LightTrades™--The Best Lighting Products Introduced in 2016

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At the IES Annual Conference, Nick Bleeker demonstrated The Aura by Philips.   Although your humble editor is slighting confused by what it is, I have even less knowledge of its application.  Although there was a sign clearly marking the product at the Conference, it seemed to be housed in some sort of secret room, on a different floor, away from the other products. 

As I approach this thing, which I will call a crystal ball, but it was neither crystal nor a ball, light began to slowly protrude from somewhere, everywhere.  And sound approached, and again I have no idea from where.  And the sound and the light moved together with me, as it followed my movements.  The closer I moved to the non-crystal, non-ball, the brighter the light and the louder the music, or maybe it was not music.  Some sort of sound.   The light and the sound seem to move both in opposition and concordance in a breathtaking dance.  I somehow was both a participant and an observer, and the whole experience was very intoxicating.   Watch a really cool video here.   IES Annual Conference—Orlando (October)

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At LIGHTFAIR, Acuity Brands stole the show with their RUBIK, a recessed, low profile, cell-like LED series of ceiling luminaires that enable lighting designers to think beyond the grid – with almost limitless possibilities. The 9, 5 & 3 cell luminaires work together to create traditional or original designs without modifying the ceiling. All forms of RUBIK are available with dynamic lighting features, including: white, tunable white, gray-scale and color accent.   We believe the RUBIK to be the most appropriately named product being launched this year. The RUBIK is available under from Mark Lighting brand.  A very cool product with a great video.  LIGHTFAIR—San Diego (April)

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Sengled has a hot product in their Pulse BR30 with JBL speaker lamp.  It’s just fun!  Your humble editor first saw this product at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas when James Highgate demonstrated it in great detail. Highgate sent a few samples, which somehow ended up in my son’s home. I purchased a set on, which somehow ended up in my daughter’s house.  I purchased a third set, which as of this writing, are still installed in my home.  Because I don’t have much of a life, I find it highly amusing to discretely change the color of my Philips Hue lamps for friends and neighbors and watch them freak out a bit. With Sengled, I slowly raise the volume of Adele and everyone looks up to try to find the speakers.  It’s great and I think the Sengled Pulse has made my Amazon Alexa jealous!  Consumer Electronics Show—Las Vegas (January)

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NuLEDs has launched a Power over Ethernet (PoE) Intelligent Lighting Controls Plug, which is controlled through management software by NuLEDs or one of their partners, Cisco, Eaton, and Deco Lighting.    Wall switches and sensors plug into any fixture, and can control any light on the network. 

Lighting environments can now be managed and adjusted by integrated room sensors or through management software that provides the ability to change colors, brightness, color temperature, etc., from any PC, mobile device, or an unmanned event. National Lighting Bureau—Washington D.C. (December)


GREEN CREATIVE exhibited their INNOFIT Downlight Series at LIGHTFAIR, which offeres a clever field-adjustable lumen selector for three distinct lumen levels equivalent to various CFL lamps.  Retrofits are very important and profitable in our industry and the simpler the better. The adjustable housing clips and wide trim ring allow the downlights to fit a large range of housings without the need for additional accessories. It can also be used in new construction.  The INNOFIT SERIES commercial downlights come in 4”, 6”, 8” and 9.5” form factors, 2700K, 3000K, 3500K and 4000K color temperatures, run on 120-277V universal voltage and last 40,000 hours.  LIGHTFAIR—San Diego (April)


Cree introduced the IG WaveMax Series LED Parking Garage Luminaire, bringing technology-driven design aesthetics to obsolete the more than four million parking garage luminaires installed in the U.S. Featuring WaveMax Technology for streamlined design and efficacy, the IG Series transforms the look of parking garages with superior low-glare illumination. The highly efficient luminaires can deliver more than 80 percent energy savings and quick payback of less than two years with 24 hour-a-day usage compared to outdated metal halide lighting. Programmable motion controls further increase these savings and enable a simple way to customize settings for high or low occupancy applications.  It is unlike any solution on the market - delivering the modern design, controllability and low-glare illumination.  One can actually stare at this fixture and feel no eye discomfort. 

Cree needs to get busy if they want to replace all 4 million existing luminaires, because with driverless cars, we expect parking garage lighting to become obsolete in about 20 years.  SDA Lighting Showcase—New York (September) 

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Forest/MLS launched their UniV8 with signs all over the Light + Building.   Our judges have had previous fierce discussions regarding retrofitting fluorescent fixtures with LED lamps and whether it is best to keep the ballast (easy install) or bypass the ballast (better long term-maintenance).  The answer is both and Forest Lighting has that solution with their UniV8 T8 LED, which is unique because its technology is ballast-compatible or direct wired.  Obviously, this reduces inventory for distributors, contractors, and end-users, and simplifies product selection.  UniV8 T8 LED is available in 4 color temperatures, rated at >100 LPW, and lasts 50,000 hours.  It is UL Listed for both Type A&B.  Light + Building, Frankfurt (March)


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The Lunetta by Amerlux was probably the most beautiful product introduced at LIGHTFAIR.  Post top luminaires don’t typically grab my attention, as they are basically a glare bomb on a stick.  The Lunetta is a seamless, glare-free curved funnel shaped luminaire, which uses a curvilinear three-dimensional form to create a shielding mechanism, resulting in a beautiful lamppost with low-glare, soft Lambertian illumination. The luminaire’s top cap is equipped with recessed high-performance LEDs aimed downward, grazing the top and pole with a beautiful gradating lighting effect. If you are interested in elegant glare-free lighting, Lunetta sets the standard. LIGHTFAIR—San Diego (April)


In 2015, Finelite launched their Tunable White Luminaires which was a big hit, but in 2016, they launched Google Play and Apple Itunes Apps. The app has an intuitive design featuring pre-set color and intensity levels as well as stepped tuning and dimming functionality. Color-tuning, uniform dimming, daylight zones and sensor logic are all ready to go. This allows for easy plug-and-play system set-up and fast install of luminaires and sensors. The only fieldwork is to calibrate the sensors.  As the industry moves to tunable white, Finelite is an early entrant with their luminaires, their controls and now their apps.   IES Annual Conference—Orlando (October)


One of the most practical devices introduced at LIGHTFAIR was the Connected Lighting Module (CLM) by OSRAM SYLVANIA.  It is one of the first LED fixture dedicated device to enable “out-of-the-box” wireless lighting controllable fixtures.  The module can be inserted into any fixture with a driver capable of providing 12V auxiliary output to instantly make them smart and able to be controlled wirelessly.  It also allows fixtures to connect to multiple wireless systems without the need to worry about compatibility and procurement with wireless light management systems.  The OSRAM CLM is Daintree Networks® ControlScope® certified, will operate on ZigBee Home Automation networks, and integrates with the ENCELIUM® Energy Management System.  OEM’s can use one device that works with a variety of leading wireless controls systems and offer a standard wireless controllable fixture. LIGHTFAIR—San Diego (April)