Like many thousands of visitors to the huge Light + Building fair (Frankfurt, 13-18 March), I enjoyed an exciting and eye-opening – if tiring – few days at the world’s most important exhibition for the lighting industry.
After reflecting on many discussions at Light + Building with both customers and suppliers, and after viewing the huge range of exhibits at the show, it is clear to me that the attention of lighting equipment manufacturers is focussed on a couple of topics at the moment.
The first is quality of light, which has clearly become as important as efficacy especially in the indoor market space. In addition, new performance standards have emerged such as the IEC 62722 (for luminaires), and the IEC 62717 (for modules), challenging the whole industry to report the chromaticity accuracy and maintenance over time for their products.
Future Lighting Solutions is being asked to play a pivotal role in OEMs’ efforts to understand and comply with the new standards. That is because, while the standards apply to the end product – the luminaire or the module – the biggest factor affecting the characteristics of the end product’s light output is the LED it contains.
At Light + Building, it was clear that no-one yet knows all the answers, but OEMs which work with Future Lighting Solutions benefit in four important ways:
• because of our close relationship with leading-edge LED manufacturers such as Lumileds or Nichia, we have access to the most detailed and up-to-date information about their technologies and products
• Future Lighting Solutions constantly feeds customers’ requests and requirements back to those LED manufacturers to inform their product development plans
• we provide tools which help an OEM to predict the long-term behaviour of the LEDs we supply in the particular operating conditions of the OEM’s luminaire
• our unique stocking capability, which draws on Future Electronics’ global product inventory, allows Future Lighting Solutions to provide excellent availability of precisely binned LEDs.
The second big trend in evidence at Light + Building was the move towards ever more sophisticated lighting controls and networking technologies. The aim of detection and dimming technology is to deliver the right amount of light where and when it is needed. Automation is supposed to make this happen seamlessly – albeit not always in a way that meets the expectation of the end user. Eventually, this should enable a building’s operators to understand the extent to which control technology can reduce lighting’s carbon footprint.
Whereas large players keep trying to drive the adoption of their proprietary systems, momentum is building behind the broad-based EnOcean Alliance for networked controls in the indoor lighting market space. Here again, Future Lighting Solutions is playing an important role in encouraging suppliers to back wider adoption of an open standard – leveraging, for example, Philips SR (LED drivers)or Inventronics ‘dim to zero’ LED drivers, together with Magnum Energy Solutions’ Opus Node range in order to optimise system integration.
Indeed, the Magnum demonstration kits shown by Future Lighting Solutions at Light + Building provide a good basis for manufacturers wishing to implement the EnOcean wireless control technology. So while the big Light + Building show might be over, the smart lighting revolution continues.
EMEA Technical Director, Future Lighting Solutions