Blog Partner: Reggiani

Que sera sera – the future of lighting design

What will change in future with regard to the quality of light?

Lighting as part of the Wallpaper.

Well … nothing is going to be like it was before…

Interest in designed lighting continues to grow – steadily but surely. That’s good. But is everyone aware of what that means, and how lighting specialists will have to adapt in order to be able to survive?

One thing is for sure: designed lighting will comprise a new quality in future. There are activities in progress around the world to redefine the quality of light, and to change standards accordingly. What we had all been hoping for for decades is becoming reality. Light is recognised as incorporating both technical and design quality.

Technical quality has generally always meant generating as much light as possible for as little energy as possible. Of course, technical quality also means that new technologies have to work and systems have to be reliable. Design quality involves the application and integration of light into architectural spaces to promote the well-being of the users of those spaces. For example in an office environment that would mean that the lighting is designed to help reduce stress at work. That might sound a bit trite or hackneyed in the first instance, but there is now scientific evidence to prove that we do indeed suffer as humans at the workplace, because in many cases the work environment does not correspond to our biological make-up. In the last 15 years the number of cases of illness due to workplace stress has multiplied significantly. Exposure to specific lighting conditions can indeed boost stress hormone response.

The issue that you as designers and planners now face is how to design lighting in order to create spaces that generate a feeling of safety and well-being in users. Do I know how to design to meet these objectives? What will change in future? Which products can I specify to be able to meet new requirements? What part will daylight design play in my work?

The new requirements are to be reflected in a set of redefined standards. In February 2013 a team of experts and researchers from the field of medical science will meet to work on a proposal for a new standard to assess and ensure the quality of light. This standard aims to incorporate the minimum human requirements with regard to light in a definition of the term ‘light quality’. It will have little to do with the standards we have adhered to in the past, or even those of today.

Within the framework of PLDC 2013 in Copenhagen we are planning to include a broad discussion of the results of the afore-mentioned workgroup. PLDC 2013 will be the first large-scale event offering lighting planners and specialists the opportunity to prepare for tomorrow.In this sense, too, the motto of the Copenhagen event – “point of no return” – can already claim to be hitting one more very appropriate nail on the head.So the answer on the question if there is a future is definately “yes, there is a future, but it will be different.”
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