Lighting in a digital age

Apologies for being blatantly self-promotional, but I recently chaired a discussion with three leading lighting designers about the future of lighting design. They shared some fascinating projects, and talked about issues such as BIM and also the lighting of their own homes.

But the most interesting thing was the way that they talked about changes in technology. It is not the lighting technology that is affecting them – they are on top of LED, of sophisticated controls etc. – but the technology that is in the hands of the consumer. It is getting to the stage when anybody can design a lighting system much as – and they pointed this out – anybody can record and upload and share their own music.

It won’t be as good as if a lighting designer had done it, but it may well be adequate. Which leaves the question of what the lighting designers will do? In the case of those as talented as this trio they will of course survive. And they will prosper as well, by expanding their skills and (hideous phrase) adding value. They will be able to offer more services and, in particular, more design skill, to clients and to architects. The future for lighting, one of the greatest determinants of mood as well as providing essential functions, is looking bright.

Ruth Slavid

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