5 Lighting Trends for 2017
Decorative Lighting trends come and go - at the moment I'm reliably informed that natural materials - stone, marble and rare metals are appearing in catalogues everywhere. A few years ago it was Art Deco "renovated" lights and Chandeliers - a few years before that it was all drum pendants and skinny glass shades, and before that - it was Chandeliers (they keep coming back like the 80's - or maybe they never leave). The wonderful thing about trends that I am noticing is that we are all slowly finding our own unique voices amongst them, and making choices that reflect who we are and how we want to live. Personally, I think that is the greatest trend for the future - lighting that is quality made, creatively designed and will bring you joy for years to come.
5 trends read below......
The question then becomes - how do you work out what to focus on when choosing your home lighting? If trends aren't the be all and end all - and you're going to live with your choices for the next 20 years - the first step is to get involved with the selection and not leave it for the last minute so your only choice is cheap downlights....the next step is to review current trends and advances in technology and figure out if they add value to your life and your home.
Here are five trends for 2017 - skipping the fashion stuff and focussing on trends in technology and lighting design solutions... unlike statement pieces, these trends never go out of fashion...
TREND 1 - QUALITY OF LIGHT...
The massive influx of LED lighting over the past few years has resulted in some very disappointed people who were trying to do the right thing, but who were let down by the poor quality of light produced by many LED fittings. Luckily the trend from manufacturers of LED light to focus on QUALITY light, not just energy saving continues. This means that designers like us (and home owners like you) have access to some truly beautiful light - we just have to know where to find it.
Light Quality comes down to four main things:
- Colour Rendering (the ability of a light source to represent colours faithfully)
- Consistency of White (that's the colour temperature - how warm or cool the light looks, and then how consistent that colour is across different lights)
- Glare control (creating light without glare has always been a key focus for luminaire designers)
- Efficiency - how much energy is used to create the light - and how much of the light created actually leaves the fitting and enters the room.
All quality manufacturers now provide this useful technical information with their fittings, explaining their performance within these parameters and more. With the right data at our fingertips, we can all look forward to a clearer, brighter future.
TREND 2 - CONCEALED LIGHT
LED light comes in so many shapes and sizes now that it can be hidden in just about anything - and it's showing up everywhere! There are very few items left which can not be purchased with a light in them. Some applications are just plain crazy- but many, especially lighting within cabinetry which is activated by the opening and closing of doors and drawers (much like your fridge) is an exciting opportunity in home lighting. Just this week we saw internally illuminated shelving - that can carry up to 15 kg of weight - the opportunities here are endless, and as the technology advances, they become more and more efficient, using less power and materials to create great results.
TREND 3 - NO MORE RECESSING...
With focus being placed on the thermal performance of the building envelope (sometimes known as "Passive Home Design"), moving away from recessed lighting is the next obvious step. The fewer holes you make in your ceiling and insulation (because insulation over a downlight, is just a bad idea - it won't cause fires, but it will reduce the life of the light) the better your home will perform at the height of Summer and the depths of Winter - saving you more money than you can imagine. Also, we usually end up with fewer lights going into a room when we move away from recessing downlights - the savings just keep rolling on with this trend, no wonder it's more and more popular!
TREND 4 - MOVING AWAY FROM CFL
The warm up time, the quality of the light and the general look of CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamps) will ring the death knell for this technology for many people. As LEDs are finally creating real light (well, some of them at least!) we have the opportunity to use this energy friendly technology in all of our regular lighting applications - and the more we use it, the cheaper it becomes - it's a lovely cause and effect for everyone. Compared to 5 years ago, LED light globes are now at least a quarter of the price - and easily 4 times better in performance! Now, this next part surprises a lot of people - but after nearly 5 years of in-house testing, we have found IKEA to have some of the most reliable, most effective light globes in the market - and they're cheap! A winner all round.
TREND 5 - LAYERED LIGHT & CLEVER CONTROLS
As lighting becomes more important to people in the design of their homes, layered lighting which allows you to create different moods at the flick of a switch is becoming more popular. The flexibility of the lighting solutions available now enables design which results in rooms that can have bright light for those times when you want to see every detail, task focussed light - putting it only where you need it and subtle mood lighting for relaxing at the end of the day - all in the one space, and all at the touch of a button or fully automated with clever lighting controls available. As I shared with you last week, the world of lighting control has also leapt forward, and the flexibility now available is astonishing. The best way to evaluate what you need is to question the value it brings - is it something cool that you'll likely never use? or does it make your life easier?
It's a brave new world for home lighting - and it no longer costs tens of thousands of dollars to bring great design and cutting edge technology home, just some research and the right approach to your lighting design.
If you take these trends into consideration in 2017 - you'll end up with a home lit beautifully, sustainably and with vital functionality, that will shine for many many years to come.
Feature fittings and a bit of sparkle are also very important in your home, so next time I'll share some tips for choosing feature lighting that bring the WOW factor - AND also bring LIGHT, texture and visual interest. Lamps and Pendants are not just about Interior Design - they're also a key element in your functional lighting.
For advice and design services, contact Mint Lighting Design today to discuss your project.
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All images sourced via Pinterest