The ‘Lighting’s On The Wall’ by Dave Anderson
No predictions on future trends in lighting would be complete without an obligatory mention of the LED juggernaut.
In late 2012 linear LED extrusions that perform at least as well as fluorescent became available for $300 per meter; a price I would consider a tipping point for viability. 2013 is the 75th anniversary of the invention of the fluorescent tube, could we be witnessing the beginning of the end?
Other non-LED lighting technologies also hold considerable promise. The City of Melbourne recently designed and installed custom street lights utilising a plasma light source. By all indications, the scheme has been a success but the coming year should prove if the technology has made an effective transition into architectural lighting.
In the uncertain economic times that we’re experiencing post GFC, clients are looking for what they perceive as more value for money. Design and Construct firms are winning an increased market share and, as a result, it is more common for them to engage lighting designers directly. I expect this trend to continue through 2013 and I find it encouraging that our profession is in demand from a sector that has traditionally considered us a ‘specialist consultant luxury’.
In 2012, 76 million baby boomers turned 65. In 2013 more and more of the stewards of our industry will reach retirement age. Most of the friends I know that are lucky enough to join this exclusive club assure me they would rather ‘wear out than rust out’. Flexible workplaces and better communication technologies mean that we are no longer confined to our office desks. I think that in the coming years we will see a rise in the number of semi-retired consultants that aren’t in the office every day but are still able to assist on projects and impart their knowledge.