Award Magazine, October 2019, by Stacey Mclachlan
Any designer worth their salt knows the power of thoughtfully placed, smartly designed lighting. It’s a critical element of making a house a home, affecting our well-being, safety and security, and mood. The impact of lighting is exactly why the industry is constantly evolving and shifting to adapt to our changing needs and wants and why we’re thrilled to see the bevy of advanced applications, high-tech materials, and LEDs galore that are coming into the market now.
“It has become apparent that even for cost-efficient fixtures, manufacturers are building them with options to change the colour temperature of the fixture with the flip of a switch or similarly change the light level output,” says Ben Rajewski, team lead of electrical for Williams Engineering. “What this is telling the industry is that occupants want control of their fixtures, even when the budget isn’t huge. I think integrated control and colour changing will trend towards becoming the standard on the majority of fixtures moving forward.”
It’s part of a larger trend towards controllability…a trend that Rajewski believes isn’t going away any time soon. “Organizations like the WELL Standard are further promoting this, as is the National Energy Code of Canada,” he notes. The Energy Code has a huge trickle-down effect, impacting the demands of architects and the manufacturing side of the lighting industry. “Architects often put a premium on esthetics, but with the Energy Code being law, they are also becoming acutely aware of the energy efficiency and performance requirements of fixtures,” says Rajewski. “Similarly, homeowners are acutely aware of climate change and energy usage and want to make a positive environmental impact while still having fixtures that perform well and look good.”
This Is In
Thanks to improvements in heat-dissipating technology, fixture manufacturers can provide wafer-thin LED panels that provide plentiful usable light at a low price point. It’s a big deal for renovation projects, says Rajewski. “We often encounter existing ceiling spaces with little to no room for fixtures to be recessed, but these wafer surface mounted fixtures can replace the standard recessed fixtures while giving almost the same look.”
This shrinking profile is true for linear LED lights as well, as the BL Lighting BL flexFORM N1 Series demonstrates. A super-slim design (just 4.5 millimetres in profile) allows for connections to be built seamlessly into the structure and delivers up to 183 lumens per foot of high CRI LED lighting. These packages are UL listed to ensure component liability isn’t an issue and are fully customizable – just one of many incredible achievements in the world of lighting today.
Even traditional office lighting has received an upgrade in recent years, thanks to smart, sleek, modern designs by companies like Peerless Electric. Its Arclux series takes inspiration from architectural design but offers efficient, high-tech products that can still suit a commercial workspace. The LED luminaires are suspended by aircraft cables and finished with powder-coat enamel, and project both up and down light for a pleasant, soft lighting. Peerless’ Peerlux collection, meanwhile, is an extensive line of attractive styles available in a variety of specification grades for custom options in any environment.
A great workspace fixture in today’s world not only provides comfortable lighting, but helps control acoustics. “The one trend that I have been seeing this year is the move toward acoustical light fixtures,” says Rajewski. “This allows for a more open ceiling space and frees up the budget dedicated to sound baffles, and hopefully makes open offices more comfortable for occupants.” As many commercial office spaces have trended towards open offices with exposed ceilings, architects are looking for ways to dampen the sound. Previously this had to be done via a combination of sound baffles and sound masking systems, but crafty lighting fixture manufacturers have started building in sound absorbing material onto the body of the fixture itself.
From custom designs to smart workplace solutions, there’s a lot to love about the lighting options on offer right now. And with an industry of professionals so dedicated and in tune and on the case every day, who knows where we can go from here?
Read the full article, Award Magazine – The-Future-Is-Bright