NEW TRENDS IN DETAIL
British designer Sebastian Wrong calls 2016 a ‘very exciting moment in lighting,’ because this year has delivered plenty of groundbreaking innovations to take advantage of. Here are our highlights
New LEDS ‘LED lighting is delivering much better quality illumination at much lower cost, so there’s no reason not to use it in your home,’ says Bruce Weil of The Lighting Design Studio. ‘ What’s available now is tried and tested, so we can confidently design lighting with integrated LEDS,’ adds Wrong. LEDS are long-lasting, energy-efficient, cool to the touch and vibration- and shock-proof. They are now being used for everything from ‘virtual skies’ (faux rooflights that mimic natural light) to LED decorated wallpaper – a unique way to illuminate your walls. OLEDS (organic LEDS) These are a relatively new technology providing a uniform spread of light, rather than single light points. They come in sheet form and can be used to brighten whole surfaces without the need for shades or diffusers. They produce very little heat, and with low glare and shadow, can reduce eye fatigue. Reinvented lightbulbs Plumen, the pioneer of beautifully designed, energyefficient lightbulbs, has just launched the ‘Plumen 003’ (£150; ukshop.plumen.com), which has a faceted gold detail on the inside, while the sculptural ‘URI’ laseretched acrylic LED bulb from Hong Kong brand NAP (£40; indiegogo.com) casts spectacular shadows. Vintage-style filament bulbs are also enjoying a revival, now fitted with energy-efficient LEDS.
Research shows that light can affect everything from sleep to productivity, so wirelessly connected bulbs like the ‘Active Light’ by Hive (from £89 for a starter pack; hivehome.com) that are able to mimic sunrise and sunset, can have a positive effect on people’s lives. High-tech controls Alongside wireless smartphone- and tablet-controlled systems, lighting will soon be intelligently managed in the same way that adaptive thermostats, such as Nest, learn your behaviour to adjust room temperature. This means, for example, that the lights could gradually brighten at the time you usually get up, without you having to pre-programme them to do so. Lighting that learns from you – it’s the future.