> FOCUS BY CRAIG DILOUIE
IT’S AN EXCITING TIME to be in the lighting industry. Today, lighting systems can alter spaces without physically chang- ing them, revitalize urban areas, facilitate interaction and community, communicate information, make spaces more interactive, and affect well being. As technology capabilities increase and costs decline, a dramatic range of possibilities
offer the opportunity to transform how people interact with community, space and light. Five specific lighting trends may
play a significant role in the future.
No. 1: Sustainability will be the major driver
of technological change in lighting
These days, it’s difficult to have a conversation about lighting
without energy efficiency being a primary consideration. Commercial building energy codes are highly restrictive, favoring the
most efficient options. Meanwhile, federal product regulations
are steadily removing the least-efficient, lowest cost options from
the market. This disruption, coupled with rising energy costs, will
continue to create favorable conditions for retrofits and upgrades
in existing buildings. In both new and existing construction, the
most-efficient lighting technology, such as light-emitting diodes
(LEDs) and advanced lighting controls, will be favored. Design
approaches and vertical lighting solutions and packages will
develop around specific applications, creating new opportunities and requiring more sophisticated lighting design capabilities.
No. 2: Solid-state lighting will dominate
Just a few years ago, the LED was everybody’s idea of the lighting of the future. In some respects, that future has already
arrived, and imagining all general lighting gradually converting
to LEDs is not unrealistic.
The bottom line is that LEDs are continually improving
in efficacy, longevity and cost, with plenty of room to grow.
Meanwhile, a majority of conventional lighting technologies
are already declining.
The combination of performance and cost is positioning
LED in the sweet spot for upgrade projects in some applications.
The list of applications is expected to expand, and we may see a
tipping point within the next few years, presenting an exciting
opportunity to replace conventional lighting with LEDs across
the vast spectrum of facilities.
Industry trends light the way to the future
TOMORROW Lighting for
As efficacy, longevity and cost continue to improve, solid-state lighting
will become increasingly prevalent. Falling costs have already placed LED
solutions at a tipping point for upgrades in several applications in existing
buildings, such as in this all-LED retrofit of a Walgreens in Buffalo Grove, Ill.