Lighting design in 2020: here’s the great challenge that awaits architects and designers

Olevlight Lighting Design, Technology

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Which lighting design trends can we expect in 2020?

In the past few years, the evolution of lighting systems has made lighting design an essential tool for adding originality to architectural and interior design projects.

One thing is certain:

in 2020, light will still be an essential element for making your projects even more unique.

Lighting design, however, is changing again.

Lighting fixtures have become devices with greater technological complexity. 

From homes to restaurants, from hotels to offices, lighting projects require even more consideration and expertise.

In 2020, this evolution will continue, with a direct effect on the role of architects and designers. 

In this article, we will discuss the most important trend that over the next few months will change the way design professionals relate to light.

From illuminating in the dark to Human Centric Lighting

Until recently, light was considered “just” a tool for visual purposes.

So a necessary resource for living in a safe environment, for orientation, and for carrying out daily activities effectively.

Today, however, thanks to Human Centric Lighting, it has gained much more recognition.


Human Centric Lighting, the lighting tailored to people, will become decisive in the following months for the most challenging and original architectural projects.

But what does Human Centric Lighting actually mean?

Human Centric Lighting is an approach to lighting design which, in addition to the visual purposes of light, also accounts for its effects on human biological rhythms

It is an approach derived from a series of recent scientific studies, which have established a fact:

the human body is sensitive to light, which controls the wake and sleep stages.

Simply put, our body “reads” the surrounding lighting and automatically reacts accordingly.

These studies have proven that being exposed to lighting that is not appropriate to our psycho-physical requirements disrupts our circadian rhythm, or our internal biorhythm.

The wrong light can cause sleeping disorders, irritability, concentration problems, increased heart rate, visual impairments.

In some cases, it can even contribute to provoking severe conditions, such as depression.

These considerations lead us to ask a further question:

what is then the right light that makes people feel good?

The answer is to be found – as always – in Nature.

More specifically, in the natural light cycle.


Try to think about the way sunlight changes throughout the day.

At dawn, it’s purple and soft.

Around noon it becomes very bright – or rather white – and very intense.

At sunset, finally, it turns to the warm tones of yellow, orange and red, and is very soft.

Science has shown that replicating the cycle of natural light through modern artificial lighting systems has beneficial effects on human biological rhythms.

A light that emulates that of a sunset will make us feel more relaxed. 

A light like the one at midday will boost concentration.

The Human Centric Lighting approach aims at adjusting the light to the time of day, to the environments, and to the specific activities carried out within them in order to comply with people’s biological requirements.

For example:

  • the living room of a house in the evening should be illuminated by a warm light, which becomes very warm and soft as the sleeping time approaches;
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  • a workplace should be illuminated by a bright and intense light, which, as well as providing visual comfort, makes people feel more alert and full of energy.olev_illuminazione_ufficio_sunglass (16)

Human Centric Lighting: what are the technologies that activate the lighting tailored to people?

In order to implement the Human Centric Lighting approach, the lighting fixtures must include a series of technological features.

Luckily, these features not only exist, but they are also a well-established reality. 

Since 2010, the widespread diffusion of LED technology has brought a real revolution on the market. 

LEDs have allowed for an extremely rapid evolution of lighting fixtures, which opened up scenarios that were inconceivable until just a few years ago. 

Among the features that allow the designer to put the Human Centric Lighting approach into practice, we can mention:

  • the ability to control the intensity of the light, ranging from more intense light to a soft light;
  • the ability to control the colour temperature of light by switching from cold to warm light;
  • the ability to automatically adjust the light to the time of day;
  • the ability to automatically adjust the light according to the amount of natural light.


All this can be done through automatic sensors, or customized commands, always at your fingertips, such as apps and smartphones. 

The awareness of the effects of light on human biological rhythms is set to increase exponentially.

In 2020, using lighting fixtures that contain these technologies will be fundamental for adding value to architectural and interior design projects.


OLEV and the future of lighting design: this is how light for the well-being becomes reality

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However, the well-being of people in an environment is not just a matter of light. 

To create truly comfortable spaces, it is necessary to examine all the factors that influence people’s perceptions.

That’s why at OLEV, we’ve been conducting long and thorough research over the last two years.

Together with professionals such as our Art Director Marc Sadler and sense designer Filippo Cannata, we have created what we now call light for the well-being.

It is an entire collection of designer lamps created with the intent of improving people’s lives

OLEV lamps for the well-being feature Active and Biolight technologies, in complete accordance with the Human Centric Lighting approach:

  • Biolight is the OLEV technology that replicates the variation of natural light in a completely automatic way. Thanks to Biolight, you can benefit from the light that best suits your psycho-physical needs at any time of day.
  • Active is the OLEV technology that adjusts the intensity of artificial light automatically depending on the amount of natural light in the room. This ensures that the artificial light is perfectly tailored to specific functional requirements at all times of the day.

But there’s more.

The new OLEV lamps for the well-being are designed to satisfy the psycho-physical needs of people by activating multiple senses at the same time.  

An example is the Silence series, which uses the sound-absorbing properties of selected materials to dampen the surrounding noise. 

From restaurants to offices, this type of lamps combines the visual comfort of the ideal light with acoustic comfort.

So there’s more to the story than just an evolution in lighting technology. 

Light for the well-being is a real cultural turning point that far-sighted architects can use to create truly original and innovative projects.

The challenge for the next few months has been set. 

And if you want to be one of those designers who can stand out by offering their customers the unique value of a light that helps people live better, click HERE and download now the latest OLEV catalogue to discover the exclusive collection of lamps for the well-being.