The 20 best innovations from Light + Building

Fuelled by bratwurst and Mövenpick ice cream, Team Lux scoured Frankfurt’s humungous Messe to bring you the outstanding kit from the global showcase of all things illumination that is Light + Building 2018. Hell, we even trekked to Hall 11 and survived to tell the tale…


1. Unico

A new concept developed with the clever people at Bartenbach, Unico is a powerful downlight with up to nine individually controllable 38mm x 38mm inserts. Each can have its own very different photometrics and colour temperatures, making it many luminaries in one.

2. Dynamic beam shaper

Potentially the biggest thing to hit display lighting since the 50W dichroic lamp, LensVector’s solid-state liquid crystal lens can change beam angles from five to 60 degrees. Sylvania, Targetti, Forma and Wila all showed spotlights with the tech.

3. Mito

A family of C-shaped luminaires with awesome attention to detail, beautiful finishes, top quality light, gesture control for dimming and colour-temperature tuning and, oh yes, a super smooth height adjustment you could play with all day. We want one. Now.

4. Lightelligence

Osram used Light + Building to launch its open platform for the Internet of Things, which allows software developers to create apps (and, Osram hopes, innovative new business models) using the internet-connected lighting infrastructure in a building combined with embedded sensors. 

5. True Presence

This detector recognises the micro movements of people in a space, such as breathing. A microprocessor compares data collected by the microwave antenna to reference data to make '100 per cent accurate' detections. A game-changer for PIRs.

6. A1 track

Another winner from the creative mind of Mario Nanni. Why have metres of lighting track doing nothing until you plug in a spotlight, when you can incorporate linear LED lighting into it, at up to 2000lm/m. Genius!

7. GalaXi

Bluetooth is steamrolling its way to the top of the wireless protocols in the industry and Xicato’s elegant GalaXi platform makes the most of it to create a wireless control kit which, with Bluetooth Mesh, is fully scalable to include thousands of luminaires.

8. Li-Fi platform

Philips is threatening to take Li-Fi – the transmission of data such as the internet using visible light from LED lights – into the mainstream with its own kit, including drivers and dongles, which it will sell to OEMs.

9. HCL Control

LEDVance has come a long way since it was hived off from Osram in 2016 as a lamp company. And now look! It’s even into human centric lighting with an intuitive system, which includes this beautiful rotary controller.

10. Deep UV LED

Ultra-violet is the Next Big Thing in lighting apps, and it can cut bacteria in healthcare buildings and reduce pathogens in horticulture. Japanese manufacturer Stanley Lighting has nailed the science and unveiled a range of top quality UV kit.

11. SunLike
Seoul Semiconductors

The clue’s in the title. By using a violet chip instead of a blue one, Seoul Semi has delivered an LED that it’s claiming is the closest to the sun on the market and objects illuminated by it appear as they do under sunlight.

12. Amp

Developed for a office where the concept was to have one luminaire for all spaces, the Amp features a unique optic which is both reflector and lens. It delivers 10 per cent uplight, and is available with a wide range of photometrics.

13. Arcane light engine

Eulum has packaged two of the hottest technologies at Light + Building – the LensVector beam shaping lens and the Casambi Bluetooth interface – into one elegant unit. Perfect for OEMs who want to tick all the right boxes and get to market fast.

14. Waveguide

The innovative QuarkStar waveguide lens has been around for a while, but Sylvania upped the ante at Light + Building by applying the technology to a range of circular recessed fixtures which put lots of light on the ceiling.

15. Optisolis

Nichia has opened up access to the very best of LED colour performance. Up to now, this has been the province of the LED aristocracy; with Nichia it becomes a standard product for whoever wants to invest in it.

16. Special Light Colours
Bäro Lighting

Retail lighting specialist Bäro sets the cat among the colour purists by offering a range of off-Planckian LEDs, including one as low as CRI 70! But it’s all about display lighting and the effects are stunning.

17. ID handrail

An LED handrail system that includes a really useful unit which clips onto tubular steel rails and banisters to provide light on walkways and stairwells. The ID lighting system can also be built-in flush and without visible screws. 

18. Why system

Polish manufacturer ES-System showed these beautifully-engineered pendant luminaires with opal PMMA diffusers and a striking sideways light distribution. Dali and Casambi-based Bluetooth Low Energy control is available. 

19. Moon

Coelux’s artificial skylights have been a sensation in recent years. Using nano technology, the company has recreated Rayleigh Scattering, which makes the sky blue and married it with a sun-like LED. At Light + Building it unveiled an amazing moonlight version.

20. Microtrack

Targetti was showing this 24V twin-circuit track which is a mere 5mm thick – slim enough to recess into a single sheet of plasterboard. It has also developed a range of spots which can be attached magnetically. Available in late 2018.

What did we miss? Tell us the innovations and products that stood out for you at Light + Building 2018 by using the comments box below.


  • Some of the technology in our Top 20 list will be explored in more detail at this year's Lighting Fixture Design Conference, which takes place on Wednesday 20 June and Thursday 21 June 2018. Organised by Lux and LEDs Magazine, the event takes place at the Cavendish Conference Centre in London. For more information and to reserve you place, click HERE.




Comments 17

@Sylvia The Simes Brick narrowly missed the cut. The team had a big discussion about it and it featured in our webcast (you can see it at The Ghost is an amazing innovation but it was introduced at the 2016 Light + Building Fair not 2018. It was highly commended in the Lighting Design Awards that year ( and its creator Marc Sadler was named product designer of the year in 2017 (

I think you really missed the hugest lighting innovation as ever. The hugest because it’s great. Great because it is simply incredible and, at the same time, revolutionary in its simplicity. The #Brick Light from #Simes. A normal common Italian size brick with perfect structural proportion, has been re-interpretated and becomes a lighting element. This is a real innovation in the lighting world and it’s the beautiful result of an engineering job of pro-jection (from Latin language pro-gettare and than translated). And what about #Ghost for construction materials? Another big revolution in the lighting world...check it out! Many thanks.

My vote goes to EnOcean´s self-powered wireless IoT sensors, which are optimized for usage in building automation and providing reliable data to IoT systems, such as temperature, humidity, occupancy/non-occupancy and light level. In my view, self-powered wireless sensor solutions are key to intelligent IoT systems and will significantly facilitate the transition to big data analytics and the Internet of Things.

Did you hear about Nanoptiqs? Czech technology company IQ Structures won an award in the International Design Plus Competition in 2018 for their “COB-NANOPTIQS flat lens.” The potential of such nanolenses is thus enormous, which is also supported by the fact that they are completely flat – the optics are "thinner" and their production requires much less material and energy while meeting demands for the environmentally friendly production... Check it out at

Korean GlowOne and Lighting Group Europe GmbH showed a real game changer in high bay luminaries. They had the most versatile high bay luminaire I have ever seen. 100.000h lifetime L80B10 and quick connectors to click on many different control systems including DALI, Nedap, ZigBee and other wireless systems. The series was called SBL, Smart Bay Light. I have not found so much information about it yet but Lighting Group Europe GmbH said that it is ready to order and that they will have much more info on their new website as soon as it is online within a few weeks.

Volatiles was a beautiful product, but obviously covering a narrow niche. I really enjoyed Coelux as well, beautiful stuff, if only it weren't so big, and heavy, and expensive, and inefficient... Proud to see our WHY System in this list. It wasn't easy to get so much tech into such a slim linear.

New developments from Esylux Gmbh to rapidly speedup installation and configuring panel lighting were impressive. The Celine Quattro sets are conceptually simple for the installer, but with all the key features required for dynamic operation for the end user. Also impressed with the concepts that Lumiq were building their range with, having high mount hibays with adjustable light bars, and RF comms between fittings that require no commissioning or add-ons.

Thanks to the Lens Vector partners for a great L&B! Targetti, Wila, Sylvania, XAL, Forma, Eulum, and SLD Laser for a fantastic launch of the Lens Vector product and Dynamic Beam Shaping in Frankfurt...a new level of control and creativity is on the way!

David kriebel introduced the most creative lighting product we will see over the next 50 years watch Lens Vector as a lightning leader.

That's right Jörg - Volatiles was really interesting... we'll publish an interview later the weeks. Also check out this article for 7 inspiring designers at Light + Building 2018:

Cree weren't making a song and dance about it, probably as it's a couple of months from availability outside of USA, but their WaveMax technology, shown in the RSW street light, may be the answer to many of the issues being raised about optical quality of led roadway lighting.

All very cool. I don't have any products on the market just yet just I am launching a range of products in May 2018 - centered around wireless interactivity and addressable LEDs You can see my work at

My vote goes to Osram's Lightelligence. You need a big company to launch something like this and making it an open platform means you should get some sensible, and maybe whacky, applications. If the Steinel True Presence really can detect people breathing, then this is a genuine breakthrough. Whether it can tell if the staff are sleeping or awake is another matter. Maybe it needs a snore detector!

Waht about the dynamic lighting from Insolight. Dynamic change in photmetric distribution from a very slim panel

@Sébastien Fixed now - many thanks!

1 : Bartenbach instead of Bartenach 18 : picture is not the correct one (check here:;indoor-lighting/pendant/s792;why-1) And what about the laser LED ? What do you think about that ? (I met Gordon into Parhelion's container, he might have an opinion)

Design Plus Award Winner volatiles GmbH out of Berlin - showcasing interactive glas mosaic tiles. Thin LED controller modules of 12.5mm in depth are clipsed together side by side to build an unfinitive surface. Large selection of light scenes controlled via APP through WiFi network.

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