quite a large number of German decorative lighting companies.

But it was the way the luminaire manufacturers embraced the LED technology that really impressed. Many of the big manufacturers, eg Philips, ERCO, showed only LED products on their stands. This was not only a huge statement as to the way they see the industry going, it also had a massive impact on their connected loads thus saving a significant amount of money in what is an expensive show. ERCO’s connected load was a mere 9,886W, a reduction of 75% compared with its 2004 tungsten stand.

On Tuesday afternoon I met up with Keith Bradshaw and Mark Major who ushered me into a curtained room at the Ruud Lighting stand. They have developed, together with Ruud Engineering Managers, an LED streetlight that is, I’m sure, going to revolutionise lighting design. I can’t say any more than that at this stage but, as they say, watch this space.

Those naughty people from Paviom decided to occupy a suite in the Maritim Hotel adjoining the exhibiton instead of exhibiting at the show - a very cost effective solution that was also taken up by Minds Eye in a different hotel. Perhaps this, along with the LED, is also a vision of the future where hotels throughout Frankfurt will be turned into demo rooms that can be slept in at the end of the day. Paviom MD Fred Bass could often be seen prowling around the hotel lobby nabbing unsuspecting journalists and lighting designers to take a look at the new Aptus bollard designed by Terrence Woodgate. A mighty fine looking luminaire it is too.

On my last day at the show I stumbled upon a beaming Bob Bohannon, MD of Sill UK, who was rightly proud of the UK-designed Aeriel projector. As a modular, adjustable and powerful projector, Aeriel combines the benefit of LED technology with Sill’s global reputation for optics and precision engineering. The new Aeriel projector is rated IP67 and is designed for column top or wall mounting and a variety of applications. It can be a floodlight, a street light, it can uplight and downlight combined and it can be specified with a choice of optics for asymmetric, spot, narrow, wide or ellipsoidal beams.

Sill’s attention to thermal engineering ensures long LED life and high output whilst the orientation of the fins allows heat to be released and dirt to fall through. The thermal engineering allows Aeriel to work in ambient temperatures of 40°C and on-board thermal management reduces power should the fitting overheat, for example, in high solar gain environments.

There were many more innovations and great products that are included in our guide. I hope you find something that excites you too.


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