Well, it has been a momentous year for lighting! I agree with many of the industry pundits and think we are on the verge of a major transition. LED is maturing into a more sophisticated technology and features like wireless controls will become a more prominent factor in our lighting schemes. However, one should ignore the basics at one’s peril. There are still areas of conventional incandescent lighting that LED has yet to re-shape. Form factor, quality of light and safety aspect will also loom large in the coming year.
A singular view on 2017 from the team at Orange Lighting is witnessing how many ‘early adopter’ LED projects from 5,6 even 7 years ago have achieved way beyond their expected lifespan. In truth only a tiny fraction have required customer claims under warranty. Perhaps we are speaking too confidently, too soon – but we have become very accustomed to not going back to a lighting circuit once it has been installed. After all, when a fitting stops working even after many years – it can be regarded as a failure. Of course, we acknowledge that there are component parts such as drivers that can become weak links in the chain and fail long before the LED light source. It would seem – on a durability level – LED is here to stay!
Orange Lighting particularly specialises in high-end hospitality and residential lighting supply and design. Some of the following may not obviously be required in this sector – but think again – it will affect us all in some way or another.
Again, the pundits forecast that there will be hardly a lamp that doesn’t have some form of connectivity by the end of next year. This is presumably driven by competing manufacturers seeking new features to drive sales. No doubt market experts have seen a tidal wave of gizmos coming our way – emanating from Chinese Trade Shows. Then there is the death of Zigbee and the triumph of Bluetooth Mesh. Of course, we will all be telling Alexa to dim the lights and punching colours into our phones before a dinner party within 12 months.
Naturally, LED light source has spanned the gap between light emitting source and intelligent bits of techy kit for a while and inevitably it will converge. Bluetooth wireless control will be a consideration for us all but (reality check), I have yet to be offered it as a serious protocol for a commercial project – watch this space? However, I believe that (whether you like it or not), understanding the control of your lighting scheme has never been more important.
A wake-up call for Emergency?
In the new year, Sir Martin Moore-Bick’s inquiry into the London’s Grenfell Tower fire kicks off in earnest, highlighting regulations, standards, guidance, specification, installation practice and maintenance regimes for emergency lighting. In some ways, emergency regulations have seemed remote compared to other aspects of our work. Even if the emergency side of lighting is partially relevant to your professional life, we must keep abreast of how the regulations are likely to be updated and improved. It is now (understandably) – high on the agenda.
As a lover of lighting, I intrinsically know that light affects us all in ways we haven’t completely understood. It’s recent history that tells the story of our brains being awoken by blue-enriched light and quickly even our handheld devices and phones have settings to filter it out. Be keen to understand more this coming year about how we and our clients can benefit from the right lighting for the right time of day. The time is coming where the same colour temperature from a light source throughout the whole day will be deemed as crude.
Lighting pollution will be a major issue…
This is not just an issue of street lighting and dark skies in the country. There can be no doubt that cheaper LED light sources and its low power usage is driving a clamour for more light across the board. A resurgence of outdoor lighting is underway too. Again – I have said it before – with much power comes great responsibility! We must think twice about how and where you use lighting in exterior schemes.
In the coming year – we will keep you abreast of all lighting developments and we promise to introduce you to new manufacturers and their offerings as and when we see them as being truly useful to your lighting projects.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
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