‘It would not be wrong to state that other lighting technologies have limited potential for future improvements but new designs for LEDs that push quality and efficacy to new levels continue to emerge from lighting labs around the world. Lighting trends are inspired by technological advancements, incursion of new materials, human creativity, novel forms and user preferences’, says Dillraj L Bhatia, Founder, DBEL Studio on Corporate Interiors – Lighting Trends 2018
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Lighting is vital to maintain the aesthetics of an interior design. However, in commercial spaces such as corporate offices, hotels, shopping malls, restaurants, bars and cafés, lighting has a major role to play in the functionality of the design. Apart from brightening the aesthetics, it helps to improve the safety for tenants, and ensures occupant comfort, while also saving costs.
Minimalist lighting works very well in commercial projects. The goal within these types of spaces is to create a comfortable environment where people want to stay and socialize. With the focus of the interior space on luminescence, color, and setting, the mood automatically becomes more cozy, warm, friendly, and conversational. That’s in sharp contrast to the big chandelier and chunky wall sconce décor of the past that often cluttered and over-crowded community spaces.
Aiding in this new trend are the multiple decorative LED options that are a perfect fit for today’s modern, minimalist fixtures. This comes as no surprise as LED is not only cost effective, but is also stimulating a huge increase in the installation of intelligent lighting controls such as occupancy sensors, photo sensors and wireless networks that link them. It would not be wrong to state that other lighting technologies have limited potential for future improvements but new designs for LEDs that push quality and efficacy to new levels continue to emerge from lighting labs around the world.
Lighting trends are inspired by technological advancements, incursion of new materials, human creativity, novel forms and user preferences. Some of the noticeable trends in lighting that will dominate commercial interiors in the coming years are:
Smart lighting with the use of IoT application
Commercial lighting will continue to become more sophisticated with the use Internet of Things. LED lightings with sensors and photo sensors are becoming popular. These lightings are supposed be low on maintenance with flexible installation options. These smart lights can tell how well the buildings are being used, and what areas are hot spots and what are underused, leading to major savings.
Smart lights are viable options for offices. Using just a smart phone detected by the IoT lights, employees can tune the illumination levels – and even the colour temperature – of the lights wherever they are. These lights automatically switch off when there is no activity, saving energy costs. IoT lights can also help in parking spaces of commercial buildings, indicating the availability of empty parking spaces.
Growing importance of natural light
Another big trend in commercial interiors is the inclusion of more of natural light. The interior design is curated keeping in mind the direct illumination with the help of daylight. More and more businesses nowadays are utilizing large open windows to pull some of the outdoors inside. This is not only a great way to save energy but is also good for health and productivity. Smart lights also monitor the level of natural light and adjust their output to optimal levels. This trend is set to gain traction in coming years among commercial designers.
Solar powered lighting
With growing awareness about sustainable lightings, more and more commercial projects are opting for solar powered lightings. These lighting solutions harness the sun’s energy to provide high-quality illumination for indoor and outdoor applications. Solar can be installed anywhere, even when what it is powering is in the shade. No matter what the circumstance, if there is a sunny spot nearby the solar can be installed to power something remotely installed. There is even technology today turning roofing or windows into photovoltaic sources.
Apart from this, solar also provides cost savings by not having to pay for electricity, especially since electric costs continue to rise where the cost of solar continues to fall. Solar utilizes lower powered items such as LED / CFL lamps, lower powered electronics, etc. that do not use as much power as standard electric systems. Also, LEDs are powered from 12 VDC initially and require AC adapters to power with standard electric. By using DC power for LEDs, they are able to operate more efficiently by providing more light and less heat.
Industrial light fittings are making a comeback in commercial light designs
Industrial light fittings are making a big comeback this year. The rugged, out-of-the-factory light fittings are finding its place in commercial projects. Industrial fittings are being modified with bright colour enamel finishes, coloured chords and detailing reminiscent of mid century designs. Many restaurants and eateries have adopted this style of lighting design. Another trend that is making way for a comeback is the use of brass in light fittings. This combination works well for old buildings.
Innovative use of bendable LED linear profiles
Last, but definitely the most trending are LED Linear Profile lights that are versatile and popular in commercial designs. They can be used indoors as well outdoors in an innovative design. The wide range of profiles available makes it suitable to be installed in any space or furniture, thereby opening a vast area of possibilities by giving designers more options and flexibility of design. For indoor lighting, the plaster-in profiles for recessing within walls and ceilings are perfect for an ambient glow in a living room or bedroom. On the other hand, these niche profile lights provide a discreet yet functional lighting effect when integrated into shelves and wardrobes. The variety of shape and size of the profile lights makes it perfect to be used for highlighting outdoor design elements, and an alternative to limited outdoor lighting fixtures.
These lightweight profiles are excellent for heat dissipation and ensure a professional finish to any project. The linear LED lights also help in reducing the energy consumption by 60%-70%.
To conclude, it would not be wrong to state that commercial lighting designs have undergone intelligent innovation by focusing on energy efficient and sustainable solutions. This is the single key factor that will help determine lighting designs of future.