In the December 1999 issue of The Trend Curve™ I set out a forecast of about a dozen trends for the decade ahead. Aging Boomers Drive Innovation in Lighting was one of them. I wrote about how people need incrementally more light to see and to perceive color as they age. “You begin to notice this at about 35. By 40 your really feel it and by 50 you may have every light in the room on to decide if your sock is Navy Blue or Black.” My forecast included these predictions:
“Expect consumers to add lighting in layers so it has drama and looks decorative…”
“To achieve this goal, lighting will come from more points in each room and will be integrated into new products.”
“Resources like airplane aisle lights and Indiglo technology—lights so small they can be embedded anywhere…are top of mind as we look for new locations for lighting and ways to add it that are completely new and decorative.”
I just had to think about this forecast at Heimtextil in Frankfurt, Germany this week when I walked into Blome’s stand. In addition to high styled introductions like drapery hardware finials encrusted with pave and cut crystals from Swarovski, there were also curtain rods with embedded LED’s. One style was quite contemporary and the other transitional. Both looked great.
This application of LED’s in a curtain rod would never be used alone as a source of light. Instead, it would add drama to a room setting and add to the total available light in a subtle yet beneficial way. This is exactly the kind of thing I had in mind when I made my prediction in 1999.
As these products work their way into the marketplace, I hope that other companies will find inspiration in Blome’s example of how everyday products can (and should) be redesigned with both creativity and additional functionality.