The Most Wonderful Time of the Year: LFI 2018 Recap

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and no, we’re not queuing the Christmas music. We’re talking about another exciting week at Light Fair International, which was hosted in the Windy City this year, Chicago, Illinois. The venue was incredible with plenty of space for manufacturers and vendors to show off their latest lighting and lighting control innovations. After attending this popular industry tradeshow for 10+ years, I can confidently say the booths this year were the best to date. Speaking of which, one of my favorite eye-catching displays was the all-new, dynamic color changing Rubik from Acuity Brands’ Mark Architectural Lighting.

IoT, The Internet of Things, was yet again a hot topic at LFI. Many of the manufacturers who were using the buzzword seemed to have different and varying capabilities with this innovation. It’s exciting to see so many follow in the footsteps of Acuity Brands, who we know was a pioneer in the IoT revolution.

I was pleasantly surprised that track lighting is back and it’s better than ever! Manufacturers, like XAL Move-It and Bruck Lighting Smart Track had sleek track systems on display, and PureEdge was showing off their incorporated Trueline look to create a mud-in track system.  I personally believe the versatility of track lighting, the sleek, minimalistic design, European inspiration are the large drivers for why this lighting solution is making a comeback!

Could you imagine a world where lights act as a means for disinfection? I saw this idea come to life at the Visa Lighting booth. In partnership with Vital Vio, Visa introduced their “Disinfecting Luminaires”. The LED technology protects environments from harmful bacteria by emitting a white light that is safe for both humans and animals.  Looking forward to sharing the technology with anyone and everyone in San Diego who is responsible for healthcare design!  Make sure you click on the Visa Lighting Link above for more information!

Another big play in the new products category was Horticultural Lighting.  Manufacturers like SpecGrade LED, Beghelli, and Sonaray all had new products on display. Horticultural lighting, although it has been around for a while, I feel is being taken to a whole new level with technological advancements through color, wavelength, product design, and placement.  And if you think everything you have learned about lighting for humans applies to horticultural lighting, I am quickly learning that is not true!  The terminology and science that is specific to growing plants is a whole new ballgame. The manufacturers I mentioned above have great resources to help us all learn the ins and outs of effective horticultural lighting!

Congratulations are in order for many of our manufacturers who brought their A game to LFI 2018. Alphabet Lighting won top honor with their “Most Innovative Product of the Year” award for its NU Vector Series!  Other winners were Mark Lighting Chisel, Juno FlexConnect and the SensorSwitch VLP App, who were all recognized as “best of” in their respective categories.  FlexConnect also won a “Design Excellence” award.  One of the coolest products I saw at the show was the digital tension system from TLS international. See the product in action here.

Finally, LFI has always been a great place to learn from some of the best in the industry.  Having my NCQLP LC Certification, I need continuing education credits to maintain the certification and to keep up with the fast-paced and innovative lighting landscape!  I was able to take a few classes to satisfy some continuing education credit needs, but more importantly, learn more about topics that are some of the most talked about in the industry today. We strive to be subject matter experts at SDLA so we can share the information we learn with our San Diego lighting colleagues!  Understanding continuing education is important for many, we offer classes at least once a month on a variety of topics through our SDLA Academy curriculum. A quick reminder that SDLA is also an AIA approved CEU provider so we are able to deliver AIA/HSW CEU presentations on-demand when the need for credits arise!