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Guangzhou International Lighting Exhibition celebrates its 25th anniversary in June 2020

12 Dec 2019

25 years onwards, the Guangzhou International Lighting Exhibition (GILE) has evolved into Asia’s most distinguished lighting fair. While GILE debuted with a humble 96 Chinese exhibitors in 1996, its last edition in 2019 demonstrated the fair’s considerable growth over the years with over 2,600 exhibitors from 22 countries and regions.

2020 marks the 25th edition of the Guangzhou International Lighting Exhibition which will be held from 9 – 12 June 2020 at the China Import and Export Fair Complex in Guangzhou. The past 25 years not only symbolises the history of lighting, but also its constant evolution. Invented to illuminate, today artificial lighting has evolved into sophisticated devices capable of gathering infinite data and becoming beacons of communication, including energy-saving LEDs and the Internet of Lights. These innovations are made possible by the strength and perseverance of the lighting community.

On the evolution of lights, Ms Lucia Wong, Deputy General Manager of Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd, commented: “It is never easy to keep growing in the industry, as the formula for success requires courage, endeavour, open-mindedness and vision. Exponential growth in multiple technologies including Bluetooth mesh, real-time data, Internet of Things and LiFi are bringing rapid transformation and new values to the industry. GILE aspires to emphasise the value of lighting by encouraging the community to thrive with perseverance and embrace innovations across all facets of human life – use light to instil people with positive feelings and so help to improve health and well-being.”

Ms Wong also shared her vision for GILE 2020: “‘Digital with humans’ is the concept that we want to advocate this edition. To better equip the lighting industry for the future, enterprises need to understand digital technologies, and more importantly how humans interact with the digital world to express, connect, create and experience.”

THINKLIGHT – Empower the next

The 2019 edition of GILE revolved around the progress and innovation in the lighting industry. Moving forward to 2020, the 25th edition will embrace the new show theme ‘THINKLIGHT – Empower the next’ which discusses elements that empower the future lighting community. This is achieved through the fair’s cross-sector event programmes, training activities, as well as cutting-edge technology showcases to encourage the industry, while at the same time preserving the core value of quality lights to literally ‘think outside of the box’ for opportunities that are presented by digital disruption. 

In various panels throughout the four-day fair, worldwide experts will share their insights on the current market dynamics, including the following topics:

• Smart Cities – in the age of 5G and IoT
As 3G, 4G and ultimately 5G data networks revolutionise connectivity, street light poles transform into smart city data gatherers and multi-functional IoT notes. The evolution of the humble street light into a key component for delivering smart city services is a prime example of the smart city of the future coming into fruition. This session will discuss: ‘How will innovations in lighting lower the energy demands of cities whilst also shaping our urban spaces in future years?’ 

• Urban Media – real-time interactive architectural visualisation
Media façades on iconic buildings and infrastructure now spread across city skylines. Such installations can better visualise a city’s value and culture while real-time interactive elements can bring people and architecture closer together. Yet, extensively used, these can result in information overload. By examining two topics: ‘Finding balance in beauty and elegance’ and ‘Information and visual disruption – How to bring art and commerce under one roof’, the event aims to create a better experience for all citizens.

• ‘Retailtainment’ – the convergence of retail, leisure and entertainment
In recent years, retail landlords and tenants have increasingly realised that surviving e-commerce expansion requires something other than just offering more products. More landlords are transforming their malls into retail destinations to create more engaging consumer experiences and build retention. The LED industry is now fully entwined with the retail sector, providing high quality lighting and innovative controls, while the digital lighting revolution has been creating new marketing opportunities through VLC and BLE. In this session, speakers will examine how lighting and control technologies may influence the retail experience, and how smart lighting in retail can leverage brand identity.

• Biophilic design – connecting people with nature
With the global demand for healthy cities and urban sustainability high, biophilic (love of nature) design concepts have come into focus as a means to connect nature with man-made spaces.  This trend has emerged within innovative organisations, who aim to enhance the overall wellbeing and wellness of people through carefully designed spaces and products. Light has proven to be a key aspect of biophilic theories to date. Artificial sunlight-mimicking, human-centric lighting systems have been developed and introduced by the lighting industry to imitate natural sunlight that is usually created by skylights or proximity to windows – an essential concept of biophilic theories. This session will discuss the application of Human Centric Lighting (HCL), commercialisation, technology support and the utilisation of technology to create positive biological effects to increase well-being.

• Digital Twins –  smart buildings
Whilst not a new concept, the digital twins idea is set to transform the future for building owners and operators and the ways in which they maintain, construct and analyse the uses of assets and occupants in their buildings. The future looks to introduce digital asset tracking, predictive maintenance and management of lighting products as light plans are set to become part of a building’s digital twin. In this session, the panel will discuss how digital twins could help make buildings more human-centric, and how to facilitate lighting data to be integrated into digital twins throughout the building environment. 

• Sustainability – low-carbon economy
Energy-saving technology has allowed LEDs to be more energy-efficient and offer higher lumens per watt (lm/W), which is an important element in a low-carbon economy. The fair will invite experts to share their views on balancing lighting and sustainability, as well as some of the biggest challenges in the lighting industry.

A series of Tech and Business Forums will also be arranged at GILE 2020 to discuss practical technical issues and business models in the evolving lighting industry. Topics include quality of light, colour tuning, miniaturisation, packaging technologies, drivers and control, heat dissipation, connected lighting and IoT technologies, and new paths to profitability.

The Guangzhou International Lighting Exhibition is a part of Messe Frankfurt’s Light + Building Technology fairs headed by the biennial Light + Building event. The next edition will take place from 8 ‒ 13 March 2020 in Frankfurt, Germany.

Messe Frankfurt also offers a series of other light and building technology events worldwide, including the Shanghai International Lighting Fair, Thailand Lighting Fair, BIEL Light + Building in Argentina, Light Middle East in the United Arab Emirates, Interlight Russia as well as Light India, the LED Expo New Delhi and the LED Expo Mumbai in India.

For more information on Light + Building shows worldwide, please visit For more information regarding the lighting shows in China, please visit or email


Background information on Messe Frankfurt
Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. With more than 2,600* employees at 30 locations, the company generates annual sales of around €733* million. We have close ties with our industry sectors and serve our customers’ business interests efficiently within the framework of our Fairs & Events, Locations and Services business fields. One of the Group’s key USPs is its closely knit global sales network, which extends throughout the world. Our comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services. Headquartered in
Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent). For more information, please visit our website at:
* preliminary figures 2019