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Lighting Design and Technology: Illuminating My First Decades in Lighting: From Halogen to LEDs and Beyond

November 7, 2023

By Robert Lanteigne

Over my first decade in the lighting industry, I witnessed tremendous technological advancements, from halogen to LEDs and beyond. While embracing each evolution, I made it my mission to push innovation further through product development, education, and applications. My journey has shown me that no matter how far technology progresses, success lies in mastering the fundamentals of lighting design.

When I began my career in the 1980s, halogen lighting was still cutting-edge. I vividly remember the challenge of preventing dangerous overheating and glare. But the bright, whiter light was revolutionary compared to incandescent bulbs. I integrated halogens into designs even as more technologies emerged, like compact fluorescents touting efficiency.

The 1990s brought experiments with fiber optics, allowing transport of light around curves to create dazzling accent lighting. But limitations in intensity meant it was best for small decorative projects. When LEDs arrived, I saw immense potential and dedicated myself to advancing this technology through teaching, product creation, and showcasing applications.

The 2000s crystallized LEDs as the future, from brightness improvements to cost reductions. Though adapting specifications to this unique light took time. I worked closely with manufacturers to expand possibilities and turn LEDs into a versatile mainstream solution.

Today, LED lighting empowers creativity. And with control integration, connectability, and human-centric lighting, the potential still feels limitless. But amidst the excitement, the fundamentals risk being forgotten.

That is why I have created this series, The Non-Technical Language of Light. My decades in design and technology have shown that quality lighting starts with understanding basics like color, contrast, blend, composition, and emotion manipulation using simple, universal terminology.

These articles will establish a common lighting language between photographers and poets, manufacturers and children, architects and salespeople. My goal is to empower clear, effective discussion about light to facilitate the beautification of spaces and enrichment of experiences.

Join me in exploring the poetry of lighting without complex technical jargon. I will illuminate the philosophy and psychology of quality illumination for all audiences in straightforward terms.

We will explore the 6 fundamental axes that enable clear lighting discussion across disciplines: Lighting Effects, Lighting Color, Lighting Control, Lighting Connection, Lighting Layers, and Lighting Hardware.

These articles will provide a shared vocabulary to talk about light by breaking down lighting to its essential human and creative impacts, we can come together to spread awareness, unlock potential, and advance the art form in your home, at work, or just casually talking about it to your clients.

I invite you to join this historical, non-technical journey revisiting the basics that make lighting so beautiful and impactful. Share your discoveries with friends.

The fundamentals of light belong to us all, but we must rekindle understanding and appreciation through simple, universal terms that speak to the soul. Let us light the way forward, one conversation at a time.

Don’t miss our first article in December. It will start with Lighting effect.

About the Author

Robert Lanteigne AKA Lightbob is a successful entrepreneur, born in Canada, established in the United States, business consultant, coach, chef, electrician and mentor with decades of experience in the fields of lighting design and creative coaching. He is the founder and CEO of Lightbob.Com, a premier lighting design company that provides services worldwide, and RobertLanteigneCoach.com is a high-level coaching service that offers creative solutions to specialized consultants looking to expand their practice. Through his coaching services, Bob provides expert guidance and support to consultants who want to take their practice to the next level.

Whether they are looking to increase their revenue, expand their client base, or develop new skills, and offer personalized coaching programs that are tailored to the unique needs and goals of each client. Bob’s expertise in lighting design and creative coaching has earned him a reputation as a leading expert in both fields. His work has been featured in numerous publications, including Architectural Digest, Interior Design, and Trade Magazines, and has been a guest speaker at industry events around the world. Bob is also a past member of several professional organizations, including the International Association of Lighting Designers.

Photo credit: Amine Frigui

Robert Lanteigne AKA Lightbob.com
Lighting Designer / Educator

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