Is the light switch here to stay?

The light switch will soon be history, once the ‘smart home’ has become the norm, Dominic Meyrick of Hoare Lea Lighting suggested during last week’s International Lighting Fixture Design conference.

‘A switch on the wall is there because technology required it, and as our technology moves forward, the switch will die,’ said Meyrick. ‘It’s inevitable.’

Not everyone in the industry agreed with Meyrick’s prediction.  Jeremy Turner, director of Fab Controls, said: ‘If you walk into a building and the internet doesn’t work, you’ll be annoyed but you’ll survive. If you walk in and press the switch on the wall and it’s dark, you can’t see, you’ll fall over and somebody will get sued. So fundamentally, the switch on the wall, regardless of what technology is around it, has got to energise the luminaire.’ He added: ‘To me, smart lighting is more about giving statuses to what the lights are doing, and making the facility managers’ lives easier. It’s about getting information, it’s not about finding some innovative way to turn the lights on and off.’

Meyrick said: ‘The remote control for the TV will eventually disappear and become part of our phones – are you telling me that lighting is the only thing in a house that will stay on a switch?’ Asked to take part in a quick poll, about half of the audience agreed that the switch will eventually go, and half thought it would stay.