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. 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!
Let me start by mentioning smart lighting.
This could be #0 of this list as it’s becoming increasingly 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.
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.
From table to floor lamps, these portable options provide whole new flexibility for both indoor and outdoor spaces.
In fact, the rise of portable lights links perfectly with the fluidity and space flexibility 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 a temporary situation.
Overall, portable lighting solutions give the option to use spaces in a more spontaneous way, without having to wonder how to deal with lighting when the sun sets.
2. For wellbeing
Light has a big impact on our wellbeing and the lighting industry is now starting to explore its potential.
The name Human Centric Lighting embodies a growing interest in the “effect of light on people’s emotions, their wellbeing, their health and their motivation.”
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!
Tweaking both colour temperature and light intensity, human-centric lighting solutions follow our circadian rhythm (our biological day-night clock), creating a more comfortable ambiance.
Besides impacting on wellbeing, smart lights also reduce electricity costs. Integrated motions sensors can indeed detect when someone is around and switch the light on and off accordingly.
We have met this human-centric idea already when discussing the latest innovations in office design. There too, the focus is moving towards creating healthier spaces that support people’s wellbeing.
Still speaking about wellbeing, lighting is now often paired with sound absorption properties. Providing silence and dampening disturbing noises, these solutions can improve the overall comfort of residential and commercial interiors. From felt panels to living lichens, the choice is really wide!
Customization is a macro trend that is embracing all industries and sectors, including lighting. At Euroluce 2019, I saw many modular lights that leave shape and sizing to individual creativity.
Once again, this adds flexibility and makes the same fixture suitable for a huge array of situations. This can also help stretch the usability of one object over time. A modular fixture can easily follow its owners through moves, and become smaller or bigger according to the living space available.
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.
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!
5. Inspired by nature
In a way, nature has never stopped to be source of inspiration, but it is certainly having a big moment right now.
With the general interest moving more towards biophilic design, the latest lighting innovations are also taking inspiration from nature, recalling natural forms and patterns.