OCL Team Predicts Industry and Product Trends for 2021

Feb 1, 2021

OCL Team Predicts Industry and Product Trends for 2021

2020 was an unprecedented year, and now the blank canvas of 2021 is before us. With so much uncertainty and opportunity, what predictions can we make about the upcoming year?

Our team at OCL weighs in on their thoughts for industry and lighting product trends in 2021.


A Post Pandemic World

COVID-19’s impact on the commercial product selection process will be seen in the choices made by consumers. Andrew Schainker, Senior Product Design Manager explains how he predicts that materials will be chosen for durability, cleanability and disinfection capability. Among the continued uncertainty of the world, Schainker also sees a focus on overall wellness.

“Urban centers can be chaotic and noisy.  Look for a continuing trend toward user comfort and serenity.”

More and more design choices will revolve around eco-design and circular economy strategies.  Sustainable products, processes and services will become the expectation and requirement and organic forms will evolve.

“Straight is easy. With the continued advances and options in flexible LED solutions and material forming capabilities organic forms will be prevalent. Humans desire a connection to natural elements and soft organic forms are inspired by nature.”


Mods & Customs Continue to Shine

Frank Gibilterra is the Lead Custom Engineering Designer. From a custom product standpoint, he believes simple geometric shapes constructed from a small profile, like those in our Stealth, Rev & Liner family, will be prominent in 2021. He has also started to notice a trend for two-or three-piece clusters in a tiered configuration.

“As always, Glowstick & Glowball Cluster [mods] will never go out of style.”

Jason Bartlett, Engineering Manager also shares his predictions on the future of custom. “I see a continued demand for modified standard product that fits budget, and that still meets the unique look that specifiers desire.”


Blending Indoor & Outdoor (Socially Distanced) Spaces

Jimalee Beno, OCL President predicts an acoustic material appreciation of the materiality and not simply of the function of the acoustics.

“There will be continued traction with Biophilia affecting performance and sense of well-being along with an increased interest in sustainability,” Beno predicts.

Biophilia is based on a hypothesis that humans have an innate tendency to seek out connections with nature. With outdoor activities being safer during the pandemic, this trend towards biophilia seems natural. She also sees a trend from lines toward parametric design and curves.

Schainker also offers his perspective on how the presence of acoustics will resonate throughout the year.

“The addition of soft acoustic materials and worn natural elements add to the human experience and juxtapose the hard and cold industrial elements in most modern buildings.”

Elena Kushinskaya, Regional Sales Manager says that she has recently noticed a lot of unique shapes and colors of organic outdoor materials and features being introduced into indoor places.

“There will be further blending of indoor and outdoor worlds to become one continuous nature inspired biophilic space.”

With these features in mind, she predicts that in 2021 there will be an updating of our living spaces through a lot of reusing and repurposing of materials.

“Everyone will be actively looking to find joy in everyday spaces after months of being confined at home.”

She foresees that outdoor spaces will be at a premium and due to social distancing restrictions allowing for fewer customers at a time, restaurants will be tasked with making their outdoor patios more inviting to compete.

“This provides a tremendous opportunity for our creativity at OCL.”

Schainker’s predictions for outdoor include an increase in the desire to develop exterior spaces with the feel of a living room. The spaces in-between, pocket parks, multi-family campuses and exterior office, education, and healthcare. Bringing the inside out.

Damon Wood, Director of Sales, echoes Kushinskaya’s sentiments that we will see increased demand for decorative outdoor lighting in response to pressures to continue social distancing.

“We will continue to see interest in acoustic lighting solutions that offer good lighting performance and enhanced aesthetics, while improving listening environments,” Wood says.

Revamped outdoor spaces, simple geometric shapes, sustainable practices and much more potentially to come in 2021 based on our predictions!