Highly efficient and emotional: LED technology in the lighting sector

2015 is the "International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies." It was proclaimed by the United Nations in order to visualise the central importance of light in science and culture. Light is one of the most significant phenomena for all cultures: from the paramount importance of the sun for the earth over phenomena like auroras or fireflies to the ability to have a comfortable and safe life by artificially produced light. During the International Year of Light, technologies are focused which reduce the global emissions of greenhouse gases: for example, through the use of light-emitting diodes - LEDs.

How different LEDs are already used in current designs, is shown by selected lights in the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2015, which were awarded with the highest single award "Red Dot: Best of the Best". The light Manta Barrisol represents a "unique symbiosis between material and form," according to the Red Dot jury. Conceptualised by Ross Lovegrove, the lights seems like a mysteriously floating appearance. It consists of a filigree aluminium frame with integrated LEDs.

With the simple LED and pendant light “Sequence” by Zumtobel Lighting GmbH, designer Klaus Adolph has aimed "developing a product that highlights the possibilities offered by LED technology - intelligence, precision and a high level of efficiency”. For the Red Dot jury this claim was realised. She praises "an independent form language with the broader possibilities of LED technology." “Sequence” has separately controllable LED modules and can therefore be used flexibly.

The street light “LumiStreet” by Royal Philips is also LED-based and represents an innovative, cost-effective solution for residential areas. In a Red Dot interview the designers Mat Bembridge and Jos van Roosmalen describe the claim on their product in the following way: “It’s all about adapting to the context of the user, the right choice of materials and functionality, and fine-tuning proportions and details precisely”.

In 2010, Prof. Dr Peter Zec, founder and CEO of Red Dot, and co-author Burkhard Jacob have registered the triumph of LED technology in their publication "Design Value". Already five years ago, it came apparent that manifold LED lights were awarded with the highest single award "Red Dot: Best of the Best". To the manufacturer Artemide the authors have noted: "The Italian company from Pregnana Milanese understands how to use the LED technology efficiently and to create beautiful light forms on a level that not only protects natural resources but also delights design jury and consumer at the same time". That the LED technology also allows to blur the boundaries between lamps and lights as a single product in favor of design solutions, rate Peter Zec and Burkhard Jacob as positive: "Perhaps exactly this will offer a huge potential for producers, as new, heretofore unthought-of possibilities are opened up and the emotional aspects of lamp design become ever important”. This approach is made clear by using the examples of the light Manta “Barrisol” as well as the Red Dot winning products like “Mr. Magoo” by Linea Light Group or “Lateralo Ring” by Trilux.

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