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2017 key lighting trends

February 2018, by Gemma Snelling, Marketing Manager

With turkey and presents a distant memory and little hints of spring on the horizon, we took a moment to ask our Product Managers and Design & Development Director what they thought were the key takeaways for 2017 and what developments will dominate this year? Surprisingly, their answers were pretty similar

A look back - 2017

Top of their list was the increase in adoption and definition of 'Smart City', connected lighting and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Local Authorities have increasingly begun to realise the benefits and efficiencies to be gained for other extended services of Smart City technology, as well as the potential security dangers. The continued roll out of LED in residential, main road and motorway applications, has led to focus on increased efficiency, but sometimes at a cost to quality of light, and without fully understanding the impact it might have on the environment and its users. 

Last year delivered a greater awareness and understanding towards the possible effects of artificial lighting on people. The SCHEER report concluded that there is limited proof of LED light causing adverse effects in the healthy population under normal use. However, concern and news headlines, continue to grow. We presented a paper throughout the year on this topical subject - addressing the concerns of blue light, how human beings react to light and the photo-biological effects caused by different wavelengths of artificial light - the article will actually feature in next month's Lighting Journal. 

We've certainly noticed a trend with more local authorities taking the decision to light in 3000k or lower and an industry call for more research to be undertaken.

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The year ahead

'We hope to see an increased focus on quality and the Spectral Power Distribution (SPD) of light, as more local authority public realm work is undertaken with LED'  says DW Windsor's Product Manager. 'Public spaces will become more of a priority, bringing a shift from precision optics, which have a perception of being glary, to diffused low-glare solutions. And decluttering will also be high on the agenda along with the move from functional cost-based LED to quality lighting in our town centres'.

Is CMS for street lighting, in its current form, a viable future proposition? This is something that DW Windsor's Technical Services Manager is looking at, together with 'more emphasis and understanding of total cost ownership rather than lowest capital cost'.

Bluetooth® mesh networking, adopted only last year, is a protocol based upon Bluetooth Low Energy that allows for many-to-many communication over Bluetooth radio. 'That's important and, we believe, it will emerge as a dominant communications protocol for Smart Cities, says Cooper, where the ability to add sensors to existing infrastructure and use the data collected to make informed decisions and drive autonomy in our city services, along with providing the additional contextual data for the rise of Autonomous Vehicles will see an explosion in open protocols and sharing of open data' .

In closing, there was one overriding factor shaping our experts' opinions, and that's the need for ongoing research and education. 'Discussions surrounding the effects of LED on our health and well-being will continue over the next year', says Alan Grant, Design & Development Director. He added that the topic of 'Absolute verses relative photometry' is gaining more and more traction, it will be interesting to see where this unexpected debate will go.

'We look forward to working on many more exciting projects incorporating new technology developments and generating schemes and designs that have been developed with sensitivity and thought to the people at the core of the application'.

 

We'd love to know your thoughts.