Thursday, Apr 24, 2014

'Same Same but Different' desribes this years fair. Your editor was one of the lucky Australians to explore the world’s biggest trade fair held over the 6 days from 30 March to 4 April, where the 2300 exhibitors attracted a record attendance of 210 000 visitors from around the globe

The fair is open for 8 hours a day so in theory one can give 47 minutes including travel time, to each stand. Seriously impossible! By day 4 I have severe sensory overload & a touch of amnesia. Fortunately these days the photography Nazis are practically extinct. When some inquisitive photographers were snapping the inside of a quality fixture, I overheard the manufacturer say “how else can they copy it?”. In the days of all things digital we have instant recall when viewing the photo so this is more beneficial to them than the bound-to-fail-copy.


The newly introduced L+B smartphone app worked a treat for the iphone users. The Android version failed me but it certainly has potential to minimise travel time. Perhaps Philip’s indoor GPS innovation tool will be available for the next fair to save time for those with no sense of direction or the avoid repeated back tracking. Sensible shoes are always in fashion at the fair but we still saw some die-hards trolleying their luggage behind collecting hard copy catalogues.


The stand are always amazing, this year many featuring inuts of the latest social media such as the ERCO twitter wall or others' massive multi-media walls. As one clocks up the kilometres walking the halls, it is necessary to rest & accept the hospitality on offfer. There's an array of food & drinks and each night stands transform with live bands and more flowing beverages. One wonders where does it all come from each day? 


Our local & international press have done a fantastic job of covering the fair so there's no point in Sidelights attempting to do this. There's certainly was no need this year for exhibitors to point out their stand was completely LED, even boasting efficacies of 160 lm/W was not a big deal. Innovations were more about lenses, COB, intelligence, tuneable dimming, smart lighting & controls. It was no surprise that several manufacturers have finally listened & are matching the aperture sizes of families of wall washers and downlights and provide CTA (colour temperature adjusted) dimming to replicate incandescent. The decorative hall never ceases to amaze as creatvity abounds with use of new materials, interesting shapes enabled by smaller than ever light sources.


I was very fortunate to meet a group of lighting designers from emerging economies of Latin America - Mexico & Colombia & Uruguay. At L+B designers from lighting associations around the world, met to co-ordinate & implement actions to celebrate the United Nation’s decreed International Year of the Light in 2015. In November the EILD will be held in Medellin, Colombia & Light+Build 2015 will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina.


For those who missed out, many exhibitors have provided virtual tour apps or Youtube walk thrus of their stands. If you haven’t ever been to a L+B, it’s a must see at least once in your career, just for the vibe but watch out it might be addictive!


{text : Julie Van Der Ley}

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