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The Evolution of Lighting

#talkingwith Manuel Vidigal / Aronlight

The lighting sector is constantly evolving, driven by technological innovations and growing environmental awareness. Aronlight, a lighting brand that develops products from scratch in various sectors, has been a key player in this journey. At the head of the company is Manuel Vidigal, whose leadership has guided Aronlight in its remarkable expansion into international markets and in the development of efficient and environmentally responsible lighting solutions. In this #àconversacom, the guest shares his vision and experience, offering an in-depth look at the challenges and opportunities shaping the future of the lighting sector. Come and find out more about this sector.

Why lighting, what attracted you to it?

My family’s business has always been linked to technology for buildings and construction – more specifically the development of electrical security systems and previously the production of satellite dishes. We started working with some lighting brands and weren’t satisfied with the solutions available. Given the opportunity of the transition from conventional lighting to LED lighting, we decided to create our own brand.

And how has lighting evolved in recent years?

First of all, the implementation of LED technology was extremely innovative, and since then lighting has continued to evolve greatly. When Aronlight started operating in 2016, LED lighting already enabled savings of 70% compared to incandescent lighting. Today, it’s already possible to achieve roughly double the savings. It’s an area that is developing enormously, allowing for greater savings in energy terms. In 2016, lighting accounted for around 20% of the world’s energy consumption, and it is expected that by 2025 this impact will fall to 9%, which has a major impact worldwide.

At the same time, technological advances and connectivity have brought another level of evolution to the industry, transforming lighting from a product to a technology. Previously, lamps and lighting systems were independent, now all lighting systems can be connected. Aronlight’s products are prepared to adapt the lighting during the course of a day, changing the color, changing the power, changing all those technical aspects of lighting during the day so that a person can feel better, whether at home, at work or on the street. What’s behind it are programs with scenarios defined according to the user’s preferences – which are even connected to a smarthome or some central system. Then there are different control platforms. It can be by scenarios, it can be individual, it can have one change per day, etc.

More recently, what kind of innovations has Aronlight been exploring?

We focus on innovating in terms of efficiency, so that the consumer uses less and less energy, and in terms of control, because control not only saves money, but also allows us to adapt the lighting to the preferences of the end consumer.

How does sustainability factor into the development of your products and solutions?

We believe that lighting can improve people’s health, and we have recently started adapting lighting systems according to our circadian rhythms – daily rhythms and patterns of activity, influenced mainly by the daily variation in light and temperature conditions. Speaking of lighting, where can we have an impact? Natural sunlight changes color throughout the day, with a very warm light at sunrise, then until midday it gets brighter and brighter because white light is associated with activity, in other words, our body is producing, it’s active, it’s working. And from midday until sunset it gets closer and closer to a warm tone, and as it gets closer to that color until there is no light, we are telling our body that it’s time to stop, rest and start preparing for the next day. Therefore, it is now possible to adapt the light both at home and in the office to our circadian rhythms. We define the ideal colors in our technological control systems, and we adapt all the lighting depending on what we’re doing at any given moment, to improve the well-being of each person, whether in the office, in their home, or even in public lighting.

There is also a topic that I think is important and will be talked about more and more, which is the repairability rate – a more pressing issue in larger installations, such as street lighting, industries or shopping centers. We work to develop systems and luminaires from scratch that, if they have any kind of technical problem, can have a high rate of repairability and only need to replace a few parts. Nowadays, our luminaires last longer and longer, have various openings and systems that allow components to be exchanged so that they can be repaired and the entire luminaire doesn’t have to be replaced. This way of doing things makes for a longer product life and less waste.

Does design also play an important role in development?

Of course, not just to be able to combine all the themes mentioned in a final product, but it’s important that these solutions are also in line with design trends. Lighting is no exception to the variations in consumer preferences. There are times when consumers prefer a more modern or bolder design, and there are other phases when they want to go more classic. And of course we take this into account when developing our products.

How do you work together with contractors to ensure the correct implementation of your product in projects?

When it comes to implementing a simple lighting system, switching it on and off, we don’t need much help with the implementation from the outset, because the companies have their own teams that have this capacity. When it comes to control and more advanced systems, we usually go to the construction sites and help the companies implement them, because as they are new systems, there is still little knowledge of how to implement these systems.

You’ve already worked with Beelt on some recent projects, what aspects do you consider important to our success?

In terms of vision, Beelt is very similar to Aronlight – a young, dynamic company that brings a new dynamic to an old-fashioned market, whether in terms of people, teams or marketing, which translates into a better end product. This “fresh air” arouses curiosity and the market wants to see what this type of company has to offer. As the solutions tend to be better than more “old-fashioned” companies, this type of company ends up being well accepted by the market, which generally translates into accelerated growth.

Looking ahead, how do you envision the future of lighting in the coming years?

The market will tend more and more towards energy saving. LED technology is going to develop more and more every year. To obtain the same luminosity, a normal light bulb could consume around 100 watts, when Aronlight started it could consume 10 watts, today it’s 5 watts, and in 5 years’ time we expect to spend 1 or half a watt. In other words, the energy savings are going to be enormous, along with sustainability and control, two important issues we’ve touched on before. Public lighting will play a very important role in this evolution, through control systems such as sensors, which will set the level of light in the streets according to the number of people, never going below a certain level because public lighting also plays an important role in the safety of cities.

So the lighting path of the next 5 – 10 years will definitely be LED, ever more efficient, ever more connected, and ever more sustainable.


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