Dubai, UAE: A glittering gala awards dinner provided a fitting finale to three days of busy networking at Light Middle East 2015, which concluded in Dubai last week after welcoming 6,155 trade visitors from 65 countries.
Box Park and Souk Al Manzil in Dubai, along with Qatar’s Banana Island Resort by Anantara, were among the big winners at the 3rd Light Middle East Awards, which was attended by 500 industry professionals to recognise and reward the region’s most outstanding lighting projects and products.
Designed by Delta Lighting, Box Park won the Exterior Retail Lighting Project of the Year and Public Lighting Project of the Year categories, as an independent judging panel evaluated the merits of 32 shortlisted finalists competing across 10 categories.
The Banana Island Resort by Anantara, designed by Studio Lumen Lighting Design, won the Exterior Hospitality Lighting Project of the Year Award, while Souk Al Manzil and Thani Murshid Establishment, both from the UAE, were joint winners of the Sustainable Lighting Project of the Year award.
“Every year, the Light Middle East Awards attracts an increasingly diverse range of projects and products with energy efficiency and the use of new LED technologies a constant theme,” said Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, organiser of Light Middle East and the Light Middle East Awards.
“It’s very important to highlight the thought process behind these amazing projects, and share with the public the reason why lighting, whether in public spaces, exteriors or interiors, is so stunning.
“We see lights wherever we go, and providing an award for such an integral aspect of our daily lives is very important and great for the lighting design industry’s recognition,” added Pauwels.
The Light Middle East Awards is the customary conclusion to Light Middle East, the region’s premier trade show for the lighting design and technology industry, which took place from 6-8 October 2015 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Now in its 10th edition, Light Middle East continues to climb a steep double-digit growth curve; in 2015, it featured 370 exhibitors from 33 countries, and was 14 per cent larger than the previous year.
Innovative product launches and energy saving lighting solutions dominated the show floor, in particular at the Future Zone, where more than 100 of the world’s leading manufacturers showcased their latest high tech products, providing a clear view of the future direction of lighting design and technology.
US-headquartered Lutron, a specialist in lighting controls and dimmers, launched in the Middle East market its Quantum Vue Facility Management Tool – an integrated system that manages light and temperature in buildings from anywhere, on any device.
The high tech system was installed in The New York Times office building, saving the daily newspaper US$600,000 in annual lighting expenses. According to Shadi Kharouf, sales director for Lutron in the Middle East, Turkey, and Central Asia, Quantum Vue will be just as effective in the Middle East.
“The Middle East is one of the most interesting regions that Lutron operates in because there is a strong demand for sustainable lighting solutions and new technology,” said Kharouf.
“Another advantage of this region is that everything is being built right now. It’s not an established market such as Europe where most lighting and building management solutions are retrofitted.
“Here they are building new cities and new buildings, so there is this opportunity to embrace the latest sustainable technology from the beginning. There’s an acceptance of these new technologies, and the money to spend on them as well,” added Kharouf.
Another exhibitor pushing the boundaries of technology and imagination at Light Middle East 2015 was German manufacturer Lux Velocitas, which presented a global launch of its volaTiles – ultra-thin LED modules with control software mounted under glass mosaics.
Joerg Bordan, President of Lux Velocitas, said the volaTiles can display millions of colours, and have proximity and touch sensors allowing them to intuitively adapt to surrounding environments. A smartphone volaPlay app also allows users to download and transfer personalised colour designs onto the tiles to reflect a specific mood.
“The uniqueness of volaTiles is that we combine traditional 2x2cm glass mosaics with a high end state of the art LED technology,” said Bordan. “The lights are driven by the user experience or desire to have a specific lighting mood; they’re not just buying a product, they’re buying emotions.
“We’re targeting high end property developers and designers involved in the luxury hotel segment, and the feedback we’ve received at Light Middle East has been very positive. Every second visitor at our stand has asked for specific information, and many have already come back with various projects that they’d like to use the volaTiles for.”
Elsewhere, Light Middle East 2015 was the scene of new partnerships, as manufacturers and distributors combine to expand their business interests in a Gulf lighting systems market that is estimated to be worth US$3.5 billion by 2020.
Yaming, which has been manufacturing luminaires since 1923, recently set up its Middle East, Africa, and CIS headquarters in Dubai earlier this year, and was a debut exhibitor at Light Middle East 2015.
Eager to hit the ground running starting with the UAE market, Yaming announced during Light Middle East the appointment of Khaled Al Hamed Group as its sole distributor in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.
Zhuang Shenan, Chairman of Yaming worldwide, said: “Our commitment is to support this initiative in making it a successful business agreement and introduce Yaming to Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. We are, at the moment, involved in several large projects that have been referred to us by Khalid Al Hamed Group and soon more will be announced.”
Aside from putting a global spotlight on the latest innovations, intuitive technologies, captivating lighting designs, new business partnerships, and a glittering awards ceremony, Light Middle East 2015 also featured the highly popular Light Middle East Conference.
The two-day summit hosted 24 international lighting experts and designers analysing the changing trends and dynamics of lighting design and their impact on architecture and urban environments.
Kevin Grant, Director of design firm Light Alliance UK, spoke about how sustainable lighting technologies are shaping architectural design: “There is a growing demand for our buildings and spaces to be more efficient, more effective,” said Grant. “This has influenced an evolution in tools and technologies that allow us to shape and influence architecture.
“3D printing has made it much easier, quicker and more cost effective to create optics and prototypes, meaning that bespoke designs can be tailored to suit a particular space or application or more easily integrated within the architectural design.”
Added Grant: “The Middle East is certainly taking sustainability seriously now. Most of the countries throughout the region have now set out positive visions to manage the impact and performance of their buildings and spaces, and they are actively promoting the development and implementation of more sustainable design practices and technologies.”
The 11th edition of Light Middle East will return in November 2016. More information is available at: www.lightme.net