These days, the speed at which lighting technology is advancing means that trends in commercial lighting design can also move at, well, the speed of light! Commercial buildings are constantly adapting to improve their safety, aesthetics, function and financial performance, and lighting plays a huge role in each of those concerns.

As we move into 2017, be on the lookout for these trends in commercial lighting design and function:

LED retrofitting

As LED technology advances to include a widening range of capabilities, more and more businesses are completing LED retrofit overhauls. Benefits of making the switch to LED include enhanced lighting quality, improved energy efficiency, smart lighting capabilities, and lower maintenance costs. Learn more about the business reasons for making the switch in Sourcing Sustainable Products Makes Good Business Sense.

Industrial fixtures

This look was popular in 2016 and is here to stay a while longer. To achieve it, choose fixtures that are monochromatic and incorporate metal tones like brushed nickel or bronze. Knob and strap details and Edison-style bulbs help finish the look. Pair the fixtures with rustic design elements like exposed beams, neutral wall colors and exposed brick.

A specific type of light fixture that’s gaining in popularity and complements the industrial look is reflective luminaire manufacturer (RLM) lighting. These fixtures are designed to reflect light downward, so you’ll most often see them as wall sconces or pendant lights.

Use of natural light

Using natural light is a commercial lighting trend that isn’t going anywhere. Study after study shows the benefits of exposure to natural light – improved performance, better sleep, higher employee satisfaction, and even increased retail sales! Of course, taking advantage of natural light significantly lessens a building’s energy load, as well. If you can get it, adding more natural light to your office is a definite plus for your employees and your business.

That said, putting up a new building or retrofitting with more windows and skylights isn’t always an option. Fortunately, LED lighting’s flexibility means companies can adjust light color and brightness to levels that mimic natural light and promote productivity and health, in a move called daylighting. Today’s smart LED lighting systems monitor levels of natural light and adjust their output to optimal levels.

Oversized fixtures

This year, oversized fixtures are a hot design trend, but they don’t work just anywhere. Because they become the focal point of a space, they’re great for high-ceilinged lobbies, stairwells, or spacious dining areas. Don’t go overboard with this look; adding a single oversized fixture makes a bold design statement.

Smart lighting

Flood lights with motion sensors have been around for years, but smart lighting has advanced by leaps and bounds, as just referenced in the daylighting example. Smart lighting technology is exciting because of the wide array of results and benefits that it can achieve. Controls embedded into each fixture deliver impressive results, including dramatic savings on energy costs. In fact, a Business Insider report shows one packaging company slashed energy costs by 75% and improved worker productivity by 20% at one of its plants by installing smart LED lights.

Let’s look at a few specific examples of smart lighting at work:

1. Lights can be set to dim at certain hours but brighten, and even emit an audible alarm or warning when motion is detected, alerting security personnel to intruders and letting trespassers know to smile for the security cameras.

2. Lighting controls can be programmed to correspond with meeting schedules. When sensors in the conference room lights detect no movement during a scheduled meeting time, they switch off and cancel the event in their schedule.

3. Smart lighting control systems can be programmed to meet energy efficiency codes, like those set forth by ASHRAE. By measuring temperatures, room occupancy, and energy loads, the smart systems adjust by harvesting daylight or turning off in empty rooms to keep the building’s energy use within set parameters.

Incredibly, many of these smart lighting systems can be wirelessly controlled by your phone or tablet, from anywhere in the world! From auto scheduling, to changing colors, to daylighting, to built-in speakers, smart lighting is dramatically changing the way facilities use light.

Minimalist LED 

Now that more and more businesses are moving to LED lighting, many are also opting for the sleek, clean lines these energy-saving bulbs can produce. This look uses straightforward, subtle design, sharp lines and minimal details. The minimalist approach also tends toward monochromatic, steely tones. It looks great in spaces that are clear of clutter and include a dramatic pop of color. This look is deceptively simple, for the aesthetic is minimalist, but smart technology delivers maximum functionality.

Summary

If you need help updating the look or energy efficiency of your buildings, Accuserv’s design and specification experts can help you achieve the lighting form and functionality you desire at an unbeatable price.