Dispatch from Hong Kong: Bullock v 3D printing

Old exhibition hands, like ancient mariners, know how things should be done. I should have paid a bit more attention when Leigh Everett (of Mr. Resistor) fixed me with a look over breakfast this morning and said: 'Welcome to my world.' Did I mention that this is my first visit to the Hong Kong Lighting Fair, it's not like Earls Court, you know. So if today's blog ends up a bit off-piste I have no one else to blame but myself.

Start at the top and work your way down, like the sweet and sour sauce down your shirt front

There's probably a reason why the fifth floor of the show is at the top of the building; it keeps the atmosphere of the kasbah away from the posh stands nearer the ground. On the fifth floor young women, and it's nearly always young women, invite you to their stands, then they drag you down a side aisle to introduce you to all their friends and ask how many highbay luminaires you'd like to buy. Eventually, I learned how to pique their disappointment by waving my press pass at them. 

Meanwhile, back on the more refined level 1...

It's not that I didn't see anything on levels 4-2, I have plenty of catalogues to prove that I had an excellent time on levels 4-2. It's like a reverse paper trail; instead of throwing pieces of paper away, you get handed page after page of vital information . . . often about highbay luminiares.

On level 1 I met Fiona of Lextar (just following orders, since you ask) and had a great chat about their human-centric 'Alluxia' range of luminaires and controls, which has done really well this year, winning the German Design Award and a Red Dot prize. The 'Solar White' LED technology claims to simulate real sunlight. It doesn't, but it is an excellent piece of colour accuracy, which is what we all want.

The miraculous apperance of floating 600x600 LED panels on the Lexstar stand.

The weird thing is that I'd been lying awake for much of the night (which was absolutely nothing to do with the chilli chicken at The Red Pepper) thinking about floating 600x600 LED panels in a converted project that I'm working on . . . and THERE THEY WERE - on the Lexstar stand. Spooky!

Learning from the experts - even more Smart Lighting

In lieu of lying down, or even having lunch, I decided to take in a triple bill of talks on Smart Lighting in the hope of learning something new. After all, Fred Bass (Neonlite and Megaman) was speaking and that's always good value. I had a good chat with Fred afterwards alongside two new friends from the press crew, Felix from Singapore (marketing manager at Lighting Today) and Vasiliy from Russia (managing editor at CBETOTEXHNKA - which is Russian, but Russian for what I'm not quite sure). Carry on like this and we'll be in serious danger of turning into a much more friendly (and productive) manifestation of the United Nations.

Strange things in the basement - where even the floor slopes

If you thought floors 1-5 sounded interesting then you want to get a load of the basement. It was Vasiliy's idea to venture into the subterranean world beneath the conference centre. Feeling particularly plucky, despite fuzzy head, off we went. I could talk about the 3D printer company and the illuminated owl, but here's something for anyone faced with the pub quiz question: 'What is an illuminated manuscript?' Yes, when you open the book, the pages light up.

The Twenty-first century version of an illuminated manuscript. 

Or what about the startling discovey of the 130lm/W LED filament lamp that apparently has the dimmable driver and the bluetooth receiver in the lamp cap . . . oh really? I'm told that our good friends at Aurora Lighting know all about these lamps - so I know who to go to for the TRUTH.

At first sight this might not appear very much, especially when set among the owl, the books and the fixtures made from recycled rubbish, but these lamps could be the ONLY light sources in the show that are NOT LED - though they certainly look like LED.


In a bizarre twist of irony, these cold cathode lamps have been designed to look like LED lamps that would once have been filament lamps. Pointless, really.

And after that, things just got a little bit too silly so we gave it up and walked back along the most amazingly exciting streets in this busy city. Dorset it most certainly isn't.

Some of the 3D printed delights John discovered in the basement of the Hong Kong International Lighting Fair.

You can read John's blog from yesterday here.