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What's New in Lighting for Furniture, Wardrobes, Kitchens and Bathrooms?

FDT Bureau

What's New in Lighting for Furniture, Wardrobes, Kitchens and Bathrooms?
Image credit; The Black Steel

The lighting industry has evolved rapidly in the past decade. This evolution is majorly attributed to the rise in LED lighting that gave a huge boost to economical lighting solutions, the ever-developing technology and the importance of budget allocation for lighting solutions while designing a project on account of rising disposable income. Additionally, with the increasing focus on home decor and interior design, consumers are showing a greater interest in incorporating innovative lighting options into their homes.

In India, the furniture lighting market is a growing segment within the overall furniture industry. From bulbs and tube lights that provided basic functions in a home has now progressed to more decorative and architectural lighting. “As we become more exposed to international luxury and standards, there is a steady movement for home upgrades. When customers invest heavily in their homes and interiors, an upgrade in the lighting makes a world of difference to the product and its usability,” says Kuruvilla Kurian, Director, KBros Aristo Pvt Ltd. Courtesy of the increasing infrastructure in India, digital acceleration, adoption of new technologies and the growing presence of local vendors, the Indian lighting industry witnessed a growth in the total consumption of lighting fixtures from USD 2,886 million in 2018 to USD 3,146 million in 2019 (from 19.7 to 22.1 million crores), informs Business Wire.


Role of lighting in wardrobes, kitchens and bathrooms

Lighting is one of the most important elements in designing. Light has the power to turn the space into a welcoming one and also enhance its aesthetic value and set the mood. Certainly, good lighting holds the absolute key to good interior design. A rightly placed lighting adds another dimension to a space. It adds depth and height and draws attention to details. In addition, “Furniture lights are relatively new for the masses, currently visible in high-end furniture and retail stores. It can be really a big thing in furniture in terms of growth potential. Lights for the furniture will have to be different from regular commercial lights as they should be very low on power consumption, generate minimal heat and be durable as much or more than the life of the furniture. Functionality, over and above ambience of well-lit furniture creates good interest,” informs Rajesh Nair, Director-Sales and Marketing, Ebco.

Image credit: The Black Steel

Similarly, Kurian explains, “Lighting provides two functions, firstly for improved aesthetics and product highlighting. The second is functional or task lighting.” Lighting draws attention to the design features of furniture such as its intricate carving and functionality. For instance, task lighting is used to illuminate workspaces and under-cabinet lighting in a kitchen helps in cooking food. Additionally, lighting also offers a contrast to furniture, thereby adding a dramatic effect by highlighting the colours and texture. It is, therefore, crucial to consider lighting when choosing furniture and designing a space.

Similarly, good lighting improves visibility, highlights the content in a wardrobe, helps in organizing clothes and accessories, adds ambience to the room and improves security. Lighting in wardrobes helps in creating a focal point within the structure. Under-cabinet lighting in wardrobes helps in highlighting specific items such as accessories, shoes or bags that are stored under the shelve. “Consider installing motion sensors that activate the lights when you open the wardrobe door and turn them off when you close it. This can save energy by eliminating the need to manually turn on and off lights. CRI is a metric that measures how well a light source reproduces colours. Choose a light source with a high CRI when choosing wardrobe lighting to ensure that your clothes appear in their true colours,” advices Prateek Singh, Founder and Product Designer, The Black Steel.

Along similar lines, lighting plays an essential role in modular kitchens as it can improve functionality, safety and aesthetics. Task lighting is often used in modular kitchens as it helps illuminate specific work areas such as the cooking range, sink, and countertop, thereby making it easier for users to work and preventing accidents. Ceiling-mounted fixtures, wall sconces or recessed lighting are used to set the mood of the kitchen, while accent lighting is specifically used to highlight kitchen areas such as backsplash or cabinets.

Bathrooms these days are equipped with architectural lighting to enhance the functionality and aesthetics of the space such as high-quality task lighting fixtures, wall-mounted sconces, adjustable pendant lights, and dimmers, to name a few. According to Singh, “Bathroom lighting must be safe and in accordance with local electrical standards. Look for lighting fixtures that are designed to withstand the moisture and humidity found in bathrooms and are rated for use in damp or wet locations.”


Latest trends and innovations

As the pandemic spurred us to adopt the new normal, interest in home environments started growing exponentially and continues to this day. One such trend that has lasted is the experimentation with varied lighting styles. Although human-centric lighting has been around for a while, it has gained huge momentum as customers have started understanding the philosophy and psychology behind it. “Soothing, indirect lights that operate automatically with sensor control are well preferred over traditional switch on-off lights,” informs Nair.

In recent years, there has been a growing demand for energy-efficient lighting solutions in India, which has led to the adoption of LED lighting technology for furniture. LED lights are not only energy-efficient but also last longer and emit less heat compared to traditional lighting solutions. The Indian LED lighting market size reached USD 3.4 billion in 2022. Looking forward, IMARC Group expects the market to reach USD 11.9 billion by 2028, exhibiting a growth rate (CAGR) of 23.38 percent during 2023-2028.

Image credit: Ebco

Furthermore, smart lighting systems have gained popularity in the Indian furniture market. These systems allow users to control the intensity, colour and mood of the lighting using a smartphone app or voice commands. Additionally, many smart lighting solutions in furniture have now started including wireless charging where users are allowed to charge their smartphones and other devices wirelessly by simply placing them on the surface of the furniture.

Voice control is another significant innovation in smart lighting for furniture where users control their lighting with voice commands through voice assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri. Motion and proximity sensors that detect when someone is nearby and turn the lights on or off automatically are commonly incorporated in wardrobes and bathrooms these days. These systems are becoming increasingly affordable and accessible, and many furniture manufacturers in India are incorporating them into their designs.



This article is a part of our exclusive article ‘Lighting Feature’ which is originally published in Furniture Design & Technology (FDT Magazine) April 2023 print issue. If you want to read the full article, please subscribe Furniture Design & Technology Magazine here: 




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