Feature

Fixture Design Conference to tackle an industry in flux

With an industry in turmoil, it is down to the lighting designer to reassure clients that everything in the garden is rosy.

The lighting industry is in a state as flux at the moment. As the LED revolution becomes old news, any number of other spheres of change look set to engulf the scene. Be it Smart Cities, or the Internet of Things, more questions seem to exist than answers.

When it comes to lighting design we all are in need of some firm ground on which to posture when we’re making our pitches. But what happens when it feels as though everything is built on shifting sands? What happens when we see the same look in the eyes of the manufacturers that all designers rely on to provide the robust spine of specifications?

With an industry in turmoil, it is down to the lighting designer to reassure clients that everything in the garden is rosy. And it is the role of the lighting manufacturer to gleam as much information as possible about what is going on in luminaire design so that they can create the best products.

In an attempt to offer a forum in which to learn about and discuss these developments, Lux will be holding a Lighting Fixture Design conference at the Cavendish Conference Centre in central London on 21 to 22 February 2017.

The conference will attempt to answer new questions being asked of lighting designers and manufacturers by clients.

Questions like:

How sustainable will my lighting be?

Now this really is a new one. Though many have been banging the drum for years for a more sustainable approach to building design, it is only recently that sufficient traction has been created that the issue has gone mainstream.

My lights won’t flicker, will they?

By comparison, here’s a really old question, it is just the source that has changed. Many people still associate fluorescent lamps with flicker, despite the problem being effectively designed away many years ago. We should be concerned that the LED may get tarred with the same brush because reports of poor installations are making themselves felt.

How should I control my lights?

This question could concern anything ranging from the Internet of Things (IoT) to dimming. The questions, in many cases, come down to the fear and uncertainty being generated from an industry that doesn’t know itself what it should be doing. Do we listen to the IoT gang, or swing behind the low power mesh network, or nip round to the wholesaler for a bagful of rotary dimmers?

LEDs, they glare and the colour is awful

Sad but true, in so many instances. Here we are, fighting against some of the drossier elements of the LED revolution and having to reassure clients that LEDs and good lighting go together.

Can I connect my lighting to Amazon’s Alexa?

To hear the IoT fans talk, you’d think the world was held together by magic, rather than old-fashioned lengths of cable. Don’t these people realise that the design elves have work to do before you can talk to your lights?

I’ve heard that hackers could watch me in the shower if I use LED lighting

Well, I think we have to be prepared tolerate a certain level of insanity among clients, but this kind of conflation of ideas does give cause for concern. Of course, it can’t see you, but it can probably buy a new bar of soap for you.

I just want you to do the design, my contractors will take over after that

And for the price of a few site visits, the job was lost. All that money spent on a superbly crafted piece of lighting design excellence flushed down your IoT-connected WC because you trusted the contractors not to switch the specification. See where that got you? If there was enough light to be able to see anything, that is.

 

The headline sessions at the Lighting Fixture Design Conference will include:

Emerging markets: What will we be asking for in the next few years that we’re not asking for today? What will we be lighting that we’ve never tried to light before?

Quality as a differentiator: Of all the things that will separate good product from the market-stall gimcrackery it’ll be the quality of the product and its performance.

The Internet of Things: We may like the idea of this whole connectivity business tiptoeing away into the night and never shouting at us again, but that’s not going to happen. We really need to know how best to engage with it.

Disrupted design: What happens when we don’t know what’s happening. Why should we expect things to be the same when everything’s going to be different.

  • The Lighting Fixture Design Conference will take place in London on the 21 to 22 of February 2017 at the Cavendish Centre . You can find out more about the event here and you can register to attend by clicking here.