Light + Building 2016 Sets New Records: More Visitors, More Exhibitors and More Exhibition Space

Light building 2016 Conference



April 11 2016

Light + Building once again confirmed its position as the world’s leading trade fair for lighting and building-services technology. The world’s biggest event for lighting, electrical technology and home and building automation closed its doors on March 18 after setting new records. Growth was recorded in all important indices — the number of visitors, the number of exhibitors and the area occupied.

Over 2,500 exhibitors from 55 countries launched their new products onto the world market on around 248,500 square metres of exhibition space. A total of 216,000 trade visitors from 160 countries made their way to the Exhibition Centre in Frankfurt am Main from March 13 to 18, to discover innovations, solutions and new products. This represents growth of 2.3 percentage points. 

Light + Building has developed from the leading fair for the sector to an innovation show.

This year’s event was characterized by three main trends: 

• buildings are becoming digital

• networking and system convergence are gathering pace

• new digital business models are emerging. 

Key issue digitalization: exhibitors and complementary program of events present the latest technology and design trends

The spotlight of this year’s Light + Building was on digitalization. Accordingly, the fair’s motto was “Where modern spaces come to life: digital — individual — networked.” The industry showed intelligent solutions and future-oriented technologies revolving around digitalization and networking, as well as the latest design trends. In this sense, the focus was not only on trends in the lighting market and the influence of light on people but also on networked safety and security, intelligent home and building automation and efficient energy management. These key issues were also taken up in the multi-faceted complementary program of events and enlarged on in expert lectures.

A particular highlight on the complementary program of events was the ‘”Digital Building” special show. Realized with the cooperation of 16 exhibitors, it illustrated digitalization in buildings using future-oriented technologies. The focus was on networking individual components and their systematic interaction in live operation. The special show presented a realistic, fully automated smart building. The Digital Building was created using application scenarios.

Subsequently, the components and technologies were selected through systems integration. Light + Building is the ideal platform for a presentation of this kind because it is the world’s leading trade fair for electrical building infrastructure and information-technology infrastructure. Light and building-services technology are growing together systematically via digitalization and lighting control, and this year’s Light + Building offered an impressive demonstration of this.

Ways in which digitalization and networking can be implemented in the smart home and the latest developments for private households were to be seen at the “E-House,” which showed how a building should be equipped to make it suitable for use with green power. With the E-House, users can become part of the transformation to ecological energy by generating, using, storing and feeding electricity from regenerative sources into the grid. The E-House is an intelligent house because it makes users’ life easy. It offers greater comfort and safety at the same time as reducing energy consumption. 

In line with the motto, “digital — individual — networked,” the smart home shows how these three components can be combined perfectly with the aid of the planning and installation expertise offered by the electrical-installation trade,” says ZVEH General Manager Ingolf Jakobi. Visitors could also see a demonstration of human centric lighting at the “Through the day with smart lighting” special show, which offered an overview of the possibilities in the world of smart lighting. “New research results have shown that light also has a biological impact and that people’s daily rhythm is determined by light. The lighting industry has taken account of this in its products and solutions with the aim of providing optimum support for people. Light + Building is the highlight where the sector presents all facets of the future-oriented subject of human centric lighting. In 2016, the lighting solutions for the various aspects of daily life focused on networking, which permits additional energy-efficiency potential to be exploited and, in particular, greater convenience and benefits for users. In the future, I believe we will see even more lighting solutions characterized by supplementary advantages and, therefore, new business models that will enrich the sector,” says Dr Jürgen Waldorf, Director of the ZVEI Lighting Association.

Ingolf Jakobi, General Manager of the Central Association of the German Electrical and Information Technology Trades (Zentralverband der Deutschen Elektro- und Informationstechnischen Handwerke – ZVEH) underscored the importance of Light + Building as an extremely valuable platform for the electrical trade: “Intelligent building networks and energy efficiency are inextricably linked in this age of digitalization. Both themes – and, therefore, the expertise of the electrical trade in these fields — were more in focus than ever before at Light + Building.”

An international affair

The level of internationality also rose in comparison with the previous event: 67% of exhibitors (2014: 63%) and 49% of visitors (2014: 47%) came from outside Germany. The best-represented visitor nations after Germany were Italy, The Netherlands, France, United Kingdom and China. Considerable growth was also noted in the number of visitors from Spain and East European countries, such as Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania, as well as from Turkey, India, Morocco and Iran. 

For the industry, a large proportion of visitors from outside Germany is important for giving the fair a positive rating. Thus, Dr Klaus Mittelbach, Chairman of the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association (Zentralverband Elektrotechnik- und Elektronikindustrie e.V. – ZVEI), said, “Light + Building 2016 came up to the high expectations of the ZVEI exhibitors: digitalisation, networking and energy efficiency were the key issues in all halls of both the lighting and the building-services sectors.

Exhibitors very pleased with business at the fair

The German exhibitors taking part in the Messe Frankfurt survey on the current economic situation were very pleased with business at the fair: 85&% of respondents rated the current economic situation as being satisfactory to good. Asked about their overall opinion of the fair, around 90% of exhibitors gave the top marks. On the visitor side, the rating remained stable at the extraordinarily high level of 98%. Daniel Hager, Chairman of the Hager Group Board said, “Light + Building 2016 was electrifying in all respects. Thousands of visitors from different countries came to our exhibition stand to find out more about subjects such as energy storage, manufacturing solutions and the smart home. If proof was ever necessary that our sector is both future-oriented and dynamic, Light + Building provided impressive evidence of it.”

Christopher Mennekes, Managing Director of Elektrotechnik GmbH & Co. KG, said, “This year’s Light + Building was a great success for us. Our new products were very well received by trade visitors and, thanks to the buoyant economic climate in the first months, all discussions were held in a great atmosphere. In line with the record number of visitors to the fair, our exhibition stand was also very well attended. All in all, it was a great fair that gives good reason to expect more business impulses in 2016.”

Andreas Bettermann, CEO of OBO Bettermann GmbH & Co. KG, said, “More visitors and a higher discussion level at the exhibition stands shows that a very good fair can become even better.” 

Manfred Diez, CEO of RIDI Leuchten GmbH, said, “Light + Building 2016 gave an impressive demonstration of its position as the world’s most important trade fair for the lighting and installation technology sectors. Although already high, the level of visitor internationality and visitor standard increased significantly. We welcomed a considerably larger number of trade visitors to our exhibition stand on all six days of the fair. Particularly striking was the investment propensity of customers. Never before have we spoken about so many specific projects at a fair. We are already looking forward to the next Light + Building in 2018.”

Adalbert M. Neumann, Chairman of the Board of Management of Busch-Jaeger Elektro GmbH, said, “This fair was a huge success for ABB and Busch-Jaeger! Our exhibition stand was an absolute magnet for visitors from the first day and we succeeded in inspiring our customers from Germany and abroad with our innovative solutions for the smart home and smart building. The subject of the networked house and building-services technology is here to stay and there is an enormous demand for intelligent products for this expanding segment. It was an outstanding fair!”

Spotlighting safety and security technology: successful premier of the concurrent Intersec Forum

One of the main themes at this year’s Light + Building was safety and security technology with around 140 companies presenting their innovations in this segment. And it was also the subject of the first Intersec Forum held concurrently with the fair. This two-day conference for networked safety and security technology in the context of intelligent buildings offered an extensive program of lectures, discussion forums and guided tours to suppliers of innovative safety and security technology at Light + Building. Altogether, around 150 participants from the fields of planning, installation and operation of buildings and safety and security equipment, as well as from the electrical industry, took part in the specialist conference parallel to Light + Building and applauded the topicality and quality of the programme. The future-oriented and important subject of safety and security technology will be further expanded at Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre in the future. The Intersec Forum is part of the Safety + Security portfolio of events and is held under the auspices and in close cooperation with the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association (ZVEI).

Building Future Award presented to Stefan Schulze-Hausmann

Stefan Schulze-Hausmann was presented with the Building Future Award during the Light + Building press conference in Frankfurt am Main. With the biennial Building Future Award, Messe Frankfurt honours a personality for pioneering research or development work or outstanding achievements in relation to the sustainable development of society. Messe Frankfurt gives the award in cooperation with the ZVEI and the ZVEH under the patronage of the Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie – BMWi).

Luminale attracts almost 200,000 visitors to the Rhine-Main region

Light + Building goes City: during the evenings, Luminale created a link between the fair and the city. Concurrently with the world’s leading trade fair for the sector, the Biennale of Lighting Culture presented over 200 lighting installations in the Rhine-Main region. This year, the “urban lighting laboratory” attracted almost 200,000 people. The combination of trade fair and metropolitan experience transformed the Rhine-Main region into a unique meeting place for everyone interested in lighting and, for the eighth time, presented an unrivalled opportunity to see architecture ‘in a completely new light’ and fascinating lighting concepts in the urban landscape. 

The next Light + Building will be held from March 18 to 23, 2018.

Photo source: Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera


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