Project Green Life Smart Life recently attended the 20th annual LIGHTFAIR® Lightfair 2009International (LFI), the world’s largest annual architectural and commercial lighting trade show and conference in New York with over 23,000 industry professionals in attendance.  Actively researching products and sponsors were Joe Hageman, co-founder of Green Life Smart Life™ and aspiring LEED homeowner, and myself, having just been chosen to prepare the lighting design, electrical plan and fixture schedule for the project.  We found LightFair to be a great resource.

Focused on LEED qualifying, ENERGY STAR® lighting fixture selections for the Green Life Smart Life home in Rhode Island; logically I saw the opportunity to share ideas and to observe a much broader and more focused collection of solutions for the project by attending LightFair.  I met Joe in NY and, with over 170,000 square feet of manufacturers exhibits, we logged more than a few miles amidst the foot traffic.  The show was the largest ever, with 475 national and international manufacturers all showcasing their latest product designs, technological advances and lighting solutions.  Displays were bigger, brighter, and better than in previous years and overwhelmingly the LED (light emitting diode) technology was featured for every imaginable style and type of lighting fixture.  Aside from attending pre-scheduled booth meetings with manufacturers who were already committed to providing their products for the project, including NSL (National Specialty Lighting) and Lutron Homeworks™ for the lighting control and automation system, we met with many other manufacturers as we walked the entire show floor and back again several times.  We were given demonstrations and many displays were hands-on with their products, allowing us to get a better feel for the quality and capabilities.  This face-to-face communication allowed us to reach out to the various marketing contacts for their potential sponsorship of the project.

One of the most intriguing energy savings solutions was the ultimate energy savings light source, the sun.  Using natural daylight with a technique know as daylighting with windows, skylights and passive channeling of the sun’s natural daylight into a room or area via a reflective duct to a lens or diffuser.  This provides the suns lighting where you need it, illuminating entire rooms at no energy costs.  We saw this featured with a company called Solatube. and for rooms you use during the day that are normally dark, like laundry rooms, garages, pantries, kitchens, etc. this product seems like a really logical choice. 

Several LED recessed lines were very appealing and seemed promising. However, Juno Lighting Group caught our attention from the beginning.  Juno’s LED lighting lineup was by far the most diverse and their recessed fixture line offers over 600 lumens with just 14 watts (that’s equivalent to 65 watt conventional incandescent bulb).  After we explained the sponsorship opportunities of the Green Life Smart Life project to their VP of Marketing, they were interested in potentially supporting the project.  These EnergyStar® rated fixtures are sure to qualify for the strict LEED-H (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design), via a point structure to insure the project meets the strict criteria for the lighting as we move forward with our fixture selections.

Bright LEDs were abundant and it was very reassuring to see many new linear and track LED lighting first hand.  Huge technological advances have been made in the brightness and reduction in LED fixture size, allowing for brilliant cove and under cabinet lighting applications, all at a fraction of Xenon or incandescents much higher wattage.  The overwhelming spoken word at the show seemed to be regarding the incandescent lamps’ future and viability.  Everyone’s focus seemed to be on a replacement with LED, having a direct screw or plug in substitute.  There was also significant concern over the quality of light the incandescent produces verses finding more energy efficient and longer performing fixtures that the LED and CFL (compact florescent lighting), fixtures offer.  Most manufactures were quick to offer their stats for color temperature and quality of light produced with energy saving substitutes like LED and CFL.

Light Fair had a resounding green initiative and Joe and I felt we had a much better appreciation of the lighting solutions for the Green Life Smart Life project.  We are well under way with participating sponsors, as well as preparing the final lighting design and fixture schedule for the project.  I’m really looking forward to seeing the completed design as it illuminates this spectacular green home with the other coalition of sponsor partners.

This post was brought to us by Jay Montgomery, Lighting Designer & founder of AmenityGreen™ a Light, Sight and Sound Interiors, Inc. company

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