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Top 10 Lighting Trends for 2016 (#7 is truly revolutionary)

Last Updated on February 19, 2016 by Steve Brielmaier | 0 comments

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An Insider notebook from the 2016 Dallas Lightovation tradeshow.

The next time you go shopping for a new light fixture, you may be stunned by the innovation in technology and the bold styles you discover.  The lighting industry is experiencing explosive change as designers explore new materials and apply new technology to a perhaps mundane market. Some lamps and cool lamp shades are timeless, but here are the most interesting and impactful trends that you will notice in the next few years:

  1. Steel Mesh - Designers are using steel mesh to shield and diffuse light to give a strong, bold look.  Quoizel did an especially good application of stamped steel mesh in their hip urban Metropolis Collection.  Mesh is used primarily in pendant lights and sometimes in bath bars.
    steel mesh

  2. Concrete Pendants - Following the concrete counter-top trend, designers are testing the strength of their  cords (usually black fabric) with actual concrete pendants.  Cement lighting fits well with today's urban contemporary design.  Obviously opaque, concrete focuses all the light downward, so it works best as task lighting.  So if you choose concrete pendants, make sure you have plenty of ambient light from other sources if you consider the hot urban loft look of concrete.  Maxim Lighting did an especially good job with its Crete Collection in molded natural Gray finish cement, paired with Metal Polished Chrome hardware that contrasts nicely with the black fabric wire. They even include bright and efficient LED bulbs.  Uttermost features concrete table lamps.

  3. Two Tone Finishes - Oil rubbed bronze has been American "finish of choice" for the past 10 years.  After trying to convince an unwilling public to switch to newer finishes, designers decided to combine gold and silver finishes with original bronze.  Check out Hinkley's interpretation in their Clarendon and Fulton Collections.
  4. Sleek Ceiling Fans - Modern, minimalist ceiling fans are cropping up frequently this year.  Designers are exploring all types of fan blades, similar to oars or airplane propellers.  The most impressive are from Monte Carlo, Kichler and Craftmade.  All-wood with no light kit and feathered blades are super-impressive.  You won't have to settle for the tired, flat fan blades ever again.
  5. Geometric Designs - Chandeliers and pendants debuted in lots of classic geometric shapes.  Diamonds, triangles, inverted jewels, spheres are the most prevalent shapes this year.  Capital Lighting makes this great  "inverted kite" shaped chandelier.
    geometric designs
  6. Light as Art - Hand blown glass has always been used for vases and bowls, now is being formed into plates used for wall sconces.  Some are lit and some are unlit.  Dale Tiffany had a great mix of glass wall plates in colors designed to stand out while fitting in to most decor themes.  These are really "statement" pieces that will draw attention from your guests.
  7. LED Revolution - 2016 may finally be the year that LED technology enters the mainstream.  Used primarily in bath and outdoor, LED offers so many benefits, from saving electricity to not having to replace light bulbs.  We are just beginning the LED lighting revolution.  In 10 years, all lighting will be LED because of its many benefits.  The energy savings is tremendous, using up to 90% less juice to power your lighting.  But the design freedom LED lights provide is just now being explored.  Most LED lights are being retro-fitted to lights designed for incandescent or halogen bulbs.  But now that designers are not constrained by traditional templates, you will see some truly innovative and adventurous designs in the next few years.  You may not recognize it as lighting, but instead as art.  We are just beginning the LED revolution so keep watching!
  8. Pantone Colors - 2016 Pantone color(s) of the year are Rose Quartz and Serentity blue.  Table lamps, pillows, and wall art from fashion leaders like Uttermost, Surya and Lite Source featured many options to showcase the first dual colors of the year ever.  These classic colors are guaranteed to not go our of style in 12 months.
  9. Vintage Bulbs go High Tech - Retro, Vintage bulbs have been so popular the last few years because they really complete an authentic look for urban loft and restoration style lighting.  LED vintage bulbs glow the same as energy-wasting incandescent bulbs.  But LED will give you way more light while only using a fraction of the wattage.  Wallet friendly and the look you want.
  10. Smart LED Outdoor - Innovative designers focussed on functionality are solving problems with smarter lighting.  Vaxcel offers security lights that turn on at full power at dusk, then you control at what time and what level they should dim to.  They even have a motion sensor to return to full power when triggered by motion on the ground.  Now that is smart.
    So watch for these trends as you are considering remodel projects in 2016.  This is what you will see in showrooms and online this year.  Let us know what other trends your notice in your travels.

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