Well, the highlight of the lighting world (in the UK anyway) rolled into town at Excel’s Lux Live 17 – showcasing everything that was new and some glimpses of the future too! Many industries are undergoing disruption due to new technology currently – and lighting is no exception. LED has caused a seismic shift in an analogue world of incandescent lamps – but it seems we need to steel ourselves for yet another tremor – Connective Intelligent Lighting. The question mark underpins the reality however. Whilst seemingly the big news at the show was the first Li-fi ready downlighter – truth is hardly any of us design professionals are considering using it … yet! As a reality check let’s look at the movers and shakers that are ready to influence of working world in the year ahead.
1. Extrusion: flexi-extrusion! Not just flexible LED tapebut flexible LED extrusion too –mountable and presents a huge potential for creativity. There is a straight version too – both 18mm deep achieving a clean homogenous line of light. It might not be brand new but being enforced is the ability to hide LED in all manner of extrusions giving the designer a wide and varied palette to choose from.
2. Written about this before but to see the award-winning tiny wall washer provide so much uniform light was a delight. The unit is about the length of your hand and an inch wide which is an extremely discrete wall washer that paints the wall with a uniform light. The plotting of the fitting’s position to the wall is crucial and calculations are provided – but get the tricky bit right and you have a reasonable budget – and it’s a delight to use.
3. Integral’s Evo Fire downlight – We supply much of Integral LED’s solutions as they are well priced and theyhave a genuine eye for detail and provide a cost-effective useful solution to the generic types of light fitting. What’s so good about a GU10 fire rated downlight you ask!? Well LED has a number of advantages including low temperature which allows certain traditional fittings to be re-invented based upon fundamentals. Turns out we don’t need a Can or a Hood to contain fire = a strong clip and a resistant glass a bezel combination will do! Lightweight, cheaper and small – it’s the future of fire-rated downlights.
4. Concrete as an Astro Lighting finish … really?! We are used to brass and marine gradestainless steel but here is outdoor lighting in a polished concrete! It works really well – and so smooth to touch!
5. In 1964 Marshall McLuhan a pioneering media and marketing guru envisioned a ‘global village’ and prophetically described the internet as we know it long before it became a reality. At the same time, he foresaw electric light as pure information – amazingly seeing the power of artificial light in our built environment. Think about how much light we see at night now and how sophisticated our approaches are now to the lighting of buildings and interiors. In fact, every lighting choice we make contributes to a message – subtle, bold, highlights, pulls things back etc… awesome. I walked away sobered that with such power comes a great responsibility!
(Image: Gasholder 8 by Speirs & Major – subtle and powerful use of lighting to honour an iconic industrial structure)
You know – you don’t have to travel to Excel and run the gauntlet of the DLR and those foot aching aisleways to keep abreast of cutting-edge lighting. All you have to do is pick up the phone and call the Orange Lighting team!
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