industry updates

Ansell Lighting Launches AFIX Connector Range

Enabling the quick and efficient fitting of multiple lighting fixtures, Ansell Lighting has unveiled AFIX, a brand-new range of high-quality connectors.

Speeding up installation times, the AFIX range incorporates four versatile product types, AFIX Connector, AFIX IP Straight Connector, AFIX IP T-Junction Connector and AFIX IP Junction Box Connector, all of which ensure hassle-free connection and enhanced productivity on-site.

Designed specifically for indoor use, the AFIX Connector range comprises a choice of three and four pole models with push fit connections and two part click-and-connect design for quick and easy, toolless installation. Cable clamps provide safe and secure connection whilst an innovative, easy access testing port enables instant reading for fixed wire testing. IP20 rated, the AFIX Connector range is ideal for use with recessed, downlights and high bay luminaires.

Designed for indoor, inground and outdoor use, the AFIX IP Straight Connector and T-Junction Connector are IP68 rated for maximum protection against dust ingress and water immersion, making them ideal for demanding external environments and ensuring long-term durability.

Suitable for use with bollard, in-ground, spike and floodlights, both connectors are available in three and five core options and facilitate quick and easy installation. Three core models feature lever connections whilst five core models feature screw terminals.

Also created for indoor, inground and outdoor use, the AFIX IP Junction Box is available in three different sizes. The small model features two way, three core connections; the medium model three way, three core connections and the large model features three way, five core connections.

Extremely durable, the small and medium sized junction boxes are IP65 rated ensuring protection against dust and water ingress. The large model is also highly robust with a IP68 rating. All junction boxes feature push fit connections to ensure quick and easy, toolless installation.

Mark Abbott, Managing Director at Ansell Lighting said: “A key focus of our new product innovation and development is to ensure we create solutions that enhance our customer’s experiences and are quick and easy to install.

“The AFIX range does exactly that. By offering a comprehensive selection of high-quality, robust connectors, we aim to streamline the process for our customers while delivering unparalleled performance and reliability in lighting solutions.”

industry updates insight extra

Pharos and Lutron extend collaboration to integrate more solutions

Lighting control specialist Pharos Architectural Controls and world leader in smart lighting controls Lutron Electronics have expanded their joint integration capabilities.

Pharos has been working with Lutron to provide integration of Pharos Designer systems with Lutron commercial systems, using Pharos flexible IO modules. The Pharos systems now support integration with Athena; Lutron’s flagship control offering for commercial installations.

The Designer range from Pharos Architectural Controls boasts a wide selection of controllers – including the original and award-winning LPC (Lighting Playback Controller) – to suit any DMX, eDMX and DALI lighting project.

Integration is now also possible with Lutron Vive and solutions from the Pharos Designer range. Vive is a wireless commercial lighting control system, helping new and existing commercial buildings to be more efficient, comfortable and productive.

To deliver the highest levels of protection, the Athena and Vive integrations are fully secured using Lutron’s LEAP API integration protocol. 

The collaboration will be formalised with the addition of Lutron as a ‘Friend of Pharos’ on the Pharos website. This considered network of manufacturers share the Pharos ethos of putting customers first. Through this approved list, Pharos is able to ensure any integration project will mean customers get the best of two leading companies, without the risk of being sidelined and manufacturers not taking responsibility.

Bas Hoksbergen, Commercial Director at Pharos Architectural Controls, said: “I am very happy to see the Pharos Designer and Lutron Athena integration now available for all our users. Combining Lutron and Pharos systems gives our users unprecedented control flexibility over both functional lighting, as well as dynamic lighting control.”

industry updates

International Day of Light – expert commentary on the future of lighting design

On 2024’s International Day of Light, Martin Huber, CEO and Co-Founder of 3D modelling and spatial data company Amrax, discusses how spatial design is transforming the lighting sector:
“Amid growing regulation aimed at phasing out inefficient lighting technologies and driving the transition to more energy efficient options, the real opportunity isn’t in like for like replacements – it’s in reimagining lighting in buildings in its entirety.
“This opens the door to building owners, designers and managers to deploy real innovation in the lighting of buildings to create a more innovative, comfortable and sustainable environment.
“At the same time, due to continuous development and continuously enhanced smartphone technology, the ability to conduct 3D scanning of buildings affords an exciting opportunity to revolutionise the future of light planning. AI, in combination with modern imaging sensors, has the potential to semantically capture all building details that are relevant for light planning in a fully automated way.
  This level of experimentation isn’t confined to finding out how to light a building with as few light fittings as possible, it’s also about how you can creatively use light to create the best possible environment. Designers can use any combination of lighting solution and instantly ascertain everything from the cost and impact on aesthetics to feasibility. Even the reflectance properties of any material can be estimated and assigned to the 3D model to obtain even more accurate models for even more accurate simulations and planning.
This approach enables users to experiment directly with existing and even potential new products during the design process. Most of this 3D modelling software is designed for collaboration too, which means bringing stakeholders and convincing them to embrace innovation can be a much easier job.
“And there’s more. In combination with state-of-the-art virtual reality headsets, this approach can  be used to provide the customer with a realistic and cost-efficient preview of light-planned and furnished rooms or even of entirely equipped buildings. This in turn should enable users to do even more experimentation driving further innovation.
“Scan-to-BIM solutions also enable the capture and model of existing furniture. On top of that, based on interactive or automated AI tools, building models can be refurnished (semi) automatically.
Theoretically, light planning could also be a part of a (semi)automated interior planning pipeline with realistic light simulation in combination with AI models generating recommendations
“Clearly, the advent of 3D modelling and spatial design has the potential to kick start an era of disruption within lighting that hasn’t been seen since the invention of the compact fluorescent lamp. Within the decade we are likely to see a range of innovative new solutions that challenge how we think of lighting spaces. For lighting companies that prioritise innovation over business as usual there will be a real opportunity to gain a substantial competitive edge.”
industry updates

David Lang-Smith joins Mackwell as UK & Europe Sales and Marketing Director

Global manufacturer of emergency lighting technology and systems Mackwell has appointed David Lang-Smith as Sales and Marketing Director across UK & Europe.

Having worked in the lighting sector for 15 years, predominantly as a Sales Director across EMEA, David has extensive experience that will undoubtedly benefit Mackwell. With a specialist background in architectural lighting, David understands the breadth of the lighting sector and what is required to drive forward successful partnerships that benefit all parties.

David has risen through the industry at a rapid pace, clearly developing his skills and expertise which allowed him to quickly move into director level positions. His demonstrative growth and commitment to learning and self-motivation will be important in his new role for Mackwell.

As well as bringing clear transferable skills, David has a rich working knowledge of the industry that will help Mackwell in their continued growth in the lighting landscape. David’s previous position included being a Sales Director for a start-up company co-founded by Shuji Nakamura, the inventor of the blue LED. David accompanied Shiju when he received his Nobel Prize, which was a notable career moment for David.

David has worked on a number of high-profile projects in his career to date, including the lighting for the iconic façade and pyramids of the Louvre Museum, which was one of his first major projects.

In the UK, David was part of the project team involved in upgrading the lighting at Bluewater Shopping Centre, transitioning from old lighting technology to LEDs. He was able to visit the centre six years later and see that the lights were still performing beautifully.

Speaking of his appointment, Rene Joppi Managing Director at Mackwell said: “David has already proven that he has a can-do attitude, strong leadership and great people skills. These work in harmony with his resilience, adaptability and commitment to teamwork. We know he will be a great addition to Mackwell, driving forward innovative ways of working and helping to significantly raise awareness of our business. We’re delighted to have him as part of the team.”

David added: “I’m already enjoying the opportunity to help develop and enhance the commercial structure for Mackwell’s future growth plans. As Sales and Marketing Director for the UK and Europe, I get to collaborate with diverse teams, drive marketing campaigns, and directly influence the growth and success of our company. This dynamic environment keeps me constantly challenged and engaged, making my work incredibly rewarding.”

Mackwell provides quality emergency lighting products alongside seamless integration of their systems and solutions into each and every project. Mackwell also offers short lead times and full stock at all times, which is reassuring for clients who need to work at speed or on tighter turnarounds.

industry updates

Discover the Meaning of Mentorship with the Silhouette Awards

The renowned Silhouette Awards programme, well-established for supporting and celebrating the rising stars of the lighting design industry, has opened the call for Mentors for its fourth year. With three previous programmes and 60 Mentor-Mentee pairings under its belt, the Silhouette Awards has firmly positioned itself as a supportive community programme which hugely benefits the industry.

The Silhouette Awards team are looking for senior members of the lighting industry to Mentor winners of the 2024/2025 programme. Becoming a Silhouette Awards Mentor is a fantastic opportunity with many personal and professional benefits. Those selected will become part of an international network of renowned past and present Mentors, defining the programme’s winners by forming a valued part of the judging panel. Mentors will review all nominations and participate in the independent judging process, before being part of the online winner’s ceremony.

This incredibly fulfilling role allows Mentors to share their valuable knowledge and experience with one of the industry’s rising stars, becoming a key part of their journey and helping them flourish over a six-month mentorship period. During this journey, there is also the opportunity to learn from other Mentors and Mentees for a two-way process of growth and development.

Silhouette Mentors from the previous three years discuss what mentoring means to them and why they believe that mentorship is so important.

Beata Denton, Year 1 Mentor, says: “One shouldn’t ever underestimate the importance of sharing or asking for advice. It’s vital for a rewarding and successful career. Learn that early on and you will never feel alone; you will be braver and find more joy in your career. For both mentor and mentee, since it’s often the case that we come from different countries and even different continents, it is an eye opener. We are so wonderfully similar and yet our working environments and daily challenges differ to a greater or lesser extent, due to cultural differences. The world gets both bigger and smaller when one is part of this mentorship program.”

Rachel Fitzgerald, Mentor from Year 3, adds: “My personal journey wouldn’t be where it is today without the invaluable guidance of mentors. Whether in the form of a trusted advisor, a network of experienced peers, or even those with less experience offering fresh perspectives, I’ve consistently learned and continue to learn tremendously from this dynamic support system. This is why mentorship holds such significance: it fosters a powerful exchange of knowledge, creating a communal space for growth and development that benefits both the mentor and the mentee.”

Mentor applications are open from Monday, the 3rd of June, until Monday 5th of August 2024. To apply to be a Silhouette Awards Mentor, you must be an experienced and senior member of the Lighting Industry with more than 15 years of experience. The Silhouette Awards team will review all submissions and contact the successful candidates at the beginning of September 2024, as the new season officially starts in mid-September. The winners will be announced at the end of February, and the mentorship journey officially starts on 1st March and continues until 31st August 2025.

industry updates

Innovative Implementation of Connected Urban 5G Smart Pole

Nestled in the heart of Bavaria, Würzburg is a city that seamlessly blends ancient history with vibrant modern life. Known for its scenic landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and architectural marvels, Würzburg offers a unique journey into the past, making it a must-visit destination for travellers and history enthusiasts.

Whether a visitor or resident, nothing is more frustrating than losing signal, and with the increasing demands on digital infrastructure, including music and video streaming, the Metaverse, AI-based programs, augmented and virtual reality, and connected driving and autonomous logistics, the frequency of this occurring is only increasing.

Würzburg city has taken a significant step towards improving the quality of life for its residents and businesses. In a recent pilot project CU Phosco Lighting with its German partner, 5G Synergiewerk, the first 5G Connected Urban smart poles were installed in collaboration with telecommunications provider O2 Telefónica and the Würzburg public utilities, reducing signal issues and enhancing connectivity.

Replacing conventional lamp posts, the innovative solution efficiently utilises existing infrastructure and grid connections to provide citizens with night-time lighting and advanced telecommunications capabilities, setting a new standard for high-performance 4G and 5G mobile connectivity.

Keith Henry, CU Phosco Australia General Manager and Telecommunications product manager commented, “Connected Urban offers a transformative solution for local authorities and asset owners seeking a multi-functional structure which offers both functionality and aesthetic appeal, whilst delivering increased capacity and densification of the 4G and 5G networks at street level.”

Connected Urban is a smart city, modular, and fully customisable lighting and medium cell high-performance mobile network solution within a single, compact footprint. It offers an alternative to more traditional rooftop or cell phone mast locations. The installation marks a significant milestone in the evolution of street-level mobile network densification.

Matthias Sauder, Director of Mobile Access & Transport Networks at O2 Telefónica, said, “The 5G streetlights are an innovative approach to further improve the mobile network in Würzburg. These small cells have a big impact. They complement our local O2 mobile network and ensure an improved network experience for our customers when using mobile telephony and data.”

The deployment of Connected Urban has introduced a new era of mobile network infrastructure in Würzburg. The small cells embedded within streetlights have improved the local O2 mobile network, ensuring an enhanced user experience.

The collaborative efforts in this project have positively impacted the innovation drive and improved the quality of life for city residents and businesses.

Ralf Gerbershagen, Managing Director of 5G-Synergiewerk GmbH, comments, “The entire project is a good example of what can be achieved when everyone involved pulls together: the Würzburg public utilities, the city of Würzburg, and O2 Telefónica; we were all a good team and able to implement the project very quickly.”

industry updates

Lighting Workshops: Facilitating remanufacturing and quantifying the benefits


A new series of workshops to help lighting producers access the growing market for the  remanufacture of lighting has been announced by Recolight. The intensive training workshops will give attendees the information they need to be able to set up a remanufacturing service in the UK – or to procure one from a subcontractor.

An increasing number of specifiers and major purchasers are now prioritising the remanufacture of luminaires.  But the large number of lighting manufacturers currently unable to provide such a service cannot take advantage of this fundamental market change.

Designed and hosted by lighting product designer, Simon Fisher of F Mark, topics covered include:

  • A deep dive into BS8887:221 (the BSI standard for remanufacturing lighting products).
  • Assessing suitability of used luminaires for remanufacture
  • Upgrading fluorescent fittings to LED
  • Onsite upgrades vs in-facility upgrades
  • Managing compliance of the finished luminaires
  • Liabilities, warranties, and managing customer expectations
  • Carbon Footprint vs Carbon handprint
  • Case studies & Common pitfalls

The workshops are intended for technical managers, design and engineering managers, quality managers, compliance engineers, sustainability managers, marketing managers, product managers, and any others that influence product manufacture and design. They are a roundtable environment with a maximum of 12 delegates, giving the opportunity for full interaction, feedback, and questions for each topic. Places are available for Thursday 27 June, in London, with more dates to be announced.

Delegate feedback from previous Recolight workshops:

“A very informative and worthwhile day! Although the topic is massive in its importance and complexity it was delivered in a very logical, practical and thought provoking way.” Gary Dettmar , Head of Architecture, TRILUX Lighting Ltd