19th October 2020

Rupert Tait, Founder of Smith Tait Lighting Consultants, tells us more about his newest creation: Lightified – an online tool aimed at streamlining the specification process

The lighting industry is highly competitive and demands that professionals work within tight deadlines and under immense pressure. As a means of easing some of that pressure, founder of Smith Tait Lighting Consultants, Rupert Tait, has created Lightified, a new online tool that aims to enable lighting professionals to fulfil their roles as efficiently as possible. 

“Lightified was created to ease this pressure by digitising the current offline process,” Tait explained. “Outside of Lighting (and construction in general) we’ve seen digital revolutions in everything from F&B to Travel; with automation revolutionising processes and enabling companies to be far more efficient. The pressure lighting professionals experience is largely the result of an offline, highly analogue process – where being faster or more efficient is achieved by hiring more people, rather than optimising processes.”

Why was Lightified Created?

Tait is someone that has experienced this pressure first hand – as founder of Smith Tait Lighting Consultants, which over the last decade has grown into a multinational company with four global offices and a large market share across the MENA and SEA regions, and also in previous roles where he worked as a supplier in South Africa, where he explains the industry demands “were only magnified by the logistical nuances of the region”.

It is from these experiences that Tait envisioned Lightified. “The concept of Lightified in its most embryonic stage was designed as a tool to help my team leave the office on time,” he said. “It wasn’t long however, before it became clear that Lightified could be the saving grace of lighting professionals globally, and the tool developed into what clients see today.”

Since it started, Lightified has been chosen to participate in two start-up accelerator programmes; the first was the Dubai Smart City Accelerator by Startup Bootcamp, where Lightified was chosen out of 800 global companies and eventually achieved first place, securing funding from the Dubai government in the process. The most recent was the New York Abu Dhabi University Corporate Sprint Accelerator, which partnered with leading contractors in the Middle East. Lightified was awarded the innovation prize by ALEC Engineering & Contracting, winning the top prize of $10,000. ALEC is now partnering with Lightified to digitise its procurement process.

“That spirit of innovation is a common thread that runs throughout the team,” continued Tait. “Each bit of product development is done with one goal in mind – to digitise the industry and alleviate the pressure from lighting professionals.”

How Does It Work?

The core features of Lightified are concerned with searching for products and building specifications. The key time-saving opportunities lie in searching for products and comparing their technical information. In today’s world, that information is often found in fragmented offline places, making gathering it a time-consuming and often frustrating process.

“On Lightified, you will find all the product information in one place, with household brands (Flos, Linea Light, Sylvania, Kundalini, to name a few) quick to sign up to the platform to make it as easy as possible for designers to specify them. Product selection will now take minutes, rather than hours,” said Tait.

“It is not uncommon to see a lighting catalogue used as a mouse mat in our office. With the advent of new technology and the use of AI, we envisage that is all the catalogues will be good for in the future.”

Lightified, Tait explained, enables project information to be compiled and stored in one central, dynamic project page, which can be accessed and viewed by clients, contractors and suppliers. Once the products are selected, quotes can easily be requested with no need to upload product data and fill out Excel spreadsheets as the information is pre-loaded onto the system, and easily compiled into a quote.

“Where does Lightified go from here? For designers, the possibilities are endless,” Tait exclaimed. “It represents an area of focus where the technology can be pushed to the limit to deliver truly revolutionary services. At our most ambitious we will use the automated product selection to reduce the time it takes to build a specification.

“Utilising AI image recognition to identify products in project pictures, a designer will be able to select an inspirational project picture and gain instant insights into the products used to create the scene. The exciting part is this isn’t technology that will be available at some distant point in the future – it is on the roadmap for the next year.

“From a manufacturer point of view, we are producing industry-wide analytics. These will give insights into data that will help them to make decisions and form their corporate strategy. For example, which products are being specified in different regions around the world, which product ranges are the most/least competitive, and what areas of the market they’re not being specified in.

“We take inspiration from sites like Amadeus in the travel industry; building technology that brings all elements of the construction industry together. Long-term we will build out the verticals for all aspects of the construction industry, with Lightified the first (and most complicated) of that vision.”

How Can Designers & Manufacturers get involved?

Tait is inviting more designers and manufacturers to get in touch to help build Lightified further. “Lightified is built to help lighting professionals, so we encourage lighting designers and manufacturers to reach out and see the benefits for themselves. We cover all types of lighting, from decorative to commercial, floodlights to pendants.”

For more information, visit the Lightified website.