We noticed you're blocking ads.

Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker.

Questions about why you are seeing this? Contact us

Font Size

- Aa +

Sun 28 Dec 2008 04:00 AM

Font Size

- Aa +


Industry experts outline the key challenges currently facing the Italian lighting industry.

Industry experts outline the key challenges currently facing the Italian lighting industry.

White lights, coloured lights, table lamps, floor lamps, glass and aluminium fittings; whatever the combination, it is little secret that effective lighting can transform a space.

Today more than ever, with the mass arrival of new malls, hotels and mixed-use projects, developers are recognising the value that good lighting can add to their projects.

But lighting for lighting's sake offers few benefits; ultimately, the design of a fixture must complement a space, whether in a commercial or residential application.

Italian lighting designers have proven particularly adept at combining creativity and hand-crafted knowledge in order to produce imaginative lighting solutions, explained Sergio Padula, light planning manager at iGuzzini, a specialist in technical and architectural lighting.

"One of the simplest successes of Italian design is the ability to reach utopia; what I mean by this is that the simplest everyday objects are recreated with new form, making the basic function a better experience for the user.

Varying the source, texture and colour of light, and even the appearance of lighting equipment, can all help in the sculpting of an interesting environment.

Sparkle, provided by low wattage accent light on gleaming materials or carefully controlled exposed sources, for example, can add a sense of cheeriness to an environment.

As a result, lighting designers are starting to get involved in a project at its very earliest stages. "We support architects, lighting designers and landscape designers to help them better explain their concept.

We stay in contact right from the beginning of the project to the end of installation, and help them through each specific stage from lighting calculations, to renderings and photo simulations," said Padula. Green ambitions

When it comes to trends, it is the move towards energy conservation that is currently having most impact on the evolution of the lighting industry. Industry figures show that lighting accounts for around 15% of the energy bill in most homes, but approximately 25% in most commercial buildings.

Because of this, the building industry has targeted lighting as a key element in sustainable design, and there are a number of Italian lighting companies developing and implementing new lighting solutions that address the industry's environmental and energy saving concerns.

"Energy saving is an obvious trend. This is something that affects designers in all sectors, all over the world. Energy saving is a key trend and a key challenge for us is to present to the market our products in this category.

"We are investing a lot in new light sources. The world of lighting is in a technological revolution since the inception of Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs), so companies must invest a lot in new approaches to lighting, energy saving and balance," said Padula.

But there is a more worrying trend also impacting the lighting sector, said Padula. He maintains that demand for high-profit returns means that companies are often driven by accountants, not designers - which inevitably impacts industry innovativeness.

"Creative design used to be driven by desire and passion - now market research and commercial return are often the second step of the creative process, and sometimes this can kill a good idea before it is born.

Although, this is not always the case, as the world of design continues to evolve. A pure designer is ruled by his heart and not his head," said Padula.

"We are lighting manufacturers. The culture of industrial design is one of the key values of the company philosophy. I think that one of the objectives of Italian design is to represent products with excellent style and impeccable quality, and to always be at the forefront of technological evolution. It is for this reason that we have been actively engaged in the Italian Association for Industrial Design (ADI) for years," he added.

The prolific nature and size of projects in the GCC has ensured that the Italian lighting industry has singled the region out as one holding significant growth potential.

We have been in the UAE for 30 years with our partner Project and Supplies and we opened our own branch here in the region at the beginning of May to support this strong relationship and the global demand for better customer service. We expect the Dubai office will become the hub for the whole GCC," said Padula.

"As a company, it is very important for iGuzzini to be recognised as an international brand so we will continue to work with the world's leading designers and hopefully we will help them light some of the most exciting projects in the world!

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

For all the latest construction news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Real news, real analysis and real insight have real value – especially at a time like this. Unlimited access ArabianBusiness.com can be unlocked for as little as $4.75 per month. Click here for more details.