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Quality lighting has become much more visible, thanks in no small part to easier access through intelligent lighting systems. This applies to both indoor and outdoor spaces. Innovations in the industry, such as those recognised in the ICONIC AWARDS 2024: Interior Products, have ensured that light and lighting solutions are playing a new role in the design of everyday life.

by Benedikt Thedorff

ICONIC AWARDS 2024: Interior Products Leuchten
“Plusminus” by Vibia, Reimagining Spaces

Light plays a central role, especially in indoor spaces. Lighting as a distinctive design element, in some cases with a sculptural quality, is only one side of the coin. Luminaires that are integrated into the architecture, sometimes with concealed light sources and lamps, provide individual light and create the desired atmosphere in the room. As lifestyles change, people need to remain flexible and their own homes often become showrooms for their personalities. Lighting and ambient lighting need to respond dynamically to changing circumstances. The result is intuitive and sustainable solutions that allow users to make changes themselves, both indoors and outdoors.

ICONIC AWARDS 2024: Interior Products Leuchten
“Plusminus” von Vibia, Framing Space
ICONIC AWARDS 2024: Interior Products Leuchten
“Plusminus”von Vibia, Visual Hierarchy

Adaptive Lighting: Humans in Focus

Competition for innovative solutions in the lighting industry continues unabated. Particularly Italian manufacturers such as Artemide, Flos, and Foscarini, as well as Scandinavian producers like Louis Poulsen and Muuto, remain strongly present with their distinctive designs in traditional segments. Almost all of these companies now also offer flexible lighting systems that are capable of meeting the requirements of different spatial situations, whether through modularity or intelligent control. A common feature among them is a changed interpretation of light, which no longer only emphasizes the product itself but also the human element.

Driving this development forward consistently is the Spanish lighting manufacturer Vibia, which was named “Brand of the Year” at this year’s ICONIC AWARDS: Interior Products. Vibia stands out through numerous visionary projects that always draw inspiration from an engaging dialogue with renowned designers. A prime example of these successful collaborations is “Plusminus,” designed by Stefan Diez. The luminaire serves as a prime example of a growing focus in the world of lighting design: adaptive lighting in interior architecture. A key feature here is the seamless integration of innovative technologies that allow for intuitive adjustments and controls. With its conductive textile band and an extensive set of different light elements – from small globe lights to light tubes and shades – light points can be flexibly placed at any desired position.

“Adaptive lighting must sensitively respond to the changing requirements of space and users today,” describes Lutz Dietzold, Managing Director of the German Design Council, the industry development. “In the face of increased costs, spaces are being used more efficiently today, and in residential, work, and retail worlds, rooms must be able to transform according to needs and offer various room options. Lights that are adaptive and flexible in use are clearly coming into focus here.”

“Adaptive lighting must sensitively respond to the changing requirements of space and users today. In the face of increased costs, spaces are being used more efficiently today, and in residential, work, and retail worlds, rooms must be able to transform according to needs and offer various room options. Lights that are adaptive and flexible in use are clearly coming into focus here.”

Lutz Dietzold

ICONIC AWARDS 2024: Interior Products Leuchten
“Signature” Pendant light by Ingo Maurer

As Extravagant as Dynamic

The Munich-based lighting manufacturer Ingo Maurer demonstrates with the pendant light “Signature” how modularity can be combined with avant-garde design. The poetic lighting design, where lights are considered as art objects and sculpturally staged, usually contrasts with a purely functional lighting design. However, changeable elements and modular expansion options can now also be found here – without sacrificing originality. Inspired by the idea of randomness and the uncontrolled formation of a falling cable, the Signature light appears like a three-dimensional drawing in space. The combination of a soft cable with a resilient, circular structure, connected by small clips and kept in simple black, gives the impression of a randomly formed shape. When combining multiple Signature lights, the shade serves as a practical tool: By hooking a cable at the curved end, the lights can be connected to form a common constellation, such as shaping a large cloud or bending the downlight into an uplight. Whether a small bar table or a long dining table needs to be illuminated, the Signature can be expanded as desired.

Yonos”, TRILUX GmbH & Co. KG

Durable Lighting Concepts in Commercial Spaces

Adaptive lighting systems are increasingly gaining importance in commercial spaces as well, providing a response to the growing demand for sustainability. Due to the high turnover in office buildings, resulting in frequent changes in room furnishings and lighting systems, significant amounts of waste are generated. In order to efficiently and flexibly align commercial spaces with the respective needs, the usage by tenants must be considered independently of the building infrastructure. This can help avoid the need to renew interior furnishings – long before the end of their lifecycle – with each change in tenancy. The more flexible companies operate, the more important become furnishing elements that can be cost-effective and easily adapted, allowing them to be used in constantly changing office environments.

The consistent design language of the innovative “Yonos” system by Trilux offers a sustainable alternative: individual luminaires, light strips, and light structures can be individually adapted for each room concept while maintaining consistent light quality. If the room concept changes, Yonos can be easily adjusted. Yonos has been recognized as “Best of Best” by the ICONIC AWARDS: Interior Products for its contribution to efficient resource utilization.

These modular elements are complemented by a smart lighting architecture that combines sustainability with adaptive lighting. By being adaptable to different usage scenarios, the need for replacing lighting elements is intended to be avoided from the outset. The Swedish company Fagerhult offers intelligent lighting solutions for offices based on cutting-edge technology and user-oriented design. Motion and daylight sensors automatically adjust the light intensity and duration according to the presence of individuals and available natural light, thereby reducing energy consumption. These flexible lighting systems create a comfortable working environment, enhance productivity, and ultimately contribute to cost savings in the long run.

Das „connect“-System von IP44.DE

Adaptable Outdoor Lighting

Light defines the living space and significantly influences where we spend our time. Outdoor lighting, both in private and commercial areas, has been a topic primarily for specialized companies due to the complex and costly wiring, which has led many to refrain from illuminating their outdoor spaces. Currently trending are small photovoltaic systems that power portable solar lights, eliminating the need for electricity from fossil fuels such as coal or natural gas. This means they produce no harmful emissions after production and reduce the CO2 footprint. Solar lights shine in their flexibility when it comes to placement. Since they do not need to be connected to the power grid, flexible and expandable light points or islands can be easily created. Regardless of the size of the outdoor area, the lights can be placed almost anywhere.

For those who prefer not to rely on the sun, the market now offers simple wiring solutions that can be easily implemented by individuals. The “connect” system from IP44.DE, the leading manufacturer of outdoor lighting from Rheda-Wiedenbrück, connects lights to create an intelligent lighting system for gardens of any size and location, terraces, balconies, and facades – without expensive installation or the laborious laying of underground cables. The easy plug-and-play modular system is easily expandable and modifiable, allowing outdoor lighting to quickly adapt to new circumstances – from pathway lighting to creating atmospheric spaces. The system can be individually configured and controlled via smartphone or tablet using an app and controller, including the storage of personalized lighting settings and simulation of absence.

Innovations in the industry have elevated the importance of light and lighting solutions in everyday living. The awareness of quality light has increased significantly, partly due to the simplified accessibility through smart lighting systems, which offer users greater freedom to use light effectively and successfully wherever they desire.

All winners of the ICONIC AWARDS 2024: Interior Products can be found in the Online Showroom

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