The lighting market in Australia and New Zealand has never been more exciting than right now. Some truly innovative products from our region are causing a stir on the global market, and we’re starting to see a strong show of companies that don’t even make lights, which suggests that our transition toward the ‘internet of things’ is well underway.
At a time when Australia’s climate policy is under criticism, it is reassuring to know that at lighting industry contributes positively to making the world a greener place. That’s why Lux wants to celebrate the makers and sellers of the most exciting, innovative and energy-efficient lamps, luminaires and controls in our region. In alphabetical order, we give you:
Advanced Lighting Technologies - Streetlights that lead the way
ADLT has been a pioneer of outdoor and industrial lighting in Australia and New Zealand for over 25 years and has made its mark in all states of Australia, most recently with some superbly efficient LED streetlights.
ADLT offers some top class LED components and is the sole distributor of Cree products, which have impressed Lux with their eye-watering efficacy figures. And then there’s the $99 streetlight - yes, $99 - that Cree released in the United States. Watch out for the next progressive street lighting invention - it could very well come from Cree, and be available through ADLT’s offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland.
Diginet - Pioneers of user-friendly controls
Diginet’s controls have achieved something that is rare in the lighting market - being praised for their ease of use. We can’t tell you how many times facilities managers have told Lux that their buildings would be a lot more energy-efficient of only their control systems weren't so confusing.
Diginet, which was founded by the Gerard Lighting group, has only been around since 2012 but has already won global awards for the quality and convenience of its Rapix addressing software application, which uses the Dali protocol to communicate between luminaires and monitoring software.
Eagle Lighting - Creating human-friendly spaces
Eagle Lighting Australia has been around for 40 years but has doubled in size in the last five years, employing 110 people. Well established in both Sydney and Melbourne, Eagle Lighting is getting noticed for a number of big hospital and office projects which would not have been possible without a good, varied range of LED products - most recently a $7 million project at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital (pictured).
The company was incorporated into the Swedish Fagerhult group in 2007, bringing in nearly 70 years of the expertise and some stellar luminaires that champion healthy working environments and increased wellbeing.
Enlighten - Luminaires designed by a former end user
EnLighten’s patented Chameleon fitting (pictured) is becoming a staple in car parks, stairwells, garbage rooms and fire exits. It has won a NSW Green Globe award and is an example of a product thought through. In the year it was launched, 2011, EnLighten’s sales rose by 450 per cent.
Recently we've seen some exciting applications, such as Sydney’s Harbourside Car Park, where radar sensors with radio frequency controls are incorporated into Chameleon bulkheads.
This privately owned, Australian company is led by co-founder and CEO Steve Cahill. He worked in facilities management for 26 years and has taken that experience with him to the drawing table, to create lighting that combines the practical features and energy-saving capabilities that facility managers really want.
Gooee - Bringing lighting into the internet of things
Gooee might just become the answer to the biggest question in the lighting industry right now: who will provide the future ‘internet of things?’ The youngest company on the list, founded last year, plans to make millions of low-cost microchips and sensors measuring things like light levels, occupancy, temperature and energy consumption, then build these into LED light engines that can go into luminaires. It’s already happening - international lighting giant Aurora, which opened a showroom in Sydney a year ago, has agreed to be the first adopter of Gooee chips linking their luminaires to smartphone apps and online services.
iGuzzini - Italy’s finest arrives in Australia
This well-respected Italian luminaire maker has just landed in Australia where it will continue to show us the cutting edge of what’s possible with LEDs. iGuzzini is the maker of the Laser Blade family – discreet, recessed, low-glare fittings that distribute light evenly in a round distribution, and the Trick, a tiny fitting that has hoovered up awards for the ingenious way in which it casts an unbroken beam around four sides of a room. None of these fittings would have been possible without LEDs and some very clever optics and imaginative design.
Pictured: Massimiliano Guzzini, Rino Brindisi, Glen Murcutt and Adolfo Guzzini at the opening of Iguzzini’s first showroom in Australia. Photo: James Horan
Megaman - Front-runners in the LED revolution
Since arriving in Australia in 2002, Megaman has put its name to some major projects, including national LED roll-outs at David Jones and KFC. We love their dim to warm lamps that follow the dimming curve of filament lamps, giving out warmer light as they are dimmed.
But Megaman is also on this list because it moves with the times. The global lamp maker, part of Chinese Neonlite since 1994, made a swift move into the luminaire market to stay relevant past the point when LED lamp sales will decline due to their long life. This is a company that embraces tougher regulation to make technology greener - while most other big lighting companies have been pushing for an extension of the impending halogen ban in Europe, director Fred Bass (pictured) says the halogen ban can’t come soon enough.
Organic Response - The Aussie startup that wants to revolutionise lighting control
Of all the unconventional control technologies that have emerged in recent years, Organic Response is one of the most ingenious; it makes luminaires communicate with each other the way a shoal of fish does, sending signals to other luminaires when people approach and regrouping themselves into rooms or areas when moved.
The inventor of the system, Danny Bishop, worked as a sustainability consultant when he came up with the idea of controlling light with anonymous algorithms. In 2011 he founded Organic Response with his university friend, Chris Duffield (both pictured), and now dozens of end users are reaping the benefits, including Lend Lease, Mirvac, Dexus, Charter Hall and LaTrobe University. Next up is a launch in the United States, later this year.
Philips - Still got it
Philips might be the expected stalwart on the list but this lighting giant doesn’t just sit on its laurels. At Sparc we’ve seen Philips’ power-over-Ethernet luminaires and app-based controls, which are developed in collaboration with the Dynalite hub in Sydney.
And that’s just one of many exciting products. Take the Hue lamp, the Luxeon series of LED chips or Philips’ indoor positioning technology - or the most recent arrival in Australia, Philips’ award-winning GreenUp LED high bay (pictured); it combines controller, sensor and luminaire in one and has integrated controls for occupancy and daylight detection.
Now we’re just waiting to see if Philips will be offering lighting as a service somewhere in Australia and New Zealand, like it does in Schiphol airport in the Netherlands.
Tridonic - The global control giant with a new outlook
Tridonic’s Australian arm used to be known as Atco Controls, a small controls company established in the 1970s which grew to become the largest manufacturer of lighting control equipment in the southern hemisphere.
Tridonic is part of the Zumtobel group, the biggest lighting company that doesn’t make lamps. Under the stewardship of CEO Alfred Felder, the company is reinventing itself as an expert in LED technology and Lux is particularly impressed with Tridonic’s direct to mains products.
Pictured: Tridonic's Mains2Ready Talexx driver