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Light was the language at LFI’s 25th in Las Vegas

The Las Vegas Convention Center lit up its show floor Jun. 1-5 with more than 500 exhibitors for Lightfair International 2014 (LFI), showcasing lighting for design and architecture.

For its 25th anniversary, show partners International Association of Lighting Designers (IADD) and the Illuminating Engineering Society dubbed this year’s theme “The New Language of Light.”

Offering the broadest product selection in LFI history, expanded categories included integrated design, alternative energy and solar power, OLEDs, health care, hospitality, digital signage and software.

Cornel Saramet and Mike Adams with GE Lighting discuss the company's Light Sweep modular lighting control system on display at Lightfair International 2014 June 4 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Cornel Saramet and Mike Adams with GE Lighting discuss the company’s Light Sweep modular lighting control system on display at Lightfair International 2014 June 4 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

“I think we’re seeing significantly more traffic than we were two years ago,” said Christian Bollrath, president, Hera Lighting.

Hera Lighting showcased its LED furniture, cabinet and display lighting systems, and Bollrath said order quantity of LED products has significantly grown over the last several years.

“Over the last two years, the cost has come down as LEDs become more and more efficient,” Bollrath continue. “You have a return of investment and for us, it means quantity is going up and it’s more affordable.”

Throughout the show floor, some exhibitors, such as Samsung, opted to have the overhead fluorescent lighting on the show floor turned off above their booth to highlight the natural brilliance of their products and displays.

“With all of that (overhead) light added, it decreases the drama that you have from your own fixtures,” said Andrew Clark, corporate environments designer, Derse. “It’s kind of like when you turn your cell phone on in a dark room, that light is going to be brilliant, but if you turn it on in full sun, you can’t really see the light. It’s a technique that’s used for dramatic effect.”

For the educational component of the show, programming was led by renowned lighting designers, educators, architects, engineers and consultants on topics such as lighting applications, retrofits, LEDs, energy, software, roadway lighting, daylighting, controls, commissioning, case studies, building integration, sustainability, LEED and NetZero building design. Courses also offered disciplinary accreditations such as CEU/LU/HSW and AIA, ASLA, BOMI, IDCEC and IES.

Conference offerings ranged from 90-minute classes to two-day immersion sessions at all levels, from foundational to advances as well as general. It was the largest conference in LFI history.

According to Andrew Scamporino, vice president, Reggiani Lighting USA, the educational component of the show is invaluable, as people are still largely unaware of the differences in quality and lighting products available.

“You actually find a lot of attendees who don’t know enough about lighting,” Scamporino said. “Training people on what lighting can do and educating them on how to light booths or displays is incredibly important.

“You may have the best art piece or floor around, but if it’s not lit properly, it doesn’t do it justice.”

Long-time exhibitors and attendees have witnessed the changes in lighting trends and education over the years.

“We’ve been coming to this show for 20 years, and it’s always good, with great traffic and a lot of innovation to see,” said Steve Nadell, president, CSL Lighting.

International shows such as GlobalShop and Guangzhou International Lighting Exhibition set a high standard for lighting shows, and Clark said LFI met the level of expectation.

Damali Kounthapanya with Total Lighting Concepts and Steve Nadell president, CSL Lighting, chat together at Lightfair International 2014 June 4. The show expected more than 26,000 attendees.

Damali Kounthapanya with Total Lighting Concepts and Steve Nadell, president, CSL Lighting, chat together at Lightfair International 2014 June 4. The show expected more than 26,000 attendees.

“There are a lot of accents on product displays and custom architectural details that are really nice here,” Clark said.

Laurence St. Ives, CEO, Organic Lighting Systems Inc., indicated that while his company did not have a presence at the last two LFI shows, 2014 was already proving to be a high-traffic year.

The last time the firm attended, St. Ives said, Organic Lighting Systems landed a new client in T-Mobile, installing all of the floor lighting in its stores across the U.S.

Staged annually in alternate East Coast to West Coast locations, LFI 2015 will be held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York on May 3-7, 2015. The decision was one that resulted from the unanimous vote of IES and IALD following independent customer outreach to determine the preferred venue.

LFI officials announced the 2015 exhibitors and attendees will experience and benefit from a significantly enhanced show environment with new energy-efficient lighting as well as daylighting from a new 240,000square-foot glass curtain wall that enhances the architecture.

Attendance-breaking records and a sold-out trade show floor met LFI in 2009, when the show was last held in New York.

The 2016 LFI will be staged in Southern California, marking the San Diego premiere for the show. Las Vegas has been LFI’s longest-running West Coast venue, staging the show eight times since 1998.

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