Architecture

The practical future of lighting

April 1, 2016

“What the end game actually is, is to provide lighting as seamlessly as possible,” says Steve Cahill, CEO and co-founder of enLighten Australia, ahead of his presentation at Total Facilities next week.

Image of Steve Cahill from the Daily Telegraph.

In recent years, the lighting industry has moved on from the gas and glass and filament type lamps of old, in favour of efficient, sustainable LED lighting. And with the transition to digital, the technology and conversation surrounding the quality and function of light has changed.

As Steve Cahill, CEO and co-founder of enLighten Australia explains, ”We’ve moved from a fairly basic function – a light that needed power supplied to it to switch it off and on – to a system which is integrated with today’s technology. So the potential or scope really becomes unlimited for people to ask, ‘okay, what can we do with this new capability?’”

But rather than getting swept up in the future of the technology, Cahill is instead an advocate for the shrewd practical application of lighting, to naturally support the way people currently live. “People start ‘blue skying’ – they get distracted by the potential of a technology and move away from what people actually need. What the end game actually is, is to provide lighting as seamlessly as possible.”

“I’ve seen tenders of people wanting all this reporting from the light itself, so the light can tell you how long it’s been on – has it been dimmed? To what percentage, and during what times? And a myriad of other reports for a project that doesn’t necessarily require it. People are asking for features that they don’t need.”

With the opportunity to incorporate data-gathering software, the future of the lighting industry will be involved with the effective application of intelligence – and how this will fit into the Internet of Things. “Very few people are coming up with genuine value propositions for how we can use this data – what does it mean for the end user?”

enLighten offers an integrated service, with in-house lighting designers to provide the lighting design, deliver the solution and install it. This service emerged from what Cahill identifies in the architecture and engineering industries as a need to keep abreast of current lighting technology. “Younger architects and lighting consultants are generally up to date, but some established engineers and architecture firms who may have been trained and experienced in the old technology need to upskill”.

This interview is a preview of Steve Cahill’s upcoming presentation, ‘Intelligent Lighting – Friend or Foe??’ on 6 April at Total Facilities (6 – 7 April). For more information, and a full program of events, please visit: www.totalfacilities.com.au

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