By all accounts, the 20th annual Lightfair was a huge success. According to the organizers, the event set record-breaking attendance with more than 23,000 industry participants. Like many trade shows with an educational conference component, it can be difficult to find enough time to visit manufacturer exhibits and attend seminars. Lightfair 2009 was no exception, with 75 sessions offered across multiple content tracks—the Lightfair Daylighting Institute, the Lightfair Institute, workshops, master courses, and seminars.

Healthcare Lighting That Saves Lives: Selecting and Specifying Luminaires for Environmentally Critical Applications
Speaker: George Ryder
This seminar focused on lighting design in surgical suites and isolation areas. Ryder noted that bacterial infections are the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. and result in $5 billion in healthcare costs per year. Designers often list features such as closed-cell gaskets, antimicrobial finishes, and ballast suppressors when specifying luminaires, but the importance of these is not always understood when fixtures are purchased by contractors and they often are omitted to reduce costs. A way to remedy this is for designers to write performance-based specifications rather than those based on features alone.

Ryder also discussed best practices for MRI suites, noting that incandescent fixtures are a poor choice for these rooms as they need to be replaced frequently. LED fixtures are not without their own problems, and can create noise when dimmed—potentially interfering with MRI equipment. There is no standard at present to address this issue, but Ryder believes one will be established within the next year.

Lighting Measurements, Metrics, and Myths
Speakers: Jay Catral and Randy Klimek
Over the past 30-plus years, there have been numerous standards and measurement devices developed to measure light and its color performance characteristics. Speakers Jay Catral and Randy Klimek gave an overview of how the human eye perceives color. They touched on the International Commission on Illumination's (CIE) luminosity function, which may be used to convert radiant energy into luminous (visible) energy. They also discussed the central color-matching function in the CIE's 1931 XYZ color space, the trichromatic theory of color vision, and the CIE's development in 1976 of the theory of Uniform Color Space. Next, the pros and cons of color rendering index (CRI) versus correlated color temperature (CCT) were reviewed, as well as different types of light measuring devices including the tristimulus colorimeter and the spectroradiometer. Catral and Klimek recommend that lighting designers know what light source is being used; are familiar with requirements (national, international, etc.); and know the differences between measuring instruments.

20 Years of Light and Lighting: A Look at the Recent Past with Lessons for the Future
Speaker: David DiLaura
The past 20 years have brought great advances to the lighting industry, including the development of new sources, luminaries, and controls; new technologies, including software; the creation of national and international organizations focused on lighting; and the influence of many individual lighting practitioners. Despite this, DiLaura feels that the “last two decades have been dangerously passive,” as codes now regulate the lighting industry beyond the control of designers. DiLaura believes that lighting technology will continue to alter architecture as we work toward more sustainable solutions.