2016 was a great year for lighting. LED prices continued falling while innovation maintained its sharp upward trajectory.
And now, because it's December, we're starting to see a bunch of superlative lists, ranking the top lighting products of the year. As they come through, we'll feature a few here on the blog.
Today, we'll look at a list that was put together by Commercial Architecture.
In the latest edition of the Commercial Architecture Magazine, they featured the best lighting and electrical products of 2016, along with products that fell into a bunch of other categories, like HVAC, windows and doors, building technology, and the like.
As a brief disclaimer before we look at the list, please note that Regency Lighting is a national commercial lighting distributor with access to a wide variety of products from hundreds of manufacturers. We vet new products before they flood the market, negotiating the best pricing we can for our customers. Lighting is definitely not one-size-fits-all, so it's always helpful to speak with a specialist before making a lighting buying decision.
Here are some highlights from Commercial Architecture's top lighting and electrical products list:
Best LED lighting portfolio: Sylvania's Contractor Series line
Sylvania's affordably-priced Contractor Series LEDs were recognized for their quick impact on the lighting market last year. Created specifically as an alternative to compact fluorescent products, these lamps provide superior quality and efficiency with similar pricing.
Best T8 LED replacement: Forest Lighting's UniV8 T8 LED
With efficacies as high as 115 LPW (lumens per watt), Forest Lighting's UniV8 T8 LED product caught the magazine's eye. The tube is ballast compatible and designed for 4-foot applications. It is available in 3500, 4100, 5000, and 6000 K color temperatures with either 15 W or 19 W.
One thing to keep in mind with this product, spec-wise, is its CRI, which is below 80, so it may have limited applications.
Best LED recessed/ surface-mount disks: Jesco Lighting's Radianz PK900 LED Slim Disk
Jesco's Radianz PK900 LED Slim Disks are designed for showcase, display, undercabinet, and accent downlighting applications. The high-output fixture is available as either fixed or aimable, and comes in black, silver, or white finishes. They also come in a range of color temperatures.
Best outdoor area LEDs: Cree's RSW LED
Cree's RSW LED street luminaires have efficacies as high as 115 LPW and come in 3000 or 4000 K color temperatures. Commercial Architecture's write-up on the product mentions that they "are said to deliver comfortable, uniform, and dark-sky friendly LED lighting to roadway applications."
Best outdoor light poles: MaxLite
MaxLite's line of outdoor luminaires are available in heights as high as 30 feet, designed for area, pedestrian, and parking lot lighting applications. Its whole line –– including both fixture poles and mounting accessories –– garnered Commercial Architecture's attention.
Best wireless lighting control: Lutron Vive
The Vive wireless lighting control system from Lutron includes dimmers, switches, a wireless controller, and a wireless hub, integrating with other building and energy maanagement systems. As mentioned by Commercial Architecture, Lutron's Hi-lume Premier LED drivers are said to be able to pair with the system for flicker-free dimming down to 0.1 percent.
Download Regency's LED Buying Guide for help choosing the best product for your application
The above list helps to pare down the sheer multitude of lighting products, but it's not exactly exhaustive, as it only features products released in 2016 and is relatively narrow in its scope of product types.
We're here to help guide you through the tricky process of choosing between lighting products. If you're thinking LED, our newly-released LED Buying Guide was written for you. It's easy to use and designed to be a handbook resource the next time the lighting guy drops by with samples (or the magazine you're subscribed to releases a superlative list).
Whether you're trying to avoid heavy up-front cost or looking to install state-of-the-art lighting in your future buildout –– or somewhere in between –– we've included some helpful tips and manufacturer-specific recommendations in the guide that should clear things up.