April 19, 2019
This was my first time at the Hong Kong International Lighting Fair (Spring Edition), and the 11th occasion of this event, which was organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC). This was a real trade show, and trade was at the heart of the four-day event (April 6-9). Attending the fair were 21,000 buyers from 124 countries and regions, visiting more than 1,430 exhibitors from nine countries.
On the first day of the Lighting Fair was the Asian Lighting Forum with representatives from OSRAM, Signify, Illumination Physics, Tridonic, and LEDinside. They discussed everyday applications for connected lighting systems, the latest lighting technologies, and upcoming trends. The next day, the Smart Lighting: IoT and Its Supply Chain forum had experts from Tuya, Alibaba, A.I. Labs and JK Cloud, who talked about applications and opportunities with smart lighting products. Both were well attended and it was very interesting to see that trends in lighting are global.
HKTDC organized a media breakfast with selected exhibitors — a welcome initiative as we were not familiar with all the exhibitors. Among them was Dimon Technology Limited, a green technology and lighting design and manufacturing company with research centres in Hong Kong, Shenzhen and the United Kingdom. Over the past three years the company has completed large-scale smart public lighting projects in Europe, Hong Kong, Macao and North America. It was also Dr. Joseph Tsui, Dimon’s Executive Director, first time joining the Spring Lighting Fair. Dimon Technology Limited presented us its Nano lighting control system, which was specially designed in the United Kingdom. The system can transform basic room controls into an IoT-powered, wireless-controlled solution for simpler, more cost-effective and energy-saving operations.
On the trade show floor, featured zones included Smart Lighting & Solutions and the newly launched Innobuild. With the addition of Innobuild, the HKTDC teamed up with the Hong Kong Green Building Council to organize the Smart Building Solution in Energy Efficiency forum on April 8. Representatives from Negawatt, En-trak Hong Kong and Planon Hong Kong shared different ways to enhance the energy efficiency of various building materials. Trends are really global.
During the Lighting Fair I had the privilege to spend time with Canada’s leading manufacturers, Standard/Stanpro. While Standard has been a leader in the push side of the business Stanpro had established a leadership position on the specification project side of the business; hence, a greater need to come to the Hong Kong show. Both organizations have been coming to Asia for over 15 years to work with partners to ensure that only quality products bearing their brand names are sold in Canada.
“Quality is always the most important criterion when selecting products,” said Jeff Beare, Executive VP of Marketing at Standard/Stanpro. “The second most important criterion is price — ensuring we remain competitive in a competitive world.”
The company always ties factory visits in mainland China with the Hong Kong shows in both March and October. The evolution in technology has forced them and the lighting industry to travel to Asia on a more frequent basis. “Ten years ago the world was transforming to LED. Today it’s nothing more than a commodity, and now the same is happening with controls. Controls used to be a complicated system for building managers and even more for day-to-day users, and today or tomorrow this technology will be what LEDs are today, nothing more than a commodity. Lighting controls will be nothing more than a simple download from a smart phone app,” added Beare.
Walking around the show it’s apparent that this is true: all fixtures are becoming smart enabled.
Hong Kong’s lighting manufacturers mostly produce for overseas importers and distributors, including well known American and European brands. In view of intensified competition, ODM has outpaced OEM as their major business. A few companies also promote lighting products with their own brand names or trademarks.
Compliance with overseas requirements is an important issue. Hong Kong companies are capable of meeting the technical requirements of relevant authorities in overseas markets. These include the safety requirements of UL/ETL listing or equivalent in the U.S., as well as the relevant safety directives and CE requirements of the EU. Others include CSA safety standards for exports to Canada.
Line Goyette is Managing Editor of LDS; firstname.lastname@example.org