Show business: Lightfair and Light Canada

June 16, 2008
Lightfair 2008 demonstrated it is still a key event in the lighting calendar, while north of the border the IES Toronto Section has launched Lighting Canada 2008, writes Brian Owen.
Almost 20,000 attendees visited Lightfair International (LFI) 2008, the world’s largest annual architectural and commercial lighting trade show and conference, a 19% increase from the last time the event was held in Las Vegas (2006) and surpassing all other records in LFI’s Las Vegas history.

Attendees were able to view 510 exhibitors spanning more than 157,000 square feet; LFI’s largest show floor space to date. The show included 110 first-time exhibitors and 91 international exhibitors, showcasing the latest in lighting design and innovation.

In an April 2004 poll by Architectural Lighting magazine, respondents were asked if Lightfair should be held every 2 years. The response was mixed, with comments such as the need to attend many events, lower turnout, decreased manufacturer prominence and that lamp technology does not significantly advance from year to year. Some thought that the trade show had become weaker in recent years, and manufacturers commented that the show has seen more agents and distributors seeking lines or products rather than customers or specifiers wanting to buy.

Not so in 2008, with the show almost 20 years old. Many buyers or specifiers were in attendance to see many new manufacturers with new and interesting products. With the upsurge of solid-state lighting (SSL), the playing field has changed, with far more players and definitely more spectators coming out for the game.

LFI alternates between Las Vegas and New York, and next year LFI will celebrate its 20th year in New York on May 3-7, 2009. For the lighting community, as with all good events, the advice is "Book early to avoid disappointment!"

Northern Lights

Last week, Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) hosted "Shifting Into the Mainstream", Canada’s 1st National Green Building Summit. At the event at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, ON, Ruud Lighting Canada exhibited new product lines to the building community interested in LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. Ruud recently published "LED Lighting in Sustainable Building Design", which explains the role of LED in LEED certification and offers a well thought-out series of questions to ask when specifying an LED lighting system

Also last week, Chicago hosted NeoCon at the Merchandise Mart, where Lighting Science Group unveiled new LED products.

Light Canada 2008

The Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) Toronto Section has announced the launch of Light Canada Expo & Conference at IIDEX / NeoCon Canada. The event takes place on Thursday September 25 & Friday September 26 at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto.

Light Canada 2008 will include a lighting keynote by AWA, an international architectural lighting design firm headquartered in New York City and founded by Abhay Wadhwa, as well as a seminar program with over 10 accredited educational programs targeted to lighting designers and lighting engineers, as well as architects, interior designers and facility managers.

Over 100 lighting exhibitors will participate in Light Canada with a diverse range of lighting products from decorative and architectural to outdoor, commercial and industrial as well as the latest technologies, such as LED.

To date, confirmed exhibitors of LED technology include, CRS Electronics, Genlyte, greenTbiz, GVA, Lightolier, Lucifer lighting, Magiclite, Osram, Philips (Color Kinetics), Rainbow Lighting, Rutenberg Sales, RUUD Lighting Canada, Schreder, Se’lux, Standard Products, Thomas Lighting, Turolight Litetronics and TPL Lighting.

Light Canada will also feature the canuhome, developed in partnership with Canada Mortgage and housing Corporation (CMHC) and George Brown College’s Institute without Boundaries (IwB). This LEED-designed, state-of-the-art model home features MR16 LED lighting from CRS Electronics.

The IIDEX / NeoCon Light Canada seminar program will include LEDs Magazine’s own Brian Owen moderating a panel of colleagues, including Heather Ann Scott, Principal of Heather Ann Scott signature design; Scott Riesebosch, President of CRS Electronics; Jim Lord, President of the Palace Pier Condominium Board and Chantal Brundage, Program Manager of greenTbiz, in a presentation entitled, "LED City Living." This seminar will present a case study of Toronto’s Palace Pier Condominium project, which became the first and still the largest residential building in North America to employ LED lighting as a primary lighting source in the corridors of the 44 floors of the building.

Light Canada 2008 will also include the IES Toronto Regional Conference and the IES Toronto Gala Awards dinner.

IIDEX / NeoCon Canada is Canada's largest trade show for the design, construction and management of the built environment. IIDEX / NeoCon Canada attracts 400 exhibitors and 15,000 trade attendees from across Canada and the bordering states and is celebrating its 24th year in 2008. IIDEX is owned by the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO) and managed by Merchandise Mart Properties Canada (MMPI).

Additional information on the travel subsidy available as well as details on participating at Light Canada Expo & Conference is available at or by contacting Tracy Bowie, Vice President of IIDEX at 416.960.4518 or by sending an email to [email protected].