Like Kids in a Candy Store!

Light + Building in Frankfurt, Germany is the largest lighting show in the world with 2,714 manufacturers from 55 countries showcasing new and emerging products. We were one of the 220,000 attendees from 177 countries to participate. Have I piqued your curiosity yet?

After walking a total of 12 miles at the show – oh yes, we kept track of our steps on our smart phone – we took note of some of the leading trends. Below is a high-light of what we saw.

Modular pendants that can be arranged in multiple configurations. A hovering frame allows flexible design and generates concentrated brightness within the room without onlookers perceiving a central light source.

Adjustability! Many of the fixtures we saw were designed with mechanisms to allow the user personal control over the light direction and/or level.

Manufacturers are embracing so-called human-centric lighting. There were multiple examples of fixtures with color tuning capabilities and light level control. This customization is particularly important for retail environments – emphasizing products for their peak color rendition.

Who said lighting had to be boring! Whimsy was apparent in several of these light fixtures. Integrating art enriches the environment by introducing something unexpected.

Integrated systems allow multiple light sources to use one component offering the ability to plug and play with different products. This conserves energy by using one power source. You can also, in conjunction with ambient lighting, provide a spot light for focal points. The profiles can run across walls and ceilings, creating three dimensional continuous lines of light emphasizing the geometry of the room and maintaining a minimalist, elegant look. Clean and simple.

OLED (organic light-emitting diode) has finally matured with the example of these fixtures. These panels are made from organic (carbon based) materials that emit light when electricity is applied through them. They do not require a backlight and filters (unlike LCD displays), they are more efficient, simpler to make, and much thinner – and in fact can be made flexible and even rollable. The wafer-thin lighting element allows for more creative approaches to design. Wouldn’t you want this kind of fixture in your office or home?

Wire, wire everywhere. This style was everywhere at the show.

Hot balls of fire. White globes everywhere. This is definitely the shape of the year. They are nestled in leather, wire or in mobile applications.

Light + Nature … A big topic in design today is biophilia (meaning love of nature), it focuses on human’s innate attraction to nature and natural processes. Biophilic design can reduce stress, enhance creativity and clarity of thought, improve our well-being and expedite healing. Research scientists and design practitioners have been working to define aspects of nature that most impact our well-being with the built environment. Lighting manufacturers are catching on to this and below are several examples of nature inspired fixtures.

Hope you enjoyed this as much as we did. Look forward to our next trend watch blog this summer.

Picture of Janna Paulson, RID, IIDA, LEED AP

Janna Paulson, RID, IIDA, LEED AP

President and Founder of PPDS since 1989, Janna directs and oversees company activities and personnel.