Thursday, June 5, 2014

Smart Lighting: All the Rage at LightFair in Las Vegas

Lightfair 2014, which took place June 1-5 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, featured the latest design and technology in lighting. We had the opportunity to attend Lightfair this year. Lightfair is an industry conference and expo for the lighting industry with lots of displays focusing on commercial and architectural lighting.

Every year, this show presents a variety of luminaires and fixtures for the industrial, home, buildings, and outdoor markets along with a healthy mix of component vendors showing off their modular products that enable the amazing new lighting products.

With the platform of integrated design, exhibitors continued their march toward smarter control of fixtures while others offered networking solutions to make daylighting and color tuning more cognitive. LEDs, meanwhile, continued to shrink while packing higher densities into their devices.

These days, there’s a good amount of news out of Lightfair that’s of particular interest. Some highlights of this year’s Lightfair included Smart Lighting Systems.

Smart lighting, of course, is all the rage, even if it’s only part of the smart home solution. The question, of course, is how smart is this lighting?

Lutron debuted its Smart Bridge, a direct-to-consumer version of the previously announced Smart Bridge Pro home control hub. The Smart Bridge integrates lighting, shade, and a selection of third-party home control products, including Lutron’s Caseta dimmers, Serena shades, GE bulbs, and Honeywell thermostats.

Devices can be configured and controlled through apps on iOS and Android. The Smart Bridge hub will be available this fall with a retail price of $149.

Lutron also debuted new Pico remotes with integrated night lighting and battery-operated roller shades, now available as part of its affordable Serena Shades line. The new roller shades start at $399.

Notable exhibits at the show included the Topaz Lighting booth.

Did you know Topaz has a complete line of recessed downlighting fixtures?  That’s right.

Topaz showcased their vast selection of Nextwave™ products – a leader in world-class recessed downlighting and fixtures for every application – which are competitively priced and made with the highest quality materials. Nextwave™ recessed downlighting is an excellent alternative to the giant manufacturers.

Finally, I had a chance to challenge the CEO at slot-car racing on the elaborate, high performance Topaz track. The slick models were equipped with video cameras, while speeds were tracked by computer.

The challenge in slot-car racing comes in taking curves as fast as possible without causing the car to lose its grip and spin sideways. My car nearly left the track altogether.

Anyhow, that’s my report from Las Vegas. Lightfair will return to the bright lights and big city of New York in 2015. We’ll see you there.