Future is Bright for Leeds Lighting Students

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Each year, Leeds LED lighting company High Technology Lighting encourage and support the next generation of lighting designers by running a lighting design competition. This year they have opened the competition up to the public by using Facebook to ask for comments on the finalists' work. Previous winners have gained jobs with lighting design companies, had their designs picked up by a major retailer and finalists’ designs are regularly featured in the major lighting trade magazines.

‘Given that there's so much lighting technology around, what would happen if we asked people – whoever they may be – to come up with new ideas for lighting fittings?’

The "enlighten" design competition began as a conversation between two company directors seven years ago. Thomas Holgeth and Graham Kemp, owners of High Technology Lighting Ltd asked themselves: ‘Given that there's so much lighting technology around, what would happen if we asked people – whoever they may be – to come up with new ideas for lighting fittings?’ Seven years later and with the seventh annual award looming, the enlighten award has seen successful students gain jobs with lighting design companies, have their design picked up by a major retailer and finalists’ designs are regularly featured in the major lighting trade magazines.

The premise is as simple as it ever was: 'here is some lighting kit, let’s see what you can make of it’. In 2005, the technology around which the fittings were designed was a high-efficiency fluorescent tube, which may not sound particularly interesting, but it’s amazing what happens when imagination is given a bit of elbow room.

In 2012, the inevitable has happened and the light source of choice is now an LED light engine – but not just any old LED light engine; this is technology from the top of the tree, designed and manufactured by Xicato, one of the world’s leading LED developers.

The competition was taken up by Leeds Metropolitan University from the very first year, and that’s where the winners have come from thus far, but it is still a competition that is open to anyone who fancies turning their hand to exciting, individual, unique, imaginative, lighting design. Judges are drawn from within the lighting and design industry.

With the imminent demise of tungsten halogen lighting, LED lighting design is becoming ever more important and High Technology Lighting, ever the innovators, are now hosting a new blog on their website to help spread the word about the overwhelming environmental and cost benefits of using LED light.

As part of their drive to broadcast this message, this year High Technology Lighting is using Facebook to ask for your comments on the four finalists. Let them know which design you’d choose as the 2012 winner of the "enlighten" award. The closing date for comment and votes is 23rd May 2012.

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Allison Bairstow
allison@eclipsemagazine.co.uk
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