LED & SSL business: Light+Building murky for March; Healthe looks to liquidate; LightNOW under agreement

Dec. 21, 2021
German tradeshow organizers have announced plans to review the planned March exhibition dates in January 2022, while Healthe has filed for Chapter 7 in the US. Meanwhile, a new media alliance is made in the lighting industry.

Messe Frankfurt, the organization behind the Light+Building (L+B) exhibition, has announced via its website that the anticipated March 2022 tradeshow dates are under review. Meanwhile, human-centric lighting specialist Healthe has recently filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in the United States. Finally, some brighter news on the media side of the LED and solid-state lighting (SSL) industry finds consulting firm Lighting Solution Development in agreement to acquire the media brand LightNOW from ZING Communications.

L+B waffles on 2022 timing

Event organizers for Light+Building (L+B) have posted an updated on the tradeshow homepage, stating that “[until] recently, we were looking forward with great confidence to Light+Building in March 2022 with customers at home and abroad.” Messe Frankfurt’s missive further references the “unforeseeable enormous dynamics in the development of the pandemic” that require further discussion on the plans for L+B.

LEDs Magazine will note that the editors of EdisonReport questioned the viability of L+B’s March 2022 event back in late November, asking “Is Light+Building at Risk?” after media reports of overburdened healthcare services in Germany due to COVID-19 and viral variants. Furthermore, it was noted that the exhibitors with typically the largest presence at past L+B events were missing from the exhibitor list for March 2022, including Signify, LEDvance, Zumtobel, and Erco, among others. Not long after, L+B issued a statement declaring that an in-person show was expected to continue in March.

Late last week, EdisonReport editor Randy Reid posted an e-mail communication he received from L+B organizers which is similar to what is now slotted at the top of the L+B event website.

The words noticeably missing from the update are “postponed” and “delayed.” The Messe Frankfurt verbiage merely states that “discussions have clearly shown that a Light+Building will definitely take place in 2022, as essential parts of the industry and sectors involved need it,” and “[the] concrete date 2022 will, thus, be decided depending on further developments.”

It remains to be seen whether the exhibition will go ahead from March 1318 or will be rescheduled to later in 2022. LEDs will keep you posted.

Healthe bankruptcy filing

Moving to the financial concerns of Healthe, news of a bankruptcy filing seems less surprising in context with recent activities. Since its launch in 2019 as a separate business from parent Lighting Science Group (LSG), Healthe had targeted circadian lighting and ultraviolet (UV)-based technology designed to deactivate pathogens. Late 2020 saw a partnership with UV LED developer Crystal IS, which provided UV-C LEDs (265-nm) for Healthe Air troffers enlisted in the National Football League’s Miami Dolphins facilities. The troffers combined ambient white-light LEDs for illumination, a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration mechanism, charcoal filtration, and UV-C LEDs to deactivate pathogens in the air.

Still, Healthe has had a somewhat rocky 2021, including intellectual property skirmishes with New Hampshire-based Far-UV Sterilray over patent claims surrounding 222-nm far UV-C technology. Neither of the parties involved in the lawsuits have released further updates since May 2021. About a month later, Healthe hired a new CEO, Gerard Meyer, who emphasized the company’s focus on germicidal UV technology to prevent the spread of various microbes. By August, however, the honeymoon period appeared to be over, as our contributor Mark Halper reported Meyer was unreachable for comment on a case study and not listed as part of the executive team at Healthe.

Circling back to the financial troubles for Healthe, Chapter 7 filing indicates a liquidation to pay down debts, as opposed to the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process, which proposes a strategy for reorganization and to pay creditors over time while the debtor remains in possession. Healthe reportedly owes $15.1 million to creditors and is looking to liquidate $12.2M in assets for repayment, according to inside.lighting. Among its listed creditors is former supplier Crystal IS.

LightNOW acquisition

Last, we take a turn for the unexpected and cover the lighting industry media. Industry consultant firm Lighting Solution Development has announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire the media brand LightNOW from ZING Communications, a media and marketing consultancy established by lighting journalist and educator Craig DiLouie.

Under DiLouie’s leadership, LightNOW has informed the lighting industry with news and commentary for 20 years. DiLouie, who also serves as education director for the Lighting Controls Association (LCA), has worked with lighting industry stalwarts Acuity Brands Lighting, LEDvance, Cooper Lighting, and others during his career. On behalf of the LCA, he recently collaborated with LEDs Magazine to coordinate the Design Excellence lighting controls project awards offered in 2021 through the Sapphire Awards program. DiLouie will remain a contributor to LightNOW, which will fall under the editorial direction of Suelynn Shiller, chief operating officer of Lighting Solution Development.

“The opportunity to acquire LightNOW fit well with our strategic growth goals and I’ve always admired DiLouie’s writing and industry thought leadership,” said Lighting Solution Development president David Shiller in a statement to LEDs Magazine. “For the past 10 years, we’ve been publishing our firm’s newsletter, ‘Market Intelligence For Lighting Developers,’ and we believe LightNOW has a complementary audience. We’re thrilled that DiLouie will continue to contribute his high-quality content to LightNOW.”

The acquisition is subject to closing conditions and is expected to be completed in January.

CARRIE MEADOWS is associate editor of LEDs Magazine, with 20 years’ experience in business-to-business publishing across technology markets including solid-state technology manufacturing, fiberoptic communications, machine vision, lasers and photonics, and LEDs and lighting.

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About the Author

Carrie Meadows | Editor-in-Chief, LEDs Magazine

Carrie Meadows has more than 20 years of experience in the publishing and media industry. She worked with the PennWell Technology Group for more than 17 years, having been part of the editorial staff at Solid State Technology, Microlithography World, Lightwave, Portable Design, CleanRooms, Laser Focus World, and Vision Systems Design before the group was acquired by current parent company Endeavor Business Media.

Meadows has received finalist recognition for LEDs Magazine in the FOLIO Eddie Awards, and has volunteered as a judge on several B2B editorial awards committees. She received a BA in English literature from Saint Anselm College, and earned thesis honors in the college's Geisel Library. Without the patience to sit down and write a book of her own, she has gladly undertaken the role of editor for the writings of friends and family.

Meadows enjoys living in the beautiful but sometimes unpredictable four seasons of the New England region, volunteering with an animal shelter, reading (of course), and walking with friends and extended "dog family" in her spare time.