PA R T F O U R
THE COMMERCIAL APPLICATION. FROM DESIGN PROBE TO COMMERCIAL APPLICATION, RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE FUTURE OF LIGHTING. BY A S H P I C K F O R D
C ONTE NTS C OMMERC IA L APPLICATI ON
H OME DE C O RAT I O N
Q UA L I T Y A ND E FFE C T
D EC O N ST R UC T E D L IGHTI N G
T HE F IR ST MILE STONE: C OMMERC IA L IMPLEME NTATI ON
T HE SE C O ND MIL E ST ON E: C URATED SPAC E
T HE T HIRD MIL E ST O N E: SY S T E M L I G H T I N G
T HE F O UR T H MIL E ST ON E:
E XPE RIE NC E L IG HT ING D E SI GN ER S VA L IDAT I O N
S U MMA RY
COMMERCIAL APPLICATION Design probes and â€˜blue-sky thinkingâ€™ is all well and good but if it has no relevance to the industry, the research becomes ineffectual. Therefore, taking the fundamental learnings from LENS and applying them in a way that can be used within the commercial industry, is key. This document looks at the commercial opportunities and recommendations for the future of home lighting.
1 HOME DECORATION LENS demonstrated how light can be explicitly beautiful. Some would argue that beauty is not essential in the design of a lighting product, its job is primarily functional rather than decorative. However, this would be a naive view, especially when looking at lighting within the home. Part of the commercial justification is that lighting is decorative, and people value its expressive, characterful, and some times elaborate qualities. IKEAâ€™s recent lighting sales clearly indicate this.
Within the design industry beauty and decorative qualities are usually an additional benefit to making the product appealing, but secondary to the function or service. This attitude can be attributed to the negative connotations towards decorative design because it implies the superficial. It could be posed that decorative lighting is one form of design where it is key not to be superficial, but to create character for a space. Creating an identity and atmosphere in the home is both an emotional need and a commercial reality.
Therefore, the commercial importance of applying beauty and decoration to home lighting of the future needs to be recognized. LENS as a concept demonstrates how this can be achieved in a sophisticated manner, and not naively believing that colour alone can effect emotion or create a sense of atmosphere.
2 QUALITY AND EFFECT As Gavin Proctor of Philips states, “Over the past decade manufacturers have been focusing on making bulbs more energy efficient, which, whilst valuable, has resulted in a dip in terms of the quality of light itself.”
LENS explores the quality of light that has disappeared from the commercial market. Recent research indicates that the quality of light has a direct link to emotional health and well being. LENS also demonstrates how the quality of light is often effected by the intensity of light from the source, brighter is not always better. As Claudio Benghi, Architect and Founder of Aether & Hemera, explains lighting is not just about illuminating an area, it is about creating “highlights and low lights within a space” to enhance the quality of the light and the overall environment. This idea needs to be commercially accepted within the main stream market, not only by the manufacturers, but also by educating the consumer.
LENS also celebrates the ephemeral joy of light and the subtle and beautiful effect it can create. In regards to this design probe the pendant lens should be viewed as a tool with which to achieve this effect, rather than the focus. The effect demonstrates how there is a commercial opportunity to apply a dynamic effect to our future homes. Mass producing a subtle ephemeral effect not only addresses the issues already discussed but, due to the nature and flexibility of LED lighting, offers a dynamic and enduring lighting solution.
Example 1 : Chris Fraserâ€™s light installation at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts shows how powerful the quality of light can be. 05
Example 2 : Feelings Are Facts, at The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA), was the first collaboration between Olafur Eliasson and Ma Yansong, one of the most prolific Chinese architects.
Eliasson is known for his exploration of human perception, and he often works with light, shadows, colour, water, wind, or fog to create a specific environment in order to move us to think about our experience of our surroundings â€“ perceptions we usually take to be self-evident.
Their collaboration invites audiences to enter an endless space of fog. By moving through the space, the colours blend, and so the viewers will endlessly create their own colour spectrum.
In Feelings are Facts; Olafur Eliasson and Ma Yansong challenge our everyday patterns of spatial orientation, thereby suggesting the need to invent new models for perception, and appreciation for quality of light.
+ DIFFUSION LAYER (TOOL)
DECONSTRUCTED: TWO FORMS WORKING IN A SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIP
3 DECONSTRUCTED LIGHTING A guiding principle of lighting design is that you should see the light, not the source of the light. The function of a light shade is to diffuse the light by the encasing the source.
LENS re-examined traditional lighting systems by deconstructing it, giving the user systematic control over the refraction and diffusion of light. Deconstruction, in this context, means having the source of the light separate to the material that diffuses the light. The commercial value that LENS demonstrates is how the physical design of lighting can be addressed in different ways, other than conventional methods. Although LENS uses resin planoconvex lenses, this should be viewed as a tool to diffuse the light. In terms of commercial value, this tool can be interchanged to make it more suitable for commercial use.
SOURCE WITHIN A DIFFUSION LAYER
LIGHTING EFFECT AROUND THE SOURCE
TRADITIONAL: ONE FORM 09
4 THE FIRST MILESTONE: COMMERCIAL IMPLEMENTATION A milestone planner is used in industry to introduce consumers to new technologies over a set time frame. Not only does this keep their products commercially relevant but ensures that they do not cannibalise their own market. Planning to introduce new home lighting products in this way not only educates the consumer, but also means that the product is guaranteed to be accepted. This is because the user feels comfortable with the physical form, even if the dynamic effect is new. This avoids scenarios, similar to when Apple released Siri, where they hadnâ€™t made their users feel comfortable talking to inanimate objects. Looking at the market currently and understanding how to introduce the ephemeral and dynamic lighting effect, in a successful way, is key.
Taking this method, the first milestone to introduce this to the commercial market would be a home lighting product that uses a traditional archetype to create this effect. This could be achieved in many ways. For example, it would be commercially possible to mass manufacture a glass plate that refracts the light. This glass plate could be designed in a number of ways; from including lenses within the plate to refract the light (image A), being manufactured with a textured surfaces ( image B) or laser etched ( image C) to create variation in how the light diffuses through the form. These are a variety of solutions which could introduce the ephemeral and dynamic effect of light to the mass market, in a successful way.
LED SMART LIGHTING
SOURCE DIFFUSION LAYER
GLASS REFRACTION PLATE
EFFECT CREATED BY GLASS PLATE
FIRST MILESTONE: COMMERCIAL IMPLEMENTATION
5 THE SECOND MILESTONE: CURATED SPACE As the appreciation for the quality of light increases, and advances in LED lighting technology improves, the second milestone for introducing a dynamic lighting effect to the mass market, involves introducing a new archetype.
A suggestion for the future commercial archetype could be an OLED or smart LED ceiling that allows the whole space to be curated. The benefits of combining smart technology and LENS’ findings means that the optimum lit space could be created in the home. Although having an OLED ceiling could be functional by its self, having a layer that diffuses and refracts the light, means that the beautiful and natural qualities of light aren’t lost to an ambient glow.
This suggested milestone also opens up other commercial opportunities. The dynamic ephemeral effect could be responsive to the users’ routines and objects within the space. For example, this technology could work to meet the needs of our circadian systems, as well as, responding to changing environmental factors, such as automatically sensing if the table is set for two people thus creating an atmosphere more suitable for that situation.
LED SMART LIGHTING CEILING
THE WHOLE SPACE CAN BE CURATED AND AUTOMATICALLY MEET THE NEEDS OF THE USER.
RESPONDING TO CHANGING ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS.
SECOND MILESTONE: CURATED SPACE
Notion Motion (2005) Olafur Eliasson
‘Light Show’ (2013) James Turrell
6 THE THIRD MILESTONE: SYSTEM LIGHTING In a similar way to the negative connotations surrounding decorative design, the word “installation” carries superficial ideology and is often directly associated with “fine art”, which many industrial designers feel uncomfortable in addressing and fail to see its value. This maybe due to the fact that fine art is often not seen as being functional or practical. In addition, the word “installation” carries connotations of being static and inflexible. Light installations, such as the work of James Turrell and Olafur Eliasson, are powerful and can transform the environment they occupy. This probe asks, why can this not be directly applied to the home landscape?
Perhaps it is the language and attitudes held by designers surrounding installation work that need to be changed in order to accept that home lighting can be an installation. Still uncomfortable? Instead of using the idea of a lighting installation how about interchanging the word installation with system. System implies that it is flexible, and is a word that designers feel more secure in using. By addressing the future of home lighting as a system it opens up a new market and gives this concept commercial viability.
A comparable analogy of such a system is surround sound. A high end system, currently available on the market, does not sell a single product but a range of products that work systematically in your home to produce the optimum experience.
Light could be also addressed in a similar way. We should be looking at our homes as delicate eco-systems, in which the balance and quality need to be right for the wellbeing of those who live in it. In the future where this system can be implemented, it is feasible that it would be a smart or intelligent system that would learn its users’ routines, preferences and adjust the lighting accordingly.
For example, in the morning the light could be soft and warm, creating a more welcoming environment. During the evening the levels of light in the kitchen may increase to the work-surfaces, once the table is set, the smart system would recognise this and would create a darker environment that would be more suitable for a dining experience. The potential to utilise this technology means that the lighting system could even recognise if the table was set for two and create a more “romantic atmosphere”. Due to the flexible nature of the source of light, the effects can be transferable, from direct lighting on a table, to an effect rippling on a wall when the user wants to relax. Of course, this system could also be manually controlled from a smart device if the user wanted a certain light effect.
This future system would also come with economical benefits. Using technology that is already available on the commercial market it could incorporate sensors that recognises if no one is in the room, or if the natural light is providing a sufficient level, so that it is unnecessary for any artificial light.
The commercial appeal to existing markets, such as the television industry, is significant. Mood lighting and back lighting have started to be explored, however, enhancing this by adding dynamic movement and shifting effects of colour to the peripheral, has potential to enhance the users’ experience, transforming the traditional viewing experience.
SOURCE DIFFUSION LAYER LIGHTING EFFECT
6 THE FOURTH MILESTONE: EXPERIENCE LIGHTING DESIGNERS Not only does addressing lighting as a system offer a commercial opportunity for companies to sell more than an individual product, but it also offers a new market place for lighting instillation services.
It is already evident in marketing today, that selling an experience is more successful than selling a product. In parallel, the industrial design industry is starting to realise the importance and value in service design and the userâ€™s experience. Therefore, it should be viable that the future of home lighting lies within creating lighting systems that can be designed, on an individual level, to give the optimum environment for the user, throughout their home; in a similar way in which people hire interior designers. The future of lighting lies with lighting specialists to tailor design and install home lighting systems.
VALIDATION â€œExploration into the qualities and experience of light is an extremely relevant subject in todays world of consumer lighting. For over a hundred years electrical lighting has predominantly been a commodity market - light bulbs came to a natural end of life and needed to be replaced. Over the past decade manufacturers have been focusing on making bulbs more energy efficient, which, whilst valuable, has resulted in a dip in terms of the quality of light itself. Now all of this is changing with the emergence of LED lighting. LED does not have an expiry date. Furthermore it is extremely versatile both in terms of the qualities of light which it can deliver as well as the freedom of form it can facilitate. Various questions arise out of this concerning the kind of light that people find attractive, the form of new lighting archetypes, the function or application of light in different contexts as well as the means by which we would like to control (or interact) with light.
This project has predominantly focused on the qualities of light, seeking inspiration from nature and natural lighting effects. Obviously, LED light is never going to be natural light hence there will always be some translation involved in the process. The idea of designing optics (lenses) in order to create lighting effects (as opposed to playing around with the light source) is very appealing. I can see many interesting, mesmerizing effects which have qualities of undulating natural light. The process of creating the lenses introduces a randomness into the object implying every lens is unique.
The chosen archetype for LENS is a simple pendants. The light source is a pico beamer. As stated, the light source, having not been considered, presents an opportunity - it could indeed become a ceiling mounted lumiled beamer with focus control capable of changing direction. In a similar manner, the pendants are just one manner in which to mount the lenses and here again remains opportunity to design alternative archetypes suitable for different domestic spaces, applications as well as styles.â€?
Gavin Proctor Director, Innovation Design, Philips Consumer Lifestyle, Royal Philips Electronics
SUMMARY LENS was the synopsis of a design probe into the future of lighting within the home. The design probe aimed to re-examine traditional lighting systems by deconstructing it, giving the user systematic control over the refraction and diffusion of light, making light the revelation itself. In addition, it aimed to try to capture the ephemeral joy of light and highlight the positive benefits of reducing our over-lit environments.
This document has shown how the findings from LENS, the design probe, can be commercially applied to the consumer industry, in numerous ways. The future implications and benefits for the lighting industry are significant. To take a new approach to home lighting opens up a number of new market avenues and shows the value of this body of work.