Light and Building 2024 Review

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Category: Events

3 Min. Read time
Light & Building 2024 keyvisual
Light & Building 2024 keyvisual
Light & Building 2024 keyvisual
Light & Building 2024 keyvisual

An important networking event for ithinx

The Light and Building has become a fixed date in ithinx’s calendar. Held every two years, Light & Building is a leading trade fair that showcases the latest innovations in lighting, electrical engineering, home and building automation and smart technology. It serves as a platform for industry professionals to explore the latest trends, share knowledge and forge partnerships to drive progress in sustainable and intelligent solutions for modern living spaces and urban environments. We were there for 5 of the 6 days, what did we see?

High interest, flexible products

There are no official figures yet, but the halls looked really full this year. In light of social media and other online marketing opportunities, people had begun to question the need for trade fairs. Corona, closures and a somewhat oddly postponed Light & Building in 2022 don’t seem to be helping. However, there seems to be a renewed interest in flagship events. We at ithinx appreciate the opportunity to arrange short introductory or catch-up appointments with potential or existing customers under one roof. Exhibitors did not seem to suffer from a lack of trade.

The German building industry seems to be struggling. This could also have an impact on providers of smart solutions. Many manufacturers or service providers are offering more flexible solutions, often using wireless connectivity, which are better suited to the established housing stock. Both private and corporate-owned buildings are looking for efficiencies, whether through home energy management systems (HEMs) for their own homes or building management for more cost-effective management of multi-tenant properties. The IoT is helping to achieve both.

An industry that is slowly finding a consensus?

In technical terms, there was little that was completely new or innovative. In many ways, this is an encouraging sign. Instead, we see a steady consensus on the use cases that need to be addressed, the technologies that are needed to make this possible and, in many cases, collaboration between different industries and sectors.

This “coming together” is illustrated by the number of Matter use cases presented. There are many well-established platform or solution providers that focus on wired solutions such as KNX or Modbus for good reason. Nevertheless, they are now increasingly offering Matter-based devices or at least a Matter bridge. Thus, we see that Matter-based smart home applications for the mass market, such as sockets and lighting, are being integrated into the more complex HEMs and the professional smart home world. This development not only shows that Matter is beginning to fulfill the compatibility function the industry had hoped for, but also that solution providers are covering more areas. The suburban homeowner may have a complete HEM set up, but still want to control their lighting by voice. The younger Matter user who started with a few LED strips in their bedroom may one day move into their own home and want to invest in a full professional smart home solution.

The role of Zigbee in the future

With all the talk about Matter, however, it’s also interesting to see that Zigbee still has an important role to play. The CSA has recently launched new working groups for the standard, and in certain use cases where more devices, better range or better battery efficiency are required, Zigbee remains the protocol of choice. Abstraction layers (such as those offered by ithinx), which would allow devices to migrate to Matter at a later date, also offer manufacturers peace of mind.

Light and Building Frankfurt 2024: Our Conclusion

  • We have come a long way. We should not forget that there was a time when smart homes and IoT hardly played a role in the industry or at this event. Today, the topic is an essential part of lighting and building solutions, both for new buildings and for retrofitting.
  • The customers who demand intelligent products are heterogeneous. Young, old, small lighting applications or HEMs. Platforms and solution providers must adapt to these different tastes and requirements.
  • A certain technological consensus will be reached, enabling connectivity between different industries and systems. This should act as a catalyst for the market and drive adoption among customers and installers alike.

Next up, Embedded World. See you there!

  • Embedded World 2024 ENG ithinx
    Embedded World 2024 ENG ithinx

    Visit us at Embedded World 2024!

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