Study Trip Chicago day 8

Today we woke up with stormy weather, but luckily the sky cleared when we headed out to the metro station to go visit the Lightfair. First, we needed to recharge our public transport carts since our week passes expired. Our first experience with obtaining these Ventra cards didn’t turn out great at the airport, hence the early start of the day. After a short metro trip we arrived at McCormick place where the Lightfair is held. The Lightfair is the world’s largest annual architectural and commercial trade show and conference. This 5-day event started at Sunday with the pre-conference and will last until Thursday. Being fairly early at the Lightfair all gave us plenty of time to explore the fair before each group attended their scheduled speaker session of a topic of interest. Some subjects of the visited seminars are: Lighting metrics for well-being, spectral design of healthcare environments and Lighting the way to Net Zero Buildings. Most of the seminars were found very interesting, others a little less.
Lots of companies, ranging from American to Asian were showing state of the art lightning technologies implemented in new LED fixtures or smart building applications. Although a lot of products were found to be quite familiar with existing applications, a range of new products have been showed that opened up very interesting conversations. Later in the afternoon about half of the group joined in a student and emerging professional networking event. Here we have gotten the chance to talk to some of the professionals in the lighting industry. 5 professionals rotated between the different table setups in which different topics were discussed.
At the end of the day we all went home with a goodie bag and the free drinks offered at some of the stands have been much appreciated after quite the intense day program. Heading back to the hostel during rush-hour has been quite the challenge since not everyone fitted in the already crowed metro wagons. The majority of the group didn’t notice the incredible heavy rainfall while being underground. Others where not so lucky and get soaked while heading to the hostel by foot. Returned at the hostel, some of the group members ate the leftovers of the deep-dish pizzas whereas the others went to have dinner in a nearby restaurant.
– Written by Pim and Nick –