Why I’m Blowing Off Lightfair 2021

I won’t bother with Lightfair 2021 for several reasons. With only 233 exhibitors, it is smaller than LEDucation will be in the spring (usually tops 275 exhibitors). To put this in perspective, this is less than 1/3 a typical LF show of the past, covering less than 1/4 of the floor space. This will make it the smallest version of this show since 1983, when it was called LightWorld.

Looking at the exhibitor list exposes it for what it is. A bit of an over-marketed regional show for an odd collection of exhibitors – at best. This is not a national caliber showcase of the industry.

Why Lightfair insisted on pushing ahead with the show is not a mystery. The organizers and bodies involved likely need the income from the cancelation of 2020. To this end, they have forced many mid-level exhibitors into coming by threatening to forfeit deposits paid on top of pressure of points lost for 2022 space reservations – so there are those who caved to pressure and will be present, reluctantly, with abbreviated displays and minimal staffing.

Not LF2021

None of the reasons for Lightfair and its organizers to press on with this show is a reason to attend. I do not attend events to show of support for producers that could not care less about me as an individual – this is not a religion, it is business. Further, it is an expensive show to attend in both time lost and costs involved. In recognition of that, I believe those putting on such events have an obligation to produce a show worth that investment. This year’s presentation fails that test – for me at least.

I do get the usual push for attending to be “there” to see things in hand, and meet people, etc… However, that assumes there is product there I need to see in person, and I question how effective the “meeting people” part will be with the ongoing COVID mess, mask and vaccination mandates, general concerns about travel and large gatherings (outside those who attend infamous political fan events). For New Yorkers, I wonder how relevant this is, when LEDucation is just a few months off and more intimately focused, not to mention distanced from COVID (hopefully) by then. Based on this, I will venture that attendance will be as thin as the exhibitor list. Further, due to the small number of exhibitors, and the odd mix of brands present, I cannot see attendees staying for more than a day before returning home, so meeting people will be somewhat hit and miss as they briefly come and go.

The one bright spot is that the 35 (34 if you subtract the one marketing course on leveraging Lightfair for business) mostly predictable, and a few unnecessary, presentations are likely to be very lightly attended, so the odds of having a meaningful dialog with topic presenters is very good. Unfortunately the schedule of presentation overlaps, and the track divisions, means it is difficult to attend more than 6-8 of the 34 for any single attendee (so much for the socializing thing) even if one stays for three days.

I have attended every national lighting show from Light World 3 to Lightfair events, from 1982 until somewhere around 2014, a couple years after I wrote an article on the over-saturation of shows in 2012 in SSL Observed, June 2012 . I have seen some pretty amazing shows over the years, and the explosion of the regional events (like the LEDucation event, which is a star IMHO) and their effectiveness. My attendance at Lightfair has been on and off since, with the last in 2019.

Looking at Lightfair 2021 as it stands, I have to wonder what they were thinking from a marketing perspective. It appears more an act of desperation and frustration than legitimate effort to produce a product worthy of the expense attendees will pay for it. To follow this long delayed October date with a coming Vegas show in June, makes one wonder – Is it time for a re-think about forcing a single National Show to happen every single year? Perhaps the example of the massive Light+Build event is a better model.

In any case, I do wish those who are attending and exhibiting my best. I am certain that I won’t be missed. If you get bored and need to reach out, I will be here, working.

Exclusivity of Works Offered

The objects created and offered through Lumenique are not production products. Lumenique is the name of my design studio, not a product manufacturing organization.

The following is extracted from my Terms page, describing how I characterize and keep records of completed works.

Provenance Record Keeping

Every product made is identified by a unique serial number code label placed on its base. This serial number is logged into the Lumenque database with a reference image and description, and data indicating the item completion date, and type of work coded (see definitions below.) The unique serial number can also be used to replace a work that has been destroyed – with proof and return of the remains of the destroyed item, on which a quote for replacement will be issued for approval prior to remaking the lost work. For this reason, we recommend keeping a record of the serial number for future reference.

Definitions of Terms Used
Continue reading “Exclusivity of Works Offered”

New Experiences – Asking for Business

Over many years, I’ve done a solid amount of work for a significant number of customers. This includes design work for homes ranging from $150,000 to $45MM, hospitality work on projects right under the $1B mark, museums, retailers, health care, schools, and golf courses – to name a few. I have designed hundreds of lighting products and held executive positions in lighting companies. In this time, I have never found myself in a position to ask for anything. Word of mouth led me to clients and projects all over the country, while jobs have come from contacts and connections.

My current venture in creating creative lighted objects presents a unique problem. The path that led me to customer work and employment prior to this, is not as effective in leading to sales of the art objects I create now. As a prior marketer, I recognize this as a particular challenge. As someone who wishes to see the product of my work actually be valued and purchased, I realize it is critical to cut a path forward.

There is a phenomena that all in sales folk recognize that is important to overcome. Cold calling is a very low percentage approach, that consumes a lot of time, to get to a lot of “no” responses. Word of mouth references are far more successful overall. I experienced this personally. I have also become accustomed to the feeling one gets from receiving an unsolicited request for participation.

Unfortunately, with Social Media clouding everyone’s vision, and filling screens with millions of voices on a regular basis, it is actually more difficult than ever to be seen, or perceived as intended. Messages get muddled, and then lost to the constant shifting of feed content. Social Media is both a blessing and a curse in reaching new people and making new contacts.

Continue reading “New Experiences – Asking for Business”

Dear Fellow Creatives

Allow me to introduce myself in a way that a resume and LinkedIn profile is unable to. I offer the following brief illustrated run down of my career in 10 Acts. Sort of a Play of evolving interests that leads me to offering you a new resource. I hope you have a moment to enjoy this adventure as much as I have. Who knows, perhaps we might one day find ourselves on a shared path.

To start, I am an artist at heart, and have been for a very long time. My first punishment in grammar school was for using my imagination to color a birds in a manner the nuns did not appreciate. This, combined with other similar incidents of expressed independence, led to my being removed from Catholic school to be placed in a conventional grammar school where my “unique” approach would not present disrupt the order of the Rigid Penguin Queens.

I come from a background of a mother who was exceptionally talented in art, and a father who was an engineer and math professor, and a multi-generational family of entrepreneurs. My father showed me the way of being a professional adult, my mother the path to artistic expression. While this duality has afforded me insight into two worlds that rarely share the same space, it has suited me particularly well in lighting – which is why I spent so many years in the industry.

Continue reading “Dear Fellow Creatives”

What I Can Do for You at Lumenique

Every designer has instances where they want to see a special idea or concept realized to fill a small, but essential need or want, but cannot find a path to see it realized. I know this, as I was a designer that started making things for my own projects to fill this need – which led to the formation of Lumenique.

Custom Frame Mount LED Picture Light

The need for something special may be as simple as a small iconic accent applied to a wall or door, a corporate image piece, a center piece at a corporate entry desk or conference table, a side table or dining table light that functions as accent source of illumination while making an artistic design statement. These are the inspired details that add nuance and depth, that makes a design pop – but are too frequently set aside for want of a source to make them real.

Continue reading “What I Can Do for You at Lumenique”

Bedroom Lighting for that Restful Sleep

Bedroom

The Great Blue Light Panic Keeping Some Folks Awake

If you read alarmist comments on the inter-webs about the dreaded “Blue Light Hazard”, you may come away thinking that your TV, tablet, phone, and LED bedside lights are depriving you of sleep. Yes, the spectral power content, including blue light, can produce amplified melatonin suppression that can indeed disrupt your ability to fall asleep. And, yes, LED lights and many LED based displays do produce blue light at the wavelengths of greatest concern. We’ve been all over this, like here, and there have been thousands of other discussions on this everywhere, including in mainstream media – which for the most part get it all wrong. Continue reading “Bedroom Lighting for that Restful Sleep”

Exploring the Impact of Social Media on Lighting Technology – A Personal Take

According to marketers of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, et al, social media is the engine of change, the foundation for bringing information and real transformation to the people. With Social Media, we will see the world connected and refreshed through the voices of the previously unheard. Social Media is the new light, the symbol of freedom and ultimate new world order founded on the concrete foundation of the first amendment, the true voice of “the People”. It has enabled revolution and advanced the human cause. It all sounds so… amazing and spectacular, if not completely incredible.

Behind the scenes, social media is actually just a software/app product that generates Continue reading “Exploring the Impact of Social Media on Lighting Technology – A Personal Take”

Looking for Delight-able Customers

Solid-state lighting technology is poised to cause an explosion of artistic lighting design that eclipses all before it. The opportunities to do great things is limitless, with a great many interesting applications have already come from utilizing it to great effect. LEDs and OLEDs open doors to creative work like nothing before them. While the technologists focus on saving energy and other metrics to satisfy any number of codes, comply with regulations and meet objective demands – artists are now finding ways to apply the technology to delight customers. This is what keeps me interested in this industry.

Vee Set

Background

My background in graphic arts was founded on a deep desire to delight people with creative work. As NCOIC of Graphics on Anderson Air Force Base, Guam,  I included art in otherwise mundane officious graphic presentations. There was a level of thrill when, as a lowly sergeant, a starred-up General seeks to you out to express his delight with a presentation.

The move from graphics to lighting design 36 years ago was fueled by the same desire to realize delighted customer response. Architects, Interior Designers and property owners, from home owners to casino operators, were the new delight-able generals to me. The addition of product design and development followed delight-able customers in manufacturing, coupling my design interests with my passion for making things with my hands. I’ve invested the last 11 years in solid-state technology in lighting for one reason – I see it as a new frontier in creating applications and products that delight customers. Continue reading “Looking for Delight-able Customers”