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3 Lighting Trends We Saw at LIGHTFAIR 2019

May 23, 2019

Lighting controls and human-centric lighting were again a major focus—but the new products I saw included these three things.

LIGHTFAIR International (LFI) 2019, held in Philadelphia, made it clear that it’s not just about light bulbs anymore for the lighting industry. I was briefed on things like asset tracking, disinfection, IoT connectivity and so much more—all of which can be incorporated through a building’s lighting system.

Lighting controls specifically were a major highlight, as they have been in recent past years, with many companies rolling out platforms and mobile applications to help facilities managers control their buildings’ lighting remotely and more efficiently.

Last year, BUILDINGS highlighted human-centric lighting as a trend, and that was again of interest this year—the idea of designing lighting for occupants’ wellbeing.

The trends I highlight below come from multiple new products I was introduced to on the show floor by different exhibitors.


The industry today is about much more than just what kind of lightbulb you choose.

1. Glare-Free Illumination

Technological advancements are allowing lighting companies to push the envelope when it comes to eliminating glare.

When we experience glare, it can be uncomfortable and sometimes even disabling. Reduced glare or even no-glare fixtures can create more productive and comfortable workspace. I saw such products from TCP and Amerlux, particularly a fixture from its forthcoming, tentatively named Comfort Series.

“You can look right into it—there’s no glare at all,” says Vic Rispoli, executive director of global accounts for Amerlux.

2. Color

The entire rainbow was on full display at LFI this year.

(Photo: Traxon ProPoint Family from Osram)

From cool blues to warm reds, wider availability of different color temperatures was seen at companies like Lutron and Osram

For commercial buildings, lighting with color can be used to accent a space or used outdoors to highlight some kind of imagery or logo.

(Photos: Tivoli Lighting)

In an office setting, different color temperatures can set atmosphere and change the look and feel of a space for certain occasions.

“Color is a huge trend, as far as what you can do with it, how many color temperatures you offer—it’s very important,” says Lesley Matt, vice president of marketing and products for TCP. “Also, how the light affects color on the surface.”

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3. Acoustic Elements

We’ve seen acoustic panels and wallcoverings help reduce noise in open workspaces. At LFI, lighting fixtures incorporated with acoustic elements were on display.

(Photo: Eaton Lighting Architectural Products Group acoustical lighting fixtures)

I saw fixtures with acoustic elements at Hubbell Lighting, and Eaton Lighting unveiled an entire line of fixtures with felt acoustic panels in partnership with FilzFelt.

LFI 2019, in my experience, focused heavily on lighting controls encroaching mass appeal in the next two to five years, as well as lighting a space with the occupants’ wellbeing in mind. And, as Director of Editorial Services Valerie Dennis Craven noted last year, the new lighting products I saw continue to showcase an additive experience on top of the functional.

The industry today is about much more than just what kind of lightbulb you choose.

More LIGHTFAIR 2019 coverage:

About the Author

Sarah Kloepple | Associate Editor

Sarah joined the BUILDINGS team as an associate editor in August 2018. She is a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism, where her focus was magazine writing. She's written and edited for numerous publications in her hometown of St. Louis.

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