lighting industry’s global biennial gathering in March,
the Light + Building exhibition in Frankfurt. Due
to increased commoditisation and falling prices,
light fittings won’t just be there simply to illuminate
any more. They’ll have onboard capabilities such
as increased intelligence, sensors, built-in wireless
connectivity and colour tuning. Expect buzzwords
such as ‘Io T ready’ and ‘digital light’.
In terms of aesthetics, we’re seeing a return to simple
forms, clean lines and pure materiality, all partly
enabled by the well-behaved LED. The leading US and
European brands are embracing understated – but
not anonymous – forms which take their cues from
contemporary architecture. Quality is increasing as the
major players put clear blue water between themselves
and low-cost Chinese suppliers.
One of the leaders of this trend is the influential Italian
manufacturer iGuzzini, which has made the transition
to LEDs more successfully than most. Its Lander,
designed by Renzo Piano for the Stavros Niarchos
Foundation in Athens, is typical of this movement:
minimal design, robust engineering and precision
optics. A raft of new launches with similar values is
slated for Light + Building, including the Palco InOut
range of floodlights and projectors, and the Walky
suite of miniaturised luminaires with clever optics that
distribute light horizontally, precisely from the base
of the wall where the product is installed, and then
uniformly along the entire surface.
The Polesano exterior lighting column by Croatian
designer Dean Skira for Delta Light is in the same vein.
Its austere form factor belies its multifunctionality
and modularity, allowing it to meet multiple lighting
requirements in a uniform design language, without
overpowering an urban environment.
Other examples of purity include Louis Poulsen’s
discreet LP Slim Round, a huge family of fixtures all
with a common language of refinement and subtlety.
UK manufacturer Astro has taken the vogue for the
spare and elemental a stage further with on-trend
materiality including concrete.
But if there’s one product designer who has single-handedly reinvented domestic lighting for the LED
age, it’s Greek Cypriot Michael Anastassiades (see
Lighting Vol 49 Issue 6). His IC light, Captain Flint and
String light – instant classics which celebrate spheres,
cones and minimal lines – have been huge commercial
successes for Italian brand Flos in recent years.
However, at Light + Building, his latest collection for
Flos is set to be seen as something of a departure.
Arrangements is a modular system of geometric light
elements that can be combined in different ways,
creating multiple compositions into individual
Above: three-circuit version
of Reggiani’s Yori Evo Ghostrack,
with patented invisible driver
Left: from Louis Poulsen’s refined
LP Slim Round collection
Right: the Reflexio from
Linea Light is an example
of a new breed of luminaires
with high visual comfort
The flexible module design of
Centura by Radiant can follow
curved surfaces, encapsulate
columns and domes, and make
irregular-shaped pendants ▼