News, Perspective, Projects, Uncategorized

Supporting Sustainability Together

Sustainability Report

April is recognized as Earth Month and April 22 as International Earth Day. Learn more about the origins and significance of the movement, the initiatives being undertaken and the positive impact you can make at

At LightFair, we are proud of and grateful for our thriving community of environment-conscious Illuminators – lighting professionals and manufacturers who participate in the trade show and conference as well as our vendors, facility, accommodation, transportation and media partners who support sustainability initiatives not just at LightFair, but throughout the year.

There will be a continued need to reduce the energy use of lighting. For us lighting designers the challenge to deliver high-quality design with minimum negative environmental impact will become even tougher. But I believe that the best of us are up to the task.

Glenn Heinmiller FIALD, LEED AP, LC
Principal / Cambridge Director
Lam Partners

Improving Sustainability as a Trade Show Community

Designing and delivering trade shows anchored by sustainability and limited by budgets has never been easy, but new solutions and options emerge each year. At LightFair, we strive to introduce positive changes in our processes that reflect a more sustainable approach. We rely on the support and partnership of the lighting community and our event production partners to move the needle, and to shape the conversations around the future of sustainable lighting.

Products and Solutions for Sustainable Lighting Design Applications

Our trade show floor features several lighting manufacturers offering solutions that support sustainable, commercial applications. The lighting community is passionate and vocal about their concerns around the environment and the solutions they seek. You can see the outcome on display on the trade show floor across every category, in the submissions for the LightFair Innovation Awards, in conversations at LightFair and in the trends that emerge from the show each year.

Circular Economy: Immersive Lighting Installations

NEW for 2023!
LightFair will offer experiential on-floor tours of Immersive Lighting Installations curated by the IALD around the theme: Circular Economy. These collaborative lighting installations have been conceptualized and created by manufacturer-lighting designer teams hand picked and matched by an IALD panel.

Each of the seven brands were paired with different New York-based lighting designers by members of the IALD. Project plans and design styles were considered when making the pairings.

The seven selected designer and brand pairs are:

1. Brian Stacy, ARUP Lighting Design | Exhibiting Manufacturer: Casambi in collaboration with Erco (Installation: Less, Please)
2. David Ghatan, CM Kling Dynamic Architectural Lighting Design | Exhibiting Manufacturer: Boca Flasher (Installation: Net Transformation)
3. Teal Brogden, HLB Lighting Design | Exhibiting Manufacturer: Lumenpulse (Installation: Renewal)
4. Carla Ross Allen, Fisher Marantz Stone | Exhibiting Manufacturer: Focal Point (Installation: The Image Left, Behind)
5. Erin Dreyfous, Tillotson Design Associates | Exhibiting Manufacturer: Traxon e:cue (Installation: Seeds of Light)
6. Emad Hasan, The Lighting Practice | Exhibiting Manufacturer: Cooledge Lighting (Installation: Out of the (Light) Box)
7. Jack Bailey, One Lux Studio | Exhibiting Manufacturer: Experience Brands (Installation: Activate the Circular Economy)

Each designer and brand pair will create unique installations in 400 square feet of exhibit space in locations across the show floor. Each ILI will take attendees through an experiential journey using unique applications and installations of lighting products, brought to life by each exhibitor/designer pair’s original designs. A panel of judges from IALD will assess all seven installations for conceptual clarity, collaborative presentation and thematic execution on the opening day of the Trade Show, May 23. Presentations start at 3:30 pm. One winning manufacturer and design team will be named as “Best Overall”.

Lighting Education That Drives Sustainable, Responsible Design

Lighting innovation starts with lighting education. Our conference program, this year and every year, features several accredited sessions around the topic of sustainable design and environmentally sound practices presented by experienced, passionate practitioners who go beyond rhetoric to demonstrate possibilities.

Keynote: Chasing Darkness Into the Light: Preserving Night Skies in National Parks

Karen Trevino Keynote

Karen Treviño | Division Chief, Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division | National Park Service, NSNSD Publications
May 23, 2023 | 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm | L23OFL1

Karen Treviño will share her experiences, successes and challenges in turning a small, little known program into a national success and discuss how outdoor lighting can effect national park resources and values in this inspiring LightFair Keynote.

The National Park Service preserves natural lightscapes and works to minimize the effects that outdoor lighting can have not just on dark night skies, but also on wildlife, visitor enjoyment, health and safety, cultural resources and wilderness character.

Also check out: International Dark Sky Week

Conference speakers at the LightFair 2023 Conference include, among many others Leela Shanker (Green Light Alliance & Flint Collective NYC), Shaun Fillion (RAB Lighting | New York School of Interior Design) and Kate Hickox (PNNL).

LightFair 2023 Conference Sessions On Sustainability and Responsible Lighting Design Include

Why Sustainable Lighting Design Matters — and Principles in Praxis
May 23, 2023 | 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm | L23S12
by Mihkel Pajuste, Educator

Climate change, energy crises and our common 2050 goal of reducing CO2 emission to net-zero are some of the reasonings to thrive for sustainable design solutions. Therefore, we investigate state-of-the-art research, exemplify sustainable solutions, and highlight findings from Light Symposium 2022. But how do we balance the needs of both humans and the planet? This course is to introduce a set of principles and aspire to look beyond energy consumption, standards, and visual appearance, but also take into consideration lifecycle of products, human well-being, biodiversity, and behavior — a holistic and sustainable perspective for better built environment of tomorrow.

Frontiers of Sustainable Lighting
May 23, 2023 | 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm | L23S29
by Alessa Aguayo, LC, WELL AP WIL+D and NLB Board Member, Coronet LED and David Bergman, RA, LEED AP, CPHD, Assoc AIA, New York School of Interior Design and Leela Shanker, MIES, Green Light Alliance & Flint Collective NYC and Shaun Fillion, LC Educator IALD MIES, RAB Lighting | New York School of Interior Design

As efficacy reaches the theoretical limit, carbon footprint reduction from energy savings is also topping out. We are now looking at dematerialization as a trend, as well as embracing more sustainable materials and considering the entire cradle to cradle life cycle of luminaires. Control systems also help to whittle away at the kWh. A multitude of both new and established certifications and resources provide tools and incentives to help designers and owners understand the environmental impacts of luminaires. What’s next?

Specifying Sustainable Luminaires
May 24, 2023 | Time: 9:00 am – 10:00 am | L23S37
by Scott Roos, Member IES Sustainability Committee, BFA Industria, Acuity Brands

Description: Luminaire manufacturers are challenged to holistically understand the lifetime environmental impacts of their products and to embrace continuous improvement to reduce them. This seminar is designed to help specifiers understand the elements of sustainability that a luminaire manufacturer can control and how these elements can be best quantified and communicated to enable lighting specifiers to make more environmentally informed choices.

Life-Cycle Liberty and Justice for All: exploring social equity and justice from a life cycle perspective; activities and approaches to build a more sustainable world for everyone
May 25, 2023 | 11:00 am – 12:30 pm | L23S98
by Kate Hickcox, LC, MS, PNNL and Tyler Harris, PhD, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Kasey Johnston

Description: As efforts to reduce impacts of climate change and promote energy equity and environmental justice are gaining momentum, we must not allow the same blinders that permitted unrestricted greenhouse gas emissions, inequitable access to energy, and disproportionate distribution of environmental impacts to narrow our view from potential burden shifting and cost tradeoffs from our focused activities no matter how good our intentions. This interactive activity and exploration of social equity and justice from a life cycle perspective will help us avoid unintended consequences from our actions and help ensure a more holistic sustainable world for us all.

[Lighting] Sustainability Through History
May 25, 2023 | 10:00 am – 11:00 am | L23S91
by Sima Tawakoli, Master of Science, Canada College

Description: Implementation of a sustainable material use/reuse approach necessitates a shift in paradigm from the early stage of product design to reduce the impacts over the whole life cycle of a constructed luminaire. The famous table lamp at Tao House in Danville California has served Eugene O’Neil’s journey in writing since early 1930’s and it still is as beautiful and practical as almost a century ago. This design procurement approach to a sustainable design mindset; Eugen’s table lamp would be a prefect example of a sustainable lighting design.

View the Environmental Enthusiast Lightinerary for more recommended sessions on this topic.
View the full LightFair 2023 Conference Program

Conversations and Community: Drivers of Sustainability

Dark Sky

On our blog, we invite conversations on sustainable lighting design, environmentally and ecologically responsible practices, material transparency, energy efficiency and other topics that take a more holistic approach to sustainability. We shine the spotlight on lighting design and technology professionals and exhibitors offering greener solutions.

Related posts:
Sustainable Lighting Design: 5 Ways to Go Circular Through Design for Disassembly (DfD)
Life-Cycle Liberty and Justice for All: 4 Tips for Exploring Life Cycle Environmental and Social Sustainability
Making Healthier Specification Decisions Starts with Material Transparency
The Luminaire Life Cycle: A Lighting Planner’s Quest to Source Sustainable Luminaires
There’s a New Way to Do Solar Lighting

Javits Center: A Facility Committed to Sustainability

The Javits Center where LightFair 2023 will be hosted has come to be recognized as a New York icon for sustainability and state-of-the-art technology. The facility strives to be a model of sustainable practices for the exhibition industry. The facility’s recent expansion includes several sustainability upgrades.

The Javits Center’s sustainability initiatives include…⁠
• installing 100+ energy-efficient HVAC units⁠
• investing in new energy-efficient lighting, controls and maximizing natural light⁠
• adding new recycling containers throughout the facility⁠
• introducing a cutting-edge dashboard for monitoring electric, water & gas consumption levels⁠
• a 6.75-acre green roof that is home to 35 bird species, five bat species and thousands of honeybees and is a sanctuary for area wildlife while helping to reduce annual energy consumption⁠ by 26%
• constructing a one-acre farm that is expected to yield up to 40,000 pounds of produce a year for event catering⁠
• two new underground cisterns to capture and treat rainwater for irrigation on the rooftop terrace⁠

To solidify Javits’s position as the premier event facility and convention center, the focus on state-of-the-art meeting space including the unique roof pavilion is key. The entire project is flooded with natural light and features spectacular views of Manhattan and the Hudson River. The glass façade allows natural light in throughout the day. The building is designed to be a jewel box at night along 11th Avenue. This is a project about grand spaces on a large scale. The East/West concourses run a full city block.

David Ghatan, CLD | FIALD | LC | MIES
President, CM Kling + Associates

On Design Build for the Javits Center expansion

Net Zero Carbon Events: An Industrywide Initiative to Address Climate Change (Javits Center – a signatory)

This Net Zero Carbon Events Pledge was launched in at COP26, Glasgow, Scotland with over 100 first signatories, setting out the events industry’s commitment to play its role in addressing climate change. We’re pleased that LightFair will be hosted in a facility that is one of the signatories of this pledge.

Learn more about the Net Zero Carbon Events and Pledge

The Net Zero Carbon Events initiative aims to bring together a wide range of industry stakeholders to:

  • Jointly communicate our industry’s commitment to tackling climate change and driving towards net zero by 2050
  • Develop common methodologies for measuring the industry’s direct, indirect and supply chain greenhouse gas emissions
  • Construct an industry-wide roadmap towards net zero by 2050, and emissions reductions by 2030 in line with the Paris Agreement, with support and guidance on key issues
  • Foster collaboration with suppliers and customers to ensure alignment and common approaches
  • Establish common mechanisms for reporting progress and sharing best practice

Event Design Partners Committed to Sustainability

In 2021, our event and booth design partner, Freeman, joined more than 200 organizations from across the events industry, and all regions of the world, in signing the Net Zero Carbon Pledge.

While reducing consumption and wastage in the events industry is not easy, Freeman, is committed to minimizing the environmental impact of events. Their Sustainable Standards for events are built into the service offerings provided at every show. These standards ensure they design with sustainability in mind — before, during, and after the show.

​​Freeman is the first General Services Contractor (GSC) to earn both the ISO 14001 and ISO 20121 certifications, which help to guide and measure their actions and approach to sustainability. Learn more about Freeman’s sustainability initiatives.

In partnership with Freeman, our efforts for LightFair 2023 include:
• smart practices, using and reusing eco-friendly material from carpets and structures to signage
• offering 100% recyclable substrate options
• a three-year program to reduce the use of foam-based substrates
• testing of soy-based padding made from renewable sources
• donation of older equipment to support local and community charities

Transition to Digital Marketing

We have been making the transition to more digital communications and relying less on printed collateral in recent years. You may have noticed our increasing online footprint both in our own marketing campaigns and our partnership with digital media outlets. We have also made strategic choices with our on-site signage, cutting down waste while maximizing visibility and impact.

Javits Center, New York

Reusable Swag: Send Less to the Landfill

Why purchase a bottle of water when you can grab a reusable LightFair water bottle at the show, a handy souvenir you can refill as you go on-site as you walk the floor and beyond.

It Takes a Community

We have been taking steps in the positive direction, but we know they are not enough. We believe we still have a lot to do to reduce our environmental footprint while delivering a superior experience every year to all LightFair participants. We welcome your feedback, suggestions and thoughts. How can we as a community become greener together?

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