Lighting PR firm gives inside scoop on LuxLive 2013


Content Communications’ Senior Environmental Writer, Nicola Martin gives her impressions of LuxLive 2013, the UK’s most comprehensive lighting exhibition.

This year’s LuxLive at Earl’s Court in London was bigger than last year’s show, with an even more ambitious seminar programme. On the first day of the show, the exhibition floor was busy and the sessions were well-attended. With five different seminar areas, there was almost too much to see… which is a good problem for a show to have!

There was a strong journalistic ethos evident in the seminar programme, with the writers of Lux Magazine doubling as moderators – each one well-prepared, fully-engaged and not afraid to ask probing questions. LuxLive played with humour in some sessions, such as Lighting Spy Live (based on Lux Magazine’s regular feature), although the most successful sessions were the lively panel discussions.

A few key themes emerged in Wednesday’s seminar programme:

LED in ascendency

  • “Is it LED? We’ll have it!” One lighting designer described the recent trend of clients not caring about efficiency or ‘look and feel’ – they just want LED!
  • “Horrible lighting that lasts forever.” Despite widespread enthusiasm for LED, poor consumer experience is still threatening to taint the LED industry. If an end user gets a poor LED installation (even one that lasts forever!), it switches them off LED forever.
  • Long design cycles of 2-3 years make it difficult to specify the latest LEDs, when, in this time period, there might be 6 generations of LED (a new version every 3-6 months).

Making LED work in retail

  • Enabling the top line and the bottom line. At its best, LED can achieve savings on energy bills and also make products look great in order to increase sales.
  • Thinking in terms of primary illumination vs. display illumination. Often this means using ‘fit and forget’ lighting in the ceiling and only refurbishing the accent lighting.
  • The importance of flexibility. LED can be successful in retail if it’s possible to rework the lighting in line with what different people in the organisation want from the lighting.

Energy concerns…

  • Energy is moving up the priority list. One panellist argued that, for most organisations, while energy was once 8 or 9 on the priority list, now it’s a top-3 priority.
  • The difficulty of specifying controls, particularly in retail, remains an issue. The store layout is designed weeks after the store ceiling. What’s needed is a more joined-up approach to make sure low-energy lighting is also controlled properly.

…and thinking beyond energy

  • It remains important to factor maintenance into the energy-efficient lighting equation. Energy savings alone won’t give quick payback on lighting – organisations must also factor maintenance into payback periods.

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