Although some lighting industry insiders were concerned that LightFair 2023 would see a steep decline in attendance because several big-name lighting companies chose not to exhibit at the show at New York’s Javits Convention Center, May 23-25, attendance through the first two days of the show was better than many attendees expected.
LightFair show organizers said that registration by the end of Wednesday had hit 11,450, an impressive turnout that topped attendance at the Las Vegas show last year, and even more impressive considering that several former exhibitors including Acuity, Signify and its Cooper Lighting division, Current and Maxlite were not at the show. More than 300 exhibitors were on the show floor, and the International Market Centers (IMC), along with co-owners the International Association of Lighting Designers and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), launched several interesting new programs at the show, including an immersive lighting experience highlighting groundbreaking lighting designs and a new format for the show's popular Lighting Innovation Awards.
Despite some mixed reviews on booth traffic and the smaller footprint of the exhibition hall compared to years past, exhibitors at many of the booths that editors from Electrical Wholesaling and EC&M magazines visited on Tuesday and Wednesday at the show visited reported a steady flow of visitors, and the conference sessions the editors attended also had solid attendance. And while LightFair will start being held every other year because some exhibitors said their product development cycles took two years and they didn’t have new products to bring to the show every year, many of the exhibitors at LightFair 2023 that the EW and EC&M editors spoke with had plenty of new products to show off. Here are some of the products and trends that caught our attention.
Smaller fixtures that pack a punch
WAC Lighting’s new Aether Atomic LED fixture was a good example of the trend of packing more quality light into a smaller form factor. The Aether Atomic has a one-inch diameter aperture.
Lutron was back at LightFair this year with some major enhancements to its Athena lighting control system, which now offers a scalable solution and cloud connectivity for a wide range of new construction and retrofit applications. Cloud connectivity is a feature becoming more common in lighting systems because manufacturers can collect data from individual fixtures, push out firmware updates as needed, and perform predictive maintenance.
Lighting companies leaping into EV charging systems
At least two lighting manufacturers exhibiting on the show floor were extending their focus on energy-saving solutions from lighting into electric vehicle charging systems. LEDVANCE was showcasing its Phase EV Level 2 Commercial Charging Stations, which offer a software package from AmpUp that allows facility managers to a method of monetizing a return on their investment in EV charger installations. Espen Technology is now marketing Level 2 and Level 3 chargers, including a unique portable Level 3 charger.
Conference sessions enjoy solid attendance
LightFair once again offer a solid conference component, ranging from the keynote on how the National Park Service implements Dark Sky lighting practices to eliminate glare and light pollution in the 424 national parks it manages and helps surrounding communities implement glare-free lighting, to dozens of other sessions on all facets of lighting.
LightFair will be held again in 2025, but as of May 24, show organizers said they will first review feedback on this year's show before announcing more details.