One could argue that the first phase of the LED lighting revolution is complete. Of the more than 350 products submitted to Architectural Lighting’s editorial Call for Submissions to this Annual Product Issue, all were LED. Ten years ago, when the technology was just arriving on lighting’s doorstep, it didn’t seem possible that the industry, not always known for its ability to quickly adapt to change, would be able to embrace the new, evolve, and move forward.

Now we enter a second phase of technological upheaval, in which the lighting industry will be embracing “smart” platforms. Lighting is still deciphering the meaning of this next great leap forward, and, based on the industry’s experience with the transition to solid-state lighting, it will be interesting to see how quickly companies and design firms can sort things out. I suspect that it will take another three years for “connected” lighting to move beyond being merely a catchy marketing phrase to an integral part of the job, but I doubt it will take a full decade.

We should also expect to witness the continued evolution of the marketplace. Just a few years ago, it seemed unfathomable to imagine the lighting industry operating without some of its legacy players. And yet, that is exactly what has come to pass. I’m confident, however, that the industry as a whole will find a way to self-correct, and that those companies that really want to be in the business of lighting—and who understand what that means in the 21st century—will find business models that enable them to succeed. In turn, new players will step into the space left vacant by those companies who decide to leave the market segments, which they once dominated.

The rapid change we’re seeing certainly doesn’t make it any easier for lighting designers or lighting manufacturers to keep pace with the vast amount of information associated with all of those new product developments. Throughout this issue, you’ll find responses from lighting designers and manufacturers to a series of questions that we posed to them:

• How do you keep up with new product information?• How has the specification process changed with the introduction of LEDs?
• What makes a great luminaire?
• How is the Internet of Things affecting the lighting industry?

This series of questions is our way of taking the lighting community’s pulse on a handful of important, day-to-day issues that are impacting those who work with and specify lighting products.

And as we enter the heart of the lighting trade show season, I’m curious to know how you would respond to these questions. As you walk the aisles of Lightfair and attend its seminars, what are the new products and technology platforms that stand out to you? To get the conversation started, in this Annual Product Issue, we’ve selected 160-plus products as your guide. •

Elizabeth DonoffEditor-in-Chief
[email protected]