Part 3 of 3 DAS’s 2017 trade show update. By Sharon Fahnestock.
Then it was off to Tustin, California to see Birchwood Lighting. Birchwood started making linear fluorescent fixtures in 1993 but now integrates LED technology across their product lines. They specialize in high-quality, American-designed & manufactured linear LED fixtures that allow designers flexibility in specifying wattage consumption and lumen output. DAS and Philadelphia area lighting distributor Diversified Lighting Associates toured Birchwood’s factory and learned about product lines, custom capabilities, manufacturing process, and specifying fixtures that meet today’s strict energy requirements and visual design needs.
DAS also toured the facilities of Ledra Brands, Inc. Ledra Brands includes three manufacturers: Bruck Lighting, Moto Luce, and Alphabet Lighting. Bruck offers a wide array of blown glass fixtures, track light systems, and indoor and outdoor sconces in transitional and modern motifs, all made in California. Moto Luce offers pendants, decorative wall & ceiling fixtures, and some of the most compact display light fixtures on the market. Alphabet Lighting (formerly Wila) specializes in commercial and specification grade downlight fixtures that offer high-tech options. Control methods for light fixtures are changing rapidly. For years the market has known of tunable color (RGB led fixtures and DMX drivers) and tunable intensity (through dimming systems, and more recently through smart chips controlled by Bluetooth applications). But soon Bluetooth-controlled light beam apertures may be a standard product offering. Alphabet Lighting’s smart fixtures with XIM chips also deliver Beacon technology, a useful tool for museums, hotels, casinos, and retail stores that provides customers with wayfinding information and gives service providers information on how much time a customer spent at a particular exhibit, retail display, etc. Alphabet also offers fixtures with optional Bios SkyBlue technology that provides a light spectrum that aids in regulating circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythm regulates our bodies’ hormone production, which influences a person’s sleep quality, cognition, performance, alertness, and metabolism. If you are feeling sluggish, it may be because your body’s circadian clock is off, and the right lighting can help reset it.
As LED chips, heatsinks, and other components get smaller, so do the light fixtures. This year’s Lightfair, the lighting industry’s premier trade show, saw many manufacturers offering extremely small light fixtures putting out amazing amounts of light. MP Lighting’s wine rack light system and in-grade spot lights were of note, as were Visual Lighting Technology’s retail display fixtures. A number of manufacturers offered field-cuttable LED sheets, ideal for evenly backlighting translucent surfaces. Suspension systems now allow low voltage light fixtures to be powered without bulky power cables. Light color rendering quality is improving also, with many LED’s having CRI’s above 95. And Edison style LED bulbs have come a long way… gone are the days of exposed LED diodes trying to mimic a vintage filament. The new lamps are beautiful, providing sparkle and energy savings.
With so much innovation and eye-catching product on the market, the future looks bright!