One of the hidden benefits of being chair of the lightspace arena is the opportunity that it presents to sneak around the exhibition before the crowds descend. These quiet moments of reflection before everything turns torrid are invaluable – and occasionally turn up one of those ‘I think I can use that’ moments.
One of the ways that the LED has benefited lighting design is in the miniaturisation of the luminaire. The first time I ever tried to create a really small cabinet display lamp was by using a low wattage tungsten halogen lamp in a ‘micro street light’. The only way to control the light distribution was to put an enclosure over the top of the lamp, of course – a full cut-off lantern, so at least it had zero uplight light. But it still had lots of upward heat – enough to make it unusable unless you fancied a fried egg snack cooked on the glass top of the display case.
This past year has seen some beautiful solutions to close-up display lighting, whether mounted in cabinets or fitted under shelves, and a few opportunities have come my way to see what’s available. It was inevitable, then, that the stand that took my eye at lightspace 2018 was DGA. This Italian company, distributed in the UK, has produced a range of miniature spotlights and cabinet fixtures that are robust enough for the retail environment and elegant enough for the highest of high-end residential projects.
Projectors such as the Mini Tini, at only 18mm diameter, are available in 100 lm (1W) and 150 lm (2W) versions and are offered in a variety of colour temperatures (2700K to 5000K) and beam angles (15-60 degrees). Surface-fixing options include the near-obligatory magnetic mount.
Only slightly larger is the Tono, with a diameter of 40mm to cope with lumen outputs of 250 lm (3W), 500 lm (6W) and 650 lm (9W), which also features an amazing three-degree beam option. Both Tini and Tono are also available in track-mounted versions, 24V for both of them and mains voltage as well for the Tono.
But there’s more to life than spotlighting; much feature lighting calls for the softest of washlighting along display shelves. The Comet Q4 is a linear LED that is only 4.5 x 4.5mm in cross-section and with a maximum length of 2000mm. Colour rendering is >90, making it a perfect accessory for any display environment.
When I’m designing display systems the last thing I want to see is the lighting fixture, which is a pity because the DGA products are very easy on the eye.