Aug. 25 2021 09:57 AM

Keynote speaker shares a bright outlook on the economy and landscape lighting industry.

More than 90 landscape lighting professionals learned about new trends in best practices and products at the 2021 virtual AOLP & IA Landscape Lighting Conference, held Aug. 23. The Association of Outdoor Lighting Professionals, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and the Irrigation Association, Fairfax, Virginia, brought together expert speakers and panels to share insights.

The conference started with a keynote detailing the effects of the pandemic on global supply chains by Ryan Williams, director of marketing for FX Luminaire.

“The world that we’ve lived through for the last 18 months or so has really been quite crazy. And I would argue from a supply chain standpoint it was rocked by issues that we’ve seen,” Williams says. “Our industry was really no exception from that. From raw materials like your coppers, your aluminums and brass, to electronics, excess demand and shipping costs. We’ve seen more organized and disruptive chaos this year than I would say any other.”

Williams talked through the effects of demand, logistical issues and weather on the supply chain in the past two years and made some projections about what might come next. Taking leading indicators such as new home purchases into account, for the foreseeable future things are looking bright not only for the general economy but for the landscape lighting market as well, he says.

“All indicators right now are green. They look up,” says Williams.

Three expert panels covered some of the biggest topics in landscape lighting. That started with an in-depth discussion on how to make the best use of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi network connectivity with lighting, moderated by Paul Gosselin, CLVLT, COLD. Next came a dialogue led by Ryan Lee, president of Landscape Lighting Secrets, on how to keep landscape lighting systems up to code. These were followed by a panel taking tongue-in-cheek lessons from “The Griswolds” on the advantages of professional development and profitability in the holiday lighting business. The conference finished with a presentation of new technology and product trends in landscape lighting.

Attendees received a free toolkit for lighting designers, provided by FX Luminaire. The event was presented by premier sponsors FX Luminaire, Illumicare Group Unlimited and S4 Lights and presenting sponsor Horizon. For more information on the Irrigation Association’s virtual conferences, visit www.irrigation.org.