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Light Middle East, Light.ication and Ready Steady Light ME 2017

In the autumn of 2016 the Society exhibited at Light Middle East for the first time and hosted the inaugural Ready Steady Light Middle East (RSL ME) competition. The competition started in the UK with Rose Bruford College 15 years ago and has been an annual event in the Society’s calendar ever since. The event brings together people from all fields of the lighting industry and gives them a set time to design and deliver a lighting installation with selected luminaires and controls. The RSL ME 2016 event was such a success that the organisers from Messe Frankfurt invited the Society back to exhibit and again deliver RSL ME 2017.

This year, SLL President Richard Caple and Secretary Brendan Keely travelled to Dubai in mid-October to take part in the largest lighting exhibition in the region, Light Middle East. The exhibition lasts for 3 days and covered 3 spaces of the Dubai World Trade Centre Exhibition & Conference venue. 

During the first day of the exhibition the Secretary was asked to lead a panel of judges including Martin Valentine (previously the Lighting Expert for Abu Dhabi) in judging an initiative to encourage education and creativity in light called Light.ication, an initiative from Light.Func led by Sakina Dugawalla. The students from Herriot Watt University, Manipal University and 2 teams from the American University in Dubai were paired up with lighting practices in the region: CD+M, Nathan Savage Lighting, Heba Hani and DPA respectively. The theme of the competition was Holi, the Indian festival of colour and the students were encouraged to interpret the theme with their mentors and design and deliver the installations for viewing at the exhibition. All teams used light, fabric, artwork and music to represent the festival and created stimulating installations. The winners of the competition, Herriot Watt University were announced at the end of the 2 day conference by the Secretary and he also presented them with their trophies that evening at the Light Middle East Awards Gala.

For a glimpse of the video of the Herriot Watt University winning entry click here.


Winning Light.ication team from Heriot Watt University and SLL Secretary at the Light Middle East Awards 

At the end of the first afternoon of the exhibition the competitors for Ready Steady Light ME gathered. The Secretary gave a welcome and introduction to the event and of course the all important Health & Safety briefing. 45 competitors from organisations including: Lightitude, Nathan Savage Lighting Design, Osram, Studio Lumen, Light Touch PLD, DPA and Nulty+ were split in to teams of 7 and each introduced to their locations to be lit.


Ready Steady Light ME 2017 teams get to know their sites and equipment

The sites were situated at the back of the Dubai World Trade Centre and the majority of spaces to be lit could be described as challenging with a lot of hard landscaping. The teams had 2 hours to complete their designs and installations and then it was time for judging. This year’s judges of the Technical and Artistic Awards included: SLL President Richard Caple, Sakina Dugawalla, Martin Valentine, Michael Grubb of Michael Grubb Studio, Jasmeet Bakshi of Messe Frankfurt and the SLL Secretary. Of course, there was also the Peer Award which was judged by the competitors and tends to be the one that the teams want to win the most.

This year’s competition was generously supported by: acdc, Erco, Ecosense, Feilo Sylvania, Lightitude, Lumascape, Martin Professional ME, Osram, Targetti, Traxon and Zumtobel. Not only did the organisations deliver a great variety of luminaires and controls they also provided technical support on the evening of the event. A massive thanks to all!

After the event the teams were fed and watered in a local establishment, having to wait until the awards night, the evening of the last day of the conference to find out who won each of the three categories.

So the final evening arrives and the 650 guests gather for the Awards Dinner. The Secretary was called to the stage to announce the winners of each award category for Ready Steady Light ME 2017. Now, usually at any Ready Steady Light event the awards are shared by the teams with each team demonstrating a strength in one of the award categories, sometimes in 2 of the categories, not on this occasion. The Judges awarded Site 5, Team Dragon – Dance of the Dragon Fly with the Technical Award for the minimum use of energy and minimising light trespass. Team Dragon were also awarded the Artistic award by the judges for the most creative installation. Then finally Team Dragon were awarded the Peer Award. A clean sweep! Congratulations to the Team members: Jessica Munaf, Chayot Kiranatawat, Susann Sonnenberg and Satish Kumar!


Click here for a short video of the winning installation


Winning installation - Site 5, Team Dragon with Dance of the Dragon Fly

The 3 days exhibiting on the stand were enjoyable, with many new individuals being informed of the work of the Society and it was great to see the regions existing members. SLL President Richard Caple was brilliant throughout the trip and a massive thanks for his support, involvement and effort throughout the week.

We welcome the 22 new members who joined the Society at Light Middle East 2017.

Finally, huge thanks to Jasmeet Bakshi and Dishan Isaac of Messe Frankfurt, Sakina Dugawalla & Wanda of Light.Func and Martin Robert from Martin Professional ME for their massive contribution to the Society’s and competitor’s week.



Selection of sites from Ready Steady Light ME 2017