Networked lighting technology

Martina Metzner
10. February 2020
Lighting technology is increasingly networked: Novelty "Flames is all I see" by Ingo Maurer together with buschfeld. (Photo: Ingo Maurer/ buschfeld) 

New standards that bring together all smart building solutions and customizable, intelligent lighting are the key topics at the upcoming Light + Building.

Networked safety technology is the main theme

Solutions for the protection of both tangible and intangible assets will be the focus at the forthcoming Light + Building (March, 8–13) in Frankfurt: networked security technology as part of building automation will be a key theme. In the twentieth year of its existence, the trade fair is thus focusing strongly on the digitally networked Smart Building - and the Smart City, i.e. the networked and intelligent city. In addition, it is of course the lighting innovations of leading manufacturers such as Artemide, Erco, Flos, Nimbus and Tobias Grau that are to an increasing extent being dynamically integrated into digital building control systems. Luminale, the light art festival, which always took place parallel to Light + Building, will for the first time be held at a slightly later date, from March, 12 to 15. 

An additional platform in Hall 9.0 will provide information on BIM. (Photo: Messe Frankfurt GmbH) 
In addition to Smart Building, the Light + Building program will also center around the Smart City. (Graphic: Messe Frankfurt GmbH)  
Daily Guided Tours by World-Architects

Anyone wishing to gain insider information about the new products at Light + Building can join the Guided Tours, which World-Architects offer twice a day throughout the trade fair. The highlights on the first day, March 8, are the "Talks + Tours" with Carla Wilkens (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and M. Hank Haeusler (2 to 4 p.m.). As an internationally renowned lighting planner from the Lichtvision office based in Berlin, London and Hong Kong, Carla Wilkens will focus primarily on customizable lighting (Here you can read the interview with Carla Wilkins). Professor M. Hank Haeusler from the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney/Australia is a proven expert for media façades and is currently working on the integration of digital technologies into the infrastructure of cities. On his tour, Haeusler will explain why it is important for architects to integrate technologies such as robotics or artificial intelligence into their projects (Here you can read the interview with M. Hank Haeusler). In addition, lighting designers Ulrike Brandi, Andreas Schulz from Licht Kunst Licht, Thomas Mika from reflexion, Maria Güell from La invisible, Reinhard Germer from L-PLAN Lighting Design, Ignacio Valero, Jan Nielsen & Helmut Angerer from Conceptlicht and Jan Dinnebier from studio dinnebier will show participants their favorites during their guided tours. On the last day of the trade fair, authors Thomas Geuder and Martina Metzner will each conduct an Editor's Choice Tour of the highlights from the fields of building services technology and lighting. 

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Guided Tour organized by World-Architects in 2018 (Photo: Markus Bachmann / World-Architects)

New connecting standards

According to assurances given by various companies, increasingly data-oriented control systems will improve the quality of work and living environments, enhance security and reduce energy consumption. ABB, Busch-Jaeger, Gira, Hager, Jung, Siedle and Siemens will be exhibiting at Light + Building in Halls 9, 11 and 12. It should be noted that the range of electrical installation and system solutions in buildings has moved to Hall 12 (formerly Hall 8). There is intense discussion about how to bring together the individual stand-alone solutions of the suppliers of Smart Home or lighting control systems. Interfaces, standards, planning and integration are essential factors. 

Building automation standards such as LON, BACnet, Enocean, Z-wave and KNX are expected to provide answers. In security technology, too, all components must work together. This will also be a topic of the Intersec Forum, which will start in the afternoon of the first trade fair day with lectures on artificial intelligence in buildings. On the following days, the lectures will take place between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. In addition to data protection, the lectures will deal with surveillance and access control. According to Iris Jeglitza-Moshage, managing director of Messe Frankfurt, networked security technology will thus become an integral part of building technology.

Smart controls make individual lighting scenarios possible. (Photo: Messe Frankfurt GmbH) 
Networked safety technology will be a major topic at Light + Building 2020. (Photo: Messe Frankfurt GmbH) 
BIM information platform

Under the key topic of "Pioneering", Light + Building promotes products and solutions that open up new opportunities but are not yet established on the market. These include BIM, which as the digital twin of a building becomes the interface between the various trades. An information platform in Hall 9.0 will present the BIM process along the "Design - Build - Operate" value chain.

Focus on lighting rail systems

Under the top theme of "Fascinating", Light + Building brings together the new luminaire and light design that is exhibited in Halls 1 to 6 and 10 as well as in the Festhalle. A new addition is Hall 8, where suppliers of lighting components, safety and emergency lighting as well as lighting control systems will be exhibiting. Two trends are already emerging: on the one hand, lighting and luminaire design, which, under the buzzword "functional aesthetics", is fading into the background in favor of light. On the other hand, there are track lighting systems whose individual system luminaires allow flexible applications. Sculptural, room-filling solutions for the shift from wall to ceiling will also be on display. The topic "Human Centric Lighting" will again be taken up by many luminaire manufacturers: this is about individual lighting atmospheres with flexibly and intelligently adjustable luminous intensity and color temperature. 

Luminaire design becomes sculptural—like here from the Czech company Brokis. (Photo: Brokis) 
Light as a Service

In addition to design, however, networking and thus the digitalization of light as a dynamic element within the smart building also plays an important role. Lighting will become part of the Internet of Things in the future, is the credo of the industry. It will also be available by subscription under the keyword "Light as a Service", LaaS for short. A trend that is familiar from cars, printers or co-working spaces and that is now finding its way into lighting and building services technology.

The Light + Building 2020 experience 
Connecting. Pioneering. Fascinating’. Such is the tagline of the upcoming Light + Building in Frankfurt am Main, providing the central theme that runs through this leading world trade fair, to be launched from 08 to 13 March 2020. All the market leaders have signed up and currently some 2,700 exhibitors are expected, who will be presenting their world firsts in the fields of lighting, electrical and electronic engineering, home and building automation and security technology. 
Centre stage at Light + Building will be some of the major drivers in the sector: topics such as ‘Smart Urban’ and ‘Functional Aesthetics in Lighting and Luminaire Design’. ‘Smart Urban’ encompasses topics relating to intelligent infrastructure in urban districts. At the same time, a key element in this headline theme is the interlinking of home and work, as the smallest unit of space that people inhabit in their private and working lives, on the one hand, and the city as the largest unit on the other. This includes digital charging infrastructure to provide for e-mobility and dynamic street lighting, as well as surveillance networks and intelligent parking systems.
A key area in the ‘Lighting’ product group is the presentation of the latest trends in design and technology on the lighting market. Digitalisation in the lighting sector continues to throw the focus ever more closely on human beings themselves and their individual needs. For that reason, too, ‘Functional Aesthetics’ is one of the beacon issues of the current season. This is all about the deliberate avoidance of ornamental design features and a focus on the specific requirements for lighting in each individual case. Subtly designed lamps, which emit variable light spectra for various, different scenarios – controlled, in part, by the smart building itself, are increasingly being employed in educational, work and leisure contexts. 
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Talks and Guided Tours organized by World-Architects

Guided Tours by renowned architects, lighting designers and experts, organized by World-Architects, twice a day on all days of the fair.

Information and Registration

translated by Bianca Murphy

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