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LpS sets new attendance record

23 October 2013 16.00 BST

(Austria) - Important LED and OLED lighting technology insights, trends and innovations were presented at the third LED professional Symposium +Expo in Bregenz, Austria. Mark Hattersley witnessed the impressive conference.


Science is often overshadowed by art. When Damien Hirst won the Turner Prize for his exhibition of deceased animals, most considered the artist, or the hidden symbolic depths of his controversial character and artwork. Perhaps only later would they consider what made these pieces possible, the scientific merits of formaldehyde, or the trial-and-error research into preservation that took years to perfect.

The same can be said of lighting design applications: the technology that has driven the advance of the LED is possible without the design element that will later make it marketable, but the design alone is redundant. You can have science without art, but not art without science.

Good, then, that the lighting industry is well aware of this, and not only understands the need to progress its technology but is in conversation to do so. This was seen in September at this year's LED Professional Symposium + Expo.

Now in its third year, the event is designed to promote insight on trends and innovations within the lighting industry.

1,100 visitors arrived for the occasion in the picturesque lakeside town of Bregenz, Austria, between 24 and 26 September.

Perhaps best known for an opera scene in James Bond film Quantum of Solace, the festspielhaus building has since been transformed from the scene of sultry spy drama and into a more wholesome think-tank area for the sharing of LED and OLED industry knowledge among attendees, speakers, and a host of 80 exhibitors.

It is the merging of the technical with the beautiful - instrument with application - in a quickly changing industry landscape that Event Director and CEO of Luger Research Siegfried Luger likes to focus on.

As he explains: “Understanding the basic technologies is important for generating competitive new generation products.

“Lighting systems can be classified into at least three different system levels. The application, defined as super-system; the luminaires, defined as system; and the components and modules, defined as sub-system. According to general laws of how technical systems evolve, elements from higher system levels are trying to absorb functions and elements of lower levels. This trend can be seen in buildings where single luminaires are transferred into building walls.

“Transformation from the sub-system level into the system level is similar. It is important to obtain the trends on a component and module level based on their new functions. In combination with the design aspects and requirements, new lighting systems can then be built up.”

In a demonstration of this blending between application and technology, a light art project by Zumtobel adorned the newly renovated Vorarlberg Museum, along the bank of Lake Konstanz. Austrian multimedia artist Peter Kogler illuminated the building's façade with a fascinating display of light and shadow - regardless to the challenge inherent in the building's unconventional conical shape.

Back at the festspielhaus, the three-day event showcased two tech-panels, six workshops, and 45 lectures, each offering experience and research-findings on a broad range of LED-centric discussion topics.

The variety of subjects covered in conversation during the event was refreshingly broad - and yet focussed enough to make it broadly relevant. Lectures covered topics from LED failure management to the advance and alternatives to OLED applications; from the thermal behaviour of bulbs to manufacturer responsibility in creating biologically friendly luminance. The ongoing dialogue formed an ideal partner for what was being exhibited in the adjoining hall.

Importantly the topics hit resonance on a global level. As a hub central to Europe, and with professionals attending  from 34 countries, the event brought together insights from Europe, USA, Canada, Malaysia, Taiwan, China and Israel.

Lectures were compartmentalised into subjects, with drivers and controls, optics, light sources, thermal management, and outdoor light applications covered throughout. The aim of this and future events will be to increase the wider industry knowledge of LED and OLED technology and to play a part in the development of the next step in their evolution. Or to discover, as Luger puts it, “what the winning approaches will be in the years to come.”


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