Important Trends Discussed at IES Annual Conference

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The NLB was well represented at the IES Annual Conference held in Louisville last week. IES has struggled some in the past with their conference as the core audience is so varied: lighting designers, manufacturers, researchers, reps, and academia, just to name a few. It is hard to find a mix to serve those different audiences, but this year, like last year in Boston, IES seems to have had the right recipe.

The conference was well attended and very informative. Tim Licerta, the IES Executive Vice President, told me that they planned for about 400 and had about 600 on the first day.

One of the many highlights was the experience rooms. I went through the TM-30 room twice and for the first time I understand the significances of the TM and what the industry is trying to do with color. IES is about to publish Annex E and they demonstrated Design Intent featuring Preference, Vividness, and Fidelity. The room was a mock up grocery and the lighting would switch between different settings keeping one feature the same for an easy reference. If you always thought that you wanted the most vivid color, (as I did) you could see that there is such a thing as too much vividness. The Ritz Cracker package was so vivid that it almost seemed cartoonish. But my words cannot describe accurately what my eyes saw—and these live demonstrations are what make the Conference so valuable.

Since the NLB mission is to help solve the problems of the industry, I’ll focus on Industry Relations Manager, Mark Lien’s talk at the beginning of the Progress Report. Mark has researched over a century of Progress Report submittals and below are his key takeaways:

· Advancements were primarily new features, not new technology.

· Incremental progress differed from the leaps in efficacy, longevity and miniaturization previously seen.

· Although some “Healthy” Lighting products were covered by the Progress Report, some companies with circadian lighting products launched at C.E.S. or in some cases directly on Amazon—ignoring the Annual Conference and LIGHTFAIR.

· Controls submittals declined from 18 in 2018 to 10 this year.

· Luminaire submissions declined from 155 two years ago, to 84 submissions this year.

· There was a 33% decrease from new companies submitting this year, which indicates a maturing market.

· 2019 had the lowest amount of submissions in the past twelve years.

Mark painted an accurate picture of the maturity of the industry. We’ll discuss these trends at our next board meeting on September 26 and see what we can do to help the industry as the transformation continues to roll.

Mark your calendars for the 2020 IES Annual Conference held August 6th through the 8th in New Orleans.


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