Courtesy Reggiani Lighting USA

Now in its 24th year, and its return to Philadelphia, Lightfair 2013 set new records. The trade show hosted 538 companies, 91 of which were first-time exhibitors. The conference and trade show also broke attendance records with 26,026 registered professional attendees representing 79 different countries.

Despite the tight economy, the annual lighting conference and trade show, the largest of its kind in North America, continues to thrive thanks in large part to the dedicated support from the lighting industry. The event’s organizers work hard to provide a wide range of educational offerings, manufacturer displays, and networking opportunities, and each year continues to expand its programming, particularly when it comes to providing education content on the show floor.

This has been the most noticeable with the addition of the Spotlight Lounge, where presentations take place during the course of the trade show. Two such presentations this year were by venture capitalist Vinod Khosla of Khosla Ventures, who spoke about “Opportunities for Lighting in the Cleantech Revolution,” and LD+A editor Paul Tarricone, who moderated a discussion between lighting designers Paul Gregory and Paul Marantz. This year the Spotlight Lounge was located in Hall F, which included two new features: the Media Marketplace and the LFI News set.

The trade show portion of the event, which occurs on the final two-and-a-half days, was the largest it’s ever been: 233,850 net square feet. Adding to its collection of dedicated product “pavilion” areas, this year saw the launch of the Exterior & Roadway Lighting Pavilion. The show also included the introduction of two new product categories: solar power and software.

As for products, one could see the industry’s increasing comfort level with solid-state lighting. Controls also continue to play a crucial role, as well. As such, tunable white light was a feature incorporated into many company’s line-ups.