By Roma Arora
What are the goals and objectives of Light Link?
Light Link was established in 2019, to provide quality lighting design and supply solutions that reflect our values, captured in the acronym LINK – Listen, Integrity, Network, and Knowledge. Our goal is to be the go-to lighting design and supply company in the Middle East and being named Lighting Company of the Year by Design Middle East Awards 2021 is a strong sign that we’re on the right track. We have continued to exceed our yearly revenue targets by staying true to our principles and having the opportunity to work with clients who love lighting as much as we do. We also want Light Link to be a vehicle for good by supporting causes that we believe in. This year we’re key sponsors of Surge for Water’s “Design, Dine, Make a Difference” event in Dubai. We’d love to be a headline sponsor in the future, as well as get involved in a wider range of charity initiatives. We feel very fortunate to be thriving thanks to loyal clients and a hard-working team, so it’s important for us to demonstrate our gratitude by giving back.
How has the decorative lighting market progressed in recent years in terms of LEDs?
Has the pace of adoption been what you anticipated? We’re seeing a good level of progress in innovation and subsequent interest, especially in some of the unique shapes and sizes that are now available with LED. One area that still needs improvement is the variety of functional decorative lighting. At the moment, these kinds of products are at a premium, but manufacturers need to broaden their ranges and offer more flexibility in the finishings. There is so much that can be done with LEDs, we’re definitely excited to watch where the market goes in the next few years.
What impact has the pandemic had on your business and client needs?
Obviously, the lockdown was challenging. There were several supply issues, and for a long time, it meant that we were unable to go out and win new projects to secure our pipeline. But, in many ways, we were also lucky. As a new business (launching mid-2019), we were a small and agile team, and the downtime gave us space to develop our strategy for the future. As a result, we became sharper as a business during the pandemic and we’re realising the benefits of that now. From a client perspective, our customers were looking for a more comprehensive level of support, which is one of the reasons why we chose to move into larger premises where we now have the space to handle storage and customisation in-house, streamlining the overall process.
What are the challenges facing your industry going forward?
The market is becoming increasingly saturated, and more competition inevitably drives the prices down. When margins are eroded, companies find themselves doing more projects for less value, which can impact the results for the client. One of the best ways to tackle this is to remain as lean as possible and work with the right supply chain to maintain quality. It’s also about educating and encouraging clients to appreciate the long-term value of lighting over short-term cost-cutting.
What new trends are emerging in your industry?
There has been a significant increase in co-working and casual working spaces opening up. These venues want unique lighting pieces that are part of the design in their own right, rather than relying on the standard linear lights you would find above desks in a traditional office. Overall, there’s increased demand for softer lighting, flexible lighting solutions, smart lighting, and wellbeing lighting – a trend we’re particularly passionate about. As a result, more complex control systems are being developed to integrate and manage these features.
Are there any standout luxe design applications or projects you can talk about?
We recently worked with Roar on Abu Dhabi’s award-winning Early Childhood Authority, an inspiring office that combines playful childhood elements with the latest innovations in workplace design. We sourced a wide selection of custom lights in unique colours and shapes to create eye-catching art pieces and installed a bespoke track lighting system on the ceiling. Another stand-out project was PwC. One of our largest jobs to date, we liaised with 35 different global manufacturers to source the extensive selection of customised lights they were looking for and managed to deliver everything on time and within budget, even with the challenges of COVID. We were also able to use our wellbeing ex- Interview At Niche Coworking, Light link used lighting to enhance the design features pertise to comply with the stringent WELL Building Standards required.
What lighting industry developments are you most looking forward to? How do you see the industry benefiting from it/them? Clients are starting to recognise the tangible benefits of quality lighting solutions, and we intend to be at the forefront of driving education in the industry. We’re also looking forward to increased adoption of WELL and LEED standards in the region, as companies continue to focus on wellbeing in the workplace and recognise how lighting plays an integral part in keeping their employees healthy, happy, and motivated. Winning Lighting Company of the Year at the Design Middle East Awards 2021 was a great recognition for the company.
What opportunities or plans for growth do you see in 2022?
Winning this award was amazing recognition and it demonstrates how hard our whole team have worked to achieve what we have in only our third year of business. A major part of our growth strategy is expanding into other regions across the GCC and we’re already gaining traction in countries like Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Being named Lighting Company of the Year will definitely help to open doors and enable us to capitalise on the opportunities in new markets.