Lightfair 2009: A busier second day

The rain stopped and the number of attendees seemed to increase measurably. I have to say that I don’t recall a Lightfair that was so “full” of new products and technology advances, virtually all of it involving LEDs. With all of these companies working so hard to bring products to market, the end-user cost has to become more affordable, soon.
   Two of several things that stood out in this year’s show:

  • The Emerge Alliance, San Ramon, CA, An open industry association of several companies focused on “promoting the rapid adoption of safe, low-voltage DC power distribution and use in commercial building interiors.” In other words, it’s a group of companies that is working to put together an open-source system/technology that uses the metal skeleton of drop ceilings to deliver safe, low-voltage DC power in commercial buildings. To tap into this power, several light fixtures and other devices are being developed that mount on the ceiling “rails” and deliver light, sound, and whatever else they come up with. Commercial Building Products/Building Power will be doing much more about this alliance in the near future.
  • The Greengate and Ilumin lighting control and energy monitoring systems from Cooper Controls, Peachtree City, GA, look to be impressive products that will help just about any commercial building monitor, control, and reduce energy used by  light fixtures. While both products are impressive and appear to be easy to set up and use, what puts them over the top is the new Venergy user interface. Venergy is a Web-based program that provides “real-time power-metering information, captured directly by the lighting control system.” Venergy will be available in the third quarter of 2009.

Watch the pages of Commercial Building Products, Building Power, and this blog in the coming days/weeks to learn more about these and other energy-saving products introduced at Lightfair.

The week in New York wasn’t all work. The best meal, and a standout one at that, was at the West Bank Cafe, 407 W. 42nd St., 212-695-6909, within easy walking distance of the Javits Center. The pan-seared scallops and raspberry sorbet were outstanding.—Gary L. Parr

Lightfair 2009: Record attendance?

I’m always fascinated with the numbers trade show organizers come up with for attendance. At the end of the first day of Lightfair 2009, currently being held in New York City, I received an e-mail announcing that the show opened to record attendance, “with numbers topping more than 22,000 pre-registered and expected to walk the show floor between today and Thursday.” I’m not sure what Lightfair show they were at but, other than the Philips and Sylvania booths, there was nothing anywhere near record attendance at this year’s show. The usual economic and residential factors are, no doubt, playing a role, along with absolutely dreary, rainy weather that’s serving to keep everyone inside.
   Nonetheless, there is much talk and technology, virtually all of it focused on cutting energy costs. Is there anyone who isn’t “into LEDs?” The LED phenomenon is rampant as manufacturers look for the lighting/energy pot of gold. Some are having some success, but it’s clear that any significant installed base is primarily in accent, linear, cove, and some retail applications. While there is much development of fixtures and “screw-in” lamps, the cost remains a significant obstacle and the installed base rather limited.
   Wednesday, I get to meet with some lighting control manufacturers. It’ll be interesting to hear what they have to say as that’s the area where true lighting energy gains are being realized.—Gary L. Parr

Two “green” conferences worth considering

Two conferences, aimed at helping you with sustainable construction and energy management, are on the horizon. The first is the Symposium on Building Envelope Sustainability, to be held April 30 to May 1 at the Marriott Wardman Park hotel, Washington, D.C. Organized by the Roof Consultants Institute Foundation, the conference offers two days of presentations, focused on sustainable building design, construction, and regulations. Subjects will include:

  • Fire and Wind Resistance Standards for Vegetative Roofs
  • Reflective Roof Coatings
  • Stormwater Management Within Green Roofing
  • The Effectiveness of Window-Wall Installation Details Under Hurricane-Force, Wind-Driven Rain Simulations
  • Evaluating Window-Wall Interface Details for Risk of Condensation on Windows
  • Assessment of Sustainable Buildings—A preference and Cost-Based Approach
  • Integration of Radiant Cooling Systems with the Building Envelope
  • Sustainable Roof Design Incorporating Photovoltaic Power Generation

   Early registration for this event has been extended to April 10. Click here to download the conference brochure. The symposium website is at:
   The second event is called Energy Summit 2009 and will be held June 25 at Grand Valley State Univ., Grand Rapids, MI. Speakers will include Doug Kemp, Dir. of Energy Efficiency and Renewables, U.S. Dept. of Energy; Christopher Russell, author of “Industrial Energy Harvest;” and Marty Kushler, program director, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. Conference tracks include Industrial Manufacturing, Facilities, Management, Renewable/Alternative Energy, and Financial Incentives. Additional details and registration information will be available at, after April 17.
   Energy and sustainability are driving forces in today’s commercial building construction, whether it’s new construction or renovation. Consider these two events as tools that can help you make informed decisions.—Gary L. Parr