Ensto's Paolo de Vecchi and Guglielmo Rutigliano outline how their company provides the best lighting across a range of cruise ships to improve guest experiences.

What are the most important factors to consider when planning a lighting project on a cruise?

Paolo de Vecchi: First, we must remember we are on a cruise, which is akin to a floating village. Our first duty is to ensure the passengers’ and staff’s safety and comfort. Another aspect – no less important than safety – is the owner’s aims, as they hope to give their customers the best experience possible. Light plays a key role in creating fantastic memories and a pleasant atmosphere. Ensto dedicates a significant amount of time to the quality of light engines for marine applications by selecting LED sources with a high colour rendering index of more than 95. Colour consistency has fewer than three MacAdam steps.

How does Ensto work with ship owners throughout the design process?

PDV: Over the past couple of years, Ensto’s role in the lighting design process has increased significantly. Ensto’s engineers often attend meetings with owners and shipbuilders, where they suggest new ideas and provide support with samples and simulations. Our early involvement in the design process dramatically reduces the time taken to manufacture new lights, and we are able to specifically tailor them to the vision of the owner’s architects.

What about liaising between shipyards and owners?

PDV: Our marine business is primarily managed by a highly professional Italian team that is composed of sales, project, production and design departments, as well as engineering managers. Owners and shipbuilders have a common goal: keeping the process variability for time and costs under control, and to mitigate any undesirable effects due to subsystems management. Our team does exactly this: we solve their problems by handling the technical, managerial, logistical or operational issues before and after the ship’s delivery.

Can you tell us about Ensto’s work on the chandelier for the MSC Meraviglia?

Guglielmo Rutigliano: In our first meeting, the owner’s architect showed us his design concept that used huge petals that are almost invisible when turned off before bursting to life in thousands of different colours. An internal technical meeting took place between Ensto staff; its aim was to develop a solution that was going to be presented during the mock-up activity, which was attended by Ensto’s designers and engineers, as well as the owner’s architects. A huge number of details were confirmed at the meeting, involving the mechanical architecture of the chandelier and its colour management. Then workers at the yard were involved in listing and scheduling the activities to be carried out on board. Several tasks had to be considered, since the job involved the challenge of building the chandelier.

Between March and May 2017, a huge amount of work took place, with the constant presence of Ensto staff. This involved positioning and installing panels, assembling wiring, preliminary testing and commissioning.

Can you tell us more about the company’s work with Carnival?

GR: Carnival was Ensto’s first customer, so our relationship with the client is really special. This strong and durable growth in cooperation presupposes the existence of mutual trust and respect. In other words, support from both companies is essential for completing their tasks efficiently.

Carnival continuously improves guest experiences by helping them to find the right amenities, while Ensto’s Marine Team keeps up to date with new developments through yearly educational activities and the latest industry literature.

What other projects does Ensto have planned?

GR: On speaking to Digital Trends, John Padgett, Carnival’s chief experience and innovation officer, said, “The guests have a paradox of choice: there’s more than they can dream of doing. So, it’s not about getting more things to do, it’s getting the right things for you to do. But more importantly, for you to know what those things are.”

Information, big data and business analytics are breaking new ground in IT, and lighting is part of that. Connected sensors and integration with internet-of-things platforms are two of the main areas Ensto is involved in. The development of lighting fixtures is equally important, based on new solid-state light sources, such as organic light-emitting diodes and lasers.

Ensto is also supporting a new paradigm in the world of illumination: dematerialising lighting sources. Conceptually, this means moving towards appreciating the physical and emotional effect of light, and not just focusing on the light sources.