According to Richard Bower, Group Commercial Director at AIM Aviation; “Aircraft Interiors Expo provides the opportunity for us to meet face to face with customers and suppliers, both existing and potential. It is a lively mix of the established, the innovative and the influential”. This sentiment is echoed by many within the lighting/LED community of the aircraft interiors market and will be evident from 8-10 April as Hamburg Messe hosts the 15th edition of Aircraft Interiors Expo - the largest global showcase dedicated to the cabin interiors industry.
Following recent successful editions characterised by growing attendance, Aircraft Interiors Expo 2014 - organised by Reed Exhibitions - will once again offer exhibitors the ideal platform to demonstrate the latest developments in aircraft interior lighting. Already major players such as Aim Aviation, Astronics, B/E Aerospace, BAE Systems, Diehl Aerospace, Emteq, Leki Aviation and STG Aerospace have confirmed their attendance; and a number have indicated their intention to introduce new products, concepts and philosophies in order to keep pace with the rapid developments affecting this sector.
Driving factors behind this trend for innovation became apparent following an STG Aerospace survey which found that: for one-in-four operators, emergency lighting systems are problematic as incandescent bulbs and Ni-cd batteries frequently fail; for nine out of ten respondents, a battery’s average life expectancy was less than 6 years; and two-thirds of respondents rated maintenance of emergency lighting batteries as a significant or very significant issue. Such industry sentiment, in conjunction with the desire to maximise onboard weight loss, reduce maintenance costs and embrace photo-luminescent/LED technology has motivated significant technological development.
“The future of lighting, as with all cabin interior details, is the blending of function and form”, said Mr Bower. Where there are physical limits to what can be achieved in terms of furniture and structures in an aircraft, the possibilities of lighting for setting mood, zoning areas and creating identity, are limitless.”
Consequently, AIM Aviation will this year be exhibiting a concept interior in order to introduce a host of new designs, layouts and materials for cabin interiors. One of the first companies to bring therapeutic mood lighting to aircraft interiors, since 1995 AIM Aviation has been a leader in the lighting sector; certifying digital, multi-channel, modular light controllers and light sources, whilst introducing innovative lighting schemes. The company’s concept interior will include lighting solutions for the bar-top itself, shelf storage and display solutions, kick panel lighting, ambiance lighting, and attractive functional lighting for crew areas.
Meanwhile Leki Aviation will display its latest LED solution which enjoys high reliability and a heavily extended life cycle. A thought-leader in the field of LED development, Leki Aviation in conjunction with CML Innovative Technologies is looking to strengthen its position as a leading LED specialist by expanding its range of state-of-the-art products. Its latest products, present at Aircraft Interiors Expo 2014, offer ‘plug-and-play’ bi-pin LED solutions for Boeing applications; including exit signs, no smoking/fasten seat belt (NSFSB) signs and attendant call lights. The new solutions enjoy an effective life of 50,000 hours - more than seven times that of an average incandescent lamp - and are intrinsically resistant to shock and vibration, whilst consuming 75% less power than traditional lighting technologies.
STG Aerospace will be showcasing the latest variants of its celebrated SafTglo range - one of the world’s leading photo-luminescent emergency floor-path marking systems. Already installed in over 8,000 aircraft, the product is available in two widths, two profiles and up to 300 different colours. Its unique sealed design eliminates fluid ingress, whilst remaining a reliable and cost-effective alternative to electrical systems. The company are proud to offer digital spectrum analytics in order to create bespoke colour options which compliment distinctive cabin decors and corporate branding. STG’s stand will also include new products such as maintenance-free emergency power supply packs and ‘easy-install’ LED lighting systems.
“With lighting playing such a key role in passenger comfort, it’s no wonder that this segment is attracting so much development and innovation”, said Event Director Katie Murphy. “It provides yet another plank in Aircraft Interiors Expo 2014’s platform of growth joining; a dedicated IFE Zone which is 25% larger than in 2013, the eight edition of the prestigious Crystal Cabin Awards and the second Passenger Experience Conference - it is hardly surprising therefore that the show is already 97% sold out”.