A Frankfurt Fix
From LED chips and lenses to luminaires and controls (and everything in-between), Light + Building has been upon us and the Nulty team – from London and Dubai – were right in the thick of it, discovering all things new and exciting in the lighting world.
Light + Building is truly an experience of sensory overload. For young designers it’s a great chance to see how wide and expansive the industry is beyond their own offices, and to add to the ever-growing library of lighting techniques within their minds for the day-to-day designs they work on. For the experienced, it’s a chance to see the leaps and bounds in innovation over two short years since the last expo (and if manufacturers have listened to our wishes!). For others, it’s an opportunity to discover new technologies and that “particular fitting” they wish they’d known about three weeks before, when issuing tender documents.
However, one thing that was synonymous across the Nulty offices was with less than 48 hours in the many, many halls of Messe Frankfurt, the best way to handle the enormity of the event was to throw ourselves right into it – full force. It’s at times like these that we can play to the strength of our team’s size, breaking into smaller groups with phone cameras at the ready and armed with our group WhatsApp, passing each other recommendations of what we’ve seen, and the best place to grab a bite to eat.
So, after an action-packed trip, here’s a snippet of what stood out to us:
New Technology: XAL – PACO with adaptive crystal shifting technology
This is the sort of weird science that one of the team’s university lecturers predicted would happen in the future. The beam shifts from narrow to wide with a simple flick of a switch, electronically changing the particles in the diffuser. XAL is just testing it as a concept right now, to get feedback from the community, before deciding to roll it out into their range. We think it’s a great out of the box technology that’s a bit crazy-cool.
Small Luminaire: DGA – Cometa Q4
We’re all about trying to find the smallest solutions for our seamless integrations and DGA has really taken the cake here. At only 4.5mm x 4.5mm, with a very homogeneous light, small cutting increments and minimal mounting solution, we were impressed!
Luminaire Edition 2.0: CoeLux skylights
The CoeLux skylights are something we’ve definitely seen before and as impressive as the technology is, it’s very project specific due to installation, aesthetic and cost. However, something we did find great about the expansion of the product is that as well as “the sun” you can now bask under the light of “the moon”. Pretty convincing if we do say so.
Flexible System: Viabizzuno – Microtraccia
Released not long before Light + Building, this little recessed installation system is one of the smallest flexible low voltage systems around at the moment. It has linear lengths that are customisable and the tiniest spotlights we’ve ever seen…in two beam angles! Not to mention the bronze finish option, which we love.
Decorative Luminaire: Vibia – Guise
We were impressed by the simplicity and elegance of this pendant. It has a very clean and minimal design whilst maintaining its decorative character – a combination that’s very hard to achieve. The light source is well concealed to avoid glare with the functional lighting coming from a number of precise etched lines on the glass.
Immersive Encounter: iGuzzini – The Light Experience
One welcome departure from the vastness of the trade halls was this experience room, which uses iGuzzini’s latest innovations to propel you through an immersive journey of light and sound. The experience certainly injected us with life after a very early start and hectic day, and it was all rounded off with some lovely food with the folks from iGuzzini.
Favourite Giveaway: Prolicht
This year it had to go to the highly coveted Prolicht customised waterproof messenger backpacks. These were in such hot demand that when a bag was left unattended at our dinner it was nearly auctioned off to the highest bidder. Not only were the bags worth the wait, Prolicht also had some great new adjustable beam spotlights (called IMAGINE FLEX TRACKSPOT) in the showroom, which use a new plano-convex lens and go from 14º to 48º. We’ll keep our eye on these for the future.
It’s important to mention that it wasn’t just the bigger stands that stood out – the smaller ones did too. Demonstrating clear insight and ingenuity, the likes of Mike Stoane Lighting, UFO and Petridis caught our attention with some rather clever takes on innovation (sometimes when David meets Goliath…).
A 48-hour whirlwind, a “traditional” visit to the Irish pub and 800,000 steps later was a wrap for Light + Building 2018. Armed with new products and tools from this year’s show, we’re excited to see how we can integrate them into the amazing spaces we work with.