Lighting plays a pivotal role in modern urban infrastructure, affecting not just aesthetics but also energy consumption and public safety. However, traditional lighting systems, especially in urban settings, face significant challenges in terms of energy efficiency, maintenance, and adaptability. Technological innovations in LED, smart lighting systems, sensor integrations, and IoT enable the creation of lighting solutions that enhance sustainability and user experience.
These lighting industry trends provide benefits in a range of industries and applications including architecture, urban planning, entertainment, energy, and more. By optimizing energy usage, reducing maintenance costs, and providing adaptive lighting solutions, these innovations are illuminating pathways for more sustainable, secure, and aesthetic landscapes.
Innovation Map outlines the Top 10 Lighting Industry Trends & 20 Promising Startups
For this in-depth research on the top lighting industry trends and startups, we analyzed a sample of 3113 global startups & scaleups. This data-driven research provides innovation intelligence that helps you improve strategic decision-making by giving you an overview of emerging technologies in the lighting industry. In the Lighting Technology Innovation Map, you get a comprehensive overview of the innovation trends & startups that impact your company.
Top 10 Lighting Industry Trends in 2024
- UV Disinfection
- Therapeutic Lighting
- Quantum Dot Technology
- Dynamic Lighting
- Agricultural Illumination
- Off-Grid Lights
- Lighting Design Software
- IoT-based Light Systems
- Solid-State Lighting
These insights are derived by working with our Big Data & Artificial Intelligence-powered StartUs Insights Discovery Platform, covering 3 790 000+ startups & scaleups globally. As the world’s largest resource for data on emerging companies, the SaaS platform enables you to identify relevant technologies and industry trends quickly & exhaustively.
Tree Map reveals the Impact of the Top Light Industry Trends in 2024
Based on the Lighting Innovation Map, the Tree Map below illustrates the impact of the Top Household, Commercial, and Industrial Lighting Trends in 2024. UV disinfection harnesses ultraviolet rays to sanitize spaces ensuring safer environments and the control of the spread of pathogens. Quantum dot technology expands the boundaries of color and brightness, while dynamic lighting adapts to changing moods and needs. LiFi or light fidelity uses light waves for high-speed data transmission with therapeutic lighting providing tailored illumination to promote human well-being and health.
Agricultural illumination improves farming with optimized light recipes for crop growth while off-grid lighting solutions offer illumination even in remote areas. Furthermore, advanced lighting design software enables more efficient and aesthetic lighting with IoT-based lighting systems that integrate with broader networks of connected devices. Lastly, solid-state lighting is setting new standards for energy efficiency and longevity. These innovations in lighting technology allow industries and households to improve productivity and well-being.
Global Startup Heat Map covers 3113 Lighting Tech Startups & Scaleups
The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights the global distribution of the 3113 exemplary startups & scaleups that we analyzed for this research. Created through the StartUs Insights Discovery Platform, the Heat Map reveals high startup activity in the East Coast US and the UK, followed by India. Below, you get to meet 20 out of these 3113 promising startups & scaleups as well as the solutions they develop. These lighting technology startups are hand-picked based on criteria such as founding year, location, funding raised & more. Depending on your specific needs, your top picks might look entirely different.
Top 10 Lighting Industry Trends in 2024
1. UV Disinfection
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of effective disinfection methods in public spaces, healthcare facilities, and homes. As a result, startups are developing disinfection solutions by integrating UV-C light sources into lighting fixtures. In this way, the devices provide illumination and also offer a non-chemical means to disinfect surfaces and air. This dual-purpose approach harnesses the germicidal properties of UV-C light, effectively neutralizing harmful pathogens. UV disinfection systems thus enhance safety and hygiene in various settings.
Novolabs specializes in Supercritical UV Disinfection
New Zealand-based startup NovoLabs focuses on supercritical UV disinfection, primarily for treating low-clarity liquids and wastewater. The startup’s Supercritical UV Reactor (SCUV) combines a UV-C delivery system and supercritical flow hydraulics to address turbid liquids with low UV transmissibility. This achieves pathogen reductions in liquids with less than 1% ultraviolet transmittance (UVT).
Unlike conventional UV reactors that submerge lamps into liquids, the SCUV radiates a thin sheet of liquid from above in a reflective channel. The modular design of SCUV allows for scalability, with each module having its own control unit. NovoLabs ensures operator safety with features like zero contact with liquids during UV lamp extraction and multiple safeguards against UV radiation exposure.
Puro Lighting manufactures Fixed and Mobile UV Systems
US-based startup Puro Lighting specializes in UV disinfection lighting to make spaces safer across various sectors. The startup’s products include Helo and Sentry disinfection systems that offer protection against SARS-CoV-2. Puro Lighting’s systems also feature a Violet Defense technology that utilizes broad-spectrum light encompassing germicidal UV-C, UV-B, and bactericidal UV-A.
Additionally, the systems use a pulsed xenon light engine that emits a beam of ultraviolet (UV) light combined with visible light in each flash and also generates a violet-blue light with bactericidal properties. This design ensures optimal UV energy transmission and avoids the degradation seen with lenses made from non-UV transmissive materials while targeting a range of pathogens.
2. Therapeutic Lighting
Innovations in therapeutic lighting, such as light masks, LED wands, and red light therapy gloves, are emerging as targeted remedies for various conditions. For instance, light masks emit specific wavelengths to treat skin conditions like acne or regulate sleep patterns by influencing the production of melatonin. These devices offer a non-invasive, drug-free approach to therapy, harnessing light to stimulate cellular responses.
Further, these therapeutic solutions have cosmetic benefits and also accelerate healing or restore balance to disrupted circadian rhythms. These innovations promote the growth of the medical, wellness, and skincare industries by providing effective, non-invasive treatment options. Through such innovations, lighting is becoming an active participant in health and wellness solutions.
Kandyway provides Red Light Therapy Masks
Canadian startup Kandyway offers anti-aging, health, and beauty solutions using red light therapy. Kandyway’s Eternal Glow MD leverages red and near-infrared (IR) light to target and remove wrinkles, fine lines, and other skin imperfections. The radiations stimulate collagen and elastin production, reduce pigmentation, and create a more youthful appearance.
Besides, the FDA-cleared medical-grade silicon mask generates near-infrared light that penetrates deeper into the tissues. This stimulates wound-healing cells in the skin, which allows new skin to form. Kandyway’s device provides significantly faster and more convenient skincare treatment for older people compared to conventional therapies and chemical cosmetics.
Dermabeam advances LED Light Therapy
US-based startup Dermabeam creates light therapy solutions to enhance skin health and overall well-being. Its product, Dermabeam Pro, is a light therapy mask that addresses various skin concerns using LED technology. The mask contains seven LED light colors, each penetrating different skin layers and ensuring comprehensive skin improvement.
Unlike other masks, Dreambeam’s lightweight and cordless masks use over 100 LEDs with eye protection that has a UV-protected lens. For broader coverage, Dermabeam Supreme panels offer both red and infrared light therapy, suitable for entire-body treatments. These panels cater to various user requirements, from casual users to professional athletes seeking recovery benefits.
3. Quantum Dot Technology
The display and lighting industry is constantly improving color accuracy and energy efficiency and therefore faces many hurdles in optimizing LED performance. Quantum dot technology overcomes these by embedding nanoscale semiconductor particles into LEDs. This enables lighting products to achieve a broader spectrum of vibrant colors without compromising on energy consumption.
Innovations in lighting like quantum dots ensure richer, more accurate color representation in displays and lighting fixtures. This meets the rising consumer demand for superior visual experiences while maintaining a sustainable energy footprint.
Sinbiosys innovates in Silicon Quantum Dots
Sinbiosys is an Italian startup that synthesizes luminescent silicon nanocrystals as an alternative to traditional quantum dots. The startup’s Si-alkyl silicon quantum dots (SiQDs) exhibit features such as biocompatibility, photostability, color tunability, and long emission lifetimes. Sinbiosys’s SiQDs are passivated with various layers, allowing dispersion in both apolar and polar organic solvents.
Specifically, SiQDs with alkyl moieties disperse in solvents like toluene, while those with glycol terminal groups suit polar solvents like ethanol. The startup’s other product variant, water-suspendable SiQDs, achieves stability through a reaction between passivated SiQDs and polyethylene glycol (PEG) molecules. These water-suspendable SiQDs are particularly suitable for bio-imaging applications, including use in bio-imaging and energy.
Quantum Science offers Infra-red Quantum Dot Technology
Quantum Science is a UK-based startup that develops I NFIQ quantum dots – infrared-absorbing nanocrystals. These quantum dots are precisely tuned throughout the near-infrared (NIR) and short-wave infrared (SWIR) spectrum, offering a sensitivity range from 700nm to 2400nm.
The startup’s INFIQ quantum dots are solution-processable. They enable the fabrication of optoelectronic devices on various form factors and flexible substrates. These quantum dots find applications in areas such as mobile devices, IoT, AR/VR/MR, and hyperspectral imaging.
4. Dynamic Lighting
Dynamic lighting systems adjust in real-time based on environmental factors, user preferences, or specific tasks at hand. It also provides optimal lighting — whether it’s adapting to the time of day in homes and venues or enhancing focus in workspaces. Moreover, dynamic lighting systems combine both functionality and comfort.
For instance, dynamic lights are tailored to improve focus during study sessions in educational settings and emulate the calming hues of a sunset in homes. This adaptability elevates the user experience and also improves energy efficiency, as lighting is optimized for actual usage and conditions.
Autaro provides Intelligent Home Lighting
Autaro is a German startup that creates an intelligent lamp, Lora, that caters to individual lighting needs, promoting comfort and well-being. The lamp supports the human circadian rhythm, impacting sleep patterns, energy levels, and mood. Lora‘s technology encompasses a spectrum of 16 million colors with bi-directional lighting, gesture recognition, and air quality monitoring.
The lamp’s smart home compatibility allows integration with other devices, even without an internet connection. Additionally, Lora‘s modular and energy-efficient design promotes longevity and reduces electronic waste.
Circadacare creates Circadian Lighting for Elderly Healthcare
Australian startup Circadacare delivers end-to-end circadian LED lighting technology solutions to enhance the well-being of individuals in care environments. The lighting systems operate automatically and are driven by advanced circadian algorithms that ensure optimal circadian support throughout the day and night.
The startup’s offerings include smart lights with a precise selection of LED chips and advanced driver technology that delivers full-spectrum control. This technology ensures the right light intensity and color mix for every room, adapting to the time of day.
Data transmission technology has to keep pace with the ever-growing demand for faster and more secure data transmission. LiFi solves this by modulating visible light to transmit data. LiFi offers dual-purpose – illumination and high-speed wireless communication.
Li-Fi offers speeds surpassing traditional WiFi and also ensures a more secure data transfer method due to light’s inability to penetrate walls. As urban spaces become increasingly interconnected, LiFi’s integration into the lighting infrastructure paves the way for more seamless, efficient, and secure digital ecosystems.
LiFiComm advances Light-based Communications
Indian startup LiFiComm develops optical wireless communication systems using light. The company’s offerings include LiFiMAX, which delivers high-speed internet through invisible light to ensure data privacy and reduced interference. Moreover, it features a downlink speed of 100Mbps and supports up to 16 users simultaneously through the LiFiMAX USB dongle.
The system operates by converting light waves into an internet signal providing a combination of illumination and data transmission. The startup’s solutions integrate with various lighting components, providing both quality illumination and connectivity.
Kintsugi innovates in Wireless Data Transmission
Zero1 is a French startup that specializes in LiFi and optical camera communication. Its solution, HALO, performs indoor mapping to ensure operational flexibility and immediate access to precise indoor information. The Modem HALO is an electronic card integrated into light sources that modulate LED light at high frequencies and it also transmits a UID detectable by smartphones.
Additionally, the ZERO1 OCC SDK integrates into mobile apps, enabling smartphones to interpret signals sent by lamps. The startup’s solutions also feature geo-mapping, location-based services, and data analysis to enhance user experiences in various sectors like retail, airports, and museums.
6. Agricultural Illumination
The global push for sustainable food production has spotlighted the limitations of traditional farming, particularly in regions with suboptimal sunlight or during off-season periods. To address this, advanced lighting systems are tailored to the specific needs of plants, and optimize wavelengths to enhance photosynthesis, growth rates, and even flavor profiles.
Such systems enable controlled-environment agriculture like vertical farms and greenhouses to operate efficiently regardless of external weather conditions or daylight hours. These innovations ensure consistent and year-round crop yields, paving the way for more resilient and sustainable food production.
Vertically Urban manufactures Tunable LED Grow Lights
Vertically Urban is a UK-based company that designs and manufactures horticultural LED grow lights for vertical farming and glasshouse growing. Its product, Horti-Blade Tunable, features four individually controllable and dimmable channels that allow precise tuning of the output spectrum.
Further, its Spectra Driver controller enables variable efficacies of up to 2.7 μmol/J which makes it adaptable for diverse horticultural requirements.
Bioled Eco Light Systems creates a Modular Light Bar for Agriculture
Israeli startup Bioled Eco Light Systems specializes in advanced LED lighting solutions for crop and cannabis cultivation. Its modular light bar, CROPS IP67 Full Spectrum, utilizes Osram LED chip technology and offers a spectrum customizable for specific growing conditions ensuring optimal lighting.
The light bar also features an embedded driver, plug-and-play capabilities, and a bidirectional fast-reliance connector for simple bridging. Moreover, it is efficient and durable as well as caters to extreme environments, making it suitable for urban, vertical, and container farming.
7. Off-Grid Lights
The lighting industry faces numerous challenges ranging from energy inefficiency and high operational costs to limited access in remote areas. However, innovations in off-grid lighting by harnessing advancements in solar technology, energy-efficient LED lighting, and intelligent energy management systems are tackling such issues. These lighting technologies not only address environmental concerns by reducing carbon footprints but also provide underserved communities with access to reliable lighting, particularly in off-grid and remote locations.
This approach brings additional benefits like improved safety and security, enhanced educational opportunities, extended working hours for businesses, and accelerated socio-economic development.
LumiWeave provides Off-Grid Lighting
LumiWeave is an Israeli startup that develops an embedded solar-power harvesting and illuminating fabric. The startup’s smart canopy, SmartSol, is a fully flexible sheet embedded with a sun-screening fabric that screens up to 99.5% of sunlight radiation. Additionally, it incorporates a flexible lightweight photovoltaic (PV) film capable of 190W per sqm with thin LED panels to provide lighting.
SmartSol‘s control system utilizes motion, light, and sun angle sensors with an MPPT controller type. Further, the startup employs a saltwater battery with a capacity of 1.5 kWh and is recyclable. This way, LumiWeave’s solution enables cities to decarbonize public infrastructure while making them more functional and sustainable.
EnGoPlanet manufactures Solar Street Lights
US-based startup EnGoPlanet provides off-the-grid street lighting solutions powered by solar energy. The startup’s EnGo Solar Street Light is a multi-functional solution with multiple product lines including EnGo Tower, EnGo Slim, EnGo Illumo, and EnGoPlanet. Besides, the startup provides a patented solar module that is integrated with new or existing lighting poles.
Further, the modular solar modules power LED luminaries ranging from 30W to 200W. The startup’s Engo Operating System (EOS) enables remote management and optimization of connected street lights. These solutions reduce installation, energy, and maintenance costs, finding applications in highways, parking lots, and corporate and university campuses.
8. Lighting Design Software
The intricate process of crafting optimal lighting schemes for diverse spaces is complex and time-consuming. Innovations in lighting design software provide designers with intuitive tools to visualize, simulate, and refine their lighting concepts with a level of precision. These advanced software platforms integrate real-world physics, material properties, and interactive 3D environments, allowing for real-time feedback and adjustments.
As a result, designers are able to achieve the desired ambiance, functionality, and energy efficiency while streamlining the design process. This ensures that the final lighting solution is both aesthetically pleasing and functionally optimal.
KUMUX delivers Indoor Lighting Simulations
KUMUX is a Spanish startup that enhances well-being through artificial light that mimics natural daylight. The startup’s solution simulates the characteristics of natural light indoors using dynamic artificial light. It adjusts indoor lighting conditions based on human needs, minimizing the impact on circadian rhythms and boosting health.
The startup’s human-centric lighting system provides appropriate light intensity and color temperature to emulate natural light based on geolocation and natural light. Besides, its cloud-based software integrates into various lighting control systems and enables dynamic light control. This enables designers to visualize and modify lighting plans to achieve optimal layouts.
IVLibrary provides a Luminaire Data Library
Dutch startup IVLibrary makes a platform that features a selection of manufacturer-verified building information modeling (BIM) objects for engineering calculations. The startup’s Light Computer integrates with Autodesk Revit to simplify the processes of calculating, installing, and rendering lighting.
Further, the startup offers a luminaire book generator that streamlines the documentation of fixtures in designs. This feature transforms fixture data into printable PDFs, thereby enhancing the presentation of luminaire details. IVLibrary’s platform enables lighting manufacturers and designers to streamline product development workflows and increase customer satisfaction.
9. IoT-based Light Systems
The demand for interconnectivity and smart environments highlights the limitations of traditional, isolated lighting systems. Therefore, companies are developing IoT-based lighting systems to bridge this gap and transform simple lighting fixtures into intelligent nodes. These systems feature remote monitoring and control that adapt to user preferences, environmental changes, and energy consumption patterns.
Beyond providing illumination, IoT-powered lights integrate with other smart devices. This enhances security, automates processes, and provides data-driven insights for facility management. The convergence of lighting with IoT creates lighting systems that are not just reactive but proactively contribute to smarter, more efficient living and working spaces.
INGY advances Controlled Building Lighting
INGY is a Dutch startup that makes smart lighting systems for buildings by leveraging advanced control systems to enhance building intelligence. The startup’s advanced lighting control solution integrates a broad spectrum of smart-building services. INGY’s lighting control provides features for grouping luminaires, adjusting light levels to match outdoor lighting, presence-based corridor illumination, and more.
The startup also provides sensors as a standalone or integrated within luminaries and lets building managers control the lighting system through mobile phones. By focusing on lighting, INGY transforms traditional building infrastructures into interconnected, smart environments while enhancing energy savings and sustainability.
Rithum creates a Smart Home Control Panel
Rithum is a UK-based startup that enables home automation with a smart switch. The switch communicates using Wi-Fi to interact with devices such as audio and lighting systems. It also features a climate control system that utilizes an in-built temperature sensor. This feature allows homeowners to adjust their home’s temperature with a simple touch.
Additionally, the switch requires no intricate wiring and only a minor change to existing electrical outlets. It also contains advanced features such as standby gestures to toggle between settings and a user-friendly interface. This improves the experience for both new and existing smart homeowners.
10. Solid-State Lighting
The current lighting industry is phasing out incandescent and fluorescent technologies in the pursuit of more durable, energy-efficient, and environmentally friendly lighting solutions. Solid-state lighting (SSL) is an alternative that relies on semiconductors to produce light.
Unlike its predecessors, SSL systems like LEDs offer significantly longer lifespans, reduced energy consumption, and minimal heat output. Its compact nature and design flexibility enable a range of applications from ultra-thin displays to adaptive headlights in vehicles. Through SSL, the industry achieves sustainability goals and also unlocks new design possibilities and application areas.
NS Nanotech makes Solid State Far-UVC Light Sources
US-based startup NS Nanotech focuses on lighting and disinfection through nitride semiconductors. The startup’s ShortWaveLight Emitter is a solid-state source of far-UVC light, which operates between 200-to-230 nanometers and offers a safer disinfection method around humans.
Unlike older gas-plasma technologies, its solid-state design operates cooler, is more compact, and avoids toxic gasses. Additionally, NS Nanotech creates gallium nitride (GaN) nano LEDs for both visible RGB displays and invisible UVC light.
TheraLight advances Photobiomodulation
US-based startup TheraLight enhances wellness through advanced photobiomodulation systems. Its TheraLight 360° light pod is a multi-wavelength LED system that incorporates four optimal therapeutic wavelengths. These include 633 nm red light, 810 nm near-infrared light, 850 nm near-infrared light, and 940 nm near-infrared light.
Similarly, the startup’s TheraLight FIT also employs these four wavelengths to ensure comprehensive therapeutic benefits. Both systems offer continuous wave and pulse operating modes that are controlled via a wireless tablet. These technologies boost energy, improve skin quality, and combat oxidative stress.
Discover all Lighting Trends, Technologies & Startups
Innovations like bioluminescent lights are harnessing the natural glow of living organisms, as a way for sustainable and chemical-free illumination. Meanwhile, embedded lighting integrates light sources seamlessly into architectural elements, furniture, and even fabrics, improving both functionality and design. Advances in color tuning allow users to adjust light colors in real time which caters to specific tasks or moods. Moreover, the integration of AI and machine learning in lighting systems facilitates personalized lighting scenarios.
These innovations provide a better user experience and also promote energy conservation. The Innovations and Trends in the Light Industry outlined in this report only scratch the surface of trends that we identified during our data-driven innovation & startup scouting process. Identifying new opportunities & emerging technologies to implement into your business goes a long way in gaining a competitive advantage.