With the 2019 trade show season coming to an end we wanted to share some of our takeaways from the industry events we attended over the last few months.
Our focus was geared toward the more popular events that are attended and sponsored by different segments of the energy industry: LightFair, LightShow West, NECA, NALMCO, etc. As with any industry, trade shows are a great way to network with different vendors, discover new products, and get a first hand view at the direction the industry is headed in the future. It’s no different in the lighting space. This year we really noticed 3 different recurring themes from show to show:
- Lighting Controls are a huge focus for manufacturers
- Horticultural Lighting is being talked about more and more
- Fixtures are becoming smarter and IoT integrations will continue to expand
Building owners and facility managers are looking for more ways to cut costs and reduce energy consumption on top of just a traditional LED retrofit. Occupancy sensors are an effective way to reduce energy costs, especially where there is constant traffic. Timed switches based on elapsed time, dimming controls, or a combination of these options is another attractive feature. It was rare to see a booth that didn’t have fixtures with controls being featured if not the main spotlight.
Horticultural Lighting is primed to be even bigger in the coming years. The benefits of LED technology in this category is undeniable. The DesignLights Consortium® is already increasing the number of approved fixtures and within the next year that list will keep getting larger. We expect that number to increase as demand continues to rise. At LightShow West the DLC® hosted breakout sessions designed to educate the industry on their current horticultural standards. We expect to see a stronger focus on horticultural content on shows in 2020.
Learn more about the Utility Incentive Programs & DLC® Hort Qualification.
See the DLC® V1.2 Hort Report Technical Requirements revisions effective October 21, 2019.
The last theme we noticed is around smarter fixtures and the capabilities IoT integrations will bring to the market. Depending on which study you look at the IoT will represent over 20 billion devices by the end of 2020. In the C&I space, there is already technology focused on indoor positioning systems that can send high frequency modulation signals through the LED. These signals can be picked up by a smartphone or tablet, and provide the precise location of customers within a facility. In the residential space the integration with household appliances and devices is becoming increasingly more attractive. Connecting indoor and outdoor LED fixtures like security systems as well as occupancy sensors and dimmers can reduce energy bills and improve the experience.
With lighting controls being in the spotlight, horticultural lighting taking the industry by storm, and IoT going to represent over 20 billion devices by the end of 2020 - these trends have arrived and it’s safe to say they are here to stay.
They will allow buildings to operate more efficiently, have a significant impact on people’s lives, and have an impact our food supply. We’re looking forward to seeing how these trends will flourish in the future.