On 1 February, we were in Daventry for Lighting Live 24.

Hosted by the Institution of Lighting Professionals (ILP), this eagerly anticipated exhibition sees like-minded professionals unite to talk about the latest in lighting — making it a must-attend for us: a lighting consultancy eager to stay at the forefront of industry developments.

It was a pleasure to be amongst the bustling crowds of fellow lighting design enthusiasts during the day-long event, which was well-attended and filled with a unique buzz of excitement. Plus, we loved hearing two of our experts — Executive Director Richard Jackson and Lighting Impact and Planning Lead Ryan Carroll — share their insights on a local authority panel session.

We know that not everyone who wanted to attend Lighting Live this year got the chance to join in on the action. So, here’s a summary of what went down for those of you who couldn’t make it (not that we need an excuse to shout about this great event!).

Ways to support the next generation were considered

At Lighting Live 24, discussions revolved around one thing: the skills gap. And for good reason…

Caused partly by people stopping work earlier, with nearly 30% of over 50s retiring because they were ‘financially stable’ in 2022, a lack of qualified workers and a shortage of new professionals is limiting the lighting industry’s ability to deliver crucial services and advance as it should.

What did our very own Richard Jackson suggest we do to mitigate this increasingly concerning challenge whilst on the event panel? Two things: create noise to attract young people into the lighting industry and develop a safe, supportive environment to make newbies want to stay in it.

It’s easier said than done, but Richard’s assisting with a lot of initiatives to help close the skills gap in the lighting industry — including DFL’s LAMP Academy and the ‘Next Gen’ project run by the Highway Electrical Association (which he’s also president of).

Some of today’s most important organisations got together

It will come as no surprise to any member of the lighting industry to learn that a whole host of individuals and companies joined forces at this year’s Lighting Live.

With the chance to mingle and forge professional connections with countless exhibitors over the course of the day, plenty of attendees came away from the event with a bigger, better network — us included.

What you may be surprised to learn, though, is that the ILP, the HEA and the Lighting Industry Association (LIA) announced a huge collaboration at this year’s event. They’re producing a joint Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)!

The three organisations plan to use this document to them to share ideas and pool resources to tackle the skills gap in the lighting industry, which is really exciting. Keep your eyes peeled for more details in due course…

We got thinking about eco-friendly lighting

We saw several solar-powered lighting solutions on display at Lighting Live 24 — and certainly more than were there last year.

These sustainable alternatives to traditional lights are an excellent option for some installations, with the potential to help cut project costs and alleviate environmental damage, and we’re thrilled to see the solar conversation building.

However, as our lighting impact expert Ryan Carroll pointed out after the event, solar batteries tend to have a shorter lifespan than typical models and solar power is only generated when the sun’s out — limiting which projects can use solar lights.

As such, he’d like to see longer-lasting batteries and hybrid solutions, which work off the grid in the dark winter months, emerge in the future to bolster solar lighting solutions and lay the foundation for more eco-friendly lighting designs. We second that!

DFL set its sights on bigger, better things for next year

After such an inspiring day, we left Daventry with a bunch of great ideas about what we’d like to achieve in the next year.

At DFL, we’ll be focused on continuously improving LAMP Academy in line with participant feedback and industry developments. We’re confident this scheme will play a role in creating a stronger lighting industry — even if it’s challenging.

Speaking of — whatever you’d like us to get involved with, we’re up for the challenge. What did you think was missing from Lighting Live 24? Are there any topics you’d like us to present on at a future panel? Which lighting design issues would you like advice on overcoming? Let us know.

All in all, we had a great day. The LIA put on a great event (shoutout to Local Authority Vice President Michala Medcalf for pulling it off) and we can’t wait to do it all over again in 12 months. Until then…

Contact us at +44 (0)1962 855090 or info@dfl-uk.com to speak to us about our involvement in Lighting Live and the lighting industry or enquire about our services. We’re all ears!