Every two years the lighting community comes together for Light+Building in Frankfurt, Germany, a blockbuster week-long trade show where manufacturers showcase innovations and products. This year, with ‘Connected – Secure – Convenient’ as the motto, it was no different. With an increase in exhibitors (up from 2 626 in 2016), a total of 2 714 manufacturers from 55 countries showcased new products across close to 260 000 square metres of exhibition space. According to fair organiser Messe Frankfurt, more than 220 000 traders from 177 countries attended the show.

Since Light+Building 2016, LEDs have continued as the new normal for luminaires, but the latest buzz among manufacturers and the lighting industry is Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices and human-centric lighting.


While many stands featured over-the-top displays of products, some manufacturers went above and beyond to show their prod- ucts in context.  Occhio  designed its stand to replicate various components of a build- ing, from an outdoor patio to a fully stocked restaurant, while iGuzzini’s Light Experience room, which displayed a 20-minute light show, drew some of the largest crowds of the fair. The show featured several newcomers, includ- ing acoustic solutions company BuzziSpace, premiering its first official line of acoustic lighting products.

Philips – recently rebranded as Signify – an- nounced that its expanded Interact platform will now include landmarks, meaning it can now connect to large-scale infrastructure projects. The cloud-based platform connects fixtures to sensors, and other smart devices and systems, for streamlined lighting installa- tions or data collection. Osram also revealed its new Lightelligence platform, which allows for IoT connectivity for lighting and  build- ing services. With Lightelligence, users can monitor and control lighting and other building systems for improved energy efficiency.

ABB showcased its new solutions in the areas of Smarter Building, Smarter Home and Smarter Mobility at this year's event and experts from Phoenix Contact were on hand to display its innovations and technologies at the show. Aurora unveiled its new AXiO Linium, previewed the upcoming AXiO range of products and provided a full demonstra- tion of the new AOne. Furthermore, Aurora demonstrated how deploying the AXiO within various applications of an estate enables the creation of an immersive consumer experi- ence whilst achieving significant additional business value. AXiO is a B2B IoT lighting and sensory platform, powered by Gooee, that a business can deploy across its estate to manage building intelligence, and interact with customers and staff alike.

Schréder revealed its new brand identity, Experts in Lightability at Light+Building. 2018 is a milestone year as the company celebrates 111 years in business. Yet, Schréder realised that there was still no word to explain what it does, something that goes far beyond lighting; the result was Lightability. There was good interest in the Shuffle with its new options and, at the stand, visitors were able to see live images from the cameras on the stand on a large screen. They were also able to interact with the intercom button to see the person  at the other end, while the light ring flashed to inform emergency services.

As cities and communities prioritise safe and energy-efficient lighting in public spaces, many companies are also anticipating IoT-enabled devices for infrastructure as a major market in the coming years. Selux has expanded module options for its Lif light column that include a camera, speakers, a WiFi mounting unit, and electric car charging ports. We-ef debuted its ‘Prepare to Connect’ and ‘Ready to Connect’ technology, which enables cities to purchase street and area lighting that can be connected using standardised technology at a later date, thanks to the Zhaga standard. With an integrated sensor or communication module receptacle, luminaires can function as tradi- tional outdoor lights until users opt to connect the devices when budgets or timelines allow.

Evidenced by enhanced colour temperature and light level control and customisation, manufacturers are embracing human-centric lighting. EldoLED, for example, debuted its LightShape technology, which allows for tunable white and light intensity control with improved flicker free performance for the com- pany's DUALdrive and SOLOdrive LED drivers.

Not to be fooled by the flash of impressive displays, it is clear that lighting manufacturers continue to invest time and money in improv- ing technology platforms and focus on a few comprehensive new products rather than expansive new product lines as in years past.