Light + Intelligent Building Middle East 2024

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16 – 18 January 2024, Dubai World Trade Centre

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‘Time for Lighting Industry to Illuminate Need for Circular Economy Drive,’ say Experts at Inaugural Lightalks

18 Jan 2023

Focused new conference programme spotlights urgency to educate clients and stakeholders on sustainable lighting Circadian lighting can be used to improve health and wellness Women in Lighting takes centre stage as industry looks to become more socially inclusive

DUBAI, UAE – Lighting experts from across the globe voiced a collective call for the industry to unite and educate clients and stakeholders on the need to create a circular economy, as Lighttalks opened with an illuminating debut at the 16th Light Middle East | Intelligent Building Middle East at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) today.

An innovative addition to this year’s event, Lightalks brought together industry leaders and sustainable lighting champions to chart an efficient future for the sector.

In a thought-provoking keynote session, Praveen Thampi, Creative Director, Ministry of Light, India, told delegates that designers must take the lead in talking to project stakeholders at the initial design phase to develop sustainable solutions.

Thampi said designers must “educate peers” on digital flow diagrams (DFD) and “educate clients” on lighting as a service that helps the circular economy produce use, recycle, and identify products with longevity and minimal impact.

“Human values and wellbeing are essential,” added Thampi. “All designs have to be human-centric.”

Thampi also talked about how circadian lighting designs in homes and offices can increase alertness, improve mood, reduce hyperactivity, reduce errors and accidents, increase productivity, and tackle a growing issue of vitamin D deficiency by adopting vitamin D synthesis.

Meanwhile, in a lively panel discussion on lighting and the circular economy, Paul Nulty, founder of lighting design consultancy Nulty+, said: “The issue we have is clients and marketplace aren’t ready for it [circular economy]. It’s time to test clients’ desire for fully sustainable solutions.  We need an industry voice. The only way we can go to full sustainable carbon economy is for governments to step in and help.

Fellow panellist Erin Denikovska, of Delta Lighting Design, agreed, adding: “We want to change the way the whole industry thinks, starting with clients and sharing the knowledge; designers and manufacturers. We can design certain ways, but the challenge is the clients’ desire for it.”

Ruth Kelly Waskett, of Hoare Lea, UK, added: “The circular economy is about changing the way we do things and looking at the opportunities on how we collaborate.”



In an insightful panel session on ‘The Future of Lighting Design: Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and Digital / Physical Interactions,’ experts explored how the future of lighting, powered by new, convergent technologies, will create more interactive spaces and meaningful interactions with light delivering content and experiences.

The panellists also looked at how technology such as AI will optimise Building Information Modelling (BIM) by reducing onsite commissioning costs and time.

Lightalks also included key sessions such as ‘Women in Lighting: Design for Social Inclusion,’ a panel discussion with female leaders in the lighting industry sharing their experiences, knowledge, techniques, and real-life examples of how they conquered the industry and established socially inclusive designs. They articulated the principles of human-centric design and how, in an effort to make spaces more inclusive, designs are based on assessing the needs of actual users of spaces rather than generic groups represented by standard approaches.

Additionally, a keynote session titled ‘Rise of the Light Festival: Artists working with light to create immersive experiences,’ outlined how creativity can drive the lighting industry forward.

Another major highlight on day two of the 16th Light Middle East | Intelligent Building Middle East was the launch of the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) Middle East chapter.

Light Middle East | Intelligent Building Middle East 2023 is a global gathering of industry leaders, bringing together 172 exhibitors from 27 countries.

The 16th edition of Light Middle East | Intelligent Building Middle East is co-located with Intersec to create MENA’s leading trade fair for lighting and building services technology, bringing together 172 exhibitors from 27 countries.

“Lightalks has been an engaging addition to Light Middle East | Intelligent Building Middle East, urging the industry to challenge the norm and chart a bright future amid ever-increasing demand for innovative lighting solutions,” Dishan Isaac, Show Director at Messe Frankfurt Middle East.

“Adding focused dialogue alongside the networking and business opportunities has helped elevate the show’s appeal as the place to be for professionals from the global lighting industry.”



Key highlights on the final day of Light Middle East | Intelligent Middle East on Wednesday, 19 January, include the Light Middle East Awards 2023, a celebration of individuals, products and companies for their outstanding performance, vision, contribution and achievement across the lighting industry and Middle East region.

Held under the theme ‘Innovative Design’, ‘Sustainable Future’ and ‘Seamless Integration’ the coveted industry awards will be handed out a gala evening at the Ritz Carlton.

Day three of the Smart Building Summit will conclude with thought-provoking sessions such as ‘Smart Construction in the Metaverse: Hope or Hype?’ and ‘Architecting Digital Twins.’

Nulty cited an example of where his firm proposed the reuse of lighting solutions from a major event, only to get embroiled in legal debates over who would be responsible in the event of a lighting accident, resulting in the project being dropped.