Award Magazine, September 2021, by Stacey McLachlan
Checking in on the lighting industry is always an illuminating activity. Even through times of turmoil, technological advancements and project development carry on. A portrait of the industry today is one of both darkness (like supply chain struggles) and light (like incredible LED advancements that make almost any application possible), but it’s clear that the future for the world of lighting is looking bright.
DELAY AND DISRUPTION
It hasn’t been an easy year and a half for those in the lighting business, let’s say that much. While 2020 threw the entire construction and home improvement industry into a supply chain spiral, businesses scrambled to pivot and survive. In 2021, as the world took a turn towards a more optimistic outlook, though, many in the business found themselves still waiting for normalcy to return.
In our post-pandemic world of design, control, for any space, is key. “The trend that we are seeing for both residential and commercial use is fixtures that are easily and heavily controllable,” says Ben Rajewski, electrical team lead for Williams Engineering. “Clients want the ability to be able to change how their space is lit without buying new fixtures.” Luckily, this is now more easily done than ever. Cost-effective fixtures come with the ability to change their colour temperature output as well as their lumen output, via fixture control or dimmer switches. “At the higher end, fixtures are now being controlled to match the natural arc of colour temperature that we see outdoors during the day,” he says.
Overall, a greater appreciation of the value of lighting is growing among consumers. “I think many clients and consumers on both the residential and commercial side have gained an understanding and realization that human-centric design and lighting is important,” says Rajewski. The design community has been heavily focused on energy savings and green design for many years – and for good reason – but now, through organizations like the International WELL Building Institute and Fitwel, patrons are realizing that a human-centric design is important, too. And designing spaces that are healthy and comfortable for the occupants means designing with the biological effect of light on
humans in mind.
“Many people have been working from home for over a year, and building owners and business owners want to bring their employees back to a healthy work environment and lighting can greatly contribute to this,” says Rajewski. Beyond basic illuminance, products like the Signify NatureConnect fixture are trying to make a room feel like it is fully lit from natural lighting sources.
Even in the office (once a cliché of poor lighting choices thanks to flickering, unflattering fluorescents adopted en masse in the last century), lighting has begun to take priority. More and more companies offer commercial and office-specific lighting solutions that accommodate functionality without sacrificing style.
Read the full article Award Magazine – Bright-Futures