Earlier this week, I had the privilege of attending the LIGHTFAIR 2017 trade show and conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. When I registered at the media center, I was told this year’s LIGHTFAIR show was expected to be the largest venue ever held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The show floor occupied two different levels, where hundreds of companies had booths set up to display their different lighting products and devices.
Monday was largely dedicated to setting up the show floors so when I walked through, all I accomplished was getting yelled at by people setting their booths up. I was quite impressed by how quickly and efficiently everything came together. Upon returning on Tuesday, both show floors were completed and bustling with vendors from industries and fields like solar, IoT, LED/OLED, and more. I tried to visit as many booth visits as possible amidst my hectic Tuesday schedule, and probably only saw a fraction of what the floors had to offer.
I had a wonderful conversation with Zack Rogers, the founder and president of a daylight consultancy called Daylighting Innovations on Net-Zero Energy (NZE) Buildings. We discussed topics such as what types of renewable energy sources could power these innovative structures, how the distribution of lighting in NZE buildings compares to conventional structures, what US states are leading the way (and stepping up) in NZE projects, and other notable topics that will be featured in a Q&A I should have published by the end of the week.
The highlights of my time at LIGHTFAIR were the keynote speakers. Monday featured renowned artist Janet Echelman. Known for her fishing net-inspired sculptures, she has over 40 completed projects on display in over a dozen countries. Echelman discussed how lighting factored into the optical design and display of her works, using different colors that adhered to the surroundings and environment where her sculptures were on display.
Aside from the dazzling combination of different colors she’s incorporated in her sculptures, her projects are also famous for their subtle color changes that reflect the surrounding area, weather, and time of day. Echelman credited these factors to making her artwork a worldwide mainstay, which has made the locations of her sculptures local hotspots of the various countries and cities where they’re on display.
While I was unable to attend the entire presentation, Dr. Michio Kaku was Tuesday’s keynote and gave a very engaging speech on the potential advancements we could see in various technologies over the next two to three decades. Most of Dr. Kaku’s presentation I was able to see focused on the potential advancements in wireless communication, how we could surf the Internet, and ways future technologies could change how we interact with our surrounding environments.
Dr. Kaku believes humans will one day have all-in-one access to communication, surfing the web, and other technological features using implants or miniature devices like contact lenses that can be controlled by something as simple as the blink of an eye. Dr. Kaku went on to describe how lighting will also be affected over the next 20 years in this regard. In terms of wireless communication, Dr. Kaku believes these technologies could utilize lighting by reflecting the emotional states that people might be experiencing through textual or other forms of electronic communication.
My time at LIGHTFAIR was truly enjoyable, and I was able to get a keen sense on the direction that lighting technology is headed, along with the various industries that advancements in lighting will affect. I hope to attend next year’s LIGHTFAIR in Chicago, which promises to be even bigger and more diverse.
Filed Under: M2M (machine to machine)