In many ways, the cheap energy enjoyed in North America is not always conducive to innovation. Over in Europe, where costs are much higher, it is certainly true that minds are more quickly welcoming of new ways in which energy costs can be reduced. This is not to say that American businessmen are dinosaurs, just that they have less incentive to bear the costs of renovation solely for the purpose of cutting down on power consumption.
Yet they are no less interested in the possibilities that modern LED lighting systems can offer from an aesthetic or architectural standpoint. In that regard, the 2016 Light + Building Convention held in Germany turned out to be a raging success for all concerned. Naturally, every lighting manufacturer was there in force—delighted to show off the amazing advances in design that have become possible with new cooler-operating LED fixtures.
In many ways, LEDs offer one of the biggest leaps forward since the invention of the candle. Lighting no longer has to conform to a set design pattern or conform to a rigid catalog of rules to ensure safe operation. The former need for fixtures to remain open to maintenance personnel had been largely cancelled by the vastly-extended service life of the new light elements.
Of course the LED Light + Building Convention is also about the advanced environmental support systems that are also coming into use. New smart switches and monitors can automatically adjust to the presence or absence of humans. They can learn from daily routines and adapt to more efficiently light, heat, cool, and service modern buildings.
In short, there was a plethora of new ideas on display that can be justified both on accounting and architectural grounds. Nor were the opportunities for participants to educate themselves on how best to utilize these new items forgotten. Seminars of all sorts were available to show how to achieve great savings in both new installation and retrofitting into older structures.
Drawing the individual technological pieces together into a single holistic creation was a major point of emphasis in this year’s exposition. While ” Digital — Individual — Networked” served as the official motto of the show, the phrase omits one of the most commented-upon aspects of the entire experience—stunning.