LightFair 2022 recap

Article By : Yoelit Hiebert

LightFair 2022, held June 21-23 in Las Vegas, was something of a reboot after last year's show that took place in New York City during the pandemic.

LightFair 2022, held June 21-23 in Las Vegas, was something of a reboot after last year’s show that took place in New York City during the pandemic. Attendance was approximately the same as last year (about 10,000) but exhibitor count was slightly lower (327 exhibitors) with several significant customary participants choosing to skip this year (e.g., Acuity Brands, Lutron).

LightFair 2022 trade show floor. (Image courtesy of LightFair)

In keeping with the greater emphasis on IoT and related technologies within the lighting industry, there were several exhibitors showcasing their IoT expertise.  However, not everyone accepts that a multi-faceted wireless controls implementation is automatically the best solution for a given project. Several exhibitors showcased their more stream-lined approach to lighting controls with the rationale that the overriding reason for the limited market penetration of lighting control systems is system complexity and the cost that comes with it. Other contributing factors are the security and reliability, or rather, the potential lack thereof, of wireless systems, particularly for facilities like hospitals, schools, and correctional facilities.

LightFair innovation awards covered a diverse selection of new offerings including products to address the current pre-occupation with health concerns as well as the shift in the lighting industry away from lighting products per se and toward connectivity technologies.  As an example, McWong International’s long range Bluetooth Mesh fixture controller is targeted toward outdoor lighting applications for which the cost of wiring can be prohibitive. The device includes an antenna that achieves a range of 900 feet, much greater than typical Bluetooth products. A 0 to 10V dimming signal to the fixture driver is provided based on commands received via Bluetooth mesh from the network controller.

Bluetooth mesh fixture controller with long range antenna from McWong International. (Image courtesy of LightFair)

Keystone’s newest addition to its SmartLoop line is a controller module that simply screws into fixtures that are equipped with a SmartPort receptacle. This product is for use in applications for which accessing the controller module to make adjustments is particularly cumbersome, i.e., high bay installations. The module includes an integrated daylight sensor and PIR motion detector. Controller settings are accessed using a phone app for scheduling.

Screw-in controller from Keystone. (Image courtesy of Keystone)

In response to COVID concerns, Pure Lighting’s cylindrical downlight with an integrated upper air UVC chamber for germicidal treatment is designed for use in spaces where large numbers of people gather and aesthetics are a concern, such as theaters and auditoriums. The conceptual image below shows the UVC disinfection function taking place at the top of the fixture, with downlighting emanating from the bottom.

Cylindrical downlight with integrated upper air UVC chamber by Pure Lighting. (Image courtesy of LightFair)

And as a last example, a clever product in the category of specialty lighting, the Viso Labarazzi Temporal Light Artifact (TLA) generator provides 26 preset flicker patterns and the ability to create custom patterns. This device is intended for use in testing other products for TLA response as well as for demonstration purposes.

TLA generator by Viso Labarazzi. (Image courtesy of Viso Systems)

Conversations within the industry about the future of LightFair, which boasted attendance of over 25,000 in its heyday, have focused on the viability of this type of trade show. What seems to be viewed more favorably in recent months is the regional show concept, which emphasizes smaller, less expensive venues and lower travel costs. It’s likely that the pandemic has been a primary factor in this potential realignment, certainly companies have had cause in the past couple of years to reexamine their overall travel budgets.

And under the heading of “what goes around comes around,” at least 43 attendees came down with COVID either during or after the show. Hopefully next year’s show, returning to New York City on May 23-25, will take place with the pandemic firmly behind us.

This article was originally published on EDN.

Yoelit Hiebert has worked in the field of LED lighting for over 10 years and has experience in both the manufacturing and end-user sides of the industry.


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