At the 2016 NECA Show in Boston, 
a panel of experienced experts judged 184 Showstopper Award entries and selected 20 winners.


Every NECA Show features the Showstopper Showcase at the front of the exhibitor floor. It offers attendees a glimpse of the newest and most innovative products on the market. 


For this contest, all entries must have been introduced to the market after Oct. 1, 2015, and be currently available for purchase. ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR has sponsored the Showstopper awards for more than 20 years, and we present the winners each January issue. Here is the latest crop.

1 ACUITY BRANDS The nLight Air provides simplified wireless lighting control for renovation projects. The Clarity app streamlines device pairing, group creation and sensor setting customization of Acuity Brands’ LED fixtures with embedded smart sensors and wireless battery-powered wall switches. The easy installation saves time and money.

2 BASOR ELECTRIC The Basorfil BFR2 wire cable tray is shipped from the factory with splices in place, so each splice can be made much more quickly. The patented Basorfil wave wire design is UL-certified and creates a safer pathway that resists twisting. BFR2 cable trays are available in 2- and 4-inch depths and in widths of up to 24 inches. A full line of supports and accessories is available.

3 CHATSWORTH The Adjustable Cable Runway creates a highly flexible, point-to-point pathway to support cables and fiber in data centers, telecommunications rooms and other spaces where cabling enters or exits the pathway. Movable crossmembers allow components and accessories to be installed at various points along the runway, simplifying the alignment of cabling above racks, cabinets and cable managers. Crossmembers may be added, removed or adjusted.

4 CONEST SOFTWARE ConEst and GTP Services have come together for a new plug-in, GTP-IntelliBid. It integrates 3-D Revit designs with detailed construction costs directly with ConEst’s IntelliBid estimating software, making it easier to compare 3-D construction models to estimated budgets. The integrated software assists any design/build project requiring engineering, estimating and 3-D modeling.

5 DEWALT The 20V Max large-area light kit illuminates work areas with up to 7,000 lumens. AC/DC capability lets the light run on any DeWalt 20V Max battery or by AC power. Multiple lights can be connected for added illumination or to power a corded tool. With the DeWalt Tool Connect app, the lights can be controlled using a smartphone or tablet. Lights also can be programmed to go on and off at scheduled times.

6 EATON Eaton data center devices are designed for the needs of data center power consumption and preservation. NEMA L25 is configured for 30A, 240V, 2P/3W single-phase, and NEMA L26 is for three-phase, 30A, 240/415V, 4P/5W power. The family of devices includes plugs, connectors and receptacles, which are also available with isolated grounding. The ergonomic design provides comfort, and the double dovetail allows maximum grip retention.

7 EATON Power-Lock industrial plug and connectors are designed for safety by energizing within a chamber to eliminate the possibility of exterior arcing. The redesigned family of Eaton’s power lock devices includes plugs, connectors and receptacles. Built for specialized hospital applications and to withstand high abuse areas, they have durable nylon shell and glass-filled nylon bodies. Shown is the 30A 480V/AC 3 pole/4 wire receptacle.

8 EZ BOX ELECTRICAL The EZ Guard tube is a key element in the full EZ Box system and is designed to prevent arc-fault conditions at the root cause and save time. Designed specifically for wood construction, the EZ Guard is placed inside every stud that a wire passes through. Its steel sleeve provides 360-degree wire protection. The internal plastic tube has smooth, rounded edges, making it easier to pull wire. Furthermore, EZ Guard protects wire from scraping against jagged and splintered stud holes.

9 GARVIN Multigang adjustable mud rings are used when multiple devices are needed in one location and are mounted to mating multigang boxes, enabling the installer to raise or lower the mounting tabs from 3/4 inch to 11/2 inches. They allow a perfect “flush” device installation to finished surfaces, ensuring that devices are securely fastened and well-grounded to rings. The telescoping multigang inner ring adjusts to finished wall surfaces.

10 GREENLEE The G-series Smart Pull is a real-time, cable-pulling monitoring system designed to alert contractors when a cable pull has met or is exceeding manufacturer-recommended tension. When pulling force exceeds 80 percent of the cable’s limit, multiple warnings alert the worker to take action before the cable is damaged. A second alert is given when the pulling force has met 100 percent of the manufacturer’s recommended tension limit.

11 GREENLEE The Intelli-Punch 11-ton tool delivers 11 tons of force and is capable of punching up to 4-inch conduit-sized holes in 10-gauge mild or stainless steel and 6-inch conduit-sized holes in 14-gauge mild steel. Patent-pending autoretract technology senses pressure to accurately detect punch completion and automatically retract the ram, preventing damage to punch parts. It has a compact, ergonomic design and weighs only 6.1 pounds.

12 HILTI With the Hilti Firestop cable disc CFS-D, installing fire stop around cable bundles is easier and more cost-effective. The Firestop cable disc accommodates regular and irregular openings up to 1 inch in diameter. The preformed disc has a highly adhesive back and collar-type design that can be surface-mounted in 10 seconds or less without the use of additional tools, backfill or sealant. It is suitable for sealing through penetrations for low- and mid-voltage cables and low-voltage bundles.

13 KLEIN TOOLS The magnetic wire pulling system enables quick routing of cables in enclosed spaces and through walls, floors and ceilings. Its innovative leader-pull design can navigate many types of obstructions. It has a swivel leader eyelet that securely connects to most wires and mesh wire pulling grips. Its nonmarring nylon leader-pull with 20 feet of heavy-duty nylon rope and convenient spool and storage tube provide protection between jobs.

14 LEGRAND The Evolution series 10-inch poke-through device solves open space challenges in the most demanding environments. With recessed connections and a cover that opens a full 180 degrees with sliding doors, the design keeps wires, connections and people safe. An intumescent material maintains the fire rating of any floor for up to two hours. Evolution poke-through devices also are available in 6- and 8-inch versions.

15 LEVITON The Leviton dual-function AFCI/GFCI receptacle helps protect homes from arc faults and ground faults. If the device detects the hazards, it quickly cuts off power to help avoid a potential fire or shock. It is an NEC-compliant option for AFCI/GFCI protection in residential kitchens and laundry areas, for new construction, and for modifications/extensions and replacement receptacles.

16 MILWAUKEE TOOL The M18 Force Logic six-knockout tool is powerful enough to punch up to 4-inch holes in 14-gauge mild steel. Its compact, right-angle design delivers the best clearance in tight spaces. The 6-ton kit includes 7/16-inch draw stud, 3/4-inch draw stud, quick-connect alignment system, exact 1/2- to 2-inch conduit, punches and dies, two extended battery packs (M18 and M12), multivoltage charger and carrying case.

17 MILWAUKEE TOOL The magnetic tape measures with finger stop have proprietary nylon bond blade protection and a five-point reinforced frame for drop protection. The dual-sided printing with blueprint scale on the bottom side provides even more functionality while working overhead and with blueprints. An improved finger-stop mechanism protects users’ fingers and maximizes stability during layout applications. The tapes are available in four footage options and two metric lengths.

18 SOUTHWIRE The Tappan fire alarm cable comes in SIMpull CoilPAK wire payoff. By reducing the physical effort associated with material handling—pulling wire out of the package and through conduit—it increases safety and productivity. The wire is fully encased. It includes the SIMPull NoLube wire jacket and features payoff directly from the package. It also features a built-in handle for carrying.

19 SOUTHWIRE TOOLS The Technician Pro Bluetooth multimeter with Bluetooth is a True RMS multimeter that makes accurate AC readings. A low-z function eliminates false readings from “ghost” voltage. Lighted controls and backlit display are visible in dimly lit areas. It features Bluetooth for viewing, recording and sharing readings using Southwire’s MApp mobile app.

20 THOMAS & BETTS Type 316 S/S liquid-tight fittings connect flexible metallic liquid tight conduit to boxes or enclosures. They are constructed of Type 316 stainless steel for superior corrosion resistance, plus high strength, UV resistance, and performance up to 105°C. The new stainless steel fitting is stronger and more UV-resistant than nonmetallic fittings. For applications above 150°C, Thomas & Betts offers high-temperature versions with black insulators and sealing rings.