Energy-saving devices rise and shine at trade fair
New technology is helping the mainland meet demand for eco-friendly lighting products as it comes to grips with environmental challenges
Light-emitting diodes and other types of energy-saving lighting are the brightest growth areas in the lighting industry and will take centre stage at this year's Guangzhou International Lighting Exhibition, organised by Messe Frankfurt.
More than 1,200 exhibitors and experts in the field will attend the event, which runs from June 8 to 11, and will also include seminars.
Exhibitors from the mainland and around the world will showcase products using the latest in eco-friendly and power-saving technology.
Katy Lam, director of trade fairs for Messe Frankfurt, said: 'The number of LED [light-emitting diodes] lighting and environmental products in the show this year reflects the new demand in the market. This area is growing fast and there is high demand for it. It is also very much in line with the Chinese government's green light policy and 11th five-year plan, in which the administration of each city is being encouraged to look at low energy alternatives.'
China faces a shortage of raw materials and fuel as its manufacturing industry booms. At the same time, awareness of the need to save energy and reduce pollution is being encouraged.
'China's cities are also increasingly looking at tourism,' Ms Lam said. 'Landscape lighting is becoming more popular as the standard of living rises, so local governments are renovating whole cities, building new cities and putting a lot of money into landscape design.'
The exhibition is being split into two this year for the first time to enable electrical building technology to be showcased separately.
The building element was introduced into the exhibition two years ago, but it is an area that is expanding rapidly due to China's construction boom.
The exhibition has been staged in Guangzhou for the past 12 years, and Ms Lam reckons the number of visitors this year will exceed last year's 41,000.
'The scale of the show is expanding, so we do expect more visitors this year,' she said. 'Other than the show itself we also have quite a lot of programmes running concurrently with the exhibition, so it's much more than just selling products in a booth.'
For example, there will be a series of seminars for visitors on the latest developments and latest market trends, involving well-known speakers from the trade. The Guangzhou International Lighting Technology Symposium will return for a third session with the theme: 'The cohesion between lighting and landscape, buildings and interiors'. Seminar topics will cover the use of solar systems for lighting in buildings, commercial and office space lighting. Lighting design for classical architecture in China will be discussed and lighting systems used to illuminate European classical architecture at night will be applied to a building in Tianjin.
Chan Tak-ka, senior building services engineer for the Hong Kong government's Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, will talk about the Tourism Board 's Symphony of Lights show seen nightly across Victoria Harbour at 8pm.
Visitors will also be able to see other state-of-the-art technologies as some of the engineers and designers involved in this year's China Lighting Project Award will be sharing insights on their latest projects. The accolade is the only government authorised lighting-design award in China.
Two years ago, Messe Frankfurt also began dedicating two halls at the exhibition solely to brand names. Many mainland firms present themselves as original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs.
But Ms Lam said: 'We want to encourage more industry players in the LED and environmental lighting areas to be brand name rather than OEM businesses.
'What it needs is more marketing and product development. As the biggest show in this region we want to encourage the industry to show its full potential and we feel that we can be a platform for that.'
While there is demand for lighting products internationally, there is no doubt that China is the main growth area.
'There are quite a lot of international events coming up,' Ms Lam said. 'All deals have already closed for the Beijing Olympics next year, but there's the Asian Games in 2010 in Guangzhou and the World Expo in Shanghai, also in 2010. All of these events will need landscape and lighting.'
She said the exhibition could also provide a forum to exchange information as the China market becomes increasingly sophisticated.