Back in the office following a pretty successful show. I heard people call this show “LED Fair” which I guess is a fair comment considering that almost every booth had some form of LED technology showing. One booth displaying cold cathode technology actually put up a sign saying “NOT LED” which drew some attention.
Anyway, this is in no way a complete coverage of LightFair. Only my take on the show and a few of the highlights for ME.
For me, the most impressive product I saw (and I am a little biased) was the Cree LRP-38.
It’s a PAR38 or AR111 lamp, primarily targeting retail display applications, but could be used anywhere. In typical cree fashion, this light looks awesome off AND on, and does not look LED. In fact, unless you know it’s an LED, you’d probably bet your last dollar otherwise. The LRP-38 is approximately 600 lumens and draws 12 watts. It’s supposed to be similar to a 90w par 38 lamp, but I don’t think so. It’s bright enough to do what it needs to though – and looks AWESOME doing it.
Expect to see a lot from this killer new fixture in the months to come.I already heard rumor that Cree is working to close a MAJOR national retailer with an order of several million units. LED Source will have stock in June!
The next thing I grabbed onto were a few “backroom showings” of a technology called Remote Phosphor. This technology is already used in many of the white LED’s we see today. If you know me, you’ll understand why I am not gonna try and go into technical detail on this topic – but in laymans terms, remote phosphor technology basically utilizes UV LED’s with a “Dome” or lens over that is coated with phosphor. When the UV LEDs are turned on – the phosphor lights up and increases the intensity coming from the UV LEDs. They’ve dialed in very good temp’s of White. I saw a couple of different variations. One was a piece of 12″ cove with a phosphor cover. The resulting product was a 12″ semi-round cove with perfectly even surface, great color temp – and a million possibilities.
Another fun product was the CK (okay, PHILIPS) ColorReach with RGB / White combination.
Until now, the reaches we’ve sold were all RGB but this makes HUGE sense. You could have the top in white with 10 degree optics and the bottom in RGB with 60 degree as an example. Sooooo many cool possibilities, and a great progression for a killer light.
Recently, LED Source did a project with ColorReach where replacing 1 to one, they were able to achieve the same light levels as white fixtures consuming 75% more electricity and lasting only 2000 hours!
Lastly, outside the show – there was a lighting display of great significance. The founder of CK, George Mueller, has started another LED brand called EcoSense. While they did not exhibit at Lightfair, they did take a hotel suite at a local hotel, plus had a cocktail reception one evening. The products from EcoSense look very promising, and a few are already available to purchase from LED Source. Judging by his past success, I’d say George is someone you might want to pay attention to in the LED world.
Unfortunately, that’s about all I’ve got to report for now. The show was great, but in general, the “New” product offerings were relatively lack luster, repetative, and boring. I did get to see the new VariLite VLX wash light, which surprisingly WASN’T on display at the Philips booth, but instead on the chip manufacturer Luminus booth. Not sure why – but seemed sorta strange to me. The light looked “good”… but I am still on the fence on this one. I guess time will tell. I learned a lot about the cooling technology though by talking with an engineer from another manufacturer. My questions on this product basically surround the cooling, LED life, replacement cost of the light engine, etc. Rental companies LOVE led’s because they are low maintenance. Will the VLX be the same? Again – time will tell.
Out for now.