New blog post from Ben Díaz about new trends in architectural lighting
I read an excellent article by John Bullock in Lux Magazine, which summarized colloquially what many of us think about the new trends in architectural lighting. I loved his reflection about the growing presence of decorative lighting in the segment, almost erasing any trail of technological improvement. Hilariously,John reminded us that; “an office luminaire may be long and thin, it may be square or it may be round – but it’s still an opal diffuser, guys”.
We forget that we are leaving Alvin Toffler’s Third Wave in order to build a purely technological society. We are in that critical moment that Rushkoff calls “coercion”; a historical stage where the ideas are normally one step back from our technical capabilities. Now it’s easier to adapt the concepts exposed by Stewart Brand in “How buildings learn”. Constructions are evolving together with their users, and users demand more and more from architecture. Of course, many places have home automation now, and aesthetic designs are capital when creating luminaires. However, our future would be jeopardized if we leave out interaction, standardization and versatility, since that would cause the installations to be permanently upgraded. In summary, today we need to think about tomorrow’s light.
Buckminster Fuller used to say that things don’t change by fighting the existing reality: “To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete”, he said and I would have to agree. Weeks after reading Bullock’s article, I was in Frankfurt for the Prolight+Sound show. There I had the opportunity to hear Peter Johansen reveal his secret of innovation; i.e. not to analyze what the competitors are doing, but focusing on your own ability to create solid technological developments. He argued that Lighting Designers are artists, so telling them what to do does not make sense. Nevertheless that is more or less what most manufacturers do. Manufacturers ought to recognize that only Lighting Designers can take innovations to the next level and the only way is offering them the technology to excel rather than limiting their creativity.
I have a vision about the future of the industry. I believe it is time to face each architectural lighting project as an “urban stage”: A setting halfway in-between the utility of the space, the spectacular nature of the design and the adaptability to the environment. In order to add a practical aspect to architecture lighting, you need durability, visual quality and energy efficiency in the fixtures you use. To make impressive architecture, you need fully controllable luminaires capable of transforming the space through multiple effects and user interaction. And to achieve versatility, you need dynamic lighting that you can change depending on the application and its context.
I see all these ideas in the SGM R-2s. With a light output up to 3,900 lm in only 32 W, the R-2 offer twice the efficiency of any other rail light. With 13º, 25º and 35º lenses, color changing and remote control over wireless RDM and DMX there is nothing more to ask for. However, they also implement motion and lighting sensors and gives the user the possibility to interact via QR codes and free controller software.
On a different level, I like the possibilities offered by the combination of Q, P and i series, now available in POI version. If I need to illuminate within a close range, I take advantage of Q-7’s 110º. Between 5 and 50 meters, I prefer the accurate control of P-5s by mixing their 43º, 21º and 15º lenses.
And beyond 50 meters, I choose i-5s to throw lighting spots wherever I need them. I don’t need to be worried by the uniformity of the output as fixtures have the same RGBW calibrated mixing as well as the same size, weight and power consumption.
The new IP66 POI moving heads is specifically designed for those new “urban stages. The G range POI moving heads are the G-Profile (with its customizable gobos and precise shutters) and the G-Wash (capable of drawing color from 9º to 73º).
Along with the POI versions of G-1 Beam and the G-1 Wash, the POI range offers a wide selection of fixtures to build an adaptable design for any permanent installation. However, you can still trust them to create any diffused effect by using the frost function or filters.
Other benefits like RDM remote monitoring, 5-year warranty, C-5 marine protection against salt water or the custom color assemblies are transforming the new POI generation of luminaires in one of the most solid, smart and reliable solutions ever created for the architectural lighting industry. Nothing but good news – Let’s celebrate the age of technology!