"Light becomes more integrated and moves closer to the product"

Interview with Joerg Krewinkel, CEO of international “Lichtkompetenz” lighting design office

01/03/2014

He lights up stores from Istanbul to Bali: Joerg Krewinkel heads the international "Lichtkompetenz" lighting design office in Switzerland. At this year's EuroShop, he was part of the first "Lighting Designers' Zone" as an exhibitor. And even though he is already on his way abroad again for his next project, he takes the time and delivers insights into the latest trends by lighting designers.
Image: Man in a suit; Copyright: Messe Düsseldorf

Joerg Krewinkel; © Messe Düsseldorf

Mr. Krewinkel, why is it important to precisely plan the use of light and what effect can it achieve with a customer?

Joerg Krewinkel: Light directs and guides the customer. Perfectly staged sales areas are more inviting and encourage shoppers to stay a bit longer in the store.

What type of projects do you implement in the retail area?

Krewinkel: Our business is currently quite intercontinental. Over the past two years, we were able to implement retail projects in Paris, Istanbul, Singapore and Seoul. Now we are working on large retail projects – primarily for department stores - in Bali, Guam and Macao.

Where do you see the current trend in lighting in this area?

Krewinkel: We are moving away from diffuse lighting and generally look for a more scenic design in lighting. With the many LED options, light increasingly becomes more integrated and moves closer to the product. Integrated ceiling lighting is going to fade.
 Image: Many mannequins in an illuminated room; Copyright: Lichtkompetenz

Projects like Beymen in Istanbul illustrate very nicely what's feasible; © Lichtkompetenz

What aspects need to be considered, if products are meant to be placed in a certain light?

Krewinkel: This essentially depends on the items. When it comes to fresh foods, you need to bring out the respective colors. In the general textile area, you need to pay attention to a high color-rendering index. LED light quality should always have a CRI above 90. The illumination level is also diminishing as a topic. Today and in the future, it is more about contrasting areas in the store.

When are you happiest in your work as a lighting designer?

Krewinkel: We are happiest when we are involved from the very first minutes of the project. This is also the biggest drawback that keeps concerning us. Quite frequently planning starts without our help. After a certain time, the issue of the correct lighting comes up. Oftentimes certain things are then no longer possible.
Image: Bright, light-flooded shop. On the left is a shelf, on the right are round tables and chairs, straight ahead you get to stairs, that lead to a second floor; Copyright: Lichtkompetenz
You were an exhibitor at the first "Lighting Designers' Zone" – the exhibition space especially dedicated to lighting designers during the EuroShop. Were you able to identify new trends in lighting?

Krewinkel: On the one hand, LED lighting has caught up with traditional lights. A lot is still going to happen in the coming years in this area. On the other hand, interactive lighting is an emerging topic. There will be active, dynamic solutions in shop windows, since today apps make handling easier. General handling of lighting is also meant to and will become easier.

We have developed the "light precisor" for this. The "light precisor" is a laser pointer assisted adaptation mechanism to exactly align directed light qualities from a pinhole downlight. The feedback was fantastic. We were able to have great conversations at the EuroShop and are already working on our follow-up appointments.

Author: Natascha Mörs; EuroShop
First published at iXtenso.com