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Lighting Fair 2009 Review

[ 2009.07.08 ]

Tsutomu Ochiai, lighting designer (M&O Design Office) 

LIGHTING FAIR 2009, The 9th International Lighting Fair 2009 Tokyo, was held from March 3 to 6, 2009. The organizers of the exhibition were the Japan Luminaries Association and Nikkei Inc. The exhibition was almost dominated by white LED, a main light source of the 21st century. Japan is leading the world in energy-saving lighting. With a wide spectrum of products and systems using LED, LIGHTING FAIR 2009 seemed to mark the beginning of the growing market of LED as an energy-saving light source for the future.

Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 3 Photo 4
Photo 1, 2, 3 and 4 : LIGHTING FAIR 2009

Exhibition of the Largest Scale Ever / Main Trends

LIGHTING FAIR 2009 was held at East Halls 2 and 3 of "TOKYO BIG SIGHT," the Tokyo International Exhibition Center. LIGHTING FAIR is an exhibition held once every two years. The most important characteristic of the 2009 show was the dominance of LED lighting in the exhibition. In fact, the author was quite astonished to see that approximately 90% of the exhibits were products using LED. Main visitors to the show were people from Japan and other parts of the world who were working in the lighting industry and other related fields. They also included people coming to TOKYO BIG SIGHT for other exhibitions held at the same time and venue such as JAPAN SHOP (Japan's largest and most comprehensive show on store development) and ARCHITECTURE + CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS 2009. It was very probable that they felt the advent of the age of LED lighting in this exhibition. The main trends of LED lighting were best showcased in the booths of PANASONIC ELECTRIC WORKS / PANASONIC LIGHTING COMPANY (hereinafter called PANASONIC) and TOSHIBA LIGHTING & TECHNOLOGY (hereinafter called TOSHIBA). These two booths had particularly large spaces.

The presentation of PANASONIC, whose booth had the largest exhibit space at the venue, featured various practical applications of LED focusing on energy saving and environment friendliness. Characterized by the effective use of soft diffusion light and transmitted light, the company's presentations were designed to emphasize how tranquil and comfortable LED lighting could be in real, specific situations. In this sense, they were highly appealing to architects and lighting designers.

Photo 5 Photo 6 Photo 7 Photo 8
Photo 5, 6, 7 and 8 : Practical applications of LED
lighting for stores, cafes, residential and office spaces were showcased
in the spacious booth of the PANASONIC Group.

TOSHIBA's booth with a dynamic design was always crowded throughout the exhibition. The majority of the company's exhibits are LED products and systems. TOSHIBA was one of the first Japanese companies to develop and market LED down lights and LED light lamps. Visitors were keen to see the latest products of this forward-looking pioneer. The author was particularly interested in its new LED down light and LED lamp unit because they seemed to have a great potential of becoming highly popular products in the market. In a sense, TOSHIBA's booth was an embodiment of the company's commitment to these two products, the 100W down light unit called E-Core 100 and the self-powered compact LED lamp unit (with GX53 socket). While the former is an easy-to-use LED down light unit suitable for Japanese homes, the latter has a socket which has become popular in the United States and Europe for ultra thin compact fluorescent lamps. We should keep watching how they are accepted by the market.

Photos 9 Photos 10
Photos 9 and 10 : TOSHIBA's booth seen from outside and inside.

Photo 11
Photo 11: TOSHIBA's booth almost dominated
by LED lighting

Photo 12 Photo 13
Photos 12 and 13 : TOSHIBA's self-powered compact LED unit (sample only)
and GX53 socket (sample only)

LED Down Lights and Compact LED Lamps as Two Main Products

The 2009 show was the largest show in the history of LIGHTING FAIR with the participation of 134 exhibitors occupying 518 booths. Among a wide spectrum exhibits showcased, LED down lights and compact LED lamps formed a fairly large part of the exhibition. Down lights have been used widely in many different places, such as high-ceilinged stores, offices and homes. Japanese architectural structures tend to be small and low-ceilinged compared to those in the West due to its high population density and high land prices. Therefore, space-saving down lights have been well received in the Japanese market since they can be embedded in the ceiling. It is also notable that you can ensure an appropriate level of illumination and functionality at relatively low costs with down lights. The recently growing interest in energy saving has encouraged people to adopt not only power saving products but also lighting fixtures with little radiation. In this sense, LED products have attracted considerable attention.

The LED down light units exhibited by TOSHIBA at LIGHTING FAIR 2009 included different variations of its 100W/600W E-CORE series. PANASONIC LED down light units for stores and offices impressed visitors with its brightness (as bright as 100W or 150W incandescent lamps). The Revised Act on the Rational Use of Energy to be enforced from 2010 will require all business entities to further their efforts for saving energy. In short, even restaurants and small retail stores will have to choose energy-saving lighting fixtures. In order to meet such new demands, Panasonic plans to expand its range of LED slit down lights and LED universal down lights.

Photo 14
Photo 14 : TOSHIBA E-CORE100

Photo 15
Photo 15 : PANASONIC 150W LED Down Light

ODELIC's new line of LED down light units were very impressive with the beautiful designs of their heat sinks. In fact, they were too beautiful to be hidden under the roof. They reminded the author of a series of compact fluorescent lamps exhibited at the 1997 HANNOVER MESSE in Germany. These beautifully designed lighting units built of heat-resistant white plastic were designed to be hung from metal frames. Since these lighting units are completely separated from any exterior or interior elements of the building, they can be laid out as you like. More and more people would choose such lighting units if the skeleton-and-infill method become more popular. Lightweight and compact LED lighting units are suitable for the skeleton-and-infill system.

Photo 16 Photo 17
Photo 16 and 17 : ODELIC's down lights and a LED
pendant light with a beautifully designed heat sink

Photo 18 Photo 19
Photo 18 and 19 : Down lights for the skeleton-and-infill method showcased at the
1997 HANNOVER MESSE

New down light units exhibited at LIGHTING FAIR 2009 can be roughly classified into two groups, those focusing on color rendition (more than Ra90) and those focusing on brightness (approximately 70 l/w). Each exhibitor presented down lights with different light distribution angles (of 90 degrees, 60 degrees, 30 degrees and so on). The increased number of products with high color rendition (of more than Ra90) suggests that there is a strong demand for warm LED light. (KOIZUMI LIGHTING TECHNOLOGY exhibited some products of Ra98).

There had been almost no dimmable LED down lights in the past exhibitions. At LIGHTING FAIR 2009, some exhibitors including PANASONIC and DAIKO ELECTRIC exhibited dimmable, easy-to-control LED down lights. Among them were user-friendly, self-powered down light units. There were also a number of LED-related peripherals such as dimmable power source units (MORIYAMA) and switch circuits (ROHM). Now that LED lighting has become quite popular, we can choose the most appropriate LED down light system for our needs from many choices.

A set of self-powered LED down lights called AGLED were exhibited at JAPAN SHOP. They were ultra-thin (12 mm) LED down lights to be embedded in the ceiling using JIS-compliant 12.5-mm plaster boards. The benefits of LED light sources, their ultra-thinness and self-powered feature, were pursued with these products.

 Photo 20  Photo 21 Photo 20 and 21 : Ultra-thin LED down lights exhibited at JAPAN SHOP
(MARUZEN ELECTRIC)

There are two types of LED down lights: original down lights using original LED modules like those described above, and down lights using compact LED lamps. LIGHTING FAIR 2009 exhibited a number of down lights using compact LED lamps as well. Compact LED lamps are designed to replace traditional incandescent or fluorescent lamps for the existing Edison base sockets (E26 or E17). Different manufacturers have developed different compact LED lamps of different qualities and designs. The only specification common to all products is the bayonet cap design. All existing down light units are designed to comply with the Japanese safety standards. Therefore, any incandescent and fluorescent lamp can be used for any down light unit. Compact LED lamps are developed and marketed by various manufacturers to replace incandescent and fluorescent lamps for existing down light units.

The brighter compact LED lamps become, the more heat is generated. If they are used uncovered, there are almost no problems. If they are used within any particular equipment, such heat could decrease luminance efficiency and cause various problems. Certification authorities and other relevant organizations through the world are currently working to set rules and standards necessary for the safety use of compact LED lamps. The following photos show several compact LED lamps exhibited at LIGHTING FAIR 2009.

Photo 22 Photo 23 Photo 24 Photo 25
From left,Photo 22 : Compact LED lamp (GLORY, an exhibitor of JAPAN SHOP)
Photo 23 : Compact LED lamp(USHIO LIGHTING)
Photo 24 : Compact LED lamp(EFFECT MEIJI)
Photo 25 : Compact LED lamp(JEFCOM)

Photo 26 Photo 27 Photo 28 Photo 29
From left,Photo 26 : Compact LED lamp(STANLEY ELECTRIC)
Photo 27 : Compact LED lamp(MINTAGE)
Photo 28 : Compact LED lamp(ROHM)
Photo 29 : Compact LED lamp(ROYAL LIGHTING an exhibitor of JAPAN SHOP)

Photo 30 Photo 31 Photo 32 Photo 33
From left,Photo 30 : Compact LED lamp(IWASAKI ELECTRIC)
Photo 31 : Compact LED lamp(MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC OSRAM)
Photo 32 : Compact LED lamp(TOSHIBA Part1)
Photo 33 : Compact LED lamp(TOSHIBA Part2)

Photo 34 Photo 35
Photo 34 : Down light unit used Compact LED lamp(TES LIGHTING)
Photo 35 : Down light unit used Compact LED lamp(TOSHIBA)

The next exhibition, LIGHTING FAIR 2011, is scheduled to be held at TOKYO BIG SIGHT from March 8 to 11, 2011. I am looking forward to seeing the further evolution of LED lighting there. Prior to LIGHTING FAIR 2011, LED Next Stage 2010, a comprehensive exhibition on LED lighting will be held at TOKYO BIG SIGHT from March 9 to 12, 2010. For further information, please see the official web site of the exhibition.

If you are interested in participating in the next show, please contact the following for further information:
LIGHTING FAIR/LED Next Stage Overseas Contact Office
Tel. +81-3-3512-5670/Fax. +81-3-3512-5680
E-mail:tradefairs@smj.co.jp

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