ArchLIGHT Summit: Somebody Had to go First…

by | Sep 23, 2021 | News

Your humble editor attended ArchLIGHT Summit, the first architectural lighting show in nearly two years, earlier this week in Dallas. Participation was lighter than I had hoped, but it is tough to start a tradeshow during a worldwide pandemic, and overall most people were pleased.

Cindy Foster-Warthen gave us some insight into the show.  She gave great credit to NexGen Lighting Solutions and Hossley Lighting & Power Solutions for helping with the exhibitors.   Cindy explained that there were approximately 400 pre-registrations and it looked like the onsite registration would top 300, so not bad for a first-time show.  The 700+ does not include attendees that drifted over from Design Week, which was being hosted in an adjoining building.

Most exhibitors seemed happy as the booth rental was $3500 including structure, carpet, power, Wi-Fi and free drayage. The Dallas Market Center is non-union and we heard several compliments about the helpfulness of the staff. The food was free and there were great happy hours.  The official hotel, the Renaissance, only charged $129 per night. Carla Bukalski, Director of Specification from GE Current, a Daintree Company, said, “The show was very well thought out and organized and the sessions have been great.  Attendance was good.”

One of the most unusual visual experiences I have ever seen was the Design DNA project where hundreds of lighting design DNA strands were presented in 20 seconds.  This was the brainchild of Martin Lipton  and Sharon Stammers, of UK’s Light Collective with a bit of software created by Jonathan Ayala of The Lighting Exchange. We hope this will be an annual event.

Most of the lighting designers were from the region, although I did talk to a few from the East Coast. Designers were able to earn their entire annual CEU requirements during the 2-day conference for only $50. Reps came from as far as California.

Cindy also explained that somebody had to go first and help get our industry traveling again. She also said a few people told her this was their first flight since COVID started and they were glad they made the trip.

There were a total of 35 sessions (including the showrooms) and many were hands-on.  Tony Esposito of Lighting Research Solutions and Jason Livingston, Studio T+L presented the session, Specifying Light Source Color Rendition. The demonstration was a major update from their presentation at the IES Annual Conference in Louisville, in 2019. In addition to comparing the lights on mannequins, clothing and groceries, Tony and Jason added live models to the mix. All demonstrations were at 3500K.

Women in Lighting Design had a big footprint at the show hosting the Monday night kick-off party and a break-out morning breakfast which drew about 40 people. This is a very impressive organization and they continue to grow in their scope and influence.

Co-President of insight lighting, Geoff Patterson explained, “This was a great show and we were very pleased with the quality of attendees and the time we were able to spend with them.”

The unofficial designing lighting (dl) Best Booth award goes to Intra Lighting, a Slovenia company, that launched a US operation as COVID began in early 2020.