This is a very interesting and exciting time for the lighting and lighting system industry. In fact, you could argue that the last time the lighting industry has seen this level of disruption, innovation and advancement was back in the late 1800s, when Thomas Edison began marketing the first ever commercially manufactured and long lasting light bulb.
As the world braces for – and works to avoid – the impacts of global climate change, consumers are increasingly looking to lights and lighting systems to become more energy efficient and “green.” Simultaneously, lighting manufacturers are racing to meet consumer demand for “smart” devices that are increasingly network enabled and connected.
These trends, as well as many more, will be on display later this month at LIGHTFAIR International (LFI), the preeminent architectural and commercial lighting trade show and conference. Each year, LFI brings together the latest, most innovative companies and solutions to demonstrate the future of the industry, and the new technologies lighting professionals can expect to see entering the marketplace in the near future.
To learn more about this year’s event and what attendees can expect at this year’s show, we sat down with Chelsea Peabody Bohannon, the Media Relations Manager for LFI.
Here is what she had to say:
Modern Equipment Manufacturer (MEM): Can you tell our readers a bit about LFI? When did the conference get started? What kinds of companies attend?
Chelsea Peabody Bohannon: LIGHTFAIR International (LFI) is the world’s largest annual architectural and commercial lighting trade show and conference. It is sponsored by the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) and produced and managed by International Market Centers.
LFI was founded in 1989. The 2019 is its 30th annual staging.
Our exhibitors include manufacturers of commercial and architectural lighting products. Our attendees include architecture, design, engineering, energy and lighting industry professionals from more than 70 countries.
MEM: What can attendees at this year’s conference expect to learn? Are there any particular breakout sessions or panel discussions that are particularly interesting this year?
Chelsea Peabody Bohannon: The five-day LFI Conference program will feature 76 courses with 140 speakers presenting a leading-edge custom curriculum developed by lighting, technology and design experts serving on the select LFI Conference Advisory Committee.
The LFI Conference offers practitioners across the lighting, design and technology spectrum relevant topics, accomplished speakers and industry intelligence. Headlining the Conference are keynote speaker Caleb Harper, principal investigator and director of the Open Agriculture (OpenAG) initiative at the MIT Media Lab, and opening day speaker Alex Kanjeev, president of O’Leary Ventures.
New to the Conference is the IoT & Connected Lighting Forum. The IoT & Connected Lighting Forum addresses connected lighting through a suggested design guide and a field study examining creation of reliable IT networks through smart lighting infrastructure, and using visible light through LiFi to carry data and information. It also addresses smart streetlights and master-planned connected cities. The Light & Health Forum, which explores the non-visual effects of light on humans, returns with new courses.
The “Museum Lighting: A Recommended Practice” workshop is also a highlight of the Conference and the ultimate guide to, “how to do museum lighting,” presented by six renowned experts: Frank Florentine of FRANK A. FLORENTINE LIGHTING DESIGN, Scott Rosenfeld of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Steven Rosen of Available Light, Matthew Tanteri of HLB Lighting Design, Ken Kane of Lighting Services Inc and Kaitlin Page of BSA LifeStructures.
Attendees can also tour Philadelphia landmarks Dilworth Park and Liacouras Center as part of the Conference.
MEM: In what ways are some of today’s hot technologies impacting the lighting industry? What role is the cloud, Big Data, data analytics and the IoT having on the lighting industry?
Chelsea Peabody Bohannon: IoT is definitely an important part of LFI in 2019. The transformation of today’s lighting infrastructure with LED products offers the potential for future connected lighting systems where each luminaire becomes a point of intelligence that can share information on space occupancy, activity patterns, changes in temperature or humidity, and daylight levels; and that can integrate wireless communications into the lighting system.
LFI addresses IoT in the IoT & Connected Lighting Forum with five dedicated programs and the IoT Pavilion which displays the intricate technology used to create a network that uses the power of connectivity to achieve greater efficiency, reduce operating costs and collect valuable data. The ‘lighting centric’ possibilities for innovation are endless and IoT solutions increase efficiencies, savings and insight.
MEM: What other major trends, topics and technologies impacting the lighting industry will be explored at this year’s conference?
Chelsea Peabody Bohannon: In addition to IoT & Connected Lighting, Conference programming explores applications, controls, design, inspiration and the relationship of light and health.
MEM: I understand there will be a photo mosaic wall and a “coffee and cupcake” celebration this year. Care to tell our readers about some of these fun events at this year’s conference?
Chelsea Peabody Bohannon:Events include daily curated trade show tours, emerging professional and student programs, and celebrations for LIGHTFAIR’s 30th anniversary.
The prestigious LFI Innovation Awards highlight the industry’s most innovative products and designs introduced during the last 12 months with a networking continental breakfast.
Interactive opportunities include the Mosaic Wall where attendees’ photos will be added to make up the larger picture celebrating LFI’s 30th anniversary when they post to social media using “#LFI2019” and the Professional Headshot booth.
The LFI 30th Anniversary Dine Around Celebration will be a progressive dining experience with various stops at each one of the Pavilions and LFI LIVE.
For additional information about LFI and to register online, visit them at www.lightfair.com.