I’m coining 2011 the year of the LED. With LightFair in Philly having ended, manufacturers and their reps are letting the new products trickle back to those of us waiting patiently on the West Coast. Having happened the same week as the Hospitality Design Expo in Las Vegas, there wasn’t much of a showing of great (not so decorative) lighting from the MFG crowd and for that, I was a bit disappointed in this years HDExpo festivities (minus the dinner with Wolf Gordon which I kinda remember but not completely due to no fewer than three Golden Dragons or Ornate Dragons or STRONG Dragons…. something like that. A story for another time).
ANYWAY (do I go off on tangents or what?) those who know me know I am a major proponent of the push for LEDs in commercial and residential spaces. As a result I either a) tend to quickly sell my clients on the benefits of the LED market, b) have a working LED module from Elite on the front seat of the Beast, and c) will specify LEDs in my designs whether the clients as for them or not. After completing the BendBroadband Vault late last year, I have a massive knowledge base of just how difficult it is to find a quality product in the LED marketplace. This year, however, proved that it might just be getting easier. Even more so, the good stuff is finally coming down in price so you can upgrade your door hardware (did I show you the great stuff from HD? … Sorry, another tangent) AND go LED instead of feeling guilty about giving up one for the other. So on to my three faves for last night’s showing…..(By the way, clicking the titles will link you to the actual product)
Personally I am a big fan of the Philips brand and what they’re doing for LEDs. BBVault was completed using some 40 Philips Omega square LED downlights in conjunction with the other 260 fixtures. This year, they’ve upped the ante with their LED display luminaire which I’ve been told (and can imagine) is not just limited to display fixtures. Coming in 12, 24, 36, and 48 inch lengths and temperatures of 4000K and 3000K (Cool white and warm white respectively), these fixtures can serve a multitude of uses. I think my fave from the rep is that a designer used these under the toekicks of millwork in an assisted living facility. Plug and Play connections (think round peg in round hole and you’re done) allow for a combination of up to 60 watts worth in a single run (did I mention that 60 watts will easily cover some 8 feet of these things?).
Instead of picking out just one fixture from Cooper’s line up I’m going straight for the platform because of its multitude of uses. Many companies already have the quintessential linear LED fixture (I should know, I needed them for the Oregon project) but fewer excel in two places – 1) the ability to change out the LED circuit board should it fail without replacing the entire fixture (think: waste) and 2) the availability of Lay-In troffers for suspended ceilings in commercial applications. Cooper Lighting is one of the few that have thought of both. Teaming up with Neo-Ray, Fail-Safe and Ametrix, the Cooper Linear LED Platform incorporates linear recessed fixtures (which can be installed as lit corners and Ls), cove fixtures, and most importantly TROFFERS! According to the literature your lumens per watt is nearly 76 on a 2×2 fixture which is huge considering the same fixture as a T5HO fluorescent is only 57 lumens per watt. Hello Ms. Savings! This is big for the world of Tenant Improvements. Pair with a Lutron system and you might as well get paid by the power company.
Ok… enough with the boring stuff right? I like fun interesting fixtures and Visa did not disappoint this year. In fact, I was pleasantly suprised since I’m always weary of lesser known companies trying to make their mark in the LED world. They’ve created a fixture which, when paired with their recessed light box, looks like acrylic bubbles in ellipse, teardrop, straight, frame and several other shapes popping out from the wall. More so, the back plates are paintable (order a pre-primed unit) or come in 32 standard finishes so no one ever knows the housing is there. For kicks, if you send them a design in any number of file types, they can custom cut back plates for your own design. Can someone say hotel room numbers? Heck, throw it on an emergency back up and have EXIT signs made in your own fonts.
Fun stuff right? If anyone has any questions about LEDs in commercial spaces please feel free to contact me. I’ve spent a lot of time combing materials and would love to help out where I can.