Tag Archives: interiors

Control: the next big thing?

Control-image

In this intensely technological era of lighting – it is essential to keep abreast of developments. I joined the thousands of other techno pilgrims in the annual visit to Lux Live at Earls Court. Out of the hundreds of exhibits – what did I take away?

Over recent years we have been spoiled – enjoying constant waves of new innovations. We may have become almost blasé about it. There are improvements too and tweaks to what has become standard kit – LED downlights, lamps etc. The shocking reality is – that if you were hunting for CFL or other light sources – you would have been hard pressed to find anything among the exhibits. A huge shift to LED is plainly evident.

Control BannerTaking Control
What captured my attention is the growing number of management systems that enable us to control our lit environment. Technology now aims to deliver just the right amount of light to keep us happy and healthy. The years ahead will take us a step beyond mere concerns about functional illumination – it is going holistic!

These are just some of the highlights:

1. We liked Photonstar’s exciting ‘Halcyon’ colour changing lamp system – a more grown up alternative to the Philips Hue (review in a future update) where natural circadian body rhythms can be enhanced easily through the use of light in the home or workplace – and with an open API to allow budding IT developers to create their own mobile Apps to maximise it’s potential.

2. What caught my attention most was a new development claimed as the future of lighting control – allowing sophisticated retrospective control of an existing lighting system without extensive rewiring or builders work. With over 40% of commercial electricity consumption in the UK due to lighting, it is the single highest contributing item on an energy bill. With 75% of all commercial lighting left uncontrolled – there is HUGE potential for savings through lighting control systems which are increasingly easy to install.

There are now a number of web based wireless control monitoring and management systems available. They give users the freedom to commission, configure and completely control their own lighting to maximise energy savings and reduce their emissions – all from a web page viewed on whatever device suits.

3. Enocean wireless (and battery-less) switches are another reminder of the inexorable progress of change. This is a low profile switch that has no wires and no power required to control it. Simply pressing of the switch generates the signal to communicate to the receiver hidden behind the ceiling – allowing you the freedom to place it wherever you wish.

and there are more…

If you need retain control over the welter of lighting innovation or need to navigate through the current alternatives, Orange lighting are here to enable you to make the right decision based upon a tried and tested approach. Call us and we will advise you when it is safe to take a technological leap!

All the World’s a (Lighting) Stage

tragedycomedyw3Lighting can have a range of moods and personalities. It can also play a whole cast of characters within an interior space. If the lights in a room were actors some would be demure shy and retiring and others loud and attention seeking show-offs.

Recently, wonderful new opportunities have arrived to conceal and embed fittings into the fabric of a building – allowing the light itself to become centre stage.

glint_situHowever, with the introduction of these new fixtures, I have not witnessed a trend to retreat back into the minimalistic style so prevalent in the 1990’s. This time we seem to be enthusiastically blending the highly decorative with a restrained play of light.

Often, there remains a need for a focal point – the star of the show – the chandelier or decorative pendant. In fact a chandelier’s impact is heightened when accompanied by a supporting cast of restrained wall lights, up-lights and down-lights.

On many occasions I have likened a lit interior to a painting. A good painter deliberately chooses a focal point, catches the viewers eye with a colour or the darkest point in the composition. As ‘lighting’ painters, we too need a focal point – a highlight or a low light that will draw the attention. A beautifully enduring technique is to use the decorative chandelier or pendant; it remains as relevant to our interiors now as it did in 17th century.

Solaris_Twin_situSo I call on you to be brave and keep embracing the chandelier, create wildly enigmatic focal points and yet consider a subtle palette of supporting light, so easily adopted now with the use of miniaturised LED.

Looking for inspiration on a focal point for your next project? Call us and we will be able to guide you through the alternatives that fit your requirements.