6 minute read

In Discussion: Harman Professional


Ramesh Jayaraman, VP and GM of HARMAN Professional Solutions APAC, explains how the company’s Martin by HARMAN brand has built its market-leading position in Asia Pacific.

The lighting market across the Asia Pacific (APAC) region has been growing positively with steadily increasing lighting installation numbers. Advances in LED technology have dramatically changed the general lighting landscape and enabled incredible innovation in a number of different market sectors. According to a market research report published by P&S Intelligence, the LED lighting market in APAC is predicted to reach $58 billion by 2024. At HARMAN Professional Solutions, Martin by HARMAN looms large in the company’s long-term plans, with lighting now accounting for 20% of our annual revenue. Our focus on lighting in this region covers a wide range of industry verticals including: hospitality (restaurants and hotels), convention centres corporate spaces, cruise ships, sports, government, healthcare, education, houses of worship, entertainment, educational institutions and transportation. Of these segments, the entertainment sector is the liveliest and currently our biggest area. We focus on entertainment categories such as karaoke, live entertainment, nightlife, performing arts, themed attractions, cinemas, casinos, stadiums and arenas.

THE ENTERTAINMENT SECTOR In this space, we’re seeing a trend towards installations that are more sophisticated and which blend seamlessly into the design, both during the day and night. Yet, at the same time we’re seeing rising demand for more interactive solutions, allowing projects to become more engaging and playful for their customers. Products like our Exterior PixLine have really helped lighting designers deliver their creative ideas without compromising on a solution that is both simple to install and robust. Martin by HARMAN has delivered

countless entertainment installations in APAC including Seoul’s Lotte Concert Hall in South Korea. At the Lotte Concert Hall an array of Martin by HARMAN MAC Quantum Wash fixtures was installed to deliver 360° coverage and near-silent operation in the world-class venue. Another entertainment attraction brought to life by Martin by HARMAN is the Garuda Wisnu Kencana statue in Bali, Indonesia. The lighting installation has transformed the statue into a bright, compelling sculpture that allows visitors to appreciate the intricate details of its beauty. On this project it was a challenge to find the best way to reflect the sculpture’s true colour when illuminated, given the statue is made of copper and brass. However, the installation team eventually settled on a range of Martin by HARMAN Exterior Wash and Exterior Projection fixtures to achieve an optimum lighting effect that lets visitors appreciate the statue’s texture and physical appearance. The Lotte Concert Hall in Seoul and The Garuda Wisnu Kencana Statue in Bali are good examples of how the lighting scene in APAC is evolving and how entertainment is fast-becoming one of the most important sectors in the region. And the high-profile stature of both projects underlines Martin by HARMAN’s premier position in the market. With a fast-growing middle-class population in APAC, we see an increasing focus on live entertainment. More and more people are attending concerts, and these events are no longer just about the music but rather the experience for the fans. And lighting has a vital role to play in delivering this. Today’s live concerts are where many artists make the majority of their income, so they strive to deliver a perfect production. As a result, concert organisers are putting more focus on lighting,

demanding more creative and complex lighting configurations than ever before. We’re also seeing an ongoing trend for merging video and lighting together, and having it controlled from the same system to allow for a fully coordinated show. We recently launched the MAC Allure Profile and Wash to support this growing trend, with the new product combination delivering the first moving heads on the market to blend video and DMX pixelated control seamlessly together. As the entertainment sector continues to evolve, we see users looking for more flexibility in their lighting setups. That’s one reason products such as our MAC Allure and VDO Atomic Dots are proving so popular, because they give users and designers the opportunity to cover multiple applications with the same product without compromising their creativity. Another area of the APAC entertainment segment we are seeing major growth for our Martin by HARMAN business is in theatrical productions. In the past, theatrical lighting designers in APAC have traditionally been reluctant to use LED lighting because of concerns over its quality in theatre applications. However, with the introduction of our MAC Encore, that is changing. The MAC Encore family of full-feature, low weight, LED moving heads delivers high quality, consistent LED-based stage lighting at levels previously unavailable.

THE HOSPITALITY SECTOR One other lighting sector which is growing in APAC is the hospitality segment, which is an increasingly important part of the market. At Martin by HARMAN we’ve recently been a part of two high-profile installations in Singapore - The Pan Pacific Singapore and The Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel. At the Pan Pacific Singapore, the customer wanted to create

an immersive and customisable lighting experience for thematic weddings and events in the redesigned 800-capacity ballroom. So, to highlight the ballroom’s abstract, coral-inspired ceiling design, 7,120 VC-Dot 1 creative LED pixels were mounted on the ceiling. Meanwhile at the nearby Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel the task was to upgrade the antiquated lighting systems in both the ballroom and function rooms. In this case the designer opted for our efficient RUSH LED light fixtures from Martin by HARMAN.

LIGHTING THE ROAD AHEAD As we move towards the end of Q2 of 2019, we are steadily achieving our goals for Martin by HARMAN. One of these was to open a Lighting Center of Competence (CoC), and we have recently delivered on this with the establishment of a new facility in Aarhus, Denmark. It acts as an incubator for new technologies, with a focus on developing key differentiators for Martin by HARMAN products, such as light engines, software platforms and mechanical and optical systems. The CoC interacts closely with our product development teams in Bangalore, India and Shenzhen, China. CoC and

product development engineers can leverage their collective talents and knowledge base globally. Manufacturing is consolidated in a few main centres, including Pecs, Hungary and Shenzhen, China. With the addition of a number of team members we now have engineers dedicated to R&D work for our lighting products in Aarhus, Pecs, Shenzhen and Bangalore. This new global setup allows for more innovative and competitive product launches as the need grows for different kinds of lighting applications across APAC. With the evolution of technology, the lighting market is constantly changing. There will be a continuous innovation, which will see lights become brighter and at the same time more compact. We can also expect to see more features. In addition, we will most likely see new light engine technologies and you can expect pixel level control in most professional lighting fixtures into the future. Finally, as in many other industries, we will see more examples of digitisation providing new opportunities for customer value. As we continue to be a complete audiovisual and lgihting provider globally, it is important to integrate our lighting business with our other audiovisual

product lines. Very specifically, we have already seen the first examples of this in our lifestyle division. More of our portable Bluetooth loudspeakers already have integrated lighting solutions to make the products more engaging and fun. Yet while audio, video, lighting and control are now firmly embedded in the digital realm, we still experience it in the analogue, physical world. So, we believe that HARMAN Professional Solutions will gradually become the market leader in delivering an interface between our digital and physical worlds for both enterprise and entertainment applications. We’ve also invested heavily in software development, so as we progress you will see a stronger bond between the software and hardware we’re producing. You will see systems integrate intelligently to create a seamless and simple experience for users and audiences. Finally, we want to stay true to our ‘customer first’ approach to make it as easy as possible for people and companies do business with us. We plan to continue bringing visionary solutions to market quickly and provide industry-leading levels of customer and tech support. The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and not necessarily of mondo*dr magazine.

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