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NAILD Hands Out 2018 Product Sprint Awards

PRINCETON JUNCTION, N.J.—Keystone Technologies, SATCO, Lutron Electronics and Gripple took home top honors at the 2018 Product Sprint Awards, the National Association of Innovative Lighting Distributors (NAILD) announced today.

NAILD’s Product Sprint awards honor lighting manufacturers with the best products in five categories. Exhibitors showcased their newest products during NAILD Innovation 2018 at the Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa in Palm Springs, California. NAILD’s distributor members voted the winners of the prestigious awards, which are the pinnacle of design innovation and technical achievement.

“We’re pleased to introduce this year’s winners of NAILD’s Product Sprint,” said Cory Schneider, who was named the organization’s 2018 president at the conference. “These companies manufacture truly innovative products and these awards are given by lighting distributors, who know exactly how the products perform for the end user.”

Keystone’s SignHero earned “Best Lamp” and voters also named it “Best Overall” at the conference. In 2017, Keystone’s Smart Safe LED Emergency Battery Backup Kit was voted “Best Ballast/Driver” and “Best Overall.” Keystone also swept the same categories in 2016 for its Future Fit LED kits.

The 2018 Product Sprint winners are:

Best Luminaire: SATCO, Blink™ Plus Profile LED surface mount fixtures

Ultra-low profile, edge lit LED fixtures, available in gun metal and bronze finishes. Available in seven different size options, including popular 1’x4’ and 2’x2’ versions. Mounts directly to any 3” or 4” box.

Best Lamp & Best Overall: Keystone Technologies Inc., SignHero chain or parallel

SignHero is the quickest way to retrofit or build a sign cabinet with LED. Operating off of line voltage, it bypasses the ballast and wire using the existing sockets, allowing for installation in less than 5 minutes. No external driver required.

Best Control: Lutron, RA2 Select

The RA2 Select is a simpler, differentiated lighting, shading and home control system providing smart home capabilities while also providing easy setup for the installer.

Best Accessory/Service: Gripple, The Angel

The Angel is a cable hanger kit for lighting is now available in black to blend into dark ceiling spaces.


Forces Under 40

NAILD also named two young, dynamic lighting industry leaders as Forces Under 40 for 2018:

  • Jon Hermansen, 30, is an industrial designer and new product development manager at LSI Industries. As LSI moves towards producing contemporary architectural lighting fixture designs, Hermansen’s designs are a significant part of the company’s new direction. He creates highly stylized, attractive fixtures that are cost-effective to manufacture. His concepts and product designs have led to a stream of products that are helping to transform the company. Hermansen is responsible for LSI’s latest luminaire family, the sleek LED Mirada Series.
  • Greg Ehrich, 37, is vice president of Premier Lighting. When he was first hired, he worked on straight commission and focused on cold calls. Not only was he excited to sell a six pack of A19s, Ehrich was fast, aggressive and never forgot anything. He became a partner in the business a short time later. Thirteen years later, the company has tripled its sales and continues to be a lighting leader in the St. Paul/Minneapolis area. Ehrich also served on the NAILD board of directors, culminating in serving as president in 2015. During that time, he helped to redefine NAILD and relaunch the lighting specialist training programs. Ehrich also partners with lightED to post his lighting podcast “Get A Grip” on

“Jon and Greg represent the best of the next generation of lighting professionals,” Schneider said. “We’re thrilled to recognize their contributions to our industry so far and we’re excited to see their continued success.”

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