LIGHTFAIR 2015: Spotlight on bright ideas and innovation
Sometimes stepping away from your desk and into less familiar territory can shed light on bold new ideas and produce unexpected inspiration.
A few weeks ago, LIGHTFAIR International (LFI) was held at the Javits Center in New York City. Now in its 26th year, LFI is the world’s largest architectural and commercial tradeshow and conference, attracting thousands of attendees from around the world.
CEE’s One-Stop Efficiency Shop provides lighting audits and rebates to qualified small and medium-sized commercial customers in Minnesota’s Xcel Energy service territory. As its program manager, I’ve been to trade shows but had never attended LFI — until this year. As a first-time attendee, taking advantage of course offerings and the opportunity to see the latest technology felt overwhelming at times, but was well worth the effort.
The theme for 2015 was The Global Language of Light. Among LFI’s keynote speakers was Shuji Nakamura, PhD, who won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics for his invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes that facilitated the development of bright, energy-saving white light sources. In addition to notable presentations, LFI featured the annual “Innovation Awards” with 286 entries in 14 categories, and named Osram’s OmniPoint™ array-based luminaire the Most Innovative Product of the Year. In just three busy days, LFI also offered over 78 courses on tracks ranging from lighting basics to advanced lighting, control technologies, and the changing role of lighting in integrated building design.
Lighting pros won’t be surprised to learn that LED technology dominated the tradeshow floor. Reflecting a landslide of new technologies, LFI expanded exhibition categories this year to include alternative energy, software, exterior and roadway, digital signage, healthcare, and hospitality. A major trend this year was the further improvement of technologies to allow for more individualized lighting control in our homes and work spaces. Some of the technology advancements that stood out for me were:
- The explosion of LED filament lamps that replicate the antique incandescent look.
- High-CRI PAR lamps able to reproduce color more faithful to natural light.
- Higher wattage LED recessed cans designed for high-ceiling applications.
- Color shifting to replicate incandescents, particularly in dimming applications.
- Significant improvement of internal LED components that push the technology to the next level of efficacy, price, and durability.
- A further shift toward remote lighting operation through web applications.
- Deeper discussion of the potential role of lighting in integrated building design and the “Internet of Things.”
Every day, CEE’s One-Stop clients benefit from the lighting team’s deep knowledge of the field in which we operate. As LFI 2015 clearly demonstrated, the lighting landscape is more dynamic than ever and promises to provide continued opportunity for homeowners and businesses looking to reduce their energy use without sacrificing comfort and quality.
For more information on LFI 2015 or LFI 2016, visit lightfair.com. And learn more about CEE’s One-Stop Efficiency Shop at mncee.org/OneStop.
Photo Credit: SmartLightLiving