Light & Build, Thursday

Frankfurt, 3rd April 2014

As I wait for one of the few flights out of Frankfurt on this day were I understand that nearly 1000 Lufthansa flights are cancelled, I reflect back on this year’s L+B. The lounge is practically empty, there is hardly any activity at the airport and some TV media crew are hanging around on standby to provide their network a feedback should anything happen.

L+B 2014 will probably go down as the year where LED’s are reaching maturity. Outputs have reach passed the 100 lm/W, with colour consistency and quality probably one of the key factors on which the main manufacturers are competing amongst each other. In terms of applications there are probably two directions; the one that consolidates the LED qualities in terms of performances and reliability within the conventional architectural lighting systems and the other where manufacturers are trying to be more adventurous in design and creation by exploring the actual qualities of LED in terms of its compactness and beam control abilities, that of course in combination with its RGB capacities. IGuzzini’s latest innovation (Trick) uses LED light sandwiched between two discs creating a s60 degree beam of light. A truly innovative design with many opportunities to create something special in any architectural environment.

My quest for conventional systems expanded to the other Hall’s today, notable the decorative and urban lighting systems.  Not surprisingly, most urban lighting systems have now fully converted to LED technology, one bigger, brighter and better than the other. It is however in the decorative fixtures that you will still find conventional halogen lamps, mostly with G-base type lamp bases rather then E-base types. But here also LED is penetrating at rapid pace with LED filament lamps making some waves now.

Overall I am leaving the fair with some mixed feelings. I am impressed by the enormous developments and progress in the LED technology and basically there is now a LED solution for any application. What does scare and worry me is that it seems to come with an unnecessary complication and complexity. It feels like manufacturers in order to justify the (still) high costs of LED technology by making the technology complex and complicated to use by offering so many options and alternatives that you need an MBA degree to understand what LED is suitable for what. It is already difficult for the average Joe to get his/her head around LED lighting (in terms of comparative performance and qualities) by offering so many options and diversifications it makes you even more dependable on the “specialists”, in other words make us even more dependable on the manufacturers sales people to tell us what we “need”. I for one, with all my years of experience in lighting am not sure if I like this development…

Light Watch 5-56: On this final day at the fair I am sharing the more adventurous side of (O)LED…

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04. April 2014 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: Light and inspiration, light watch, lighting design, lighting of the future | Leave a comment

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