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Light Middle East




Enlightened Futures: How Responsibility Will Guide the Future of Light and Buildings

"We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.” - George Bernard Shaw

As lighting professionals, we have the power to shape the way people experience the world around them. We can create environments that evoke emotions, convey a message or a memorable experience and enhance the overall aesthetic of a space. However, with this creative power comes great responsibility. We must also consider factors such as energy efficiency, sustainability, safety, inclusivity and functionality. This requires a balance between technical expertise and artistic vision, and it is our duty to take this responsibility seriously to produce exceptional results that benefit both our clients, the users of the spaces and the environment. Now is the time to consider the wider world and take responsibility for how we impact it - Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance are becoming familiar terms that enable us to share values and efforts towards ensuring our impact is considered and verifiable. THINKLIGHT Conference 2024 focused on key industry topics from this perspective.


Thinklight - Cities
Thinklight - Art & Entertainment
Thinklight - Business of Lighting Design
Thinklight - Circularity
Thinklight - Smart, Intelligent and Integrated
Thinklight - Darkness

View Agenda

Day 1 | 16 January 2024

"Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody." - Jane Jacobs

The master planning of lighting in cities creates a framework for lighting designers and municipalities to work within to ensure consistency. Factors to be considered include sustainable development - reducing energy consumption, enhancing public safety and security as well as minimizing light pollution to protect the natural environment and preserve the quality of life for urban residents. The incorporation of smart technologies that allow for real-time monitoring and control of lighting systems, ensures that they are used efficiently and effectively. Professionally designed lighting can also help take into account the needs of different communities and stakeholders. We need to consider how people use the space as pedestrians, cyclists and motorists alongside the needs of different groups such as women, children and the elderly for example, and ultimately assist in creating more liveable and attractive urban environments for everyone. This panel will bring together experts in design, planning, community engagement and technology to share the experiences and insights needed to incorporate considered responsibility within city lighting.


Lauren Dandridge, Principal, Chromatic, USA


Sebnem Gemalmaz, Lighting Design Leader – Turkey, Arup
Charles Stone, Founder/President, Fisher Marantz Stone
Chris Lowe, Senior Design Manager, DGCL
Faik Haddadin, Senior Director – Projects, EMAAR
Ahmed El Banawy, Associate Director – Design, Nakheel
Elisa Hillgen, City of Light Coordinator, City of Jyväskylä

“If it can’t be reduced, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled or composted, then it should be restricted, redesigned or removed from production.”- Peter Seeger 

Circularity is not just recycling, it is bigger than that, it is the concept of creating products that are designed to last several lifecycles from the outset. According to the Ellen McArthur Foundation, the three principles of the circular economy are designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use (at their highest value) and regenerating natural systems. This critical concept is gaining momentum within the lighting industry as specifiers, designers and engineers start to take more responsibility for their own personal impact on the world and demand more sustainable and environmentally friendly products. Achieving circularity is going to require huge changes in aspects of our community. Lighting companies must take responsibility for the entire life cycle of their products, from design to disposal and by designing products that are durable, easily repairable and recyclable. Designers must question the product circularity and specify with this mind whilst also approaching refurbishment schemes with a thought for what can be reused. There are new opportunities that come with the circular economy. We can implement strategies such as take-back programs, where old or obsolete products are collected and reworked, creating commercial opportunities within the industry. Circularity is not merely an option; it is our responsibility as lighting professionals to promote sustainable practices and ensure a better future for our planet.


Emilio Hernandez, Founding Member, Green Lighting Alliance


Florence Lam, Global Lighting Design Director, Arup, UK
Paul Traynor, Founder, Light Bureau UK
Hank Shih, Partner/ Director, J+B Studios Architectural Lighting, China
Alexia Gkika, Associate Lighting Designer, Buro Happold
Amardeep Dugar, Founder & Principal, Lighting Research & Design, India

Martin Lupton, Co-founder, Light Collective UK
Charles Stone, Founder/President, Fisher Marantz Stone

Day 2 | 17 January 2024

"Our public spaces are as profound as we allow them to be.” - Candy Chang, Artist

As technology continues to advance and artists explore new possibilities for creative expression, light art and immersive environments are at an exciting point. Artists are able to create more dynamic and interactive installations that engage audiences in unique and immersive ways. The integration of sound and other sensory elements, such as touch and smell, can further enhance the immersive experience, creating a multi-dimensional and emotionally engaging environment. We can expect to see increasingly innovative and ambitious light art and immersive installations in public spaces, museums, galleries, theme parks, and other cultural venues. These installations not only offer a new way of experiencing art but also have the potential to transform urban environments, creating vibrant and dynamic public spaces that bring people together and foster a sense of community and connection. 


Martin Lupton, Co-founder, Light Collective UK
Sharon Stammers, Co-founder, Light Collective UK


Dorothy Di Stefano, Creative Strategist, Founder and Director, Molten Immersive Art
Eugenia Cheng, Founder | Principal, Lightorigin Studio, Hong Kong
Daniel Green, Associate, into
Ghada Dwaik, Founder/Lighting Designer, GDesigns 

“For my part, I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me want to dream.” Vincent Van Gogh

Darkness is a critical resource and an essential component of the natural world, playing a crucial role in our lives but is dramatically affected by the increased use of artificial lighting. As humans, it is our responsibility to protect darkness and ensure that it remains a valuable resource. By reducing light pollution, we can save energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the wildlife that relies on natural darkness for their survival. We can also improve our own health by allowing our bodies to receive the natural cues from darkness, which regulate our sleep and circadian rhythms. To achieve this, we must raise awareness about the importance of darkness and advocate for regulations that limit the amount of artificial light in urban and rural areas and ensure that all design and products meets best practice in reducing light spill. Protecting darkness is not only essential for the environment and wildlife, but also for our own well-being. It is our responsibility to ensure that we preserve this valuable resource for future generations to enjoy. 


Martin Lupton, Co-founder, Light Collective UK
Sharon Stammers, Co-founder, Light Collective UK


Andrew Bissell, Immediate Past President, Society of Light and Lighting (SLL), Partner - Ridge and Partners LLP, UK
Linus Lopez, Partner, Lighting Design Consultants
Ruskin Hartley, CEO, DarkSky International
Andrew Bates, Senior Lighting Manager, Red Sea Global
Nathan Savage, Design Director, NS Lighting Design
Mohannad Alsalkhadi, Principal Lighting Designer, WSP

Sharon Stammers, Co-founder, Light Collective UK
Florence Lam, Global Lighting Design Director, Arup, UK

Day 3 | 18 January 2024

“Sensor is king, said no one. Data, not the sensor, is king.”- Hod Fleishman, BCG Digital Ventures 

How many times have you, as a professional in the world of lighting, been in a hotel room where you can’t work the lighting control? Could the rise of Artificial Intelligence finally take us to the point where lighting control that works for people in a space is actually a reality? New advances in wireless networking, such as the growth of LoRaWan and the Helium Network, combined with new control systems could start to create an opportunity for lighting actually become smart and deliver meaningful results that optimise energy use and create more comfortable and productive environments. On a city-wide scale, digital twins and predictive algorithms are being used to optimise and control many services and lighting is one of these. What are the options available to us? How do we collect the data from the sensors and translate it into meaningful lighting scenes? Can the lighting systems do more than just change light levels? Can they become part of a user experience for people in the space? This is a subject that has many questions and this session brings together the thought leaders who are taking responsibility for researching, developing and delivering the latest innovations.


Martin Lupton, Co-founder, Light Collective UK
Sharon Stammers, Co-founder, Light Collective UK


Tapio Rosenius, CEO at POET Software & Founder of Lighting Design Collective
Martin Klassen, Principal, KLD, Singapore
Carla Wilkins, Founding Partner, Lichtvision
Mark Lien, Consultant, Illuminating Engineering Society
Faraz Izhar, Lead Lighting Designer, AE7

“We in the UAE have no such word as ‘impossible.’”- Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

In the last several years, the MENA region has become a major source of revenue for many foreign investors interested in nations like the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Kuwait. Setting up a business in UAE or any of the other nations stated above can have a favorable impact on individuals wishing to set up operations in the Middle East by giving access to The Gulf Cooperation Council, a good taxation system, great geographical location and infrastructure, an educated workforce and the benefit of the region being a natural commerce hub, serving as a maritime crossroad between Europe, Asia, and Africa for ages.

This session would be useful for anyone in the business of lighting design to get an overview of:

  • Blueprint for Success: Establishing a lighting design practice or a representative office in the MENA region.
  • Creating Connections: Best practices on specifying and ensuring your designs are specified.
  • Nurturing Future Illuminators: Emphasizing the importance of engaging the youth through university initiatives and accredited courses.
  • Evolving Business Models: Ensuring best practice lighting via different business models; Independent Design, Design and Supply and Bespoke product.
  • Synergies and Collaboration: Exploring how different sectors of the design world can work together to create harmonious design solutions. 
  • Emerging Markets: The challenges of establishing an independent lighting practice in a fledgling region. 


Andrea Hartranft, IALD, Principal, Hartranft Lighting Design


Sakina Dugawalla-Moeller, Founder, Light Func.
Dr. Malini Karani, Senior Lecturer, Istituto Marangoni
Dr. Armaghan Ahmadi, Founder and CEO, Light Life Academy
Rupert Tait, Co-Founder, Smith Tait
Maria Younan, Design Director & Founder, MY Lighting Design
Faysal Al-Haffar, Associate Lighting Designer, Nulty Lighting 

A session for all the event partners to explain who they are and what they do and how are they helping promote, build and create an impact for the lighting design community, globally and the region.


Malak Adel, Lighting Specialist & Certified Dialux Trainer, The Lighting Institute
Elisa Hillgen, City of Light Coordinator, City of Jyväskylä, LUCI
Amardeep M. Dugar, Founder & Principal, Lighting Research & Design, VLDC
Ruskin Hartley, CEO, DarkSky International
Maria Dautant, Senior Associate, IALD
Mark Lien, Industry Relations Manager, Illuminating Engineering Society
Emilio Hernandez, Founding Member, Green Lighting Alliance
Asst. Prof. Dr. Karolina M. Zielińska-Dąbkowska, Head of ILLUME | Co-Founder of ROLAN Manifesto
Sakina Dugawalla-Moeller, Founder, Light Func




2024 Speakers

Who should attend?

  • The conference will be relevant for people who work in the field of architectural lighting, either as a designer, architect, lighting consultant, engineer, project manager, or related role
  • Anyone who has a deep understanding of lighting principles, technologies, and their integration within architectural spaces
  • Anyone who is interested in Sustainable Lighting, Smart Lighting Systems, Human-Centric Lighting and Innovative Technologies like OLEDs, LEDs, and advanced controls

Benefits of attending Thinklight:

  • Gain insights into the latest trends and innovations in architectural lighting
  • Expand your knowledge in specific areas of interest, such as sustainable practices, cutting-edge technologies, or design aesthetics
  • Establish meaningful connections with industry professionals and potential collaborators
  • Explore creative solutions that enhance the aesthetic, functional, and emotional aspects of architectural spaces

Hear it from our past speakers and attendees

“Sometimes as lighting designers we talk about immersive experiences as being in a light installation, but there is nothing more immersive than being in a room full of lighting talent, listening and engaging in great talks and discussions. For me the LIGHTALKS were a highly immersive and thought-provoking experience. Congratulations to all involved!”

"I thoroughly enjoyed the Light Talks sessions at Light Middle East - both as a speaker and a member of the audience. The range of topics covered many of the key subjects at the heart of the lighting design profession. It was great to see so many people, from all over the Middle East and the world, gathered together and collaborating to share knowledge.”

“I have enjoyed being at the show this year. Overall, the show has exceeded my expectations. It was fun and nice to meet with so many friends from around the world. It was a real surprise to see the variety and quality manufacturers showcasing their products. I hope that all designers give a broader thought on how to design better to preserve the night sky and how to be thoughtful in their designs in considering the dark.”

The Light + Intelligent Building Middle East Team

Shafeeh Mohammed

Project Manager

Light Middle East - Shafeeh Mohammed

Liam Murphy

Portfolio Sponsorship Manager

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