Thoughts on the Guangzhou International Lighting Exhibition (June 9-12, 2014)
Greetings from Guangzhou, China! I’ve just finished another day walking some of the over 2 million square feet of this year’s Guangzhou International Lighting Exhibition held at Guangzhou’s China Import and Export Fair Complex (June 9-12, 2014). This exhibition is considered one of the largest lighting shows in Asia attracting over 2,500 exhibitors and, last year, over 116,000 visitors! It is held concurrently with the Electrical Building Technology exhibition and Building Solar China exhibition.
The lighting products on display by the exhibitors include fixtures, products, electronic components and accessories, as well as solutions from across the supply chain of LED lighting development and non-LED technologies.
Image: Floor of the Guangzhou International Lighting Exhibition
Like many shows, people come to source and sell new products, collect market information and meet with existing suppliers. Leapfrog is here to keep in close contact with the factories in which our products are manufactured and to look for trends and new ideas that, together with the originators, we can evolve into products for the North American market.
Here are some of my impressions over the first few days:
- Control systems growing. Control systems are starting to show up more and more in every day commercial lighting systems. This is not generally consumer-oriented “novelty” controls such as color manipulation operated by an app on a mobile device, but integrated wireless motion control and on/off dimming for commercial applications such as parking lot lighting and office area lighting. The compelling driver for these types of commercial controls is energy savings (for example, auto-dimming when no motion is detected). In previous lighting shows such controls generally existed as a separate form factor, often housed in a special area of the trade show floor. Now an increasing number of manufacturers are integrating controls directly into their products and thus are found on many booths across the show floor. As such, controls are becoming more main stream and growing beyond specialty niche markets, though still primarily applied to commercial applications and products.
- LED T8 tube replacements growing fast. Just as we found from our own research and testing, product prices are dropping, more companies are carrying these products, and designs are improving. I attribute this in part to the improvements in LED technology. More efficient LEDs mean lower power to operate and less heat to dissipate– both very important in tubes which have the LED chips totally enclosed. In addition, I attribute this (though to a lesser extent) to standards such as Design Lights Consortium (DLC), which have made it imperative for manufacturers to get innovative with their designs. For more info on DLC, see Design Lighting Consortium – Who are they and what do they do?).
Image: President of Leapfrog Lighting, Stephen Naor, talks to exhibitor at Guangzhou International Lighting Exhibition about LED T8 tubes aimed at warehouse and parking applications
- Corn lights shining bright. Bulbs that can replace 100W to 400W HID in commercial fixtures are beginning to appear. An increasing number of manufacturers are showing variants of a design called “corn lights” here in China because of the regular patterns of yellow LED chips on a cylindrical body – looking somewhat like corn on the cob. Initial discussions lead me to believe that some of these designs may have sufficient thermal performance for totally enclosed fixtures, though it is too soon to tell. That said, very few of these designs appear to meet the high safety standards required for the North American market and thus very few designs have UL or ETL certification.
That’s it from me at this year’s show. If you have any comments or questions about the Guangzhou lighting exhibit or the products on display, please ask in the comment box below and I will do my best to quickly answer.
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Stephen Naor is the President of Leapfrog Lighting. In 2003, Stephen set out to improve the affordability of energy-efficient lighting and his innovations earned him two patents and an award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Stephen is married, has two kids and a dog, and is an avid photographer.