Alex Kenjeev voiced concerns on how many jobs robots would replace in the future.

Day One Recap of LightFair International 2019

May 22, 2019
Lighting products for horticulture and LEDs developed to cut down on infection and diseases are popular at this year's show.

Although LightFair 2019 got off to a late start of about 15 minutes this morning when the fire marshal wouldn’t allow visitors into the hall until several exhibitors finished setting up their booths, the day ended with droves of lighting professionals checking out what’s new in more than 500 booths. Expected attendance for the three-day event at the Philadelphia Convention Center is 27,000. Philadelphia appears to be a strong draw for the show, which will return in 2021. The Jacob Javits Center in New York appears to be out of the rotation on the East Coast until its renovation are complete.

Heard on the show floor. Our day started at the Product Innovation Awards, where we chatted with an engineer from Signify attending his first LightFair. “It’s like Disneyland for lighting nerds,” he said.

Several visitors and exhibitors were also talking about a Detroit News report that claims up to 20,000 of the city’s 65,000 streetlights are reportedly in danger of burning our because of defects in products from Leotek Electronic USA. The newspaper article said the defective streetlights could cost up to $9 million to be replaced.

Product trends. We still have plenty of booths to visit, but from what we have seen so far, there’s a ton of new lighting products for horticulture. LEDs developed to cut down on infection and diseases in health care and food preparation applications are also on the rise.

In addition, numerous manufacturers were eager to show off any luminaires that included labor-saving features for electrical contractors or could be adjusted by voltage, light output, and other performance metrics. Distributors love these luminaires because they cut down on the number of SKUs they need to stock.

And the future is…robots? We sat in on a presentation by Alex Kenjeev, who works for Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary on his various investments. Although Kenjeev didn’t have a lot to say about lighting, he did voice many unsettling thoughts on how many jobs robots would replace in the future. Truck drivers, warehouse workers, and even highly paid investment analysts: beware

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