Zachau Design visited the Lighting fair Licht & Bau in Frankfurt between the 6th and 8th of Mars

This fair is huge and everything from decorative interior lighting to city electricity management system was to be seen.

Trend spotting was something that the fair had reserved quite a lot of space for. Conclusions to be drawn were among others; recycling, true materials, simplicity and energy saving.

Playfulness can also be added to the list. In many cases functionality had to step back in favour of pure styling and art. On the other hand one can claim that well-being is an essential function….


Starting with the exterior part of the fair we find Zumtobel/Thorn presenting some novelties. Energy efficient and well designed they offer luminaires among the best on the market.

Also a world premiere to announce; the OXANE2, a street light for Thorn France styled by Zachau Design in great collaboration with Thorn France R&D.

Nostalgia and wood integration but all equipped with LED cores was something that caught many visitors eyes.

Flat and slim is a signum for most of the LED street lights. Sometimes you need to cool them down with the help of aluminium flanges.

Even flatter over the LED boards, like this example, you end up in a “Chinese duck” design with its Donald Duck beak…..

Different kinds of circular shapes, all holding different types of LED cores.

Adding solar panels can be done in a number of ways; either you put these on the post itself, or you put directly on top of the actual luminaire. And you can of course separate them and put them on top of the post, then the luminaire can hang like a bird cage beneath.

Polymer as a structural part of the luminaire is something relatively new. Here with a ecological approach.

Strict and technical is the hallmark of many German producers.

Small scale and garden applications seams to be a trend today.


Round in metal, glass and plastic can be seen at many producers’ stands. Genuine and exclusive materials in a sophisticated mix.

Finnish producer Tunto works with metal and wood in a delicate way. The designer himself, Mikko Kärkkäinen, is also the founder and CEO of the company.

LED technology allows freeform shapes. You can see a number of organic forms within the decorative light hall.

Recycled and genuine materials can be found in many boots within the fair. Everything from tufted felt to laced aluminium.

Plastic becoming exclusive in the right applications. The light playing with the material adds a new dimension.

The “iPhone silhouette” is a well explored theme. Either as the rim itself or as a tube for the LED cores.

Some very experimental concepts were also to be seen. Using different kinds of light sources that are refracted in the material generates unexpected effects.

Noise reducing materials in combination with light is something that feels totally adequate for office interiors.

Also these felt like materials works in that silencing direction. (Zachau Design experimented with the “double ellipse” shape back in the 80’s. At the time using plexiglass.)

Some traditional Swedish manufacturers were also in the fair. Ifö’s heritage includes famous designers like Sigvard Bernadotte.

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