tED magazine and ‘lightED” have the good fortune of working with the “Get A Grip On Lighting” podcast to provide exclusive content for the website.
Two people heavily involved in the “Get A Grip On Lighting” podcast are Greg Ehrich and John Arthur Wilson. Ehrich co-hosts the “video shows” for “lightED” with Michael Colligan, along with Business Blast episodes that appear at www.tedmag.com. Wilson is a co-host of the “Get A Grip On Rebates” podcast for “lightED”.
Both attended LIGHTFAIR last week at the Javits Center in New York City, and were involved in lively conversations with most of the exhibitors.
tED magazine sent each of them 6 questions to get reaction to the event from attendees of the show.
tED magazine: Overall, give us an assessment of this year’s LIGHTFAIR from an attendee’s perspective?
Ehrich: “While the attendance was lower than usual, I appreciated the intimacy of the show. I was able to easily connect with the people I wanted to and see everything I needed to see.”
Wilson: “Less people doesn’t automatically equal less good. While several big names were missing from the lineup, there were lots of booths missing… that I don’t think I missed. I still got quality time with several of the manufacturers I wanted to talk with and personally, I liked the fact that big name companies didn’t have massive over the top booths.”
tED magazine: “What did you miss the most from past events that you would like to see again?”
Ehrich: “The vibe and energy. With less people, less vendors etc. there wasn’t the same energy as LIGHTFAIR of the past.”
Wilson: “There is something about having a critical mass of people that just adds an energy and sense of being there that this LIGHTFAIR didn’t have.”
tED magazine: Did you attend any of the education sessions, and did you have any reaction to them?
Ehrich: “I did not, but should have since they made it so easy to attend.”
Wilson: “I did not attend any of the education sessions.”
tED magazine: What are lighting manufacturers doing, that you saw at LIGHTFAIR, that interest you in a positive way?
Ehrich: “Focusing more on products that customers need- not specialty products that you never run into in the field.”
Wilson: “I was at LIGHTFAIR to talk with manufacturers of advanced lighting controls – and this year the major trend was the full scale adoption of LE protocols, most commonly BLE, not only to form mesh networks between devices, but more specifically, for the purpose of configuring the systems. The most interesting thing to me – is that everyone thinks their app is the best – and is so easy to use. But when I ask them about what other apps they’ve used, they typically refer to legacy versions of their own apps. (i.e. a typical response is “well we have continued to refine our existing app”).
tED magazine: Did you feel as though the products you saw at LIGHTFAIR will create opportunities for distributors to increase sales or make it easier to carry and sell the products?
Ehrich: “Yes. Many of the products are now color selectable and wattage selectable which reduces skus and gives end users the piece of mind of choice after the product is installed.”
Wilson: “There are always opportunities for the adroit distribution sales agent. Piggy- backing on my last answer, I think the development and refinement of apps as the primary means of configuring lighting systems is a big opportunity because it is helping to decentralize the knowledge base. You don’t need the factory expert. There is an opportunity to empower the in-house facilities team – and that to me is a really big value add.”
tED magazine: Are you planning to go to LIGHTFAIR 2022 in Las Vegas, and if you are, what do you hope to see there?
Ehrich: “Yes. More people, more energy and parties.”
Wilson: “I am planning to attend LIGHTFAIR 2022. I’m probably in the minority here, but I really liked how especially for the tier one companies, their booths were really scaled back. It was like somebody put an arms agreement in place – nobody is going to develop hypersonic weapons,and no battleships over 100K tons -. When I see those big extravagant booths at LIGHTFAIR, I’m just like, ‘is this what the money goes towards?’ Again… I’m probably in the minority… We need the big Tier 1 companies there. All of them.”