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 LuxLive 2018, Europe's largest annual lighting event taking place on 14th & 15th November at the ExCeL London. Featuring eight conference tracks and over 100 expert industry speakers. Entry is FREE – simply register to attend HERE 




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