By Mike Constantinou, Business Development Manager
THE FUTURE OF LIGHTING – FIVE TOP TRENDS
Lighting for your commercial venue is essential, of course. It also needs to tick a lot of boxes in terms of legislation and functionality. But, it makes good business sense to consider the future of lighting, the benefits, and developments that it will bring and how that could be used for your business.
Here we look at the future of lighting and some of the trends which are currently sweeping the industry and lighting up businesses of all shapes and sizes.
The future of lighting is digital
Lighting is no longer just about bringing us out of the dark. Light fittings, especially LEDs, are becoming the accepted norm, which is a good thing. However, it means manufacturers and suppliers are upping their game in other areas. Light fittings now have increased capabilities including intelligent lighting, sensors and colour tuning.
Wireless connectivity is also taking its place in shaping the future of lighting. Although wireless technology for lighting has been around for some time, the cost has made it prohibitive to many. Yet, this is changing – as is our familiarity with wireless in other areas of life too. Digital lighting via a Bluetooth connection has huge potential. Imagine a light which changes colour to let you know it’s raining to bring in outdoor furniture or displays. Or, a pulsing light for when a delivery arrives but factory noise levels are too high for a doorbell.
Specialist LED light bulbs can now be used as routers themselves – enter LiFi. It’s more simple than it sounds – WiFi uses radio waves but LiFi runs on visible light waves instead. It is up to 100 times faster, more secure and can be used in places where radio waves can’t. It’s early days but big brands Philips and Apple have been reported to look into how LiFi could shape the future of lighting. Watch this space.
The horrific fire at Grenfell Tower has been subject to a huge inquiry this year. This will see regulations on emergency lighting put under the spotlight. The lighting is likely to have played a part in the evacuation of the residents, as well as installation and maintenance of the building as a whole. Although this awful tragedy was not at a commercial premises, it is incredibly likely that the future of lighting will consider how to manage facilities when an emergency strikes anywhere. This is particularly in light of the new BS5266 regulations which have shaken up the legislation for emergency lighting too. The importance of safeguarding your staff, visitors and infrastructure should always be prioritised whether this is being looked after in-house or by a maintenance supplier.
Style and substance
The future of lighting can be a lot of fun. Shops, bars and restaurants need modern lighting which suits their brand identity. This should consider your target audience, product range and layout. It is also likely to vary depending on whether your lighting is for a shop floor or stock room, a bar or a kitchen area. Lighting trends do come and go. For example, brass and glass cluster pendants have been incredibly popular recently. Although it is important to stay in touch with trends, your commercial venue needs to stand the test of time.
The colour choices you make – whether it is a warmer or a cooler shade – will impact on your ambience and also how your product range is displayed. For example, cooler shades of light will make colours look more bright and vibrant. Warmer shades of light are cosy and may encourage your diners to stay for one more drink. Studies have shown that 43% of diners say a good dining experience goes way beyond the food. It also takes into account the overall impression created by decor, service and style. So, consider what impression you want to create. Tap into what the future of lighting means for your business. Find the best way to deliver it reliably and affordably.
There is a huge scope for development in the future of lighting. Whether it’s the light fixtures, the impact of the lighting, the technology which drives it, the industry doesn’t stand still.