Lichtwoche Sauerland is a decentralized trade fair, held every other year in Sauerland, that is geared essentially to professionals in the lighting business. Extending from its organizational hub in the city of Arnsberg, the fair takes place region-wide on the premises of businesses in the lights-and-lighting industry. In just a few years, Lichtwoche Sauerland has become an important venue for notable producers, dealers, buyers, and resellers of luminaires and lamps, which serves for the exchange of news, innovations, and future trends. Besides its atypical, decentralized concept, what is special about this fair are its informal origins and pioneering organization, which was implemented cooperatively by the businesses themselves with the support of the "Wirtschaftsförderung Arnsberg" and of "Stadtmarketing Sundern" (both are institutions for the promotion of trade and industry).
The fair itself is actually not open to the public. But in order to underscore the industry's importance to the region, the fair is accompanied by public events relating to the subject of light.
Inside the actual fair, companies from the light-and-lighting industry invite business clients into their particular exhibition spaces to inform them about their newest collections and product lines. Companies that don't have offices in the region can participate nonetheless by hiring suitable, available premises for a short time where they can set up a temporary exhibition space. The fair's concept was developed by industry stakeholders themselves and brought to life in conjunction with the cities of Arnsberg and Sundern, which are distinguished by a high concentration of light-and-lighting companies. The idea was, that business clients not only see new products, but rather experience them where they are produced or distributed. For this reason, lamps, lighting, and components are not displayed in an exhibition hall, but are presented straightforwardly in the companies' own showrooms. A combined evening program as well as an identity-establishing marketing strategy serve as connecting elements for the decentralized fair.
Lichtwoche Sauerland takes place in odd-numbered years, and aside from the Light+Building, it is the most important trade fair dedicated to the lighting trade. While most of those who participated in the first Lichtwoche Sauerland were producers of residential or decorative lighting equipment, companies that operate in the field of technical lighting or lamps have since become welcome participants. In addition to the expansion of the kinds of products on display, the exhibitors' geographic origin has spread continuously (i.e. Netherlands, Spain, Poland, Austria and Denmark).
The last Lichtwoche Sauerland – which has grown from 22 participating companies in its 2005 debut to almost 50 companies in 2017 – took place from March 5 to March 9, 2017.
After the event's fifth successful implementation in public-private cooperation between companies and institutions for economic-promotion, the "Lichtforum NRW" assumed for the first time the role of official organizer for the sixth edition in 2013. Here-together with "spokespersons" for Lichtwoche Sauerland selected every two years from among the participants-strategic aspects will be developed, while the Lichtforum NRW coordinates everything else.