On-the-Record and Off-the-Record at LEDucation

LEDucation has grown from being a regional show to a global event, attracting several European companies, exhibitors, and visitors. Our booth had comfortable chairs, and we invited thought leaders to visit us throughout the day. We recorded many of our conversations, and we will share them next week. Here are some immediate takeaways:

On the Record:

  • Enrique Peiniger, Founder & Chief Innovation Officer of OVI, is working on an impressive lighting project for an island in China. He showed us images on his cell phone and promised to share more details after the show.  The pictures are stunning and I expect this to be an award winning job.
  • Sharon Maghnagi, Global Operations Director from formalighting, informed us that the Collected Light exhibit in London is moving to Milan and will feature two new American artists. The exhibit will run from 12-14 APR.
  • Mauro Pantaleo, President & CEO of Biovitae, along with his Chief Business Development Officer, Omar El Fata, stopped by our booth. This Italian company uses light for sanitization without UV and is seeking partners in the US. They claim to have several patents.
  • Kyle Harris, CEO of BrainLit, explained that his company specializes in Biocentric Lighting. Their founder, Tord Wingren, is known as the father of Bluetooth for his work at Erikson. BrainLit’s technology focuses on affecting the photoreceptor, and they do a lot of work with sports teams.
  • After the show, Acuity is donating 5,000 canned goods to City Harvest, the largest food bank in NYC. They created a clever display with hundreds of cans of tuna sorted into the shape of a globe representing different continents.

Acuity sorts cans of tuna in shape of globe

Off the Record:

  • NYC reps are still unable to make sales calls as they did pre-pandemic. One rep mentioned that an architect requires them to complete a form on a portal, and they won’t get an appointment if they are not offering a CEU. Exceptions to the CEU requirement can be made if the rep is showing a product with an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD).
  • Nearshoring, friend shoring, and 3D printing were hot topics of discussion. The general consensus is that there have always been geopolitical issues with China, but now they have reached a different level. A few people I spoke with are working hard to move out of China.
  • In my nearly 25 years of writing for the EdisonReport, I have never seen such mixed responses regarding the state of our industry.
    • Some OEMs report very strong growth, while others are planning for no growth or negative growth.
    • Lighting designers are still busy, and some say that the demand for their services has never been greater.
    • People are more worried about a recession than they were six months ago, but most think it will be minor.
    • A European manufacturer boasted that his sales had already reached 50% of 2022 sales by the end of February.
    • One OEM is doing quite well, but admits that most of their sales are a result of value engineering (ugh!).
    • Tenant improvement business is slow, but there is optimism for retrofit. Some will be one-for-one replacements, while others are bringing in lighting designers to reconfigure space.
    • Some reps are quite busy, others are not.
    • Switchgear still has very long lead times and is affecting the timing of lighting sales.


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