Retailers seeing big potential in controls

Intelligent LED lighting was the topic on everyone’s lips at EuroShop 2014, Europe's largest retail fair held in Düsseldorf last week.

From dimming and timers to Li-Fi that targets customers, lighting manufacturers exhibiting at the trade show told Lux that smart lighting is the area of the industry where they expect to see the most exciting developments in the years ahead. 

‘This year at EuroShop is the first time we are really seriously looking at lighting controls,’ said Stefan Grote, marketing manager of Ansorg, Germany. ‘Now you can switch on and off, and use dimming and timers. You can play with emotions, adapt the lighting to your brand and really create your own lighting.’

 ‘The digitalisation of fittings is a big trend,’ said Aleksandar Rublek, lighting designer at Studio Rublek in the Netherlands. ‘It’s about recognising what is commercially attractive, and because of the miniaturisation made possible by LEDs, it’s always possible to make something new.’

Andy Davies, business development manager of indoor controls at Harvard Engineering UK, said: ‘We’re going to see more use of controls in retail. Retailers are going to want to network their estates and compare how energy is being managed at different sites. It’s probably underused now and I think there are opportunities for controls to become more sophisticated.’

Among the companies embracing intelligent lighting systems was Philips with its prototype Li-Fi supermarket lights that communicate with shoppers through a smartphone app. Through a grid of lights that transmit information to cameras in smartphones, the system alerts users to nearby offers and can point out the location of products the shopper is looking for.

Menno Kleingeld, head of indoor lighting for EMEA at Philips, said: ‘By showcasing what lighting can do for the experience and for influencing customers to buy, retailers are willing to let go of other investments in favour of getting the right quality of lighting.’