The week that was 3rd – 8th December 2018

Perth – Singapore – Shanghai – Xitang, Weekend 8-9th December 2018

My last weekend before my Xmas leave is spent in China, quite representative of the many weekends I have spent away from home this year…A last sprint to the finish of the year with a short stop over in Singapore midweek on my way from Perth to Shanghai where I attended the Magnolia awards gala dinner ceremony on Friday as one of the final top judges. As I write what will be my last blog of the year I am sitting warmly (it’s near freezing outside with snow that had fallen overnight in Xitang) in the Shanghai Pudong airport business lounge waiting for my return flight to Singapore with a flight to Medan, Indonesia waiting for me tomorrow morning…at least I am working with Alex on this project so we can travel together. After that my meeting schedule for the last 3 days of the week look hectic and close to overbooked but I will take it knowing that I can fly off next Saturday to enjoy the Australian summer…

Perth – LDoT
My days in the Perth office earlier in the week were busy but fairly uneventful. Ingmar and I used our time together to further our business plans, partnerships and collaborations for LDoT. We are working on some pilot projects that necessitates careful analysis of what our partnerships can bring to the table. Most of all what seems interesting throughout the IoT industry is that still many are unclear or unsure about where their revenue streams will be. We are working on our LDoT model and time will probably help us refine the way we offer our services. Hence the importance of collaborations and pilot projects…

Singapore, meetings
Prior to our planned end-of- year company dinner I had a filled day full of meetings, in the morning with my design team to resolve design issues (some political in nature) and agree on design decisions to move projects forward. More than ever we are aware of the importance to manage the project implementation to make sure we achieve an end result as close to our design concept as possible…managing suppliers, contractors, fellow design consultants and clients are of critical importance. My guidance towards the team in this matter helps them understand and act in a diplomatic but assured manner.

After a lunch meeting with one of our intended LDoT partners it was off to afternoon meetings were for two of our new projects. Our award-winning Atlas Bar is providing us a lot of respect and acknowledgement in the industry which has now resulted in 4 new high-profile projects in Singapore, all in the F&B sector. They are all fats track…we like that…😊

KLD company dinner
What better place than our award-winning Atlas Bar to hold our annual company dinner to conclude the year with our Singapore team. This time it was earlier than usual as it was the last suitable date we could find to have the whole team together. I treasure this event as it gives me the opportunity to express my appreciation to the hard work that everyone puts in all year around. It’s not always smooth sailing in our projects and inevitably there are stress situations and frustrations, happy moments and disappointments, excitement and moments of learning. There is no doubt that the team has made great progress in professional attitude, skills and independency, both externally towards our clients as well as internally amongst themselves. I am proud of everyone and our yearly dinner gives me that opportunity. Thanks to the team for supporting me and the company this past year! I am proud of you!

Magnolia award night
After barely 24 hours in Singapore I was on route to Shanghai again to be a gust of honour at the Magnolia Awards Gala dinner night which was held in one of the ballrooms of the Kempinski Hotel in Pudong. The event started at 2.30pm already and saw an afternoon of presentations and acknowledgements from an A-list of well-known personalities in the lighting industry. I was only informed 2 days earlier that I was expected to do a presentation as well and managed just barely to put something together using a revised version of my PLDC presentation renamed Lighting Design and the IoT, a look into the future of lighting…a topic that found great interest and feedback. It was great to see the Shanghai governor supporting the event. We were told by the organisers that no less than 2 Million RMB was poured into organising this maiden event! Every participant received an award for participating (great motivational move) with only a selected number of winners, the once we had judged to be the top of their class. Besides the trophy the winners also got a painting that represented their winning project, a very original idea! The gala dinner went on till late with lots of toasts and group selfies. I enjoyed meeting many friends from the industry (including from my shanghai team, thanks for coming Andy!) and I look forward to next year’s event…

Finally it was off to Xitang in the early hours of Saturday, about 1 and a half hours drive west of Shanghai. While it was already about 6-7 degrees in Shanghai the weather had turned colder with a light drizzle of snow on arrival in Xitang with temperatures close to freezing point. The client had initially asked for the meeting to be next week, but when told them I was already in Shanghai they did nit hesitate to move the meeting forward to Saturday to accommodate me. Little did I realise that the complete team (about 40 people!!!) all came down to Xitang for the meeting that started at 9am. Some even flew in from Shenzhen! I can only express my heartfelt appreciation to the whole team to sacrifice their Saturday for me! It does show the great respect that the client has for me.

We spent the morning going through the project details, design and drawing changes site issues with the aim to update everyone and all be on the same page. After lunch we “did” the site area by area to confirm and agree on the site changes. The idea of this meeting was to be able to make on site decisions as to fast track the project which looks at completing in the next couple of months.

After another review round at night (for the lighting evidently) I reached my countryside hotel desperately needing a hot shower after a freezing cold day at the office. We accomplished a lot and I look forward to the completion of this project which I feel will be a contender for awards with its unique design and features…

I hope you all had a good year. Merry Xmas and a great successful year ahead to all my readers
See you in the new year…

–> KLD end of year dinner at Atlas Bar

–> Magnolia awards gala event

My view from the stage…

The award winners

–> Xitang morning meetings

–> It’s snowing!
–> Afternoon site visit

–> what would we do without our mobile phones…

–> Night time review

… it’s getting there, still some tweaking to do in the commercial sector…

Waking up to overnight snow at my country side hotel…











09. December 2018 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: Light and inspiration, light watch, lighting and culture, lighting applications, lighting design, Lighting Design of Things, lighting design practice | Leave a comment

The week that was…26-30th November 2018

Shanghai – Singapore – Perth, Weekend 1-2nd December 2018

We are approaching the end of the year and as always there are many things to complete or tie up before the holidays. I came back from Shanghai having participated as judge to the inaugural Magnolia Lighting Design awards, had a short stop over in Singapore filled with meetings before moving on to Perth where I will stay working from our office till middle of next week.

Magnolia Awards
The inaugural Magnolia Lighting Design awards are curated by the SIES (Shanghai Illuminating engineering Society) and saw more than 300 project entries! To add weight to the value of the competition highly regarded personalities in the lighting industry were invited to help judge the results of this competition. Professors of the Fudan University’s lighting department, the president of the China Illuminating engineering society, the vice chairman of the SIES as well as international lighting designers like Murray Robson and myself. I have to give credit to the professionalism of the judging. After two rounds of preselection the shortlist contained close to 50 projects. Projects were judged on criteria such as relevance, sustainability, innovation, technical qualities and implementation. Scores attributed to each of them, but not after each shortlisted project was actually visited by the team. I visited some as well and it was specifically interesting to see how some of the submission photo’s actually looked better then the reality. Very few actually match up in reality…!
After the scores were tallied clear winners emerged (sorry cant share that yet…next week 7th December is the official awards night). It was great to see that all head judges scored fairly consistently with very little discrepancies in our assessments. Awards will be given in three categories, 1st, 2nd and 3rd price or if you want awards of excellence, merit and commendations. I was impressed by the high quality of the projects submitted. Look forward to the award night next week where I will be present to hand out some awards and do a little keynote speech…

LDoT partners
Our list of partners and collaborators is growing and we had a few further meetings this week work on some specific projects. Integrating IoT data infrastructures into lighting or applying them in general is still very much a virgin territory, no-one really knows what is the right way, there are no standards yet, whatever goes, goes. Figuring out what is the best and educating our clients fairly and honestly is a big challenge as we very much rely on what manufacturers and system developers tell us mixed with our own intelligence and research. The lack of use cases makes all ROI figures really hypothetical and hence we are all more or less in pilot project stages to figure out exactly how and what…

Sorting the IoT cowboys from the “good guys” is part of the process we are going through. The interesting thing is that listening to one developer/provider talking about their competition provides a different understanding than to listen to that “competitor” himself. We did just that this week. It is a very educating process, but one we have to go through to, to professionally advise our clients and understand what is actually being offered.

Atlas II
During my half day in Singapore I did find the time to meet the client for a night time visit to the proposed Atlas II location. The reason being that the new sister bar will also have some outdoor seating, hence understanding the environment of the outdoor terrace and the visual link between indoor and outdoor was important. Always good to make sure we are all on the same page when it comes to developing the concept.

Raine Square

On my arrival in Perth the next day I went straight to site to assist the contractor to whom we are sub-consulting for this project to fine tune the façade lighting. While we much appreciate the confidence of the electrical contractor in our services, it also became clear that our limited involvement (mostly concept and specifications) laid bare once more the need to always be involved from start to finish. While the contractor did a good job the lack of testing and visual mock ups that we always recommend showed. We managed to tweak the façade lighting and set some rules for the lighting in terms of mixing effects, but in the back of our minds we know that if we would have been involved in the full process we could have made sure the exact right light fixtures and lighting effects would have been achieved. While the client seems to love the outcome, I know it can be so much better…

Manufacturer meetings
As always we embrace the interaction with our suppliers to get ourselves updated on the latest and newest developments in the industry. Our Singapore team visited the Signify application centre while our Australia team visited the newly established Unios headquarters in Perth. Talking to the people behind the products and seeing, experiencing the behind the scene supports they can give is extremely important. In our line of work the people behind the products are as important as the products themselves.

PLDC video
Finally we saw the long awaited PLDC mood video come out this week, expertly put together by my daughter Kyra through her Kyramedia company. The video provides an excellent look back on an event that by all accounts was highly successful.

lease enjoy the official PLDC 2018 video here

Enjoy the weekend

Mood images Shanghai and some of the shortlisted projects

On my way back to airport…heavy fog…

Raine Square

I am not a fan of colour, but client likes it…

Manufacturers visits






01. December 2018 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: city beautification, Light and inspiration, light watch, lighting and culture, lighting and sustainability, lighting and the economy, lighting applications, lighting design, Lighting Design of Things, lighting standards | Leave a comment

The week that was…19-23rd November 2018

Singapore- Shanghai, Weekend 24-25th November 2018
As I am about to fly of to Shanghai this weekend to be one of the judges for the Magnolia Lighting Design Awards in China, I am contemplating what seems to have been a whirlwind week with many meetings, conference calls and happenings…

Blockchain technology for lighting
Perhaps one of the most exciting things from this week was the follow up on last weeks meeting with the Dutch delegation focussed on innovation and blockchain technologies. I was introduced to the team in Holland that has currently what I believe is the worlds first blockchain application in lighting and the potential to apply that with our LDoT platform seems very possible and exciting. I cant say too much at this stage but perhaps after my follow up meeting in the coming time with the Dutch representative handling innovation based in Singapore I will be in a position to share a bit more. Ingmar also completed his blockchain course successfully this week, so we are excitingly looking to the future and how blockchain technology will be integrated for lighting…watch this space!

Dutch – Singapore business innovation
Another logical follow up I did from last week’s meetings was to meet with the Dutch embassy’s division that supports start-ups and other innovation-based companies. We are looking at collaborations and partnerships. Looking forward to further develop this and support the Dutch- Singapore business innovation community.


This week also sees the first phase of commissioning our Keppel Seaview project that has no less than 10 Coelux skylights at the executive floor. We had been keen to introduce these in our projects before and finally managed to realise this in this project. The realistic reproduction of actual daylight together with real visible sun never stops to amaze and not surprisingly was the talk of the day during the commissioning. Well done Grace and team.

Atlas II & Ritz Carlton
We had our first kick of conference call for Atlas II with the HK based lead designer this week and are excited about the overall concept of this little sister bar. Interestingly we also got appointed and had our kick off meeting for the renovation of the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Singapore with world renowned interior designer Tony Chi (great to be working with him) and found Proof & Co (who operate the Atlas Bar I) to be involved in the curation of the new bar at the hotel… nice to work with them again! So, two great and exciting projects right here in Singapore that kicked off with a bang this week.

LDoT system integration
One of the big challenges for the integration of IoT into a lighting infra-structure is exactly that…integration. It is nice to have all these smart devices, interface modules, sensors, gateways and what have you, but in the end you still need a party knowledgeable and experienced in these systems to be able to properly integrate and program it. As it as new playing field for many, certainly when we talk about the horizontal integration of various smart systems (normally operating as individual silo’s), it is a whole new ball game. This week I had meetings with two parties to establish their role and responsibilities in doing that. The system integrator (SI) can be a party dedicated to a specific brand (as we did with Gooee this week) or more general and versatile in its ability to install and probably more project manage the installation and integration. It is critical for us (now promoting LDoT), that we know who will be the ones to talk to, who will actually install or manage the installation of these smart data infra-structures when it comes to integrating it with our lighting design…another step forward this week in closing that so important gap in available expertise.
Smart light fittings
Except for the Gooee driven Aurora light fittings there are basically no real IoT data platform enabled light fittings available in the market. If we are to really integrate these smart platforms with smart sensors with our lighting, ideally these would be physically integrated in the light and not installed as an add-on or clip-on as we experience today. This week I had several meetings with lighting manufacturers, keen to develop smart IoT enabled fixtures, advising them in the requirements to be ahead of the pack and create an edge in their product range offering.


Finally, it seems that we are moving a step closer to a potential Light as a Service project. We have approached our preferred partner to support us and are now looking forward to discussing this in more detail together with the client…

Enjoy the weekend Coelux being commissioned at project Seaview

Ritz Carlton east wing today

Kick off meeting with Tony Chi

System integration discussions with Goee






24. November 2018 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: Light and inspiration, light watch, lighting design, Lighting Design of Things, lighting of the future | Leave a comment

The week that was…12 – 16th November 2018

Singapore – Mumbai – Bangkok – Singapore, Weekend 17-18th November 2018
As relatively quiet last week may have looked like, the more hectic and faster pace this week has been. From Singapore to Mumbai, on to Bangkok and back to Singapore, with meetings in Singapore on Monday before departure and Friday back on return, with very little sleep in between. I was glad to finally have a full night sleep last night…

Monday meetings
Before leaving for Mumbai I first had a project kick off meeting for a new prestigious restaurant in Singapore (our award winning and successful Atlas Bar project seems to have attracted some interest from new clients in the F&B sector). The project is confidential for now, but I am looking forward to share it with you once we get going. The meeting was followed by a conference call (tender follow up interview) for one of our projects in Malaysia where we are shortlisted for final confirmation. While they gave us the impression that it was more a matter of when rather than if in regards to our appointment, I have no illusion they may have spoken in the same way to the other shortlisted practice. Official appointment confirmation due in December…

Air #%$#@
A bit of ranting first…For my trip to India I had reluctantly accepted to fly one of the national carriers to fly to Mumbai as SQ was fully booked with little other options available to meet the project meeting time schedules. The airline listed the Dreamliner as the aircraft, so I thought how bad can it be…well it was…while I was prepared for the lesser service and food offerings…my business class seat reclining was hardly working and my TV screen had to be rebooted no less than 6 times (!) after which it still did not work. The remote was not working and the so-called touch screen was so far away that I had to unbuckle myself to even reach the screen. It did not work either anyhow. I decided to take it on the chin and just go to sleep in half-half reclined seat position. Strangely enough 30 mins before landing my TV screen decided it was going to work again…out of itself…

The return overnight flight was a total disaster. I thought that as long as I have a flat bed I can at least sleep. But lo and behold they had changed the aircraft from a Dreamliner to a 20-year-old A320 with seats only reclining about 10 degrees! Reason for the change? Not enough passengers to justify the Dreamliner…I can tell you the mood in the business class section was foul! I would not be surprised if many will file a complaint. I am considering…specifically as I had a connecting flight to Bangkok on arrival in Singapore in the early morning. Having some sleep on the overnight flight was really elementary in the overall scheme of my schedule…I did manage to have a quick shower in the lounge, but you can imagine how the lack of sleep impacted on the rest of my day! Not an airline I will reuse anytime soon…

Ranting aside, I did have a great time with fruitful meetings in Mumbai. The project had been on hold for about a year but we are back steaming ahead with the mock up room soon to be completed and the rest of the project’s design development moving fast forward. The meetings were held in the architect’s office in downtown Mumbai and saw the whole project team coordinating the design in a workshop style meeting over two days to update and bring everyone up to speed with the design changes. Architectural value engineering had compressed the building’s podium block from 8 stories to 7 stories, effectually integrating two levels of public areas (restaurants, spa, lounges, lobbies, etc) into one. A creative exercise but it all seemed to have worked out well. The two-storey convention centre housed in the basement “suffered” only minor changes. Over the coming weeks we will revisit our original concept designs and work everything to a level where we can move swiftly into DD stage. We are looking forward to finally move ahead with this prestigious project. While the actual project is in Delhi, the MUR is being built in in Mumbai, which we visited to see the work in progress…

Traffic jams
Going from Mumbai to Bangkok basically means you are moving from one traffic jam to another. In Mumbai over the 2 days I was there I spent nearly 7 hours in a car moving to and from hotel to the architects office and the MUR site. I added another 3 hours in Bangkok driving to and from the airport to site…I really can not understand how people can live in these cities, not only because of the traffic woes, but also the unhealthy air quality you need to “wade” through…

The Bangkok trip was very much a kick off meeting for me. The client only recently signed us on as part of the team and I look forward to develop the working relationship with them. While they are a big player in the Thai market, owning a bank, shopping malls, hotels and residences, they have so far hardly used any outside consultants for their projects, mostly being supported by their own inhouse design team in the past. Besides our architectural lighting services this project also will have opportunities to introduce our LDoT services in several areas. We really appreciate the client’s confidence in our services and will do our very best to deliver well beyond their expectations…

My return flight from Bangkok was delayed with a 2am arrival in Singapore as a result, but no let up there as I had Friday meetings and conference calls lined up. As it happened my brother, who works for the Dutch government, was in Singapore leading a delegation of government representatives, entrepreneurs in innovation, smart systems and blockchain technologies. When my brother invited me to join their delegation to visit the Future Cities Lab I grabbed the opportunity with both hands. Blockchain technologies are a potential opportunity for lighting so I wanted to know and understand more. But most of all getting inroads into governments is always difficult so the opportunity to connect to both the Singapore as well as the Dutch government delegations as well as the innovation research carried out by the Singapore universities was an opportunity not to be missed…

Enjoy the weekend

Mumbai in the morning…on our way to the meeting…impressions

arrived at the architects office…meetings…

lunchtime in the street

off to see the MUR

checking out suppliers…


the site

media facades

Blockchain for lighting…?




17. November 2018 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: light watch, lighting and culture, lighting and the economy, lighting applications, lighting design, Lighting Design of Things, lighting design practice, lighting of the future | Leave a comment

The week that was 5 – 9th November 2018

Singapore, Weekend 10-11th November 2018
It was a relatively quiet week (nice to have these once in a while) with the Hindu Deepavali public holiday cutting the week a bit shorter. I took a well-deserved break on Monday to have a extended weekend to recover from the last energy zapping weeks and reload for the final home stretch to Xmas, traditionally a very busy time. This coming week I will be off to India and Thailand.

PLDC and SBC aftermath
This week saw some trickle-down activities from both PLDC and our Smart Building Conference with lots of social media activity, photo exchanges (see some more pics of the event below), debriefs and follow up communications with organisers and participants. These events generally create a lot of networking opportunities and we gladly followed up on contacts that we made during PLDC and SBC with further meetings in the planning over the coming weeks. The final tally for PLDC came out 774 attendees, a fantastic result for a first time in Asia and by far the biggest lighting design gathering seen in the region…a pity we have to wait another 4 years before PLDC comes back to our shores. But perhaps we can fill the gap with some similarly good events…I’m working on it!

LDoT continued
We keep going on developing our LDoT platform now with a concrete portal for our clients to determine their IoT Data analytic needs so we can link them up with our partners. Some new partners joined this week and our collaborations keep growing and expanding. The feedback and enthusiasm is really exciting for us. Developing LDoT as a start up company is a new terrain for me and consultation with experts in the fields is now needed as this now goes way beyond being a simple consultancy company…
This week I also met with some architects we have worked with before to give them a better understanding of what LDoT is and how it could improve everybody’s business. This is specifically an interesting potential certainly in times where fees are tremendously under pressure.

The economy
Over the last few weeks we lost a few projects against practices that quoted unbelievably low fees. Alarm bell ringing low fees if you understand what I am saying…I know what they quoted as the client shared with me. Between one third and little less then half our fees and that while we already quoted very competitively! The client who really was hoping to work with us, could not resist and we were unwilling to lower our fees much further. One other client with whom we are in final negotiations about our contract, confided in me that he no longer goes for practices that submit rock bottom fees. They experienced the hard reality of the consequences at the back end where these consultants refuse to look at alternatives insisting the client can only use their specifications, which in the end turned out to be so much more expensive with poor documentation, poor service and poor lighting results increasing their disappointment. But it is unfortunately the reality in the current economy. I personally prefer to stay in integrity and deliver my services professionally without conceding to lesser quality.

Value engineering vs tender
In tis respect it is interesting to note a discussion we had with one of our clients. One of our hospitality projects that has been on hold is being re-activated with new funds after we completed previously our DD stage and a first round of value engineering. The question being whether to do another round of VE or go for tender first and then do another round of VE if needed (generally there is always another round of VE after tender). So I advised the client it would be better at this stage to actually go for tender to get some actual prices as these always turn out differently from what we get from just budget quotes. The caveat is that quoting suppliers should really quote according to specification with the option to quote alternatives as a separate option. Quoting directly for alternatives is a waste of time as you have nothing to compare with and moreover most of the time the alternatives are cheap China made copies with little to no proper photometric data or even technical specifications, prompting a lengthy sample review and approval process. But going for tender definitely will give some solid figures to assess the costs of the lighting is this case.

Sometimes you get a little peek in contractor (mal)practices. This week we received a request from several suppliers in regards to a spec sheet, clearly one of ours (however with our company, project and manufacturer name removed (!)) for 5000 pieces of a specific downlight. We received the enquiry both through our Singapore as well as our Jakarta offices. However, that specific down light is only specified in one project for only 50+ pieces. We would know the project if it had 5000 pcs! So the question is, what is this contractor doing floating around one of our spec sheets, which is not one of our projects…we are investigating…

Enjoy the weekend

Opening night

Manufacturers night

PLDC mood shots

Interviewing Joachim Ritter
Smart building conference

The cleaned up cut sheet, missing logo, project name, qty and brand/supplier




10. November 2018 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: Light and inspiration, light watch, lighting and the economy, lighting design, Lighting Design of Things, lighting design practice | Leave a comment

The week that was 29th – 2nd November 2018

Singapore – Kuala Lumpur – Singapore, Weekend 3-4th November 2018

There was no let up after PLDC, no time to rest, as I took the opportunity of having a large part of my team in Singapore for PLDC, to have our own little inhouse “convention” which we dubbed KLDC. On Tuesday I was already off to Kuala Lumpur to be a guest speaker at the Smart Building Conference. The week ended with some more LDoT meetings in our office taking advantage of Ingmar’s presence in Singapore.

With our project design teams from Australia, Indonesia and Singapore all in Singapore to attend the landmark PLDC, the first time ever in Asia, we followed up on Sunday and Monday with our own strategy and future planning meeting and workshop. It was great to have a big part of our teams together allowing many of them to meet each other in person for the first time. We debriefed PLDC and brought everyone up to speed with the progress of our LDoT platform. We had our professional business trainer Mark Stuart conduct a workshop to help develop new ideas and approaches for the future of the company. Mark, who has been training our Singapore team for the last 1-2 years, delivered his skills in usual style, with a good dose of humour. We also took the opportunity to have Xicato’s Roger Sexton, update the team on the latest smart and IoT ready systems. It was a great motivational experience, and after both PLDC and KLDC we all left in high spirits for the future!

Smart Building Conference
When I accepted the invitation to speak at this conference I did this with the knowledge that it would be something out of my regular speaking commitments which generally are those organised by the lighting or design related industry. This conference had nothing to do with lighting and everything with governments, companies and institutions involved in making our world, their world smarter. It was a refreshing change to speak to a room full of facilities managers, system engineers, government officials and developers rather then architects, interior designers and people from the lighting industry. In fact, I was the only lighting person in the room and my LDoT presentation was an eye opener for everyone attending and the response very positive…The diversity of the speakers was also well balanced from very diverse backgrounds, from blockchain technologies to hacker techniques. In fact the cyber security presenter did a live demo on stages hacking into one of the major banks in India showing how easy it is to hack…a chilling demo! It just reinforced the notion that privacy and cyber security in our new world of IoT will be so important…a great conference…

LDoT in Luminous Magazine

The magazine editor sent me a proof print this week to share the article that has been put together to report on our round the table conference about Lighting Design of Things that was held in Amsterdam earlier in September and on which I reported previously.

Smart LED wristbands
Finally I was attended by my daughter last week about the smart wristbands that were used in a Taylor Swift concert that she attended recently. Those who attend her concerts are issued a smart blue-tooth enabled LED wristband that is activated, synergised and coordinated with the stage show and her songs. It seems a typical example of smart lighting communication, an exponent of Bluetooth technology, and smart visible light communication. The LED wrist band can also be controlled by a mobile app…

Have a great weekend… I certainly need the break after an intensive couple of weeks!



03. November 2018 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: Light & Learn, Light and inspiration, light watch, lighting and culture, lighting and sustainability, lighting and the economy, lighting design, Lighting Design of Things, lighting of the future | Leave a comment

The week that was 22-27th October 2018


Special PLDC edition Singapore, Week 22-27th October 2018
It has taken a while till I managed to find the time to put this special blog together, but what an event PLDC 2018 in Singapore was! After a hugely successful convention program at the iconic Marina Bay Sands and a much talked about magical gala dinner at the Wine Vault, PLDC is now a landmark event that many of us will for long remember. Never did we see in Asia a congregation of more than 800 lighting designers and lighting industry players together in one single event. The simplified version (2 days and 2 tracks) and central market and network space was hailed as a refreshing set up very much appreciated and enjoyed by the attendees.

Over the 3 days (including the preconvention day and welcome night) there was a noticeable buzz and vibe of excitement. For the first time ever PLDC was being held outside Europe and Singapore had the honour to be its first destination. After 3 days of preconvention meetings, master classes, keynotes and expert presentations, the gala dinner at the Wine Vault, a venue and location even unknown to most of the local Singaporeans, concluded the convention in typical PLDC style.

Months of preparation by the Steering Committee (Joachim & Alison Ritter and myself) supported by the PLDC team in Germany (Louise, who project managed it professionally, Franziska, Kristina and the rest of the Via team), the KLD events team (Frank Kelly) and a host of sponsors and events providers made it all come together in one great event. Thanks to all!

Below some mood pictures of the event.

The set up

Preconvention: Cities Forum/Educators meeting/Master classes/ I-Core press launch/ Welcome night

The convention/ themesong

Gala dinner

31. October 2018 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: city beautification, Education, Light & Learn, light and art, light and health, Light and inspiration, light watch, lighting and culture, lighting and sustainability, lighting and the economy, lighting applications, lighting design, Lighting Design of Things, lighting design practice, lighting of the future, lighting standards | Leave a comment

The week that was…15th – 19th October 2018

Singapore, Weekend 20-21st October 2018
A relatively quiet week in Singapore with no travel, but with lots of ground to be covered both in preparation of next week’s PLDC and ongoing meetings and conference calls with our LDoT partners in regards to developing cooperation and (pilot) projects. Meanwhile our architectural lighting project activities keep going steadily with this week another award bagged for our HMT project…it is motivating for the team to be recognised for their efforts.

IGuzzini – Fagurhult
But the headline of the week undoubtedly has to be the acquisition by Fagurhult of one of the most innovative and design focussed lighting companies, IGuzzini. Loved and adored by the lighting design community (me included), the integration of IGuzzini within the Fagurhult family should see the combination become one of the super groups in the lighting industry. With the IGuzzini top joining the board of management and becoming important shareholders only good can come of this acquisition. It seems like a win-win all over and a great foresight from both companies. Assuming the acquisition takes place later this year without any problems, we can look forward to some exciting times certainly as both companies have set important sights to integrating IoT in their lighting systems…

PLDC Singapore 2018
Next week around this time we will have about completed the first ever PLDC outside Europe. With the PLDC team arriving in Singapore early next week to work on the final preparations we are counting the days! Earlier this week Frank Kelly (our lead designer for the Gala dinner event) and I met at the venue with the fit-out supplier to make sure we got it all right, check details, measurements, quantities, logistics, etc…truss foundations, table settings, stage and bar locations…a lot of work which Frank has admirably managed over the last few months. It’s all in the details and I am confident we will have a great night! A good preparation is half the work done!

LDoT, JLL and Gooee
Our partner cooperation with Gooee for pilot projects with JLL is moving a further step forward with another site meeting here in Singapore this week to determine the system configuration that we will be installing. We are excited about the prospect of demonstrating the data infra-structure capability when integrated with the lighting. As we are all developing our knowledge in this area the pilot projects are crucial to gather the necessary intelligence so we can determine what will be the best set up and configuration for full size projects. Implementation of LDoT is diligent process that takes time and very careful consideration. Like we saw in the early LED days there are also plenty of cowboys in IoT world, even more, so thoughtful assessment and considered decisions are crucial. Building knowledge and experience takes time!

New generation lighting suppliers
One of the striking things that has been happening over the last few years is the emergence of a whole new breed of lighting manufacturers and suppliers. Driven by the digital LED technology and smart data connectivity we have seen a host of new companies pop out of the woodwork. Some of them are surprisingly good and competent as we saw from another tech visit to our office this week. Most them coming from the smart technology sector, some of them with lighting experience, some from research and innovation background, some from no lighting experience but with strong app or cloud based backgrounds that have the capability of controlling lighting and develop lighting products as part of it. We have already seen from our LDoT research that the biggest threat to the lighting industry is not coming from existing or new lighting players, its coming from outside the lighting industry. Tech companies and start-ups that based on their technology are moving into lighting and lighting control…a space to watch carefully.

HMT receives an IES/WA Lighting Award
After bagging an lighting award from the IES /NA we were honoured at the local IES chapter in Western Australia with another lighting award for our iconic His Majesty’s Theatre in Perth. The building’s façade lighting has received so much positive feedback from the general public and design community that the local award was the icing on the cake that we definitely felt the building was deserving. Ingmar received the award at Friday’s well attended award night gala dinner on behalf of our team. Well done to all…one that will proudly hang on office wall!

PS: Next weeks blog maybe delayed or held over to the next weekend as coming weekend will be pretty busy!

See you next week at PLDC in Singapore. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me during the event, I will there during the whole time.

The gala dinner venue, still bare and bones…

Another surprising supplier…

Another award for HMT, proudly received by Ingmar and Stan


20. October 2018 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: Light and inspiration, light watch, lighting and culture, lighting and the economy, Lighting Design of Things | Leave a comment

The week that was…8th – 12th October 2018

Perth – Singapore, Weekend 13-14th October 2018
Time and again I can’t get over how different the lifestyle in Australia is compared to Asia. The open spaces, the landscape, the weather (seasons, we are going into spring) and way of living give a real sense of freedom, it relaxes and recharges your batteries. The balance with work (yes we do work!) seems much healthier…it was also a week when we heard that Two Roads Hospitality (to which our beloved Alila Hotel brand belongs) has been sold to the Hyatt group…it will be interesting to see how that might impact on the projects we are currently working on…When Raffles/Fairmont was taken over by Accor it resulted in some definite delays in our Raffles projects…

International Lighting Advisory Council (ILAC)
In the beginning of the week I met with fellow board member, James Wallace, to further discuss our plans for this coming year. We recently added “Lighting” to the original IAC name to underscore that we are in lighting. Originally set up as an advisory council the Chinese Lighting Design Association, we have now expanded our scope to develop lighting design event programs for fair organisers like Messe Frankfurt, who is one of our partners in the Asia Pacific region. We have big plans for the coming year!

LDoT Australia
Continuing our relentless strive to develop our LDoT business platform, my presence in Perth earlier in the week was used to officially incorporate Lighting Design of Things Pty Ltd in Australia. As Ingmar is driving this from Perth it made sense to protect our national interests with an official company incorporation and trademark protection. We are excited and look forward to develop the business in Australia as well.

LIT Award juror
This week I also confirmed my participation as a juror to next year’s LIT awards which will take place in February next year. Besides professional lighting design practices the competition is also open to the new generation of lighting designers, encouraging students to participate in the competition. My blog will offer additional education value to the competition. Last years awards were hugely successful culminating in an exhibition in Tokio earlier this year. Next year’s venue is not yet determined…Singapore perhaps? More at

Inaugural Lighting Design Summit Melbourne
Looks like next year’s schedule is already quickly filling up with also my participation as a guest speaker at the inaugural Lighting Design Summit to be held in Melbourne in March next year confirmed. Looking forward to catch up with some of my colleagues in the industry who will be speaking there as well. More at

Atlas II
While details are still confidential, we had an exciting meeting with the client of the hugely successful Atlas Bar in Singapore. This year ranked at nr.8 on the world’s best bar ranking, it was great news to hear that a little sister bar is being planned for the new year! We are excited to be invited to work on the little sister. The Atlas Bar is a really unique concept and figures as one of the top attractions of the PLDC excursions. While the guided excursion (to be led by our own Cheryline) is sold out, the bar is a public space and as such open for a visit any time. I am sure its little sister once completed next year will be as successful…

PLDC Singapore 2018
PLDC is now really around the corner, another 10 days and we are off to the first ever convention outside Europe. The pre-convention program is all confirmed with the Cities Forum and the Educators meeting starting off the proceedings on Thursday. On Thursday’s opening night (to be held on location at Marina Bay Sands) I will be delivering a short keynote presentation on LDoT after Joachim Ritter’s welcome address. Besides giving me the opportunity to welcome PLDC in Singapore on behalf of the Singapore and Asian design community, my LDoT presentation will also allow us to set the tone for the “smart move” mantra that has been chosen for this year’s convention in Singapore. Next week I will be out an a about with Frank Kelly, our lead designer who has been in charge of organising the lighting fit out for our gala dinner the last couple of months, a lot of work! More at

LDoT round the table podcast
My participation to the round the table conference organised around my Lighting Design of Things concept has been recorded as a podcast and is now officially available on Signify’s Lighting University website. See the podcast here.

Have a great weekend!


13. October 2018 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: Education, Light & Learn, Light and inspiration, light watch, lighting and the economy, lighting design, Lighting Design of Things, lighting design practice | Leave a comment

The week that was …1-5th October 2018

Singapore – Perth, Weekend 6-7th October 2018

As we move into October already the high-speed train that is called LDoT, keeps moving on. More and more people are getting interested and understanding of what is changing this world. At the same time it’s like being in a maze with chambers, you open a door and you enter a room with 10 other doors…While Ingmar and myself are spending most of our time in LDoT, our team keeps ploughing away at our regular project work which is keeping us very busy as well. It’s hard to get a read on the economy at the moment as on one hand we can feel pressure on budgets and resulting slower decision making and payments, but on the other hand there are still many opportunities and we keep doing fee proposals, with many new projects on the horizon.

I travelled to Perth midweek to be with my Perth team as we got some potentially exciting projects coming up. While we always were struggling getting projects in Australia, our LDoT platform seems to have opened some new doors…time will tell which door is the right one 😊, but this is one of the reasons I am in Perth this coming week to support the team.

Talking lighting design of things
One of my most striking meetings this week was meeting with two clients and hardly talk about lighting or lighting design at all, something unimaginable just a year ago. With one of the clients (JLL) we are discussing our pilot project, with the other the redevelopment of a hotel and shopping mall. In both cases we spent most of our time discussing the data infra-structure of the projects in question and what exactly they wanted to measure, analyse or control. With our understanding of what is on offer and how it potentially can be linked up with our lighting design we now have meaningful discussions and are in a position to professionally partner our clients with potential IoT players depending on the needs.

The interesting part of the hotel/mall redevelopment project is that the architect/ interior designers have yet to be confirmed. This is significant as generally lighting designers are contacted way further down the line (if at all, with architects and interior designers more and more offering the service “inhouse”!). Our client had been attended to our LDoT platform and had invited me to give him a rundown of the opportunities with the view to get us on board early.

Partner discussions
In the early part of the week I also met and spoke with current and potential new partners for our LDoT platform for some of our projects where we are considering (proposing) the integration of IoT in our lighting design. In our Punggol Digital District project it seems a hard sell as the government seems to already have made some decisions (before we came on board) and have as a result started to make some trial runs directly with the suppliers. Our partner discussions show that many of them are diving into it head first (as we are doing) without really knowing which direction to swim. As a result we see an IoT industry with hundreds of little and big fishes swimming wildly around without anyone knowing what the roadmap is to move forward. This will eventually become clear and through our partner discussions we are in an ideal position to assess and understand what each one is doing, most of all on how we can connect them within the lighting linked data infra-structure.

Perth tower
In Perth we are eyeing a multi-storey building redevelopment that will see an existing office tower renovated to accommodate new tenants. Part of the redevelopment includes the integration of smart and intelligent systems to asses and efficiently manage energy consumption, climate control and building usage. The difficulty that we face is that everyone seems to see the potential and we all get excited, but that the reality of wat needs to be achieved needs to determined properly before we start aiming for the sun. After a few meetings and site visits we realised that their was a slight disconnect between the desires of the “board” and that of the facilities manager in regards to the realistic capability of the existing building infra-structure (even with the planned upgrades) to integrate the more sophisticated data infra-structure we were proposing. It reminded me of my early days in lighting design…you learn along the way! Dreams (lighting concepts) and reality are sometimes miles apart. With LDoT we are now in the same “early days” position, we have yet to get full project runs on the board so I suspect we will still come across many of these learning curves…

Have a great weekend!


Partner presentations

Exploring opportunities in Perth





06. October 2018 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: light watch, Lighting Design of Things, lighting of the future | Leave a comment

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