The promises and pitfalls of LED lighting design

Today’s Lighting Fixture Design conference kicked off with designers debating the promises and pitfalls of LED-based fixtures.

Terence Woodgate asks 'Where's the Steve Jobs of lighting?'

Terence Woodgate of Studio Woodgate picked up on Lux’s January editorial, which asked, where are the Jonathan Ives of lighting?’

‘To me it seems like the question should be, where’s the Steve Jobs of lighting?’ said Woodgate.

Company culture is the key factor that enables truly innovative design, he argued. ‘It’s the culture set up by Steve Jobs that brought the foundation and symbiosis that would bring world-beating products.’

Only a design-led company culture, he said, ‘will enable truly innovative design, engineering and products to flourish’.

Tim Downey of Studio Fractal spoke about how technology is allowing lighting to move beyond its traditional home, the ceiling. In the world of LEDs, ‘the lights can be the ceiling,’ he said, or a bank of TVs can be the lights.

Increasingly with high-end clients, “you cannot go in and talk about grids of lights or downlights. You just get shown the door”, said Downey. And this approach is “trickling down” to other users too.

None of this makes life easier for lighting designers, but it does make it more exciting. Just remember, nobody really wants a light fitting – “they want light”.

How hard is it to turn the lights off?

It’s 2.35 on a Saturday morning. I’m in a van, driving around the deserted streets of Whitehall.

Let’s make this interesting

Unsurprising fact of the month: concern over poor quality is one of the main factors holding back growth of LED lighting.