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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.”