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Up Next: Light + Building 2018

Nov 14, 2017

Maria Hasselman, the director of Brand Management of the Light + Building trade fair, shines a light on the building automation market and the upcoming trends in both sectors

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Text by Rab Messina

House and building automation is big. So is human-centric lighting. And Frankfurt is getting lit. We discussed the details of the upcoming edition of the Light + Building international trade fair with Maria Hasselman, the event’s director of brand management.

TLmag: The advantages of having automated or networked equipment in everyday life are known and hoped for, but how do you think the industry is assuaging any end-user fears in this category?
Maria Hasselman: Light + Building 2018 will be mainly engaged with three driving topics: networking, digitalisation, and safety and security technology. The need for building safety and security has grown constantly over the past few years. The trend towards upgrading property through high-quality technical building services is also continuing. The needs of modern buildings are various: the need for convenience, networked communication and economy of operation is increasing. The growing change from analogue to digital technology is changing the processes of building management. Digitalisation makes it possible to merge applications from different trades in automation networks, thus making a flexible use of technology possible for the first time.

TLmag: In your Top 10 list of visitors per country, only one is outside Europe: China. What are the preferences of the Chinese services and wholesale sector? 
MH: To be honest, our visitors’ interests are largely the same. After all, Light + Building is the leading international trade fair for the industry, and at the same time the platform for making new contacts and finding the right business partners. It brings the world together at one location: 2,600 exhibitors from 55 countries and 216,000 visitors from 160 countries. That is unique, and so a visit to Light + Building is marked on many calendars.

At the world’s biggest trade fair for light and building technology the industry shows intelligent and networked solutions, pioneering technologies and the latest design trends, which both raise the economic performance of a building and increase the convenience and security needs of its users. Light + Building is an innovation fair, uniting all electricity-driven building-technology systems and promoting integrated building planning, with a range of products which is unique in its breadth and width. Through this unique combination the industry presents an integrated set of products, making a vital contribution to exploiting the potential for energy saving in buildings.

At Light + Building the industry shows solutions and technologies whose aim is low energy consumption and modern security standards, plus scope for individual design and a high level of convenience. As a reflection of the industry’s high dynamism, the balance sheet for 2018 could scarcely look better: all market leaders have already registered.

TLmag: Do you foresee any decorative lighting trends for 2018?
MH: Trend designers bora.herke.palmisano are currently working flat out on the trends for 2018-19, and so I would not like to go into too much detail at this point. In general, however, it can be said that technology and design are closely coupled, in which process the material content and quality of the lighting is playing an ever bigger role.

At the same time, we can observe an increasing merger between lamps and illuminants. The digitalisation of light has smoothed the way to a new dimension in lighting design. Light is combined with space, sets emphases and becomes its own design object. Depending on activity or spatial situations, today a wide range of lighting is available —from direct-beam to indirect-beam lights, to those with variable light distribution for pleasant ceiling illumination, or dazzle-free workplace lighting systems.

TLmag: You are also focusing on human-centric lighting. What indications did you receive from the market that taking the effects of light on people and their well-being was a matter to take notice of? 
MH: “Healthy” lighting, and thus “human-centric lighting,” will be one of the top topics at Light + Building 2018, because it is of great importance for the market and the industry. Innovations in lighting technology are bringing human beings and their needs increasingly to the fore. It improves the wellbeing of people at all ages and ensures better healing processes: in this way it is a major topic of the future, even beyond the industry.

TLmag: What type of proposals are you featuring in the SECURE! exhibition?
MH: The special show SECURE! Connected Security in Buildings will demonstrate to visitors how, through technical solutions, the economic performance of buildings can be increased and account taken of both security standards and the individual needs of users. Set apart from the presentations by exhibitors, three concrete uses (hotel – office – industry) will show how all tasks are merged in a unity from the angle of security and user interfaces.

In these three areas of building use the exhibition will feature innovative solutions for electronic security in a real environment, using active scenarios (fire – storm – burglary). The different trades working in security technology will be networked across products and systems. The more than 40 firms – engineering services, product manufacturers, system houses, software suppliers and operating agencies – will jointly be showing the wide range of potential uses and sector solutions. Along with fulfilling security requirements, a wide range of additional uses will be found for fulfilment of daily tasks in the environment.

TLmag: Frankfurt, the fair’s host city, has a reputation for being… well, dull, and local authorities are reportedly trying to change that. How is the Luminale focus, especially with the art, community and better city categories, approaching that possible transition?
MH: Luminale will be launched concurrently with Light + Building with a new concept. Frankfurt will be not just the stage but also the subject of the festival and a pioneer of modern urban design and intelligent infrastructures. Luminale will be positioned as a Biennial for Lighting Art and Urban Design with the aim, at the interface of art, technology and city living, of providing an incentive for positioning the city as an attractive venue for the future and a creative hub. In the future, along with the theme of light, the festival will pose questions of urban policy and social questions, presenting innovative solutions for living in a cityspace.

Luminale will be arranged in five categories: ART will refer to projects dealing artistically with the topics of light, buildings and the city. COMMUNITY will comprise projects by Frankfurt citizens, initiatives by city districts, spontaneous neighbourhood campaigns, and Luminale parties. In the BETTER CITY category at least one project will be presented which will remain permanently for the citizens of Frankfurt even after the event. SOLUTIONS will cover innovative and model solutions for buildings, cities and infrastructure – visionary concepts which will make life in the city cleaner, greener, safer and more convenient. STUDY is a category which will offer a stage to talented young people from schools, universities, polytechnics and start-ups.

Light + Building will take place from March 18 to 23, 2018

Maria Hasselman, director of Brand Management of Light + Building

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