by Brianna Crandall — May 18, 2018 — The recent 29th LIGHTFAIR International (LFI) annual architectural and commercial lighting trade show and conference in Chicago showcased the products and knowledge transforming the future of light and technology. The prestigious LFI Innovation Awards highlighted the industry’s most innovative products and designs introduced during the last 12 months.
The 2018 LFI Innovation Awards saw 238 entries spanning 14 categories, with each submission judged by an independent panel of lighting professionals. Winning entries exemplified the best in innovative design and thinking, says LFI.
Among the 18 winning entries are the four key awards listed below.
Most Innovative Product of the Year — the program’s highest award, recognizing the most innovative new product
LEDRAbrands (for Alphabet NU Vector Series downlights)
The NU Vector Series of downlights by Alphabet, a brand of LEDRAbrands, was also the Downlight Category winner and a Top 10 Must See Products at Lightfair 2018 from EdisonReport. Alphabet overhauled its products last year to better integrate cutting-edge LED, wireless controls and advanced optics. The NU Vector Series is constructed of an advanced, UL fire rated, organic polymer material to efficiently broadcast wireless signals through the trim and housing. This allows the ALPHABET IoT initiative to move forward integrating and enabling the top Bluetooth and proprietary MESH controls protocols on the market. The company can now integrate specialized LED and Optics like the LensVector LCD, wireless controlled beam shaping technology present in the NU Vector Series. Alphabet has solutions that can control Vector optics, dimming, color, timing, grouping and scene setting, all from one app using standard wall control units or tablets. LED technologies in the NU Series include XICATO Intelligent XIM with an SDCM of 1×2, iBeacon, and data logging with GalaXi enabled. They are also offered with the new SUN natural solar spectrum, Luminus color tuning and dim-to-warm as well as the Lumenetix five-color tuning module.
Design Excellence Award — recognizing outstanding achievement in design
Acuity Brands Lighting (for Juno FlexConnect featuring micrOptix technology)
Juno FlexConnect luminaires by Acuity Brands also won the Best of Category award in the Dynamic Color, Theatrical, Cover, Strips and Tape category. FlexConnect luminaires incorporate the industry’s smallest and most configurable linear optic system, and are ideal for wall grazing, wall washing, and other architectural lighting applications. Additional Acuity Brands Best of Category winners were: the CHISEL family of luminaires from Mark Architectural Lighting (Commercial Indoor Luminaires category); Quantum ELM2LF Fixed Optics emergency luminaires from Lithonia Lighting (Industrial, Vandal Emergency and Exit category); and the Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) emergency lighting LED battery pack from recently acquired IOTA Engineering.
Technical Innovation Award — recognizing the most forward-thinking advancement in lighting technology
Crestron Electronics (for SolarSync CCT & Lux Sensor (GLS-LCCT))
The SolarSync photosensor from Crestron was also the Best of Category winner for Controls: Components, Sensors, Interfaces and Software. The daylight sensor with correlated color temperature (CCT) and a luminous intensity meter was designed to analyze the color temperature of the ambient light and direct the indoor lighting to automatically match the detected color when mounted outdoors or in an area exposed to plenty of natural light, recreating natural light for health and productivity benefits. This innovative sensor can drive indoor lighting to match the color and intensity of the sunlight throughout the day, or create artistic lighting scenes that make midnight feel like a sunny afternoon. SolarSync also has manual mode or inclement weather dead band settings to maximize the best lighting effect at all times with no effort.
Judges’ Citation Award — special recognition of an innovative product at the judges’ discretion
Resilient, LumEfficient (for LumEfficient’s LiFi)
LumEfficient’s LiFi, winner of the Controls: Components, Sensors, Interfaces and Software category, is engineered to make the Internet faster and more secure by using light to transmit Internet signals instead of slower, more vulnerable radio signals used by standard WiFi. The light is simple in that it uses Power-over-Ethernet (POE) to provide the light as well as the Internet connection. The Internet is transmitted using beams of light from the LiFi-enabled LED light fixture to the laptop or tablet. LiFi technology allows the deployment of a full wireless network offering high-speed mobile connectivity while supporting multiple light fixtures that act as access points. LiFi has been deployed in beta sites at locations in France in high-security areas where standard Wi-Fi is too risky; LumEfficient is presently looking for similar beta sites in the US. LumEfficient claims it was the first US lighting company to launch LiFi, earlier this year at LEDucation in New York.