This year’s LightFair International conference in Philadelphia was proof that solar lighting is becoming more and more mainstream. My colleague Stephanie Holloran and I attended the conference April 21 through the 24th. According to its website LFI “is the world’s largest annual architectural and commercial lighting trade show and conference.” The conference consists of numerous lighting industry related classes, informational seminars, and a huge tradeshow. Solar Lighting technologies were at the forefront considerably more than in years past.
While walking through the tradeshow, I observed frequent examples of solar lighting. Several of the major players in lighting manufacturing were exhibiting solar paired with their light fixtures, including Hubbell Lighting with SEPCO’s solar power assemblies. One or two booths exhibiting only solar lighting were also present. All of the solar lighting systems I saw included LED fixtures. This demonstrates how much LED fixtures have permeated the solar lighting industry and is a testament to the cohesiveness of the two technologies.
Tuesday afternoon, Stephanie and I attended a seminar titled The Art and Science of Solar Lighting. This seminar was mainly an introduction to the solar lighting industry for people who were either not familiar or had limited knowledge of solar lighting. Stephanie and I were able to share our input and knowledge of the industry when needed or requested. The seminar ended with the introduction of the Consortium for Solar Lighting (CSL), an organization working to develop industry-wide standards and guidelines for solar lighting. The implementation of defined standards will benefit the solar lighting industry by weeding out certain deceptive and cost-cutting practices in the industry that have the ultimate effect of degrading performance and reliability. The existence of this organization is another example of how the industry is emerging from the shadows to become more mainstream.
I am excited to see solar lighting becoming a larger part of the lighting industry as a whole. For next year’s LightFair, I hope to see solar lighting having an even bigger presence.