Light + Building 2016

Light & Building Fair is the world’s leading trade fair for lighting and building services technology. 2.589 exhibitors from 55 countries presented their new products and innovations in 22 halls of exhibition space and showed the trends in the lighting industry attracting a total of 216.000 trade visitors from 160 countries. The key issues in all halls of both the lighting and the building services sectors were digitalization, networking and energy efficiency.

Street lighting. The important area of product’s innovations and development is street lighting. It goes in several main directions. The most important is solar source of energy enabling energy independence and significant savings. The solar cells are vertically integrated into light columns protecting the solar cells from dust requiring almost no maintenance. Another is design: The columns are becoming more differentiated or even customized to be better incorporated into surroundings or to stand out while the lamps are increasingly emphasizing design to be part of integral functional solution. Additionally, there are new features integrated in the columns: cameras, screens, phone or cars charging stations, as well as different types of coating – columns with anti-graffiti coating preventing penetration of graffiti paint, columns with coating preventing stickers and posters to be placed on the columns, luminescent columns, absorbing sunlight during the day and using energy stored from this to radiate neon green at night for several hours. It is also possible to create surface textures resembling wood, marble or to use own digital print.

Safety. One of the main themes at this year’s Light & Building was safety and security technology. The most interesting to us were the products and technologies connected with traffic safety and special industry requirements, such as explosion-proof products.  The safety and security were also the themes at the first Intersec Forum, a two-day conference for networked safety and security technology in the context of intelligent buildings.

Digitalization. The spotlight of this year’s Light & Building was on digitalization. The industry showed intelligent solutions and future-oriented technologies revolving around digitalization and networking, intelligent home and building automation and efficient energy management.

Building integrated lighting. The lighting solutions are becoming more building integrated – planned as integral part of building structures – walls, ceilings and floors. As such they implicate complicated graphical designs, colors, color temperatures, decorative patterns, dynamic animation etc.

Creative solutions. As LED technology has had an extremely positive impact on reducing energy consumption; energy efficiency does not stand in the way of creative solutions but rather encourages them. International manufacturers exhibited their innovations relating to human-centric lighting and its applications in the most diverse everyday areas. There are, for example, lamps equipped with both warm white (3000 K) and cold white (6500 K) LEDs. This set-up, in combination with digital light control, enables individual choice of the color mix. By changing the intensity of the light and the color temperature, the changes in daylight during the course of the day can be imitated. Imitation of daylight is not an easy task, since daylight is not only determined by brightness, but also by the dynamics, progression and color of the light. It is only in the last few years that it has become technically possible to implement a lighting scheme in interior spaces that has a biological effect. Various studies have demonstrated its effectiveness, for example in offices/schools/work and learning facilities people perform better, show greater concentration levels with an improvement in motivation. The speakers provided information on the latest development, best-practice examples and effects that light has on human beings.

Certification. The lighting industry has gone through many changes over the years and as the number of LED projects continues to increase, the market faces new challenges in terms of quality and safety. The market is flooded with products that are not necessarily meeting quality and safety standards, with no real differentiation to distinguish between brands or outputs. Companies tend to produce their own performance test reports to differentiate themselves from the competition, but these reports are not validated by third parties and value claims are often misleading or unclear. There are no unified schemes to help customers and consumers choose their products wisely by taking all safety and performance issues into consideration. However, this Fair shows positive steps the leading companies are doing in order to raise quality of products and achieve common understanding of their features.

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