As geometries in architecture become more complex, the technologies of lighting design are becoming more sophisticated and intricate in response.
Lighting fittings are becoming smaller and more flexible, and advances in 3D modelling programs are seeing lighting concepts imagined in an unprecedented fashion.
The popularity of LED lamps is the driving force behind the majority of these innovations, thanks in part to their environmental credentials but also to their small size and weight and recent improvements to their colour and control of light spill.
There are still issues with LED lamps which are particularly prominent among cheaper suppliers and smaller manufacturers who rely on algorithms rather than physical testing to supply consumers with information about their product. These include inconsistencies with projected and actual lifespan, a poor dimming ability and a hard to compare light efficacy (with traditional lighting products).
The following products are from reputable companies that take advantage of recent innovations in LED lamps to imagine new ways to use them in the built environment.
1. LEDPOD XL with Pathfinder Technology
The South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) by Woods Bagot incorporated LEDPods for the stairways. Image: Peter Barnes.
The LEDPOD system from KLIK Systems is a LED light fitting system for handrails that comes in a variety of sizes and shapes to suit different handrail profiles.
The system consists of multiple LED light fittings that connect together and run linearly along and within a handrail. It has seen recent use for stairways, bike paths, dimly lit public places and the workplace.
Small holes are cut on the underside of the rail and electrical wiring is fed through the length of the tube. The pods then click into the pre-cut housings and are installed by an electrician.
The pods distribute light asymmetrically which means an even beam spread below the rail rather than a symmetrical fitting which would direct light either straight down (loosing important light spill), or on the angle of the light fitting.
Another add-on option for the LEDPOD series is KLIK Tech Pathfinder Technology which controls the activation of illumination via pre-programed or motion activated sensors. The sensor turns the lamps on and off or as someone moves towards or past them.
2. Intralux - KoveLED2 pelmet luminaire
Kove LED is an adjustable, fully integrated, indirect LED Pelmet/Cove lighting system. It comes in two sizes and in a modular interconnectable configuration so that elements can be joined in a simple ‘plug and go’ system.
Up to 60 metres of the longer KLLED-512 models can be connected through one power circuit while a variety of shapes can be made with the smaller 588mm KLLED-112 model. Its adjustable mechanism is a ‘no tool’ system and can adjust from 0-36 degrees. Its LED comes from Tridonic and is semi-symmetrical so no light spill is lost on the closed wall of the Pelmet.
3. M-Elec - 1box–90 LED Downlight
M-Elec’s ‘all in one’ downlight can produce white, neutral white and warm white colours from a single LED lamp. It works off three lumen outputs that give off a different colour temperatures and efficacy. You can turn the downlight off and on to change between the three outputs to save energy when watching television or to get a bright light while reading.
4. D900+ LED Downlight by Brightgreen
The D900+ is a 50W halogen equivalent LED downlight that has a unique twist-off fascia system which means the colour and focus spread of the light can be easily changed. It can be hand-rotated 360 degree so light directing is completely controllable. It runs on 15.6W and has a light efficacy of 61 lumens per Watt. Brightgreen offers a seven year warranty for the lamp and five years for the driver.
5. Midipoll by ECRO
ECRO have packed real lighting distribution into this new bollard which can deliver real illumination along the ground without causing glare in the night’s sky.
Its prismatic lens projects grazing light onto the target surface and can produce a directed 2.5 metre light beam diameter.
The Midipoll is powder coated aluminium and comes in 1.2 metre and 80 centimetre heights. Its power output ranges from eight to 39 Watts of power, it can produce a luminous flux of up to 3900lm and it can take both LEDs and Metal Halides.