Winners of Showstopper Awards at the 2013 NECA Show in Washington, D.C., r­epresent a broad assortment from simple to complex, ranging from a heated, hooded sweatshirt to a sophisticated mobile solar lighting system and magnetic cable ties to a 3-D laser scanning system that captures as-built documentation of a building’s existing systems.


The panel of judges—each representing a different position in the industry—selected 20 winners from 123 entries. To be eligible, products or services had to be introduced after Jan. 1, 2012, be available to customers, and not have previously won a Showstopper award.


At the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Showstopper entries were displayed in front of the exhibit hall entrance. Listed alphabetically, the following are the 2013 winners. Find corresponding product images above. Click to enlarge.


1 AMPROBE  The Amprobe LT-10 lamp tester is a pocket-sized tool that takes the guesswork out of troubleshooting fluorescent lighting fixtures. The LT-10 is a three-in-one solution to test the lamp, pins and voltage. With a 48-inch removable and retractable antenna, VolTect noncontact voltage detector can test energy-saving fluorescent lamps in seconds to determine whether they are close to the end of their lifecycle, cutting down on wasteful lamp replacement.

2 CREE  Cree LED lamps are similar in appearance to traditional incandescent filament bulbs but offer energy savings of as much as 84 percent. The soft-white Cree LED lamp is a 60-watt (W) incandescent replacement, consuming just 9½W, while delivering high-quality light output of 800 lumens. Backed by a 10-year warranty, Cree LED lamps are powered by Cree LED Filament Tower Technology for omnidirectional light in 2,700K and 5,000K color temperatures.

3 DAY & NIGHT SOLAR  The Sun Commander Series 8000 is a mobile photovoltaic unit with on- and offgrid capabilities. The base model provides 8,640W of alternating and direct current output. The Sun Commander can accommodate a variety of battery configurations to meet a wide range of needs. The industrial series begins at 25,920W, with thousands of amp hours of capacity. The range for the panel wattage is from 7,500–9,800W; battery life ranges from 424 to 1,000-plus amp hours.

4 EATON'S COOPER WIRING DEVICES  This hospital-grade USB-charging receptacle provides quick, convenient charging for smartphones, tablets, e-readers and other electronics, while meeting healthcare codes. The Arrow Hart USB charger with a hospital-grade, tamper-resistant receptacle provides Code compliance in addition to convenience for today’s rapidly changing technologies. The USB receptacle is a simple replacement for a standard receptacle and is intended for home offices, bedrooms and kitchens.

5 FLUKE NETWORKS  The Fluke 1730 three-phase energy logger is an intuitive, easy-to-use tool with professional-level energy-data-gathering capabilities. This streamlined tool has a straightforward, intuitive design that allows technicians to conduct key measurements of voltage, current, power and power factor to identify areas of energy waste. The information provides facility managers with the information necessary to identify and prioritize energy-saving projects.

6 GREENLEE  The G3 Tugger cable puller is promoted as having 25 percent stronger continuous load pull and 20 percent faster pulling speeds, and it can be set up three times faster than other light pullers on the market. The G3 Tugger pulls continuous loads up to 1,200 pounds and can pull up to 1,000 pounds at high speeds. It is designed to attach to a trailer hitch for outdoor pulls. A right-angle sheave places operators safely out of the direct line of cable pulls.

7 LEGRAND  The Itray is the newest addition to Legrand’s PW line of cable tray products. It was designed with many value-added features to streamline engineering, purchasing and cable tray installation. Straight sections are identified by NEMA class and fitting dimensions, splicing is easy and midspan splicing is standard, and clamp covers and an I-beam side rail design provides a stronger cable tray.

8 LEVITON  The four-port USB charger by Leviton offers four vertical USB ports and 4.2A charging power, providing the ability to charge four USB-powered electronic devices simultaneously. The USB ports are controlled by a microprocessor and a smart chip, which recognize and optimize the charging power of the connected devices. Engineered for compatibility with the latest technology, the Leviton four-port USB charger is designed to charge tablets, phones, gaming devices, e-readers and a host of other electronic devices.

9 L.H. DOTTIE  This 80-piece WIHA master electrician’s insulated tool kit contains every insulated tool likely to be needed on a job, stored in a lockable, watertight case with dedicated positions for all tools. Tools are individually tested to 10,000V for 1,000V rating and meet ASTM, VDE, CSA, NFPA, OSHA or EN/IEC 60900 insulation standards. Included are selections of pliers, cutters, drivers, sockets, knives, wrenches and ratchets.

10 MAG DADDY  This magnetic zip-tie mount secures a standard cable tie to a metal surface with an ultrastrong magnet, such as those used in aerospace and auto industries. Rated to hold 22 pounds, the magnet, will stick through oil, grease, paint and dirt. Mag Daddy fasteners are being used to secure low-voltage cabling, temporary wiring and wires along panel boxes. Simply fasten the zip-tie tip to the mount’s eyelet, enclose multiple wires with the zip tie, and attach the magnetic holder.

11 MILWAUKEE TOOL  The hooded sweatshirt heated by a M12 lithium-ion battery provides warmth with three sewn-in carbon-fiber heating zones with three temperature settings. It is made of a thick, tear-resistant cotton blend. A waffle-weave thermal liner and rib-knit cuffs keep the heat in. The high-visibility heated hoodie is ANSI/SEA 107 2010 Class II-compliant, exceeding job site and most roadside construction safety standards. Fully washable, available colors are red, gray, khaki, and high-visibility yellow-green.

12 SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC  The Square D Model 6 arc-resistant motor control center (MCC) provides an additional level of arc flash prevention and minimizes the potential for personal injury by containing and redirecting the arc energy out from the top of the MCC. Its unique design is engineered to enhance worker safety and offers a combination of incident-reduction options and an arc-containing enclosure.

13 SOUTHWIRE  The SimPull CoilPak contains no-lube wire in a sturdy, lightweight package for making tangle-free pulls. The package is molded with a handle that makes it easy to carry around, and it can lay flat or be stacked directly on the floor or lift when pulling wire from the package. CoilPak is one component of Southwire’s SimPull circuit management system of products that, when used together, affect time, margins and labor with circuit pulls.

14 SPEXCO  The decorative wire/cable raceway system looks like a decorative molding but actually is a wire and cable raceway and wire management system. The semi-gloss finish requires no painting, and installation simply involves attaching brackets, snap-on moldings and components, and caulk, if necessary. No precise measuring or miter cuts are required. The large-capacity profile is 5¾ inches. Wiring can be run before or during installation.

15 SP PRODUCTS  The four-way conduit box support plate shores up conduit for data, security, fire and other systems. Elimination of conduit clamps saves more than an hour of installation time. An installer can enter any side or back and support conduit above the box from one support with less time and material. There are ¼-inch-wide open slots on every wing. Simply bend built-in tabs down 90 degrees away from the box and slide conduit through openings.

16 THOMAS & BETTS  The Carlon horizontal Adjust-A-Box is designed for a variety of applications, including remodeling and new work for kitchens, bathrooms and baseboards. The box is preset at ½ inch and is adjustable from zero to 1⁷⁄₈ inches. It includes a metal bracket for horizontal mounting that clips onto any standard wood or metal stud. The box mounts squarely and securely without screws or nails but includes mounting holes for applications where more secure mounting is required.

17 TRIMBLE  The TX5 3-D laser scanning system provides an efficient, cost-effective method of capturing as-built and as-is MEP or structures. It is used for virtual design and construction projects in industrial and commercial facilities for revamping projects or to update existing plant documentation. Exact measurements can create 3-D models when no existing CAD data is available. The compact and lightweight design provides mobility at the job site, increasing field productivity.

18 VIRIBRIGHT  The Benchmark Series LED lamps are designed for general illumination in residential and commercial recessed lighting applications. Features include no mercury, dimmability, instant on, no flicker, long life up to 22.8 years, and a comparatively low market price through wholesale distribution. The 10W Benchmark lamp provides 820 lumens at a warm color temperature of 2,800K. Used an average of eight hours per day, its life is projected to be 25,000 hours.

19 WAHOO INNOVATIONS  The Escort light pole and material cart can accommodate a 40-foot light pole, helping move it around the job site and into position for assembly and installation. The material cart also can be used to move poles taken down for replacement and to transport ladders, conduit and other material. The sturdy, lightweight, two-wheel cart is easy to maneuver and can be quickly broken down for storage.

20 WESTEX  New TrueComfort fabrics are lightweight, soft and breathable and offer a guarantee of flame-resistance for the life of the garments. In addition, TrueComfort provides arc flash protection with an arc rating of 8.9 (ATPV) for NFPA 70E HRC 2 performance, and it is UL-certified to NFPA 2112 for flash fire protection. A variety of garments is available in TrueComfort fabrics for trades that require arc flash and flash fire protection.