We’re nearly two weeks from the close of the call for abstracts, so I wanted to consider the intent behind this conference program and how it reflects what we cover at LEDs Magazine. So I chatted with chief editor Maury Wright — who is on the conference advisory board — to help put this into perspective for those are still working on their submissions.
Fast Facts on SIL 2017
- Record 5500+ attendees
- 90% would recommend the event to peers
- 89% are planning to or will likely attend in 2018
- 91% thought the three events co-located reflected the future of the lighting industry
Strategies in Light is the place to collaborate and disseminate your ideas, demonstrate your innovations, and be seen as a thought leader in the lighting industry.
At the 2017 event, the theme “thriving in a disrupted lighting market” pervaded the entire conference, not just one track. It makes sense to pursue this point, given that smart, connected lighting and Internet of Things (IoT) technology and applications have changed the delivery of light as well as the lighting ecosystem. No longer are lighting companies the sole “owners” of the fixtures used to illuminate a space. Contributing editor Mark Halper has noted time and again that smart sensors, wireless networking technologies, and integrated controls with the ability to collect and use data to manage buildings, the people inside them, smart city functions, and more are inviting other players to the table. Whether partner or competitor, companies like Cisco and IBM, among others, are expanding the luminaire’s capabilities to provide services beyond illumination. But with all that connectivity comes complexity. Why are there so many options for networking? Which one is optimal? Maury noted that “the SIL program in 2018 will provide the first real evidence of the lighting industry coalescing towards a set of standards for networks, and that will begin to make the IoT vision more feasible from a cost perspective.” I expect we’ll hear a lot from you in the audience on this subject. What is your vision for standardization?
Let’s turn to enabling technologies for a second. “We will continue to see improvements from packaged LEDs through luminaire design that deliver better light quality,” Maury predicts. Think about the pressure that the promise of increased control puts on packaged LEDs, drivers, optics, and so forth to deliver not only better performance but improved experiences through light. Light quality remains an issue of concern, as well as the intensity of the light and color perception. These topics have generated controversy, with various parties offering recommendations for both indoor and outdoor usage of LEDs. In a 2017 panel on lighting the outdoors, Thor Scordelis of Leotek Electronics summarized some of the conflicting viewpoints while emphasizing that the onus is on manufacturers to provide safe, quality end products. But they can also help to clear the air by collaborating and sharing their knowledge with both industry/standards organizations and the consumer.
So this drives the opportunity to revolutionize lighting design education and discussion. What is the purpose of the fixture? Does it enhance the space? Does the light provide a safe and secure environment? Is it being distributed where it needs to be, without spilling over where it shouldn’t? These questions can spur insight into how to make all lighting human-centric — as Bob Steele pointed out last year, every instance of light exposure is influential to human experience. (Except for horticultural lighting, which is influential to plants — but I could get really deep and argue that the potential to grow better-quality produce more quickly and closer to consumers would positively impact human wellbeing, too, albeit indirectly. Aha!) Digression aside…Maury also concluded that “the vertical applications such as HCL [human-centric lighting] and horticulture will continue to thrive, but SIL will also be front and center in terms of what are the next vertical applications that will consume LEDs.”
You tell us what those next steps are. We are handing you the microphone and the platform to deliver the message. I hope you’re as excited as our LED & Lighting Network team and advisory board about what lies ahead for the lighting industry and the opportunities represented by participating in Strategies in Light and The LED Show. This is your chance to shape the conversation and drive new concepts in business and product development. Submit your abstract by June 19. We look forward to seeing you in Long Beach, CA!