This is the 20th edition of this exhibition and the first time I have been here in 6 or 7 years. Guangzhou itself has changed. The oppressive yellow smog has lifted. Much of the manufacturing and the older power stations have gone, there are many new buildings including towers of significant height. The exhibition has also grown, more than doubling in floor area and number of stands. Almost everything is LED apart from one hold out chandelier company with only incandescent lamps in their products.
Conventional incandescent doesn’t exist either though many are offering halogen GLS and the antique shape single strand lamps. The filament pattern LED is also well in evidence. Apparently this technology was developed in Taiwan. The quality is generally good with one or two exceptions, one looking like high pressure sodium! I even found one that dimmed to extinction quite believably on a standard rotary dimmer. The weird application was putting these filament units in a four finger CFL envelope, one really does have to ask why?
Innovation was somewhat lacking. When asked about new products I was offered a factory tour. It seems even the Chinese companies are now fearful of copying! The “ No Photos” signs typical of European trade shows were much in evidence. One brave manufacturer was displaying a unique product and had his Chinese patent number well displayed all over their stand. I asked the salesman if this protected his product and he just smiled and almost laughed. Interestingly the product did not photograph well!
There is every indication that the general quality of products has improved and the most blatant copies of European fittings were not on show this time. One interesting development is the use of large lenses to control the beam of the bigger COB arrays. These are even appearing on very basic floodlights. Lenses to provide typical roadway lighting distributions were also in evidence as is wholesale relighting of Guangzhou’s roads and streets with LED a lot of it at 3000K.
What is surprising is the low ex-works prices for most of the lamps and fittings on display. As these are openly advertised it is clear that discounts can be negotiated from these. Despite import duties and freight it does give some idea of the profitability of the lamps and certainly retail light fittings.
Finally, cutest freebie of the show is the Bridgelux COB Cookie!