Euroluce 2019: the 5 newest lighting innovations

in Design Trends

One of the not-to-be-missed of this Milan Design Week has surely been Euroluce 2019, or the International Lighting Exhibition.
449 exhibitors coming from the around the world have presented their lighting innovations, and I’ve been walking around like a crazy bee trying to see as much as possible.

After approximately 22.000 steps walked, hundreds of photos taken and an equally huge number of press releases read, I’m ready to connect the dots and share my list of the 5 newest innovations seen at Euroluce 2019.
Ready? Go!

 
Let me start by mentioning smart lighting. This could be #0 of this list as it’s a must by now and it’s becoming common to have the possibility to control light via smartphone apps. In other words, smart features are a plus on the side of each of the elements below. So let’s start the list with number 1!

1. Portable

Originally there were just two ways to get artificial lighting: either integrated in the general lighting system or plugged into a socket. Today, battery-operated lights have come into the equation and Euroluce 2019 was full of interesting examples.

Portable table lamp creating a romantic atmosphere on a dining table.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Tetatet by Davide Groppi (opened in a new window/tab)
Portable table lamps with porcelain shade shaped in the form of a fluffy ice cream.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Ice Cream by Lladró (opened in a new window/tab)

From table to floor lamps, these portable options give indoor (and outdoor) spaces a whole new flexibility. In fact, the rise of portable lights links perfectly with the wider trend of space flexibility and the fluidity required in modern life. In times when a dining table is used to dine, cook and work, it’s essential to have the chance to adapt lighting according to the activity. These portable lights also solve the always-present problem of outdoor lighting, especially in balconies or for temporary situation.
Overall, they give the flexibility to use the space in a more spontaneous way, without having to wonder how to deal with lighting when the sun will set.

Portable table lamp in the shape of a metal frame. The hollow in the middle is filled with a plant that gets hit by the light.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Curiosity by Artemide (opened in a new window/tab) - Design by Davide Oppizzi
Portable table lamp on a table facing the sea at sunset.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Sister Light by AiLati Lights (opened in a new window/tab) - Design by Federico de Majo
Portable table lamp on a kitchen countertop.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Salt & Pepper by Tobias Grau (via Instagram) (opened in a new window/tab)

2. For wellbeing

Light can impact our wellbeing considerably and the lighting industry is now starting to exploit this potential.
Under the mantra of Human Centric Lighting, there’s a huge interest in the study of the “effect of light on people’s emotions, their wellbeing, their health and their motivation.” And the result are lights that smartly adjust to the time of day, to external daylight, to the overall background light and even to age and sleep time!

Do you know that feeling of entering into a room and feeling – even without knowing exactly why – that the light is somehow wrong?
Well, these lighting innovations tackle the roots of the problem. Adjusting both colour temperature and light intensity, they follow our circadian cycle (our biological day-night rhythm), creating a more comfortable ambiance that will in turn make us more concentrated, energized and overall happier.

Table lamp that adjusts to the external conditions.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Lightcycle by Dyson (opened in a new window/tab)
Screenshot of the Artemide App, that allows to adjust light to our circadian cycle.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Artemide App (opened in a new window/tab)

We have met this human-centric idea already when talking about office design. There too, the focus is moving towards creating workspaces that are healthier and can support people’s wellbeing more.

Smart pendant light over a working station.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Biolight by OLEV light (opened in a new window/tab)

On the same wellbeing note, lighting is more and more often paired with sound absorption properties, that can improve the overall comfort in the space both at home and in office environments. From felt panels to living lichens, the choice is pretty wide!

Cylindrical pendant light with three sound-absorbing panels mounted around the main structure.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Trypta by Luceplan (opened in a new window/tab) - Design by Stephen Burks
Exagon pendant light filled with sound-absorbing lichens.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Exagon by OLEV light (opened in a new window/tab)
Pendant light whose shade is made with sound-absorbing felt panel.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Zigzag by Panzeri (via Instagram) (opened in a new window/tab)

Besides impacting on wellbeing, smart lights also allow to reduce electricity costs. Integrated motions sensors can indeed detect when someone is around and switch light on and off accordingly.

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3. Modular

Customization is a macro trend that is embracing all industries and sectors, including lighting. At Euroluce 2019, I saw many lights that come in modules and leave it to individual creativity to assemble shape and sizing.

Huge pendant light over a sofa. Its draping look is achieved with individual white modules interlocked.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Nuvem by Slamp (opened in a new window/tab) - Design by Miguel Arruda

Once again, this adds flexibility and makes the same fixture suitable for a huge array of situations. Just to give an example, a modular fixture can easily follow its owners through moves, and become smaller or bigger according to the living space available.

Modular pendant light made of individual blown-glass tubes.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Luna by Gabriel Scott (via Instagram) (opened in a new window/tab)
Tubolar modular light tracing the perimeter of a whole building.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: La linea by Artemide (opened in a new window/tab) - Design by BIG
Modular pendant light whose modules look like flowers.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Mod by Bover (opened in a new window/tab) - Design by Lázaro Rosa-Violán

4. Integrated

I could also have titled this section When a lamp is not just a lamp…
The idea is integrating lighting into other objects, carrying out two functions in one go.
I personally love multifunctional pieces, so I may be partial here. But from vases, to side tables, to bookshelves, there were some really clever designs at Euroluce 2019!

Pendant light with integrated planters.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Palma by Vibia (via Instagram) (opened in a new window/tab) - Design by Antoni Arola
Table lamp integrated inside a vase.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Madre by Foscarini (opened in a new window/tab) (via Dezeen) (opened in a new window/tab) - Design by Andre Anastasio
Light integrated in a bookshelf.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Babele by Natevo (opened in a new window/tab) - Design by Matteo Nunziati
Side table with integrated light.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Haeru by Flos (opened in a new window/tab) (via Dezeen) (opened in a new window/tab) - Design by Nendo

5. Inspired by nature

In a way, nature has never stopped to be source of inspiration, but lately it is certainly having a big moment.
From a broader perspective, it has been acknowledged that nature can have a tangible positive effect on our interiors. Plants clean the air, water releases stress, nature-inspired shapes and textures influence our wellbeing by involving our senses, and natural light impacts on our health.

With the general interest moving more towards biophilic design, the latest lighting innovations are also getting inspiration from nature and many fixtures are being designed following natural forms and patterns.

Pendant lamp looking like a flower.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Lilli by Kundalini (opened in a new window/tab) - Design by Cristina Celestino
Pendant lamp looking like a flower.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Opyo by Kundalini (opened in a new window/tab) - Design by Cristina Celestino
Floor lamp recalling the shape of a branch (the structure) with leaves (the bulbs).<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Ivy by Brokis (opened in a new window/tab) - Design by Lucie Koldova
Floor lamp looking like a blooming flower bulb.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Africa by Arturo Alvarez (opened in a new window/tab)
Lamp whose lighting surface reproduced the pattern of a leaf.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>
Credit: Irupé by Artemide (opened in a new window/tab) - Design by Campana Brothers

Euroluce 2019 has been so rich that I could have included dozens more pictures! I will share more on my Instagram (opened in a new window/tab) in the coming days, so be sure you come take a look there as well!

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