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Empire State Building Lights to Cut Energy 75%; Lightfair Kicks Off

The Empire State Building has unveiled plans to install an external lighting system that will use 75 percent less energy than its predecessor, as lighting companies unveil new products at Lightfair International, North America’s largest annual commercial and architectural lighting show, taking place in Las Vegas this week.

The Empire State Building’s new lighting system was originally conceived four years ago. At that time the building’s representatives decided not to pursue the project as performance was not good enough and costs prohibitively high, reports The New York Times.

The decision to go ahead now was made as the lights currently available provide seven times more light than those available four years ago. The new lights should last three to six times longer than the existing lights, the paper reports, and the system will building managers much greater flexibility in lighting displays.

The Empire State Building has undergone extensive retrofitting to its windows and automation systems since 2009, earning it LEED Gold certification. Yesterday project engineer Johnson Controls announced that the improvements saved $2.41 million in the first full year after project completion, more than 5 percent above expectations, Reuters reported.

In Las Vegas, Philips has used Lightfair to launch a raft of new products, including:

  • A dimmable 100-watt LED equivalent lamp that uses 23 watts to deliver nearly 1700 lumens. The lamp will be commercially available in Q4 2012;
  • An expanded line of dimmable Philips EnduraLED retrofit lamps that eliminate traditional heat sinks;
  • A software-based control systems from Philips Teletrol that can manage lighting systems across multiple locations.

Philips will also be introducing “drop-in” LED technology from its Philips Lumiled line, including the Luxeoa H for space-constrained applications. The company’s LivingShapes range will include infrared sensors that detect occupants in a room and adjust lighting levels accordingly.

GE Lighting is to release an LED replacement for the 100-watt incandescent light bulb — developed in its East Cleveland, Ohio LED lab — that packages 27 watts of input power in a standard A-19 bulb shape. The GE Energy Smart 27 watt LED bulb incorporates proprietary synthetic jet technology that was enabled by the company’s collaboration with its Ecomagination challenge winner Nuventix, creator of LED cooling technologies for energy-efficient lighting.

Cree Inc. has announced an agreement with Lutron Electronics to embed Lutron EcoSystem technology on a chip in Cree luminaires. The companies says the alliance has created the world’s most energy-efficient commercial troffer lighting control and delivery system.

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