How smart is smart?

On course for #LB16

Smart technologies are key to quality of life - at work and in public buildings, in private homes and hotels. "Where modern spaces come to life: digital - individual – networked” is the motto of Light + Building 2016, recognising intelligent system solutions and contemporary design as strategic cornerstones of modern life.

Impression of the Light + Building 2014 © Zumtobel

Today we are interconnected more than ever before. In fact, it is often impossible to escape the unprecedented levels of automation and networking. Nevertheless, each and every one of us still has to decide to what extent smart technologies penetrate our lives, if they really make our daily routines easier and whether or not they genuinely bring added value.

With these issues in mind, there is also the question of exactly which benefits a smart lighting solution can offer. Do we need light that accompanies us 24 hours a day or would this kind of approach in some way damage the link to our natural rhythm of life? Numerous studies have shown the effect of light on the human biorhythm and now human-centric lighting will be a central topic at Light + Building 2016. The secret to measuring how smart a lighting solution is lies in understanding its relevance. Ideally, lighting should re-establish harmony between individuals and their internal clock. Dr. Walter Werner, generally seen as the father of lighting controls at Zumtobel, sums this up perfectly. With a doctorate in physics, Werner developed the first Zumtobel LUXMATE PROFESSIONAL lighting controls in 1991. He explains: "The human being must be supported by lighting controls. It all depends on the balance between automated interventions in the lighting situation and individual freedoms." This is a principle that still very much exists today. With the app-based LITECOM lighting management system Zumtobel has currently developed a central lighting management for the next generation, which reduces the control processes at a minimum.

Rather than merely showcasing the almost unlimited possibilities of modern technology, a lighting solution is truly intelligent when it focuses on the individual and only involves as much technology as is really necessary. Inclusion is the motto - human needs, individual circumstances and darkness. Darkness is like the canvas of a painter for every lighting concept. From it emerges a lighting solution that firstly uses the natural light in the building and then supplements this with artificial light if and when required. Light is the manifestation of the power of the sun. A solution that manages to bring the properties of the sun and natural daylight into our living and working spaces can genuinely improve wellbeing. This means a lighting solution that accompanies us around the clock must both recognise and regulate human biorhythms, using a blend of darkness and dynamic lighting scenes to recreate the biological effect of daylight.

Further proof that the combination of consolidated building planning and smart technology is now essential for a better quality of life will be shown by Zumtobel and the wider industry at Light + Building 2016 from 13. to 18. March 2016 in Frankfurt am Main. Zumtobel will be integrating this knowledge into various application areas. Further information will follow soon here on

For further information on Zumtobel at Light + Building or an individual appointment, please visit our Light + Building website.