The French poet, Victor Hugo is credited with saying: To love beauty is to see light.

So much of art is held in the play of shadow and light, the way the glow shifts the intensity of color, the warmth of the luminosity. Light and art go hand in hand, so it comes as no surprise to consider the idea that light is an essential component of design.

The researchers at Salone del Mobile Milano have spent the better part of the year exploring all things related to light. Light is a powerful component of any space, allowing us to perceive space differently based upon it, to experience color in unique ways, to even feel more or less comfortable based on its perceived temperature.

The researchers call light the fourth dimension. New technologies in light continue to push the envelope of what is possible with lighting in the modern home. Innovations offered by lighting companies include:

  • Products designed to adjust the spectrum and intensity of light in order to create the ideal environment for melatonin production, leading to better sleep and easier awakening.
  • Bulbs controlled by smart technologies that automatically adjust the atmosphere to indicate that bedtime looms and brighten automatically in the morning as we wake.
  • Lighting with almost unlimited potential for personification – color, intensity, brightness, and even timing.

In modern design, lighting is more like matter and less ethereal. LED lights integrated into cabinetry, flooring, walls, and ceilings – actually become part of the architecture rather than an afterthought.

Gorgeous detailing – laser-cut geometrics, luminescent surfaces, subtle (and bold) color – accentuate the beauty. Of course, there is a practicality to light as well – it allows us to push back the dark to do what needs to be done.

Add in the idea of sustainability, making lighting a luxury that works in a green lifestyle, and it’s easy to see how lighting can and should be an essential component of contemporary home design.