Your humble editor began hearing about a secret Super Ceramic Metal Halide lamp with 150 lumens per watt a few months ago. My sources told me that it would be released at the LUX Live show in London in November, and it could tip the scales of outdoor lighting away from LED.
In September I learned that the particular manufacturer of this new lamp would attend the NECA show in Las Vegas, which was one of the reasons I attended. As I wrote earlier, the NECA show was unimpressive, and I won’t be attending future NECA shows. However, I visited this particular manufacturer who was exhibiting, and I asked about the lamp. He explained that there was no Super CMH lamp about to be launched. Perplexed, I asked about a super electronic HID ballast that would improve performance of a CMH lamp and was told they were not working on that either. Last, I asked about a Super CMH luminaire and was told they were not developing any new CMH luminaire.
Interestingly, my contact smiled after each point as if I were not asking the right question.
I was aware that this particular manufacturer had historically ended up at the top floor bar of the Rio hotel in Las Vegas during past LIGHTFAIRs. Coincidentally, I was staying at the Rio.
Later that night, at the Rio bar, I asked my contact again about this Super CMH lamp. Without saying a word, he took out his phone and showed me a draft of the product brochure. There is something to be said about a guy who has his desktop synced with his laptop synced with his Ipad and synced with his phone and can pull up any document in about two seconds. I am envious because I can’t do that. Not to be outdone, I pulled out my iPhone and began giving notes to SIRI. SIRI and I have only had a relationship for the last year but the honeymoon ended on day one. She has little appreciation for my southern accent, especially when alcohol is involved. When I tell her 150 Lumens per Watt, she comes back with ‘150 Moonbeams for What.’ When I speak of Ceramic Metal Halide, she comes back with ‘Surrender Metal Hay Like’
In spite of SIRI, I did get the story. It was not a lamp, nor a ballast, nor a fixture, but a device that dramatically improves CMH lamps. It is an extremely clever product, yet so simple; I can’t believe that I never thought of it.
I contacted my source the next day to verify my slurred SIRI notes. He had no comment. I asked several times about the spec sheet and the project we discussed at the Rio, and he insisted that the RIO project was secret and had only been shared with a few key customers. He requested that no information be published prior to the release at the London show. His wishes will be respected. Stay tuned.