VALINTA: A Story Behind Every Detail

Toon Reynders - Schréder Group Product Manager – Urban Deco
Toon Reynders
Schréder Group Product Manager – Urban Deco

Earlier this century, the arrival of LED technology began a revolution in urban lighting. A leader for decades during the sodium era, Schréder quickly adapted and created attractive new luminaires such as PIANO, YOA and FLEXIA. Now firm favourites in cities worldwide, you may have seen them lighting squares, facades or parks to create places people love to live in. Or, you may have not noticed them at all - blending seamlessly into streets worldwide, they often feel as if they’ve always been a part of the city.

Our lighting solutions have become an integral part of some of the world’s most liveable cities, and we wanted to continue this new tradition with a lighting platform that draws on our expertise, while meeting cities’ increasingly diverse and complex needs. Together with French architect Michel Tortel, who designed classics such as NEOS, PERLA, INOA and YOA with us, we created VALINTA.

VALINTA isn’t a luminaire or a floodlight - it’s both. It’s ideal for illuminating statues, façades and fountains, but also for streets, parks and markets. It’s available in three sizes, three styles and with a range of different photometry options, which means there are 24 different variations available. There’s a perfect fit for every urban lighting requirement. As VALINTA perfectly embodies the same design language as our classics like FLEXIA, it perfectly integrates existing installations, meaning cities can create harmonious, attractive lighting which helps life flow after dark.

A Platform, Not a Luminaire

Schréder is a truly international company, and our product development process reflects this. We started with a longlist of 16 designs and narrowed it down to four. As we discussed them with representatives from our major markets, it became apparent they each liked different ones - with a clear use case for each variation. Different countries have different design languages for urban areas, and we realised that a platform solution, with a greater level of choice and customisation for cities, was the way to go.

Many aspects are universal: every VALINTA can be fitted with a uniquely designed printed circuit board assembly (PCBA), which was inspired by cathedral stained glass windows, and looks enchanting even when the lights are off. There’s a universal mounting system, shared by all VALINTAs which enables pole mounting or surface mounting, as well as on-site swivel, tilt and photometry settings. 

VALINTA can be installed by one person, saving time and money, and with no visible screws, and hidden vent and cables concealed in the mounting. It can be installed on the poles of existing street lights to bring innovative, attractive lighting to large areas. VALINTA can be virtually invisible - or a bold statement. It all depends on what the customer wants!

A Story behind Every Detail

When you design a piece of urban equipment in 2022, it’s important to come up with a form that fits as many tastes as possible, and a lot of attention went into the aesthetic details. We had a great time working with Michel, with a stimulating dialogue about what contemporary urban lighting needs that resulted in the clean, geometric lines of VALINTA.

VALINTA was developed with a pure design to stand the test of time and harmoniously integrate landscapes

From the shortlist of designs, our German colleagues loved the GROOVE, with its pronounced decorative dimension, while the team in Belgium liked the sober, tasteful CURVE. And Michel designed VALINTA SCOPE - strongly appreciated by our French colleagues - as a witty nod to the lampshade, an element that is universally read as an object of light.

Thanks to its collimator optics VALINTA can be used as a floodlight to enhance the architectural and cultural heritage of any village, city or town. It creates peak illumination and wall-washing effects, with white light or colour changing scenarios. It’s also available with “urban” photometry to larger spaces. What it means in practice is you can light a bridge, a marketplace and the church facade with the same luminaires, creating a harmonious “look and feel” which is extremely pleasing to the eye.

Small, But Perfectly Lit

Between Grenoble and Lyon, the French village of Roybon has an unusual claim to fame: it is home to the world’s third Statue of Liberty - and the only one currently lit by Schréder (we have just the right solutions to light the larger versions in New York or Paris - just get in touch). VALINTA ensures that the diminutive Lady Liberty - made by the same sculptor as her larger sisters - is perfectly lit. The folds of her dress, the blazing torch… each detail is highlighted.

VALINTA highlights the architectural details of the Statue of Liberty in Roybon to perfection

VALINTA is a great solution for places like Roybon because it combines high energy efficiency with crisp, attractive lighting. Offering up to 155lm/W (urban lighting) and 135 lm/W (architectural lighting), it maximises energy and CO2 savings, making it a real asset in the fight against climate change. It also comes with state-of-the-art control solutions for smarter cities: it’s the first Zhaga-D4i certified floodlight controllable with DMX or DALI protocol.

What’s in a Name?

My colleagues and I spent so long on perfecting design details, hiding away the IP nodes, and thinking of the way to make the “platform” idea work that we almost forgot to think of a name. I realised that choice was at the heart of it, that every urban space can choose the right version (and even go further if they want, with the help of Schréder STUDIO).  Belgium is a multilingual country, and I looked at a range of different languages for inspiration: VALINTA is Finnish for choice and it just sounded right - elegant, simple, and easy for everyone to pronounce, whatever their design language. VALINTA is a choice that gives urban planners a whole world of new possibilities.

About the writer
Toon is an industrial engineer in electronics who always had a passion for lighting and technology. He seized the opportunity to join the industry after graduating and now brings his wealth of experience in sales and marketing to develop lighting solutions for Schréder customers worldwide. 

Connect with Toon on LinkedIn or send him an e-mail with your thoughts on VALINTA