Lights, LEDs, action…


Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), the world’s premier event for cabin interiors, inflight entertainment and passenger comfort – will set the stage for future cabin design when it returns to Hamburg from 31 March – 2 April 2020. More than 50 specialist lighting suppliers will present their latest innovations, making it the only place to source new solutions that will enhance the onboard experience.

The aircraft cabin lighting market was valued at US$1,167.50 million in 2018 and is projected to grow by 5.2% CAGR to $1,740 million by 2026. Today’s aircraft lighting systems are recognised for their impact on the onboard experience, from helping passengers navigate the cabin, reducing jetlag and enhancing safety, to enabling airlines to create an atmosphere in line with their branding and colour schemes. This work was spearheaded by Airbus, which was the first manufacturer to introduce ambient lighting as a factory fit option on its commercial aircraft, with more than 16 million colours to choose from.

Guiding passengers to safety

An ability to navigate the aircraft cabin safely is a necessity for both crew and passengers. Returning AIX exhibitor, STG Aerospace, understands the many components to cabin lighting. Marcus Williams, sales & marketing director said, “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 soothing blue glow lighting solutions to create a uniformity of light in the cabin without compromising passenger safety.”

At AIX, the manufacturer of innovative lighting technologies for commercial aircraft interiors will display its photoluminescent floor path marking system Saf-Tglo and signage Saf-Tsign, along with cabin electrical lighting solution liTeMood. Currently, STG lighting solutions are used by 300 global airlines on more than 12,000 aircraft to improve the passenger experience and reflect airline branding, each contributing to positively support passenger well-being.

Setting the mood

The rapid rate of development and innovation in the lighting sector – a new generation of LED lighting is reported to be released every two or three years – has been fast-tracked as airlines recognise 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, recognising an affordable opportunity to improve aesthetics and enhance the experience onboard.

Demonstrating how airlines can utilise new lighting technologies, AIX 2020 exhibitor Burrana will showcase its LED Lighting – 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 colour settings.

Fellow exhibitor, Schott AG will demonstrate its collection of lighting solutions under the motto ‘Perfect Lighting. Perfect Atmosphere’. The range includes 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 models were launched last year. Schott will unveil its Jade light at AIX 2020, which it says is the first aviation reading light ever made from glass, bringing haptic and optical aesthetics to aircraft seats, and offering unlimited design possibilities. The light is based on a clever combination of modern capacitive touch technology and Schott’s expertise in fibre optics and LEDs.

Passenger amenities

It’s not just dramatic cabin colour schemes that will be of interest to visitors at AIX 2020. Beadlight, a specialist 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. Sirocco 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 lighting capabilities for OEM and aftermarket systems, including the plug-and-play liTeMood LED systems for Airbus and Boeing aircraft, and its LED reading lights. The patented square-beam of the reading lights is designed to cover the passenger area without spilling over to neighbouring passengers, creating a more restful, private space and a greater sense of personal control.

The lighting sector has long been a source of fast-paced change, as highlighted by the new product launches we’ve seen over the years at AIX. With airlines continually striving to improve the passenger experience, we’re excited to see what exhibitors will showcase when we return to Hamburg in March, offering even more opportunities to adapt and personalise cabin interiors through the power of lighting.

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