Coronavirus SSL update: LFI cancels, NLB brings aid with lighting

April 3, 2020
The coronavirus and the COVID-19 malady continue to impact the LED and SSL sectors with LightFair International deciding to skip 2020 and lighting manufacturers stepping up to aid testing efforts.

After having announced a postponement due to the impact of the coronavirus, the organizers of LightFair International (LFI) have announced their intention to cancel the 2020 event as opposed to trying to reschedule in Las Vegas later this year. The National Lighting Bureau (NLB), meanwhile, has announced that its member organizations will provide free LED lighting products to temporary coronavirus testing locations being deployed in tents around the US.


It was only a few weeks ago when we reported that LFI organizers would postpone this year’s event originally slated for May 3–7 in Las Vegas, NV. Knowing what we do today about the spread of COVID-19, the decision by LFI organizers to abandon the May event was inevitable. Of course, the larger Light+Building (L+B) event had also been postponed from its planned March dates.

The LFI team had suggested that a postponed event could be held in late summer or early fall. However, other events including L+B were simultaneously moving to that timeframe. And that LFI team had been in close touch with its largest exhibitors and clearly the prevailing preference was for moving forward without a 2020 event.

“The decision to cancel LightFair 2020 was not easy to make. While a cancelation is a serious development that weighs heavily upon us and significantly impacts our partners, we believe that this is what is best for the industry,” said Timothy Licitra, IES executive director. “Our focus is now on making LightFair 2021 the best event for all participants, while allowing our industry to focus its attention on navigating the uncertainty this crisis has created. We look forward to seeing everyone at LightFair 2021 in New York.”

Of course, there is no guarantee that L+B will happen during the rescheduled Sept. 27–Oct. 2 dates either. Signify is likely the largest L+B exhibitor in a normal year, typically occupying the entire Forum building at the front of the fair. The company has said it will not participate in the rescheduled L+B. And speaking of Signify, the company has made a 20% pay cut request to employees, as reported by our Mark Halper. Evidently, the request spans production workers to top management and includes bonus payouts.

NLB and COVID-19 testing

We will report some positive humanitarian news involving a large number of SSL industry players relative to the coronavirus pandemic. The NLB is an industry organization that lists top lighting manufacturers, labor organizations, standards bodies, lobbying organizations, and more as part of its membership. Sponsors of the organization will offer lighting intended to help improve accuracy and efficiency in coronavirus testing tents.

Ray Kasmark, NLB chairman, said, “We believe that quality lighting inside of the tents will increase throughput while improving the safety and comfort during the testing process.” The organization is accepting request through email at [email protected] or through its website at Requests for lighting will be handled on a case-by-case basis, and sponsors have allocated a limited quantity of lights in the program.