"Energy Efficiency is at the heart of energy affordability." Tony Earley, Chairman, CEO and President of PG&E Corporation

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San Francisco: Showcase at PG&E Center an Enlightening “Affair”

By David Kligman

SAN FRANCISCO — At its Pacific Energy Center, PG&E this week hosted an expo showcasing some truly innovative and efficient lighting technology.

Lighting designers, engineers and architects were among the 600 people who attended an annual light expo at PG&E's Pacific Energy Center. (Photos by James Green.)

Lighting designers, engineers and architects were among the 600 people who attended an annual light expo at PG&E’s Pacific Energy Center. (Photos by James Green.)

Automated controls are big this year. Silicon Valley vendor Danny Krueger sells devices to owners of large buildings that allow for easy controlling and customization of lights — from anywhere. He called energy-efficient LED lighting a revolution in the lighting world but said controls will soon become every bit as important for energy efficiency and convenience.

“A more invisible revolution is lighting control,” said Krueger, strategic sales director for Sunnyvale-based Enlighted. “That’s where we get individual control at a granular level for every user in every space.”

Learn more about the California model for energy efficiency

A theme this year: Lighting can save energy and look good.

Like a ceiling fixture wrapped in thick acoustic-absorbing fabric that helps reduce noise. Manufactured in Italy, it’s ideal for restaurants or open office spaces.

And decorative wall plates, including one made of crystal that sells for $350.

“I kind of like the red one,” said wall plate sales manager Bill Bates when asked his favorite. “The color of my ’63 Chevy in high school was just about like this, so maybe it just brings back good memories.”

Hundreds attend annual event

PG&E co-hosted the event— called “A Light Affair” — on Thursday (June 20) with the Illuminating Engineering Society. About 600 people, many of them lighting designers, architects and engineers, attended what’s the center’s second largest event after its annual water expo.

Some of products on display were glitzy, like this Italian-made crystal outlet cover that sells for $350.

Some of products on display were glitzy, like this Italian-made crystal outlet cover that sells for $350.

Robert Marcial, who oversees the center, said the point of the expo and educational seminar is to show building professionals and the public that they have a choice when it comes to lighting.

“What we hope that folks take away is that they have different lighting options,” Marcial said. “They see what’s currently available in the marketplace and what’s coming.”

You can view the products online. But those who attended the expo said there’s no substitute for seeing the lighting up close.

“I’m here because I need to see the fixtures in person,” said lighting designer Jennifer Cedar-Kraft. “There’s nothing like standing under a fixture, looking at it, looking how your skin looks and really seeing what affect is has on the environment around you.”

Streetlight technology, devices to change lighting in high ceilings, even mood lights — there seemed to be no end to the number of lighting products. As this expo demonstrated, there’s a lot more to illuminating a space than just a light bulb.

Email David Kligman at David.Kligman@pge.com

This story originally appeared on pgecurrents.com.