LightFair Confirms Its Still On; Conference Details Released

Like those of many other large festival and industry events, the organizers of the 2020 LightFair conference and tradeshow have issued a short statement confirming that, as of right now, there are no plans to cancel or postpone the event. The assurance comes as many other events around North America, from SXSW to the NAB Show, have been cancelled due to fears of spreading COVID-19 (aka coronavirus).

"If you are wondering if LightFair is still on, the short answer is Yes!" LightFair's statement read on March 9. "Keeping in mind our show date is further out, close to 9 weeks at this time, we continue to monitor updates from the CDC and WHO closely. We are officially a 'go' and will remain a 'go' unless official recommendations or unforeseen circumstances force us to decide otherwise as we move closer to the show date. We are committed to being as transparent as possible about our course based on available facts. Thank you for your understanding and patience as we work through uncharted waters and an evolving situation."

As previously announced, registration is now open and conference details have been released for the LightFair 2020, happening May 3–7, 2020 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The 31st annual staging of the annual event in architectural and commercial lighting features more than 200 hours of accredited courses, more than 150 speakers, nearly 90 educational sessions, and numerous networking opportunities, plus more than 500 exhibitors presenting new advancements in lighting and technology.

“LightFair 2020 is an investment with great returns for lighting designers, specifiers, architects and engineers,” said Dan Darby, show director. “The educational, networking, and innovation discovery opportunities present an unmatched value for attendees.”

Five Days of Conference Programming

New for the 2020 conference are seven educational tracks, allowing attendees to focus their learning on key lighting, technology, and design themes. They are:

  • Application & Evidence-Based Design: Focuses on methodology, design trends, tools and insights used to enable project success in the field of lighting
  • Design Tools: Covers the tools the industry may use to bring its designs to fruition
  • Human Experience + Environment: Explores the influence of lighting on the human experience and the environment
  • Innovation + Process: Explores sources of inspiration that inform the design process along with technology development
  • Professional Practice: Focuses on the development and evolution of professional strategies
  • Technology and Integration: Focuses on the design and specification of components and software that advance technology in the lighting industry
  • Mix and Match: Samples courses from each of six niche tracks

LightFair’s two-day immersion courses include “AGi32 Basic Course,” “Basic Lighting,” “Intermediate Lighting,” and “Networked Lighting Controls Hands-On.” One-day courses include “Bluetooth Mesh Primer for Lighting Professionals,” “Control Intent Narratives and Sequences of Operation for Lighting Controls” and “LED Luminaire Design: Beyond the Basics, Tips and Tricks for a Better Product.” Additionally, eight three-hour courses cover a series of topics including lighting design, controls and new technologies.

Headlining the conference is Keynote Speaker Sir David Adjaye, OBE of Adjaye Associates. Sir David is recognized as a leading architect of his generation. Born in Tanzania to Ghanaian parents, his broadly ranging influences, ingenious use of materials and sculptural ability have established him as an architect with an artist’s sensibility and vision. In 2000, he founded Adjaye Associates, which now has offices in London, New York and Accra with projects in the US, UK, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. His largest project to date, the $540 million Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African American History and Culture, opened on the National Mall in Washington DC in fall of 2016. The museum was named Cultural Event of the Year by the New York Times and the Beazley Design of the Year by the Design Museum.

Industrial designer Karim Rashid serves as the 2020 Opening-Day Speaker. Rashid is one of the most prolific designers of his generation with more than 4,000 designs in production, more than 300 awards and projects in more than 35 countries. His award-winning designs include the ubiquitous Garbo waste can and Oh Chair for Umbra, and interiors such as the Morimoto restaurant in Philadelphia and Semiramis hotel in Athens. Rashid collaborated with clients to create democratic designs for Method and Dirt Devil, furniture for Artemide and BoConcept, brand identities for Citibank and Hyundai, high tech products for LaCie and Samsung, and luxury goods for Veuve Clicquot and Swarovski. His work is featured in 20 permanent collections and he exhibits art in galleries worldwide. He is a perennial winner of the Red Dot award, Chicago Athenaeum Good Design award, I.D. Magazine Annual Design Review and the IDSA Industrial Design Excellence Award.

Also scheduled for the conference are a series of special events, highlighted by the LightFair Innovation Awards, which showcases the industry’s most innovative products and designs on Monday, May 4. Additionally, the “New Attendee Orientation & Tour” provides tips and tricks for first-time attendees; Acuity Brands Lighting and Cooper Lighting Solutions host lunch-and-learns; and NCQLP hosts a member luncheon.

All conference courses will offer CEU / Learning Units / Certification Maintenance Points for the American Institute of Architects (AIA), American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA), Independent Institute for Property and Facility Management Education (BOMI), International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD), Interior Designers of Canada (IDC), Interior Design Continuing Education Council (IDCEC), International Interior Design Association (IIDA), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and Illuminating Engineering Society (IES).

Three-Day Tradeshow

LightFair presents more than 500 exhibitors and four product pavilions plus new design-focused programming and networking opportunities at the May 5–7 tradeshow.

The Design Theater, located within the Design Pavilion, is the hub for LightFair’s new Design Synergist program, which showcases lighting design thought leaders and innovators through presentations and tours on the tradeshow floor. Also new are The Loyalty Lounge with seating, charging stations and refreshments for VIP designers, association partners and most frequent attendees; and the LightFair Innovations Award Lounge with the Innovations Bar, a coffee bar and meeting place for attendees and exhibitors. Returning in 2020 is the LightFair News Center, which will present live interviews and podcasts with top designers and notable industry leaders at the tradeshow.

New Pricing Periods

New for 2020 is three time periods for registration purchases. The early bird pricing, with the most discounts is January 7 – March 2; standard pricing is March 3 – May 2; full-priced onsite pricing is available May 3 – 7. Registrations for educational programs and special events and exhibit hall passes can be purchased in packages or a la carte at

Full pricing, conference and tradeshow information is available on

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Michael Raine is the Editor-in-Chief at Canadian Musician, Canadian Music Trade, Professional Sound, and Professional Lighting & Production magazines. He also hosts the Canadian Musician Podcast.
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