What You Missed at Lightovation

Too busy at IBS to make it to Lightovation? Don't sweat it. Here's what you missed.

January 26, 2018

Almost every year, the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) and Lightovation force remodelers to make a tough decision: Orlando/Las Vegas or Dallas? 

Lightovation, the bi-annual event held in the Dallas Market Center, brings remodelers, builders, retailers and interior designers from across the country to see the latest in lighting technology. In addition to introducing new finishes and shapes, manufacturers also showcase the newest lighting technological advances.

This year’s winter edition of Lightovation was no different. But if you skipped Lightovation in lieu of KBIS, don't worry. One of our sister publications, Lighting & Decorwent for you, and has a lot to share. Here’s what you need to know about what’s new in the world of lighting.

Back in Matte Black

In past Lightovation shows, shades of bronze and grays dominated lighting fixtures at Trade Mart, but this year, you couldn’t walk into a showroom without seeing a ton of matte black. In fact, it was hard to walk up and down the hallways without overhearing, “black is the new black.”

While black may be the latest neutral, most manufacturers are still pairing it with different metals such as chrome, brass, and even some copper. Many new introductions were finished in matte black, but had a few brass or chrome accents to make them stand out.

Seeded glass also made a big appearance at the show for both indoor and outdoor fixtures. Most manufacturers either surrounded the light source with it or used it to diffuse an LED light shining through either the top or bottom of the fixture.

One of the more exciting surprises of the show was the fun uses of texture.  For example, Hinkley Lighting’s new collection with Lisa McDennon (pictured on the right) featured a pendant with a hair on hide fitted right above the pendant panels. Other manufacturers added heavy rope and wooden beads to make fixtures more interesting.

Technological Advances

Many lighting and other home industry veterans declared 2018 to be the “Year of the Smart Home”—when home automation would finally take off and become less of a gadget and more of a necessity. And it makes sense. Last October, Google announced it has sold “more than one Google Home device every second since Google Home Mini started shipping in October,” and today, Apple will be launching its HomePod speaker, complete with a Siri-powered voice assistant.

Let’s not even get started on Amazon.

Perhaps the most obvious embrace of smart home technology came from Modern Forms, which opened a brand new showroom and launched a new line of ceiling fans. In a small, enclosed room at the back of the showroom, customers could watch a demonstration from a Modern Forms rep as he used a Google Home to control the speed and setting of the two fans in the room.

In other showrooms, news introductions with LED lights have moved from the technical side to the decorative side of lighting. More manufacturers introduced outdoor LED sconces, usually diffused through a ceramic or alabaster slab, but contemporary manufacturers especially got creative with LED.

In the Kuzco Lighting showroom, the Navi multi-pendant (pictured above)—a fixture that looked like suspended glass jars with small fairy-looking crystals in them (Zelda fan, perhaps?)—demanded market goers stop and take notice.

About the Author


About the Author


Alison Martin is managing editor for Lighting & Decor.

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