Lighting today is decorative, functional—and green. Energy-efficient LED lighting is making a huge splash in the industry. And light harvesting, an energy-efficient technique that uses lightweight materials and finishes to give the impression of brightness while using less power, is rapidly gaining ground.
Ken McKelvie, McKelvie Lighting Design
• ‘Wall washing’ makes a room seems 10 times brighter. Recessed fixtures installed along the edge of a wall shoot light straight down and the entire wall looks illuminated.
• Uplighting bounces soft, ambient light into the room through the use of sconces, cove lighting and lighting above crown molding. Again, it’s a way of harvesting light to create the perception of brightness, while using less power.
• Dark bronze is the newest finish, used to great effect in flexible rail lighting. Also, brushed silver finishes don’t show fingerprints like the old chrome finishes.
• Lighting design for a maturing population is a big concern. Research shows that amber or soft red lighting, which cues the body to relax, can help seniors fall asleep again after they wake up in the middle of the night, and high-contrast lighting in stairwells helps them navigate safely.
Mike Craft, Metro Lighting
• By far the most exciting trend is the move to LED lighting. It uses less electricity, creates much less heat and lasts longer. Just a couple of years ago, it was too cost-prohibitive, but not now.
• We’re seeing a new take on the traditional chandelier, using LED instead of halogen lighting, as well as elegant contemporary looks that combine metal and fabric.
Matt Muenz, NiteLites of St. Louis
• The outdoor lighting business hasn’t changed much until recently, with the advent of LED lighting. It saves clients 75 percent on their outdoor energy costs.
• The trend toward outdoor living spaces has changed the face of exterior lighting. Outdoor fireplaces, fire pits, living rooms and kitchens have clients wanting a more dimensional look with different kinds of accent lighting, including backlighting, step lights, micro spotlights and paver lights.