The View From Lightfair
Lightfair is in the rearview, here are some take-aways
Last week I wrote a preview post of what to expect at Lightfair. With the show closed, here’s a recap of the surprises and not-so-surprises from the show.
What Didn’t Surprise Me
I wasn’t surprised by the number of manufacturers displaying tunable white fixtures. Circadian lighting
seemed to be everywhere. The question remains who will make the sale on these concepts to the owners and end users who will ultimately benefit? We also need to talk about the science of circadian lighting. Is tunable white enough? Or are there traits inherent to the chips themselves they are necessary to truly engage the sleep cycle? It was one of the buzzier topics on the show floor this year.
made the most compelling advance in this regard. Introducing a controls system capable of triggering their color select (tunable white) system. Directly from a Crestron interface a touch wall box or even a pillow speaker. This to me seems how to advance tunable technologies – make them completely intuitive and easy to access for the end user, in the appropriate contexts.
was a major theme this year. IoT, apps and connectivity were on full display. Controlling groups of lights with a simple to set up app like the Douglas Bluetooth system
. Douglas is imagining taking their already simple and intuitive room control system and extending it to include wireless connectivity back to smartphones via Bluetooth. Right now that means launching the app and engaging with the lighting. Soon it could mean pairing your phone to your room controller so the room knows when you’ve entered and it engages your preferred settings based on previously defined preferences.
But apps can do more than trigger presets. LEDRA Brands
showed a new Vector series technology
using a liquid crystal lens that manipulates the beam spread of their downlights and track heads. Imagine designing a restaurant, at lunch service the lights could be bright and washy, then at dinner, zoomed down to the table tops with reduced brightness for a more intimate feel.
LEDRA explained that while these settings are inherently driven by the app, they are working through an open platform that will allow other lighting control systems to trigger these changes
What Did Surprise Me
There were far more startup LED lamp manufacturers than I expected. The bare bulb aesthetic (I thought) was waning, but I saw several large booths showcasing lots of different filament lamps. While I concede this is a look folks will probably want for a long time, I was surprised to see this segment grow at Lightfair. I also saw a lot more LED replacements for fluorescent tubes than I expected. I thought that was a market that had more or less matured, but apparently not, as multiple booths were showing new lamps. I was also surprised but how many new factories seemed to be showing this year, there were many new brands on the floor. I also heard from one of the presenters that there is a three-year wait list to get a booth. So apparently recent rumors of lightfair’s death have been greatly exaggerated.
More For LFI 2017
Enough opinion, we also had some amazing product on display at LFI this year. Head over to the gallery page, and you’ll see our presenters and some of the beautiful product that was on display.