Light is one of the basic human needs. But the 2023/2024 lighting trends go beyond just chasing away the darkness. Experts at imm Cologne reveal which materials, styles and functions will be the focus of designers and brands this year.
The triumphant march of LED technology is the basis for modern lighting design. They have opened up many new possibilities – from classic dimming options to luminaires that use human-centric lighting, where the light emitted is optimized according to the user’s circadian rhythm. In combination with smart home technologies, this trend associated with the personalization of all home items is basic. At the same time, the theme of sustainability in the interior is clearly playing an increasingly important role when it comes to lighting. This applies not only to energy-saving technologies, but also to materials and production.
1. Multifunction light
Multifunctional approach and new applications are among the most popular trends of 2020/2021. In connection with the pandemic, sound-absorbing models, ionizers and air purifiers, whose functions are combined with table, wall and ceiling lamps, have received an impetus. For example, Slamp has released an impressive light device for cleaning everyday items such as keys, smartphones, jewelry, bank cards, glasses and other accessories. PurityCapsule uses UVC technology to eliminate 99.99% of viral and bacterial strains, including corona virus, in just 30 seconds. Other manufacturers are developing portable models or those suitable for outdoor use. Among them is the wireless Parrot from Tobias Grau or Flying: it is equipped with a patented height adjustment system, allowing the model to float above the dining table. This new freedom to selectively and effortlessly direct light according to personal needs will continue to gain popularity in the future.
2. Merging light and object
Instead of designing fixtures as design objects, many manufacturers are choosing to look at lighting from a new perspective and focus on hidden light sources. Using shelves, chairs or vases with their own lighting, they demonstrate clever and practical combinations of a lamp and a piece of furniture or decor. Even baseboards and partitions sometimes turn into functional lighting objects. La Linea by Artemide is one of the most striking examples. Extremely flexible and equipped with high quality LEDs, this light tube uses light and shadow to create a dramatic structure in a hotel room or entire apartment.
3. Bauhaus triumph
Modernism—geometric forms and well-designed functions—is experiencing a modern revival more than 100 years after the founding of the Bauhaus school. Particularly when it comes to lighting, such models can give a room an elegant atmosphere while also exuding coziness. An example is the Norr11 cylindrical wall light, a combination of opal glass and metal that consciously takes inspiration from the 1930s. And Midgard, inventors of the iconic Midgard adjustable lamps, presents a modern interpretation of this classic with the Ayno floor lamp.
4. Asian light
In 2021, attention to nature will continue. Japanese, Finnish, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian design is in fashion: a mix of elements of Scandinavian and Japanese style in the japandi and japanordic trend. Asian lamps and lampshades made of rice paper, reinterpreted by European designers, are again in high demand. They provide even, soft, diffused light and are combined with materials such as bamboo, linen, ceramics and many types of natural wood. The result is a calming and cozy atmosphere, even when the lamp itself is turned off. An example is the hand-woven Bela lamp from Kettal: it is made from a single continuous cord and emits a calm, soft light. Weatherproof, the model can even be used outdoors. The Brokis brand demonstrates a modern approach to classic design with its Bonbori street lamp. Inspired by traditional Japanese paper lanterns, the shape is embodied in blown glass and complemented by a stainless steel base.
5. DIY or do it yourself
DIY items, thanks to the development of digital capabilities, are experiencing a new round of development. Not only will it be easy to assemble a separate lamp from the elements provided in the box, but it will also be easy to design a lighting scheme for your own home: high-quality programs from various manufacturers are already capable of creating very realistic visualizations that help position spotlights, as well as table lamps and floor lamps. Slamp, for example, offers a configurator that interactively integrates models selected by users into their own photos to simulate lighting effects and the overall appearance of the interior. This development clearly points the direction of virtual lighting consultations and the use of VR technology, which will make it easier for us to plan home interiors in the future.
6. Colored and bright light
We are seeing a return to bolder use of creative forms. If in architectural lighting the most important thing is its invisibility and the possibility of intuitive control, in decorative lighting it is the opposite: the possibilities of using complex materials have expanded and interest in chandeliers and colored glass has returned. Many manufacturers have rediscovered the courage to use color. Bright lampshades are no less relevant than the minimalist Scandinavian style.