Donna Dederding, regional communications marketing and PR manager

How important is quality lighting?
The mindset when it comes to lighting is still very different in the Middle East. The added value of high-quality lighting is not a priority for everyone. Lighting comes in at a very late stage of the project and that’s normally after budgets have been overshot and value engineering is carried out. The investment cost of quality lighting versus the return on investment thanks to energy savings is not always a strong argument, because of the low energy prices in the region. However, we do see progress and newly implemented green building rating, such as Al Safat, are a good initiative to encourage sustainable lighting. We also have some first-class lighting designers in the region, particularly in Dubai, who have designed brilliant solutions with good-quality products and keep on communicating the importance of high quality lighting.

What trends do you see influencing the market?
Clean, pure ceilings with the use of indirect light and clean light lines. We can see that luminairies are becoming less obtrusive and more versatile. One product can cater to several applications and technologies such as tune able white can transform a room from a cosy 2,700Kelvin to a concentrated work area of 4000Kelvin within seconds. As energy efficiency plays a substantial role in most designs, the integration of smart controls and sensors is becoming more important. Simplicity is the key and with smart controls you can change your lighting from a desktop or smartphone in an instant.

Where can lighting be used to have the most impact on a space?
Light is emotion. It is fundamental to human well-being, it brings buildings, interiors and outdoor spaces to life. Light is communication. Light is variable. Light is everywhere and therefore has an impact on any space. A great example of how lighting can influence and support situations, is the Al Jalila Children’s Hospital, where we installed colour changing lighting in the operating theatres. With this solution, children are distracted from the stressful event of undergoing surgery, while watching the colurs of the room shift from red to green to blue and so on. Changing the colour or colour temperature of light in hospitals can certainly support the healing process and create a relaxing atmosphere for a patient. Another good example are retail stores where we applied the so called Limbic® Lighting model. The Limbic® Lighting study shows clear differences with respect to lighting preferences. Different groups of people respond differently to even the smallest changes, hardly noticeable with the naked eye. For example, some customers respond positively to moderate accent lighting while others are more inspired by contrast scenarios with low horizontal general lighting levels. Accordingly, adjusting the lighting scenarios to target group-specific needs is explicitly recommended and can easily increase sales.

What is special about what you can offer your clients?
Zumtobel Group, are a leading player in the field of innovative lighting solutions and components and offer customers around the world a comprehensive range of products and services with 5 established brands; Thorn, Zumtobel, acdc, Reiss and Tridonic. We conduct research into the health-promoting effects of light and use these effects to provide people with the best possible lighting quality. The Group’s applied research furthermore attaches particular importance to energy efficiency. Thanks to new technological possibilities we’re seeing that light can have many new functions -functions we understand and want to make available to our clients, and of course to the users of their facilities.