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Light + Building Show in Frankfurt

For those of you who don’t get out much – lighting has changed a great deal. I had the opportunity to attend the Light + Building Show in Frankfurt, Germany last month.  This is the World’s biggest event for lighting, electrical technology and home and building automation.  There were 2,589 exhibitors from 55 countries.  An astounding 216,000 trade visitors from 160 countries came to discover innovations, solutions and new products.

Digitalization was the spotlight of this year’s show. The motto of the fair was “Where spaces come to life: digital – individual – networked.”  The industry showed intelligent solutions and future-oriented technologies revolving around digitalization and networking as well as the latest design trends. The focus was not only on trends in lighting and the influence of light on people but also networked safety and security, intelligent home and building automation and efficient energy management.

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The exhibition space consisted of ten buildings totaling over 248,500 square meters. Obviously, this is a great deal of ground to cover.  The buildings were grouped by category: Technical Lighting and Lamps, Architectural Lighting and Design Lighting, Decorative Lighting, Components for Lighting Technology and Accessories/LED, Electrical Engineering and finally Home and Building Automation.

LED fixtures continue to evolve and improve. The quality of light in the OLED fixtures surpassed the traditional fixtures. These lights are available in sheets that can be cut down to size. They are flexible and waterproof.  Try placing them in unsuspecting locations such as the toe kick in your bathroom, bookcases, stair risers etc. If you do retail work, you can backlight the display as well as light the perimeter for an eye-catching look. I learned that 3500 is the perfect color temperature. The higher the number, the cooler the light. Lighting designers are adjusting the color temperature to highlight the product they are displaying. You might see a low color temperature fixture over the red meat counter. This is taking lighting objects to a whole new level.

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Organic shapes still ruled the decorative fixture showings. Round was “in”. It seemed that the lighting designers were enjoying a new freedom of versatility of shape.

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Fiber optics were also found in fixtures.  This is the use of a fiber or acrylic tube to transmit light between the two ends. The light also can change colors in a rhythmic fashion.  Examples could be found in a modern rendition of a traditional chandelier and floor or ceiling displays.

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The most surprising introduction I saw with the acoustical light. These fixtures can be utilized in large rooms where sound is an issue such as open offices, large conference rooms, classrooms etc. The acoustical matter is wrapped around an LED light source. The options shown were hanging as well as wall mounted. Very innovative.

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Janna Paulson, RID, IIDA, LEED AP

Janna Paulson, RID, IIDA, LEED AP