Lightfair 2014 was held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, June 1-4. 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 discrete and modular products that enable the amazing new lighting products. In this age of Internet of Things (IoT), exhibitors continued their march toward smarter control of fixtures while others offered networking solutions to enable that control. One company discussed its plans to bring a modular, sensors-based solution into the last mile of the network down to the fuxture to make daylighting and color tuning more “cognitive.” Discrete LEDs, meanwhile, continued to shrink while packing higher densities into their devices.

Cree tunable white LED

Bridgelux V15 LED light source

Cree’s XQ-E tunable white LEDs, for instance, deliver up to 287 lumens at 3 W, 85°C in a 1.6-mm x 1.6-mm footprint and are available in 2700-K to 6200-K color temperatures. They offer minimum CRI options of 70 and 80. The XQ-E company also showed off its LMH-2 lighting module for high ceiling applications with light output ranging from 850 to 8000 lumens from a single light source. It is positioned to replace 150-Watt ceramic-metal-halide (CMH) lamps while consuming a fraction of the power. The family also features a CRI of better than 90 and sunset dimming down to 1800 K to mimic the light output of incandescents.

For mid-power applications, Osram Opto Semiconductors’ Duris S-8 Series LED offers output to 500 lm and different luminous flux packages. Their small light emitting surface suits directional lighting while their low thermal resistance makes them suitable for high operating power applications. The color is 2700/3000/4000 K, and the viewing angle at 50 percent lv is 120 degrees. The company’s latest chip-on-board product -- SolerIQ S COB arrays was also on display. The series features high efficiency of 120 lm/W and a high luminous flux of 3950 lm at a correlated color temperature of 4000 K at high operating temperatures (TJ = 85°C).

Bridgelux extended its V Series of COB-based arrays with its V10 and V15 LED light source. The V10 is intended for standard downlights, and the V15 is positioned as a metal halide replacement. These COB light sources can produce up to 118 nominal Lm/W for down lights, track and spot lighting, and landscape lighting. Nominal lumen outputs range from 1,000 to 3,000 Lm for V10 and V15 respectively. These arrays, which come in a smaller package than the company’s Vero line, feature desirable flux density and tight beam control.

Dow MS-3003 RP moldable silicon

Outdoor and roadway applications may benefit from Thomas Research Products’ EOL3 Series surge protector product line for LED drivers. The new offering features high protection to 20,000 A for up to 277 V power. An indicator flashes at power up to let the user know it is working, and at end of life, the protector opens the load and turns off the fixture while the indicator provides additional verification to the user.

Notable materials at the show included Dow Corning’s moldable silicons. The MS-2002 is intended to be overmolded onto transparent silicons and is intended for use in LED lamps and luminaires while targeting reflectivity as high as 98 percent. This high reflectivity helps increase light output and improve energy efficiency. Another moldable silicon – the MS-3003, which is currently sampling -- is intended to enable pre-mixing of remote phosphors used in two- or three-dimensional secondary optics so users can use any phosphor they wish to get the desired color temperature. The MS-1001, meanwhile, represents the product line’s highest hardness material with a Shore D 25 hardness after cure. Other products included the CI-2001 – a sprayable reflective silicon material that reflects 95 percent of light.

High power chip manufacturers looking for an alternative to ceramic substrates may wish to consider 3M’s LED Chip Packaging Substrate. Offered in a tray and reel format, the substrate consists of copper and polyimide. According to the company, the LED chip sits directly on top of a large copper conduit area held by a robust polyimide frame without adhesive, which are not required to assemble the substrate. This allows the substrate to be used at high temperatures.

WAGO 2059 SMT PCB terminal block

WAGO’s 2059 SMT PCB terminal blocks target very small LED modules and are positioned to reduce the space required for the connection. The light color and low profile of the PCB terminal reduce on-board LED shadowing. According to the company, the pushwire connection of solid or pre-bonded conductors, with a tool-operated release slot, enables a high-quality and maintenance-free connection between drivers and LED modules. The terminal blocks also feature wire removal capability (in case of wiring errors or at the end of module life).

Soraa extended its offering of lamps based on its full-visible-spectrum Violet-emission 3-Phosphor (VP3) LED technology. The company makes its own LEDs using a GaN on GaN process which, like steel on steel, heats and cools at the same rate, and adds three phosphors to emit a violet light. The company says its VP3 Vivid Color uses every color in the rainbow, to achieve a CRI of 95 and deep red (R9) rendering of 95 at color temperatures ranging from 2700K to 5000K, while Natural White is achieved by engineering the violet emission to properly excite fluorescing agents in natural objects. This new offering of lamps includes AR111, PAR30L (long neck), PAR30S (short neck), and PAR38 devices.

Finally, I had a chance to visit the Connected Lighting Alliance. This Industry Standards Technology Organization (ISTO) of the IEEE was formed to promote interoperable wireless lighting connectivity – beginning with residential lighting – by advocating for an open standard that can help eliminate the non-interchangeable wireless communication that can confound consumers when they purchase smart lighting products. The Alliance recently endorsed ZigBee Light Link as the preferred common open standard for residential connected lighting applications. Look for the Connected Lighting Alliance to bring together component suppliers, solution providers, standards development bodies, and compliance testers to help achieve an interoperable, wireless lighting control environment.

Lightfair returns to the bright lights and big city of New York in 2015. I’ll see you there.