K-array has been supporting the commercial audio market for 30 years. More recently, the Italian manufacturer has developed a residential audio product line for indoor and outdoor applications. Taking an aggressive step into the lighting category the Italian company has just launched its KScape brand.
Taking the same approach with lighting as it has with audio, the Tuscany-based manufacturer’s goal is to offer integrators products that feature elegant Italian industrial designs.
Summarizing the KScape line of products, the company states that in today’s world, the way sound is integrated into interior spaces has changed.
Moreover, K-Array continues, the future of home and office environments lies in integrated human-centric lighting and audio. By merging audio with lighting, KScape says users can expand and maximize the synergy between light and sound.
KScape RAIL Offers Integrated Audio and Lighting
Providing more explanation on the origins of the KScape product line and the company’s goals with the products, Tom Riby, global brand manager for KScape, notes that K-Array identified the lighting category about four or five years ago, but before it entered the category, the company didn’t want to produce ordinary lighting products.
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“Sound and light involve our most important senses, yet their quality directly affects the quality of our life in ways you could never imagine so when approaching both sound and light as separate chapters of a project, you often lead to some limits and compromises that negatively affect the final result,” he explains.
“Considering all this, the idea that one device can resolve the perfect integration of the two disciplines that sees them perfectly harmonized in unison. It is an integration that offers an important tool for modern design, which simplifies construction and any future maintenance. An innovative and original way to offer quality to our emotions.”
Riby says these products solve the problems that interior designers, architects and dealers face when integrating lighting and audio into residential and commercial spaces. After listening to the needs of the residential and commercial markets, Riby comments, the company determined that lighting was a greatly underappreciated challenge. After completing its research and development (R&D), the company came to market with its RAIL solution.
“Developing RAIL was our first approach into lighting and we did not want to create a light that ‘just did the job,’ so we approached LED market leader Nichia in Japan for a solution that benefited from their incredible reputation for lifespan, quality of light and LED performance over time,” he states.
“Along with the K-array R&D team, both the light source and structure of RAIL was created and installed into our own headquarters which caught the attention of dealers around the world and the story of KSCAPE began.”
Providing more detail, Riby points out that RAIL is a 1.2m linear profile that has three full-range drivers built inside. The line offers a choice of four combinations of optics: symmetrical, symmetrical + optical spot, asymmetrical, diffused, and the possibility of housing a low-voltage electrified track with projectors.
He notes the product line also offers multiple installation options such as recessed semi-recessed, ceiling and suspended.
“The ceiling, suspended and wall-mounted versions can also provide indirect lighting with a constant color temperature or RGB+W light,” comments Riby.
“Where audio is crucial, all the mounting options guarantee optimal sound diffusion, including the recessed version that provides a small gap on each side of the RAIL which has been designed and studied in detail in order not to compromise the acoustic performance.”
To this point the KScape product line complements residential environments that range from kitchens to multimedia rooms, and commercial spaces that include retail business and museums.
K-array Adopts Growing Standard for U.S. Products
As an Italian company with operations in the U.S. and around the world that was looking to bring a lighting brand to a global audience, Riby says that through its research it found the DALI (Digital Addressable Lighting Interface), which started in Europe is rapidly gaining acceptance in America.
Riby points out that DALI is a two-way communications protocol that sends control and communications between the components within a lighting system. He notes the market is seeing more control products that use the protocol, and he emphasizes that DALI is quickly becoming the global standard for lighting control.
Using the protocol for its lighting products, Riby says each RAIL product can have as many as four channels of DALI to control items such as indirect, direct, optical spotlights and projectors for individual control of these devices.
“Providing the user with full control on lighting scenes. Combine this with music, sound and you can create the most incredible immersive experiences,” he states.
“Casambi is just one product that RAIL uses to provide complete control of the channels via Bluetooth, Lutron, Crestron and Control4 so users at home can intuitively create their own immersive experiences at the touch of a button.”
Riby says that through the combination of audio, lighting, and industrial design, dealers can use RAIL as a conversation starter with their clients.
“A simulation of RAIL—when compared to a scalable solution of ceiling speakers and separate comparable light fixtures has proven significant savings on wiring, shipping, labor, product costs and has proven to be 35% more energy efficient, 25% on product costs, and 52% less for labor/wiring costs. The combination of audio and light into one high quality solution also means that there is a more streamlined service for project design, installation and maintenance,” he adds.
“While we see growth in both audio and lighting markets, the smart technology market is exploding. A dealer has to be armed with a variety of products that attach to one project and usually that comes with plenty of politics. RAIL is an all-in-one solution that is the first of its kind to merge the products and tools available for dealers into one concept. We are at the dawn of the digital ceiling, both sources and inputs will be required for the home and our need to analyze, track and measure everything requires meaningful designs, and in our minds, we believe audio is at the heart of creating important experiences.”