By: Joachim Ritter / PLD Editor
In the animal kingdom, the phenomenon known as “swarm behavior” means that by going with the basic flow, you are most likely to be on the right track. For example, as human beings, we tend to rely on the average experience of the community in general to dictate our actions. However, that can mean that we end up having to be content with mediocrity, which never helps society progress. Only those who do not hide behind the masses and are prepared to explore new horizons with the courage to blaze new trails will be able to break new ground. Best of all, these innovators often take others with them when they strike out in new directions.
Lighting technology today offers a wide range of new experiences and opportunities. The latest technical developments, the Internet of Things (IoT) and new findings regarding human-oriented lighting design, urge us to take the quality of lighting design to the next level and push our boundaries. It is difficult to say where we are likely to end up, but most people agree that design will change the future of our lives and light will play a key role. However, this also means that not all developments will be beneficial and some may require closer scrutiny. For example, the question as to how technology can be applied to meet human needs often appears to be completely open. Technology that has already been developed and is in use is often easy for “students” to understand, but exploring the correlation between our physiology and psychology – a topic that dates back thousands of years – is more challenging. How could we possibly claim that the current state of technology development is enough to satisfy the needs that stem from the complex processes in the human body?
Prior to Light+Building in Frankfurt, we were all receiving news and information from the industry promising us products that deliver Human Centric Lighting and IoT connectivity. Buzzwords, marketing concepts and grand visions of the future may help drive sales, but specialists dedicated to lighting design are well informed and often not influenced by these tactics. The lighting designer knows that s/he needs quality products to deliver quality lighting solutions, but s/he also needs to develop a quality design concept. This requires comprehensive know-how in many fields. Similarly, high-quality manufacturers know that it is unproductive to launch products offering functionality that few designers are qualified to understand or appreciate. Dissatisfaction regarding poorly functioning concepts, or concepts that do not work at all as a result of design errors, only lead to users and clients becoming worried and concerned, and displeasure is the first step to lack of trust.
This atmosphere makes it necessary to initiate a campaign and introduce a platform dedicated to further professional education and development in lighting design. Specialization and a sound knowledge of human needs and what opportunities state-of-the-art technology really offers are the key prerequisites for raising the level of what is generally accepted as average. The whole of society can benefit from every single aspect of knowledge building, and the quality shift in the lighting community will become increasingly dynamic as professional development continues to grow, leading to a swarm behavior experience we should all be aware of.