Internationally speaking, where does Italy stand with regards to illumination? For many years Italy was the top exporter in the lighting industry, but in the 1990s China overtook us, followed later on by Germany. In terms of trade balance, seeing as Germany is also a major importer, Italy ranks second place when you consider the export/import balance.
How important is Design to the illumination business? Very! More than 20% in terms of its impact on the value of the residential market, at least where Europe is concerned. Then you have to factor in the value of architectural illumination in the field of luxury retail and city centre illumination. Especially in the residential field, Italian companies rank among the undisputed leaders. Even during 2013, design illumination (see graph) did “less badly” than classic and generically modern illumination. What drives the technology? Without a doubt the most important change was that from traditional light bulbs (incandescent, fluorescent) to LED (and in the long run OLED). With annual growth rates that exceed 30%, LED was practically unknown on the market ten years ago. The current growth rate is 25%, but over the course of the next few years it will probably reach 40%. There are other exciting novelties to follow as well, like the strong expansion of e-commerce as a retail channel, for example.