Light + Building 2022, Frankfurt – Our Top Picks!
October 20th, 2022
After postponement of Light + Building from its scheduled year in 2020, and again from earlier this year, it has finally gone ahead. Chris Dicks headed out to Frankfurt, meeting both current suppliers and many potential future ones. With 12 halls of potential exhibitors to visit, it is truly immense. Happily, if you didn’t get there yourself, here are Chris’ top 10 picks of the show:
- Timber, timber everywhere. That’s right, this year’s go-to material for making light fixtures with is wood. Many interesting suppliers had wooden fixtures on display, ranging from the highly technical veneer lined glass tubes of LZF from Spain, beautifully crafted pieces by Trilum, to more homely intricate lampshades by Tom Rossau. The lower temperature of LEDs compared to traditional halogen lamps, plus an awareness of the embodied carbon of materials makes this an ideal moment to look to sustainable timber. On Chris’ wish list is a supplier focused on using salvaged timber or even a client’s own forestry stock to turn into a beautiful lighting piece.
- Slick innovative LED panels you can customise to shape and even fit other lights into. Folio have an innovative single edge lit panel system that allows a whole range of new options to combine ambient lighting with directional. Other services such as CCTV cameras can be integrated too.
- German manufacturer Meyer (supplied in the UK by Commercial Lighting) have a well engineered new insert for handrail lighting. Small LED inserts fit into holes which can be site drilled, with a clever proprietary retention system to prevent even a determined tinkerer to remove without use of a special tool.
- Retro industrial style lighting remains as on-trend as ever in 2022. One manufacturer has stayed the course since 1933, Edinburgh based Coolicon Lighting. With a product range and manufacturing process largely unchanged since then, it proves that good design endures.
- Italian manufacturer Linea Light had a large stand in Hall 3.1, complete with a pizza restaurant in it. Despite a UK office, they are not so well known over here. Linea Light offer a huge range of products, from small decorative external lighting through to office lights and high quality gallery spotlights. CBG Consultants worked with them extensively at our Pipers Corner School theatre project. Highlights of their stand included the Ink system to create a bespoke wall/ceiling power rail, and the precision Pound range of spotlights. Their demonstration area neatly showed the drama a framing projector can bring to a space. (see main article picture)
- Antidark were one of many Danish manufacturers with beautifully designed products, aimed at both professional designers and the retail market. Available through Nest in the UK, their turned brass range of pendants and spots stood out.
- For possibly the smallest light source on display, a mention to DGA. As well as tiny LED spots about the size of a pencil end, their slick range of display case and shelf lights have great applications from museums to retail.
- UK supplier Holophane make a good range of external, industrial and sport facilities lighting. Often mounted tens of metres high, seeing the products up close allows the careful design process to be understood. Ever wondered why their Haloprism fitting is shaped like a donut? Well, it’s so the heat dissipates naturally through a convection process, a bit like a small chimney.
- Amber chip lighting for external applications is becoming a big development area, with some research suggesting it may reduce the impact on wildlife and benefit human sleep patterns too. One manufacturer with a nice demonstration was Iluminia, from Spain. Seen next to a 2700K standard warm light source, the amber chip makes this seem almost like a cool white in comparison.
- And lastly… for those who like to make their own light fittings from salvaged shades or scrap metal, veteran British manufacturer S. Lilley & Son from Birmingham had a small stand. Located in Hall 8, amongst global suppliers of OEM components, their timeless range of small turned metal lamp holders, grommets, threaded metal stems and every other item of lightmongery you could need was nice to see.
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