Innovations in Smart Lighting Panels, LED Strips & Ambient Lamps

 

Estimated to be a 100 billion dollar market by 2026, the accent and ambient lighting industry is growing rapidly. While smart lighting solutions have now made their way into the mainstream with the introduction of smart bulbs, accent and decorative lighting solutions are now set to do the same.

Introducing splashes of colour and stylised light into a space not only affects the ambience of a room but can also directly influence the mood and energy levels of individuals. There are, therefore, many use-cases for such lighting solutions with technology now able to help meet healthy building goals to improve the overall wellbeing of occupants.

Inspired by a few recent features on Wired, below, we’ll take an unbiased look at some of the latest innovations to hit the ambient and decorative lighting space from a variety of different manufacturers. Each suits a different purpose and has its own advantages and surprising quirks.

 

1. Philips Hue Gradient Smart Lightstrip

Philips has been at the heart of the smart lighting revolution and has since been busy adding ambient solutions to its Hue range of products. The Hue Gradient Smart Lightstrip is one such innovation and allows for creative home and office lighting. The flexible strips feature an adhesive strip on the back allowing it to be used as hidden recess lighting behind mirrors, cabinets, and TVs, or used to draw attention to trip hazards such as stairs.

The light strip can be controlled using a smartphone or paired with a Philips Hue compatible hub to enable integration with a smart home. Using the app, the colour and brightness of the light strip can be precisely controlled, with several preset scenes set by Philips ready to use.

 

2. Govee Neon Rope Light Strip

While light strips are often hidden away to provide spill lighting, Govee’s Neon Rope Light Strip is designed to be showcased. Using a diffusing layer, these flexible strips of LEDs can be customized to form an endless amount of shapes and configurations. Able to display several colours simultaneously, with gradient effects possible, the Neon Rope is one of the most striking light strips on the market. They work great as a way to provide daylight-mimicking light to fight SAD (https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/mental-health/seasonal-affective-disorder/seasonal-affective-disorder-sad-symptoms.html) and boost mood, or use as a subtle night light. Being a smart device, the light strip can be controlled using your voice too, though an app is available.

Synced with a smart assistant, the light strips can also be used as a  way to enhance the experience of music, with the colour changing and animating in time with a beat, ideal for many commercial ambient light purposes.

 

3. Nanoleaf Shapes

Coming in two different shapes, with several starter kits on offer, Nanoleaf Shapes are the standout smart light panels on the market today. Using a modular system, triangle and hexagonal light panels fit together in a multitude of different ways to form unique, ambient lighting. Finding particular popularity among video content creators and streamers, Nanoleaf light panels are easy to set up and can be controlled by a hardware control panel or desktop app. Each shape is touch sensitive, with the ability to change the colour of individual panels with a simple swipe.

While often used to add a striking, neon accent to a background, Nanoleaf’s technology serves as an excellent mood booster and works well in reception areas to provide subtle, reading light.

 

4. Cololight Plus/Pro

The Cololight is a modular-style lamp that can provide ambient lighting even in small spaces. Through the use of reconfigurable hexagonal panels, the lamp can be reworked into a vast array of shapes, increasing and decreasing the light output as necessary.

As a smart lighting device, the ColoLight can be programmed to display a wide range of colours, with dynamic patterns and effects possible. The Plus comes with a plastic base while the Pro has a more stable, stone base, with both looking great in office settings atop desks, giving the chance for personal expression.

 

5. LIFX Beam

One of the biggest changes over the past couple of years is for strip lighting to become a feature in itself. As a feature light, the LIFX Beam stands as one of the most innovative. The start kit comes with 6 illuminable sticks that fasten together with magnets.

As would be expected, the devices can be customised to display any colour and combination, with a diffused effect making them ideal for living room accent lighting. The kit works with Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, and other smart home automation services. The LIFX Beam is also designed to not affect the circadian rhythm of inhabitants, with a Day & Dusk feature that aims to emulate the brightness of the time of day.

 

6. Halo Wall

Crafted by the Spanish designer Martin Azua, the Halo Wall is about as simple as it gets with single, slimline, 1-metre long LED units used to fashion various compositions. The sticks of light can be used as an interesting wall feature but work equally well as subtle ambient light.

While the Halo Wall fixtures look relatively standard on first blush, every element of the design has been carefully considered, using a double methacrylate diffuser atop a shallow aluminum profile to give the impression of pixel lighting. They provide clean, non-harmful light with a CRI of 80, at 3000K, a high standard of colour accuracy and temperature for occupant wellbeing. 

 

7. Dyson Solarcycle Morph

In the typical Dyson style, the Solarcycle Morph takes a technological concept and elevates it beyond other options on the market. In this case, Dyson has turned its attention to feature and accent lighting. Whether used to highlight a wall-mounted picture or pointed at a wall to provide indirect mood lighting, the Solarcycle Morph is a versatile smart light that is potentially the most innovative on the market.

Similar to a draftsman’s lamp,  a spotlight is attached via a flexible arm on top of an illuminating central column. While the lamp can be used as a direct task lamp, it works best as an ambient light source, with it able to mimic the natural daylight cycle automatically. Using Dyson’s Link app, you can synchronise the ambient light with local daylight, or choose from a variety of presets including relaxation and study. The LED bulb is set to last 60 years and can output a colour temperature of anything between 2700 and 6500 kelvin.

With the smart ambient and accent lighting sector still in its relative infancy, the future of the space looks to see even further innovations over the coming years.

 

About McKeon Group: Established in 1950 by Tom McKeon, McKeon Group remains a family business to this day. ISO certified for more than two decades, McKeon Group offers expert construction, fit out and building services. The Group delivers projects, services and maintenance across a range of sectors for State, local authority, FDI and private clients. For more information, contact https://mckeon.ie.

 

DkIT Site Visit: Construction Excellence & Perpetual Curiosity

At McKeon Group, we are passionate about introducing the next generation of construction talent to the industry. As a third generation business, we understand the importance of harnessing all that ‘people potential’ to innovate and create change. In fact, earlier this month, we took a group of primary school children on a site visit to expose them to a working construction site – and to a possible future career in the industry! You can read more about that site visit here https://mckeon.ie/removing-barriers-and-normalising-diversity-is-everyones-business/.

It is equally rewarding when we get the opportunity to meet with third level students who have already chosen a career in the industry. Here, we can share the realities of project life, both on and off site. 

Last week, McKeon Group directors Clíona Molloy and Paddy Cassidy met with DKIT School of Engineering’s class of 2022. The engineering class included the future graduates in construction management, civil engineering, building surveying, and architectural technologists. Firstly, let us just say that the future of the industry is in good hands. It was great to see such high levels of enthusiasm and genuine curiosity from the students. Clíona and Paddy spoke to the class about day-to-day life in construction; the range of projects, the exciting challenges, and the sense of achievement when high quality projects are handed over to satisfied clients. They also counselled the eager students on the importance of their networks, starting with their classmates, lecturers, tutors, and of course visiting industry professionals! One of the most important takeaways from the session was the need for continuous learning and continuous upskilling; a shorthand for this might be telling the students to prepare for a lifetime of taking action on perpetual curiosity…

After the presentation, our directors took the students on a tour of the North Building STEM development, where McKeon Group is currently working to deliver a significant extension. (Further project details available at: https://mckeon.ie/project-update-1300sqm-extension-at-dundalk-institute-of-technology/ )

 

 

Exposing third level students to such ‘real world’ projects affords them a meaningful opportunity to explore the job as well as the discipline. This reinforces the fundamental principles and brings to life much of the theory they learn through their coursework. It also gives our team greater insight into new graduates, and with this deeper level of understanding, we can tailor our recruitment and training approach to appeal to the next generation of industry talent. 

Always teaching, always learning – every day in construction is a school day.

 

 

About McKeon Group: Established in 1950, this year marks the 70th anniversary of McKeon Group, which remains a family business. ISO certified for more than two decades, McKeon Group offers expert construction, fitout and building services. The Group delivers projects, services and maintenance across a range of sectors for State, local authority, FDI and private clients. For more information, contact https://mckeon.ie 

 

 

McKeon Group: Ongoing Restoration Works at Ardgillan Castle

McKeon Group is proud to hold a position on Fingal County Council’s restoration contractor framework. Among the projects undertaken by the McKeon team under this framework is the restoration of the magnificent Ardgillan Castle, in North County Dublin. 

For anyone unfamiliar with this popular visitor attraction, Ardgillan Castle and Demesne sits on close to 200 acres, between Balbriggan and Skerries, overlooking the Irish Sea with views northward to the Mourne Mountains. Described as Ireland’s hidden gem, the castle is a firm family favourite for tours, theater events, parties and more: https://ardgillancastle.ie 

In addition to the ongoing restoration works, this special local attraction will benefit from recently announced funding to ensure the significant expansion of walkways and cycleways, which will connect it to Balbriggan town centre.

Below are just a few of the grand rooms currently being restored by the McKeon site team:

 

 

About McKeon Group: Established in 1950, this year marks the 70th anniversary of McKeon Group, which remains a family business. ISO certified for more than two decades, McKeon Group offers expert construction, fitout and building services. The Group delivers projects, services and maintenance across a range of sectors for State, local authority, FDI and private clients. For more information, contact https://mckeon.ie 

Project Update: 1,300sqm extension at Dundalk Institute of Technology 

 

The McKeon team is currently working to deliver a significant extension to the STEM Building at Dundalk Institute of Technology Campus, Dublin Road, Dundalk, County Louth. 

 

This two-storey, 1,300 sqm extension is being constructed on the eastern side of the existing building and, when complete, will provide additional teaching and lab spaces for a further 760 science, technology & engineering students at the Institute.

Speaking about the new facilities when the Project Ireland 2040 funding was announced,  DkIT President, Michael Mulvey PhD said:

“We welcome this timely and important capital investment in DkIT which will allow us to transform existing facilities into a state-of-the-art science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) centre of excellence on campus. The new facility will benefit learners from undergraduate to PhD level, with proposed new laboratory facilities in food technology, chemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, biotechnology, agriculture and all engineering disciplines”.

The works comprise a two-storey link to the existing building, which requires some alteration works within, and the construction of a new brick and glazing clad structure. 

Significantly, the interior will serve as a laboratory, with associated teaching spaces, and as such must be highly serviced. This is an area of specialist expertise for McKeon Group, which is further complemented by the Hereworks smart buildings and audio visual offering. The lab setting also requires a level of GxP, or good practice, compliance to ensure effective cleaning and prevent cross-contamination. Critically, planning for best practice begins not at the fit out stage but at the design stage, and shapes progress throughout the build and subsequent fit out.

The work in progress can be viewed in the photo gallery below: 

 

About McKeon Group: Established in 1950, this year marks the 70th anniversary of McKeon Group, which remains a family business. ISO certified for more than two decades, McKeon Group offers expert construction, fitout and building services. The Group delivers projects, services and maintenance across a range of sectors for State, local authority, FDI and private clients. For more information, contact McKeon.ie

 

Construction Network Ireland: McKeon Group Develops Good2Go Construction App for the Industry

Originally published at Construction Network Ireland: http://www.constructionnetworkireland.com/mckeon-group-develops-good2go-construction-app-for-the-industry/

 

Construction Network Ireland

 

The construction industry, like many industries, has been heavily impacted by COVID-19 and is rapidly evolving to meet the challenges of the pandemic. From maintaining social distancing on sites to developing new working procedures, there are a number of actions that construction companies need to take to prepare for the new normal. Construction companies will need to ensure that they are in compliance with HSE-approved Construction Industry Federation (CIF) standard operating procedures, including social distancing on sites. Site managers must implement these critical measures to ensure that their teams and site operatives have the ability to work safely.

The team at McKeon Group have pre-empted some of these challenges. In partnership with MJ Flood Technology, McKeon Group has developed a solution to support construction businesses with workers returning to site…

The Good2Go solution allows businesses to get their workers back on site safely and efficiently, providing full logs of all site visitors without the need for any pens, paper, shared devices or hassle.

Tomás Mac Eoin, Managing Director, McKeon Group explains:

“The app was developed to ensure frictionless adoption of the new safety protocols and McKeon Group has already rolled out the Good2Go solution at a number of essential services sites. It is important to us that the wider industry also has access to this solution; in the words of our Taoiseach, we are in this together.”   

The team is hoping to share the solution with others in the industry with a view to supporting peers getting back to business quickly and safely: https://mckeon.ie/about-us/good2go-app/

 

You can read the full article at Construction Network Ireland: http://www.constructionnetworkireland.com/mckeon-group-develops-good2go-construction-app-for-the-industry/

 

Good2Go construction app
McKeon Group Site manager Donal Molloy using the app with MD Tomás Mac Eoin

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