Until recently, when people were talking about hi-tech, many did not consider house lighting as one of the main topics of their discussions. This is what was happening to the majority of technology enthusiasts anyway. Following the growth and the evolution of the market, and the coming of the so-called home automation, the house lighting industry has started to be customized as it had never been before. This process has been facilitated by the fact that, Wi-Fi networks are now affordable for everyone, so it is quite simple to get a smart lighting system installed.
From energy-saving light bulbs to a programmable system
The evolution in this field has initially been established, with the use of energy saving light bulbs, instead of incandescent light bulbs. Afterwards, LED models came onto the market. Later on, home automation systems have begun to spread very quickly, allowing rather simple centralized operations, among which we can mention the action of turning the house lighting off with a simple command. The user can also choose from several preset programs, that allow to turn on specific lights, by programming the intensity according to the activities undertaken in specific rooms. Very often, those users, that have this system installed in their houses, would set a program, before going on holiday for instance, to automatically switch on the lights in the evening hours, to deter thieves.
During the last year, PIR-based motion detectors, installed with light sensors and positioned in different areas of the house, have become more common. Light sensors will automatically turn on the lights in the event they detect human presence. They are particularly efficient, because they will come into action only when there isn’t enough natural light available. Still talking about energy efficiency, we should mention the arrival on the market of software systems, that have quickly gained a key role in the house lighting industry. More specifically, through these software, lamps adapt their intensity depending on the changing of environmental conditions, of seasons and eventual changes that might occur within the same day.
The advantages of LEDs
Those who wish to “design with lights”, should use LEDs. They allow to create lighting compositions, placing LED light points here and there. The so called “magic lamps”, that is to say, those lamps that change of color when touched, have been deeply appreciated by the public. Furthermore, temperature or heat of LEDs can be customized. For instance, those who work at home can opt for a cold light, while those who want to relax, have the option to choose a warmer one.
A world of evolving ideas
Architects who are planning to design a brand new house, think that LEDs are of a great help for their creativity, because they can use them everywhere. For example, they can be built-in with the shelves, or installed close to the stove. However, they can also be positioned on the floor or be part of frames and mirrors.
The fall of bright light spheres, used to give a modern twist to the classic chandeliers, or lamps with a shiny surface and made of “pop” materials, such as plastic, are among the latest innovations. The most demanding clients can buy handmade light diffusers, such as those made out of blown glass with a hi-tech LED heart.
Light point solutions, that will be presented in 2016, can be installed in walls, inserted in closets and doors or, again, used in screens to separate or to light up different rooms. In the latter case, they are real movable pieces of illuminated furniture. Recently, invisible transparent slabs have been invented. These slabs will magically appear when light is turned on. Not to mention, the small LED table lamps, whose charge is provided by a USB cable.
Between experimentation and technology, lamps are becoming a design tool
Lamps that have been designed in these recent years, are real high-tech jewels and have a dual nature. On the one hand, they are the result of numerous experiments, where nothing was left to chance. On the other, they are partly handmade. Therefore, it is appropriate to say that manufacture and design have worked side by side, getting a high level of quantitative results. In some cases, these lamps are unique pieces, and are the result of rigor, manual skills and experience.
The wireless light
Among the ongoing experimentations, it is worth mentioning the wireless light. This technology exploits magnetic waves as the means of transmission for power supply. What happens is that, a magnet is placed under a table, receives electricity and, thereafter, converts it into magnetic waves. These same waves, allow the lamp located nearby, to start working. Many of the ideas about lighting, mentioned in this article, were presented as part of the biennial dedicated to lighting, that took place in Milan-Rho.