Light + Build, Monday

Frankfurt, 31st March 2014

On my first day on the fair I decided to set myself a task to follow during my visit to Light & Build. Over the last couple of years the development of LED has been so overwhelming, perhaps even frightening that it seems to me that many manufacturers have forgotten that just a few years ago we had some great lighting technologies. Now branded “old” or “conventional” (versus “new” and “sustainable”) what used to be our main stream lighting technology in lighting design, read  incandescent, fluorescent and metal halide, seems to have vanished from the earth. It is now LED left, right and centre to the extent that you wonder did the “old” lighting technology ever exist.

Manufacturers seem to be afraid to show case any old technology fear of being seen as being behind the pack. While I certainly am curious to see how the LED technology is developing, my focus of interest will be to find new “old” technology products…As you know on a first day you mostly wander around to get a feel of this year’s fair, you meet old friends and you spent a lot of time caching up with them and what’s going on in the lighting business.  Much of that today…

My catch phrase on entering a stand this year is: “Do you have any new NON-LED lighting products on show”?…so far I have mostly received blank faces on my question, some wondering whether I am for real…some confessing that they still have “old” technology products in their catalogues and even admitting there is still a big market for it, but just don’t see the point of showing it. Well my point is that there are indeed still heaps of projects and countries around the world were new generation “old” technology has a serious place and role to play. To solely focus on LED technology seem nearly socially irresponsible, certainly when you know at what sort of prices LED technology is being rammed down our throat! That together with all the blown up (and often unrealistic!) sales talk that has you believe that if you have not switched to LED yet you are well behind time… 🙁

Light Watch 5-53: Light + Build is often characterised by the events surrounding the fair, like the Luminale, the get-togethers, the after hours drinks… but the event of the day has to be IGuzzini’s unveiling of the new lighting of Frankfurt’s Haupt Bahnhof, Germany’s largest train station. The more than a century old façade got a lighting make over using; you guessed it …LED technology. The event was watched by a more then 300 strong crowd from the auditorium at level 31 of the DB Tower, the HQ of the Deutsche Bundesbahn. The unveiling of the lighting was preceded with an electric presentation about light and architecture by world renowned architect Daniel Liebeskind, the architect who won the competition to rebuild Ground Zero in New York where once the WTC Twin Towers stood until that fatal day now known as 9-11. His passionate talk impressed on us that light is not only a physical element but that it has heart, soul and emotion and that whenever we design with light we need to integrate this abstract aspect of lighting into the architecture that we set out to light up… we don’t often get to listen to masters…








01. April 2014 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: city beautification, Light and inspiration, light watch, lighting and culture, lighting and sustainability, lighting of the future | 2 comments

Comments (2)

  1. You talking to me from the bottom of my soul Martin because the future still needs warm lighting! I create warm lighting as one of this ‘classical’ technologies now for over 27 years, as my liberated bulbs with spring suspension fixtures allowing also three dimensional objects and systems:

    Hope I can show you some possibilities live @ L&B

    Please get in touch 1.-3. April via
    My Phone Nó +49 (0) 172 2844533


  2. Know exactly what you mean, Martin. Thats why we should take the chance and meet and talk about innovations with classical lighting sources like my very special festoon lamps holded with flexible springs: FUNtastic possibilities even with a filament 🙂

    Please call me in Frankfurt via Mobile 0172 2844533
    Will be here until Thursday. Many wishes, Thomas

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