To be honest, it’s the kind of thing people like to say about their area of work whether it’s the case or not, so what better chance to find out for myself than at this year’s Light + Building show.
After a day here in Frankfurt, the impression I get isn’t so much that a revolution is happening, but that it has already happened. LEDs are everywhere you look. The technology may not yet be as ubiquitous in the real world as it is on the exhibition stands at Light + Building, but with such a strong case to be made in terms of cost, energy usage, reliability, performance and versatility, coupled with a fast-growing range of retrofit lamps and innovative luminaire designs, LEDs are looking hard to resist.
I even heard one anecdote today about some poor soul scrabbling around for a spare fluorescent tube, and being unable to find one. At the world’s biggest lighting show. It’s an exaggeration, probably, but not a big one.
The transition to LED might not always be easy or smooth (I’ve been hearing grumbles about misuse of the technology, irresponsible selling and concerns that some retrofit options offer a poor compromise), but it’s happening.
That’s not the only change in the air, of course. Many of the companies I’ve spoken to are entering new business areas – expanding internationally, diversifying from components to luminaires or from lamps to ‘lighting solutions’ and moving from specialist markets to the mainstream.
And while the big European and American manufacturers are here in force, so are plenty of ambitious rivals from elsewhere bringing years of electronics expertise to lighting.
So, to my untrained eye, these do indeed seem to be interesting times. I’m looking forward to helping Lux readers make sense of all these changes, and sharing stories about great lighting schemes that have transformed spaces and saved energy. I also want to hear your views on where lighting is going, or where it ought to go. You can find my details here.
Robert Bain, editor, Lux magazine