We Want It All
April 14, 2009 - 12:00pm

Darned if we lighting folk aren’t a malcontented lot. We’re never quite satisfied these days, are we? We not only demand that our products be aesthetically striking and fashionable, not to mention competitively priced, but also energy-efficient, responsibly manufactured, code-compliant and on the cutting edge of light source technology. Heck, we even have portables that’ll charge and play iPods and conceal surround-sound speakers. What’s next? Lighting that can do the dishes? I’ll take mine dark and handsome, with a sense of humor, great taste in movies and books and a flair for cooking ethnic cuisine.

Are we going overboard, stretching it too thin? Maybe we’ve become like those parents who foist their children into three sports, two musical instruments, a dance class, weekly social time with the Johnson brats down the block  and an extra gifted class or two over the summer. And then, down the road, those kids are gonna snap and turn on us, get a tattoo and a biker boyfriend and—gasp!—contradict all the bragging we did to our friends. “So, what if I burn a few more Watts than cousin CFL? He’s a total brown-noser, and have you seen him try to dim? Whatever.”

On the other hand, as my Nana Flo used to always say, “When you’re great, you’re great.” Then she’d put her hand on her hip and cock her head to the side, showing off her fabulous cheekbones and sassy spirit. And, well, I think we’re great, if I do say so myself. Thanks to its currently booming technological progress, lighting has potential galore, and I certainly wouldn’t want to suppress the percolating creativity and innovation. Let’s strut our stuff.

We just need to be sure to keep things behind the curtain until they’re ready to live up to expectations. We don’t want to serve up a clever new trick before it’s ripe, leaving a bitter taste in consumers’ mouths. It’s hard to wipe the slate clean for a second chance in today’s on-demand marketplace.

There’s so much excitement in our industry right now; we should be grateful for it and nurture it. But we should also be careful to set realistic expectations and beware of boasting. We’ll have our desserts soon enough. You don’t have to yell. 



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