What Changes in Lighting will 2020 bring?
Lighting has changed enormously over the past decade. What direction will it take in 2020? Here are a few of my predictions.
More Environmental Concerns
Let’s face it – the average LED downlight may be cutting down on the amount of electricity used but what about the environment impact of the actual fitting? Cheaper dedicated LED downlights may stipulate a life of 40,000 hours as opposed to higher spec fittings which can last around 70,000 hours. Lower quality LEDs can often fail early, well short of their predicted life span. Then what happens to them? They get chucked or recycled. The more expensive fittings will usually have better quality components so will last longer and are kinder on the environment.
The good news is we are moving towards legislation (in the EU, at least) that will ensure that the individual components of luminaires should be easily changed without damaging the rest of the fitting. Have you ever seen the size of an actual LED? Literally millimetres; so it seems madness to throw away a whole downlight when, in theory the LED, or the driver, could be replaced.
I’ve used LEDs from my favourite suppliers that I installed fifteen years ago – when LEDs were just coming into mainstream use. They were not cheap at the time but they are still going strong. Ultimately you get what you pay for, within reason. This not only impacts your pocket but the environment.
Linear LED Lighting
This is hugely on the increase – either recessed, built within shadow gaps of a new construction, or integrated into profiles, cornicing, or furniture. Linear lighting is here to stay. It’s energy efficient, to a certain extent although if you add up the wattage on the most powerful versions, the energy consumption tots up.
And a word to the wise: the brightest, most powerful is not always the best choice. Sometimes it can be a struggle to find the most subtle for discreet areas when the last thing you want is to throw the balance of the lighting out of kilter.
More consideration is now being given to light pollution. Personally I think that, when it comes to planning permission, more thought should be given to the impact of any external lighting on the neighbourhood and wildlife.
Health and Light
There is now a greater awareness of the connection between health and light. Whilst natural light is always the best option, lighting designers of hospitals and factories are now designing systems that will modify the lighting intensity, colour and frequency as the day progresses. This not only helps keep our biological clocks in line but can also have an effect on productivity and mental health, even dementia.
Light & Build Show at Frankfurt – 8th – 13th March 2020
Euroshop in Dusseldorf, Germany – 16th – 20th February 2020