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Lighting industry nearing ‘Kodak moment’ in transformational era, says THINKLIGHT expert

6 Oct 2019

Dubai conference to lift technology and health concerns up sector agenda

Dubai, UAE: The international lighting industry is nearing a ‘Kodak moment’ as advanced technologies disrupt the sector and push connectivity and health concerns high up the professional agenda, according to a leading expert.

The prediction has come from Martin Klaasen, Founder of Singapore’s Klaasen Lighting Design who is among more than 50 speakers from 13 nations across the USA, UK, Europe, Far East and Middle East due to address this month’s powerful THINKLIGHT conference in Dubai.

The conference, an integral part of the 14th Light Middle East networking and sourcing event, will run at the Dubai World Trade Centre from 15-17 October. THINKLIGHT will be segmented into three focussed Forums – Professional Lighting Design & Architecture; IOT & Intelligent Lighting; and Integrated Building Technology.

Mr. Klaasen, who will address the IOT & Intelligent Lighting Forum, says the sector will have to reinvent itself: “The world is changing, technology is changing, and so is the profession of lighting design.

“Lighting Design of Things is a revolutionary approach that proposes to facilitate the integration of IoT with architectural lighting design. The lighting point of the future will be a digital communication and data hub that will require a new breed of lighting designers,” he explained.

“The global lighting market today is worth about USD 6 Billion. Connectivity is one of the key growth sectors in the industry. Over the next five years about 900 million devices will be connected worldwide, a 10-fold increase from today. Lighting will play a major role in this.”

Mr. Klaasen envisages an industry overhaul. “We’re fast approaching a ‘Kodak moment’ in the lighting industry which, just like the rest of the world, is moving from product driven to a service driven industry. 

“It’s expected that voice control and LiFi - light frequency driven WiFi - combined with AI in lighting points will be the key impact on our lighting industry over the next couple of years.” 

India’s Dr. Amardeep M. Dugar, Founder & Principal of Lighting Research & Design, and another THINKLIGHT speaker, says critical-speed technology growth will massively impact lifestyles. 

“Exponential growth in multiple technologies including Bluetooth mesh, real-time data, Internet of Things, and LiFi, are forcing rapid transformation in the way lighting is being designed,” he said.  

“Over the next five to 10 years, as the lighting industry morphs into an IoT concept, based on seamless digital interconnectivity across all facets of human life, acceleration and innovation is key to survival.

“Smart city concepts are leading lighting further into the IoT where connected lighting enables digital technologies critical to the expansion of city services.”

And the massive transformation facing the industry will not only focus on delivering connectivity but on positively impacting human health, according to Italy’s Andrea Sensoli.

Ahead of his THINKLIGHT presentation, the Founder of ASZ Architetti & SUPERFUTUREDESIGN and Art Director of Buzzi&Buzzi, says new technology, such as colour rendering index (CRI) which can faithfully reveal the colours of objects, will be in demand in colour-critical applications such as neonatal care. 

“With the research on CRI, variable white, miniaturized optics, the technical level of the lighting product is rising substantially,” he says.

The health concerns are what THINKLIGHT speaker Italian Roberto Corradini of Lighting Design Workshop dubs ‘ethical’ lighting. “I see a huge interest in products that use light to instil people with positive feelings and so help improve health and well-being,” he forecasts.

Meanwhile delegates to the THINKLIGHT conference will get to understand ‘ethical’ lighting in action when Lebanon’s Cherine Saroufim Partner in Beirut’s Idepconsult – Mounir Saroufim delivers case studies from the Lebanese American University.

The studies will focus on how lighting design intent was integrated with interior design to better answer the student’s daily needs.

“The two projects don’t have the same problematics as one, in a student centre, was designed around the social life of the students and the second, for the School of architecture, interior design and fashion, dealt with working spaces which needed to adapt to an ever changing world and educational system,” she explained.

Messe Frankfurt Middle East which organises the THINKLIGHT conference believes the event could be a turning point for the regional industry: “The reality is that all three forums are now interconnected, and the entire industry is at the tipping point of an era which will redefine the sector’s positioning,” explained Dishan Isaac, Senior Show Manager of Light Middle East.

“It represents three days of free-to-attend, intensive sessions where delegates will get to grips with emerging best practices, case studies, standards, regulations and the innovations which will change the way they operate and how we all live, work and play.”

Light Middle East 2019 will feature more than 300 exhibitors from 30 countries, covering the six dedicated segments of decorative lighting and accessories; electrical and electronic components and accessories for lighting systems; electric lamps; LED lighting; technical lighting and accessories and house and building automation.

The show’s 2019 educational programme is also supported by Light.ication, which, in association with Light.Func, promotes lighting design through education by giving UAE students an exclusive platform to demonstrate their creative vision to a global audience; the third Ready, Steady Light lighting design and installation competition; and an expanded edition of the prestigious Light Middle East Awards. The 2019 Awards scheme will see the debut of two new categories – ‘Personality of the Year’ and ‘Distributor of the Year.’

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