While I did attend some extremely informative education sessions this year and the information I took with me will be helpful, my overall experience at LightFair 2022 was lukewarm. Part of the reason was the limited quantity of exhibitors, part was the physical space and the last part was a simple lack of enthusiasm.
I attended educational sessions covering Turtle Protection Lighting, Visual Complexity, Resilient Lighting, Built Environment Lighting, Sustainability, Custom Luminaires, Replicating GUV lighting with existing software packages and the dynamic lighting effects available with the use of DMX512. My challenge now is to sieve through the data and determine how that will realize itself in residential lighting. Look for future posts on these topics.
Only a few things on the show floor piqued my interest. Here’s a quick rundown.
The Glint Lighting Hero track-head is different than most. The head stays in place and direction of light is regulated with the use of a small “joystick” that can be fixed, once placement has been established. This is great for two reasons. Visually, you don’t have competing heads bent in varied directions along a ceiling. Secondly, the light will stay where the designer wants it. Once fixed, errant lights, loosened joints and drooping cans are a thing of the past. This is a nice simple solution.
Beelite, a company I have only know as providing ammonia resistant poultry lighting, showed a cute little collection of rechargeable patio lights. Nothing on their website as yet, but keep an eye out for these!
I know there have been a lot of variations on the theme of flexible LED filled tubing, but the Tivoli Flexile could be a nice addition to a space. To prove my point, right down the aisle was LumoTubo with very much the same thing. This proves again how much LED has changed our approach to lighting.
Have I missed the Modern Forms Juliet sconce, or is it new? Never mind. It is a stunner!
Within their architectural systems category, Wagner Architectural Products includes Lumenrail, lighting solutions for railing. I was especially drawn to the lighted post, a dot of light tucked up inside a wrap, rather than on the rail portion. I thought this was a nice idea.
I was reminded of this product while talking to a friend on the show floor. Concealite hides fire alarms and emergency lighting behind revolving panels. GUV lighting options are recently available. They also provide emergency “Exit” signs that disappear into the drywall for a much more aesthetically sensitive result. If you’re involved in a commercial buildings, this is a nice resource.
Both Pure Edge and Klus showed customizable LED solutions using aluminum extrusions. The Pure Edge TruCirque allows for the creation of drywall deep circles from 3’-0” to 18’-0” in diameter. The LED Tape is applied to the edge(s) of the extrusion and a snap-in lens is then provided. Klus MIFOR70 invites custom designed curved form luminaires (within some pretty broad parameters) to be imagined. Both clearly indicate how LED is changing the concept of lighting and decorative luminaires.
The Show Floor
Try as I might, I could not seem to navigate my way effectively around the show floor. Aisles seemed to “dead-end” and booths were placed pell-mell around the floor. Right before I left, I figured I’d cruise once more around the show. Amazingly, I saw some things I had not noticed before. Trade shows often have a few aisles that do not conform to the “x-y” grid, but when the bulk of the show is like that, it becomes an issue.
To get inside the show, everyone was funneled through a single opening. That opening led everyone to a divider-protected “pen” with two, even smaller openings to enter and exit the show floor. I think Temple Grande designed this entrance, assuming we were all cattle in need of guidance, on our way to slaughter.
The Las Vegas Convention Center West Hall Building
As you might expect, the new hall is modern and pleasant. The three older halls have become dated and in need of a clean-up, so it was nice to be in a new space. Unfortunately, little thought was given to the visitors arriving at the hall.
The Monorail, simply the best way to get to the old halls now drops attendees over a mile away from the new hall doors. After exiting the Monorail, it travels directly alongside the new building. Wouldn’t it have been nice to have coordinated with the city and add a stop at the West Hall? Taking the SDX strip express bus would seem to be a perfect alternative, but unfortunately, the RTC has suspended that express service! The LVCC solution is, walk more, or….
The LVCC LOOP
Moving people is obviously an aspect that was overlooked in the planning of the convention center expansion. Sure, walking is an option. Exactly what every show attendee wants to do more! Why wasn’t a much more comprehensive and usable solution installed?
Instead of a bi-directional Monorail or tram, or even a loop system (not sure about the right-of-way across the street from the convention center) connecting the halls, the LVCC bought into Elan Musk’s boring system. This has resulted in the most cumbersome people moving concept I’ve ever experiences.
A tunnel has been bored between the South Hall and a plaza space between the North and Central Halls, then onto the new West Hall. Rather than installing a train, or tram to travel the underground route, individual Tesla cars are driving people, three at a time to their hall destination.
You read correctly. On the first day, I waited with two others for fifteen minutes for the next available chauffeured car at a poorly attended show!! What is going to happen at the Consumer Electronics Show with almost 200,000 attendees? Even worse, if you are arriving at the show early, as I did for the early morning education sessions, the LOOP is closed!
I actually think Musk has something in his bore technology. This, however is a laughable implementation with which he should be embarrassed to be associated.
Seriously people. We’re supposed to be lighting experts. That being said, why are so many booths glare bombs? I passed one booth with 10,000 lumens of light poking me in the eye. From beyond the blinding glare, a voice, “May I help you?” I couldn’t see if it was Mephistopheles or an exhibitor. In an effort to avoid permanent retinal damage, or eternal damnation, I ran away.
Check out these blinding examples of poor, uninviting light.
Now, look at this image. The booth was filled with light, but none of it was blinding. There was a crowd almost every time I passed. Good lighting means good business! It is time for exhibitors to do better!
The Best Booth
RAB devoted two large floor areas to four blocks of ice suspended over acrylic buckets, there to collect the dripping water. Visitors did not know what to make of it, compelling them to interact with the RAB personnel on hand.
Each cube was marked with a QR Code that linked to a video on climate change. It was an effective message about RABs intended direction. In the 100° Las Vegas climate with just released news reports on dangerously low levels of water in the Colorado River and the Lake Mead and Lake Powell reservoirs, it reinforces the need for action.
The Funniest Point
A new hall. The first show many people have attended in two years. I’m standing in front of Room 228. Guess how many times I passed the room before checking in? Obviously, there are a few bugs that need to be cleaned up before the new West Hall is ready for prime time!
I might indicate here that things can only look up and LightFair 2023 in New York will be better. I’m not sure I believe that. I’ll go, but it could be my last if something doesn’t change. It had a good run. It might be time for retirement.