My Light + Building 2016: by Tim Carr
Australasia Lighting Leader, ARUP

My method at the fair is to cast a wide net. I like to march around as many halls as possible and see what catches my eye; this has the benefit of getting a broad feel for the current and future trends. Connectivity is becoming an increasing feature. And what’s interesting is that this is embraced by both technical light source manufacturers and architectural lighting companies i.e. aesthetically awesome luminaires are being conceived with these ideas already integrated, not shoe horned in. Open controls protocols, smart devices and simplistic app based interfaces are maturing and appear to be a real challenge to older control ideas. This also has the prospect of networks ‘created’ for lighting systems to develop further and become open too, carrying much more data than lighting control commands.

Aesthetically a number of manufacturers appear more confident with pairing new digital light sources, and more traditional construction techniques and materials. A definite trend was concealing the light source and illuminating translucent blown glass or polycarb. The more successful examples created beautiful objects with glare free sparkle and refracted projections.

On a very general note, the discussion of LED quality appeared (in my travels at least) to be less prominent. Outside of the more progressive or larger light source suppliers my impression was an assumption that the quality of light, and its subsequent effect on peoples experience was completely re. It doesn’t seem to be discussed as much. Maybe this is good thing? It may show that our trusted suppliers are now confident in their selection of LED light sources and the myriad of components and performance requirements. Alternatively, others may be becoming increasingly complacent ad the outcomes of which might not be seen for a few years to come.