I recently had the privilege of attending my first international lighting show, Light + Building, which took place in Frankfurt, Germany, March 30 through April 4. This amazing and enormous bi-annual exhibition is the world’s largest lighting and building services technology showcase.
The 2014 edition set records across the board — a 7 percent increase in exhibitors, a 4 percent increase in occupied exhibition space and an 8 percent increase in attendees. During the six days of the fair, 211,500 people from 161 countries visited the show and its 2,458 exhibitors.
With such a diverse product range and staggering originality at each booth, pinning down trends is tough. There were, however, a few noteworthy takeaways:
OLED. Several booths showcased organic LED technology, most notably LG Chem. The company’s super lightweight and flexible plastic film-like OLED panels boast 60 lumens per watt and a 40,000-hour life, measure a mere 1 mm thick (and decreasing) and weigh 8.5 grams each. In the decorative space, this product greatly increases design capabilities.
Warm dimming of LED. Just as it is stateside, advancing in warm dimming of LED was a big story at this show. Replicating indancescent's range, lamps could dim from 2700K, suitable for working or reading, to 2000K to create the same candlelight ambiance you'd get from a traditional filament.
Smart bulbs/control systems. Several of the big players showcased “connected home” systems with dimmable LED smart bulbs as one component. Via a remote or an app with Bluetooth, the user can control color temperature, on/off, energy usage, etc. throughout the entire home all at the push of a button. Notably, Samsung’s Smart Home system features wireless mesh technology, which enables the lamps within the system to communicate with each other, even over long distances between rooms.
Create-your-own. At many booths, customization was part of the game. A certain configuration was featured, but the user could ultimately forge his own creation.
Naturals vs. crystal. In the decorative space, two ends of the spectrum were visible. Rugged materials, like cork, wood and concrete, were around every turn, but refined crystal was also present in a modern, sleek way, most always with LED.
Keep an eye out for more Light + Building coverage, with plenty of photos, in our June Dallas Market issue.