April 3 2020  |  Lighting

How cabin lighting is years ahead

By Mary Jane Pittilla

This is a special feature from PAX Tech's April Aircraft Interiors Expo Hamburg 2020 edition.

More than 50 specialist lighting suppliers are showcasing their latest innovations at the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in their bid to enhance the onboard experience.

The aircraft cabin lighting market was valued at US$1.2 million in 2018 and is projected to grow by 5.2 percent CAGR to US$1 million by 2026, according to Allied Market Research. Today’s aircraft lighting systems have a major impact on the onboard experience, from helping passengers navigate the cabin, reducing jetlag and enhancing safety, to enabling airlines to create an atmosphere that aligns with their branding and color scheme.

STG Aerospace advocates a holistic approach to cabin lighting. Marcus Williams, Sales and Marketing Director, says: “Even during daylight flying, natural light is having to work with (or against) the cabin’s ceiling lights, its sidewall lights, its emergency signage and reading lights, its galley lights, its photoluminescent floor path lighting and more. In our experience, a holistic approach to cabin lighting delivers the best experience for passengers.

“We have also seen a growing trend for short-haul operators in particular, opting for our soothing blue glow lighting solutions to create a uniformity of light in the cabin without compromising passenger safety.”

Setting the mood

At AIX, STG Aerospace will display its photoluminescent floor path marking system Saf-Tglo and signage Saf-Tsign, along with its cabin LED plug-and-play lighting solution liTeMood. Currently, the company’s lighting solutions are used by 300 airlines on more than 12,000 aircraft to improve the passenger experience and reflect airline branding, each aiming to support passenger well-being.

The rapid rate of development and innovation in the lighting sector has been fast-tracked as airlines recognize its ability to enhance the passenger experience, by creating and adapting cabin ambience throughout the flight.

Among the pioneers of LED mood lighting, Boeing’s Sky Interior has demonstrated the dramatic use of lights onboard, allowing airlines to emulate sunrise and sunset for improved passenger comfort and ambience. Many smaller regional airlines have since followed its example, recognizing an affordable opportunity to improve aesthetics and enhance the experience onboard.

Demonstrating how airlines can utilize new lighting technologies, AIX 2020 exhibitor Burrana will showcase its LED Lighting, which is described as an adjustable and reliable solution that is both flexible and affordable. With full control from the crew terminal, the system enables airlines to create a unique travel experience for passengers by choosing from a number of pre-set lighting profiles, developed from more than four billion color settings.

A rendering of Schott's new Jade light, the first aviation reading light ever made from glass PHOTO: PRIESTMANGOODE

Meanwhile, Schott AG will demonstrate its HelioCurve, a flexible RGBW (red, green, blue, white) LED contour light – and the “Jewels in the Sky” Reading Light series, of which the Opal and Sapphire lights were launched last year. New at AIX 2020 and the latest edition to the company’s Reading Light series, Schott will unveil its Jade light, the first aviation reading light ever made from glass, bringing haptic and optical aesthetics to aircraft seats, and offering unlimited design possibilities, according to the company. It combines capacitive touch technology and Schott’s expertise in fiber optics and LED technology.

Beadlight Ltd, a pioneer in LED in-seat reading lights, will showcase its Sirocco fixed position light, designed to be discreet and provide a defined pool of light to the required area. It is currently featured on Virgin Atlantic’s A350 cabin interior.

Adding to the wide variety of lights available, STG Aerospace will also present its LED reading lights. The patented square-beam is designed to cover the passenger area without spilling over to neighboring passengers, creating a more restful, private space and a greater sense of personal control.

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