Foresight Analysis: Light Manipulation

Lighting Trends

First seen in MIX Magazine, issue 41, we reference our trend Glitch, with new ways to use light as a tool for interiors, taking a subtle and humanistic approach with technology that is advanced but always understated.


Tastes in lighting are changing; consumers now demand to be bathed in a warm, soft glow; it is almost as if the incandescent bulb had never been replaced. Light diffusion is now essential, responding to a demand for gentler, more flattering light but with all the tech longevity of the LED. Take Lake, from Foscarini, designed by Lucidi & Pevere.  From behind the dense hues of the red and white, diffusers emit a warm and soft light. Or there’s Kundalini’s Shen light designed by Marco Merendi, essentially a concave disc floating in a void. The hand-blown borosilicate glass diffuser, applied to a smoothed cement base enhances the aesthetic qualities of the diffuser, while latest generation LEDs make the source dimmable.


Flexible, intuitive design is also much referenced in our trend Glitch. Look at Volée, designed by Odo Fioravanti for Fontana Arte, which switches on with a simple wave of the hand under the head of this lamp, while a touch sensor over the head allows the flow of light to be regulated to three different levels of intensity. A new-generation LED board generates a soft adjustable light that effectively lights a work surface, ensuring visual comfort. There’s even a Time Out system that automatically switches the lamp off after it has been on for eight hours.


Most of all, new lighting wears its technology lightly. Fly-Too designed Consuline for Luceplan is a similarly ultra-flat luminous disk, adjustable by 360° in space, with an innovative optical system that generates perfect bi-directional floodlighting. Light sources are positioned in the extruded anodized aluminium of the outer ring, projecting light inside a sophisticated optical element specially developed by Luceplan.


New directions in lighting also need to offer a level of personalisation, tailoring light to the individual’s different moods and requirements. For example, Lightyear’s Volume, designed by GamFratesi, is inspired by the buttons on an original stereo amplifier from the 80’s. A mechanical rotation of a button increases or decreases the light as required but the LEDs burn for 50,000 hours on average, without any maintenance, the perfect combination of low and high tech.