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Sound and light in the garden

With the development of nomadic lighting and speaker solutions, the garden comes to life day and night… and is invested as long as possible in the year. An accessory market in the making.

Find the special outdoor report in the new issue ofIntramuros 215.

Indoors, the LED has created a revolution in lighting, and we can’t wait to see the latest developments at the next Euroluce. The development of solar-powered or rechargeable batteries has been its corollary in the garden. Beyond the lighting of the site to enjoy it at night, with bollards, wall lights, beacons, as proposed by specialized editors such as Flos or Nemo Lighting, furniture manufacturers have in turn seized on these technical developments to accompany the freedom to wander, inherent in the outdoor space, with variations of table lamps, or even floor lamps and other accessories. It is always a question of transposing – entirely – the living room to the garden, and to benefit durably from the space, day and night.

Hoop garland, Fermob © Romain Ricard
Mayday lamp, Flos © Tommaso Sartori

This trend is not about to stop, if we follow the example of Fermob. At the last edition of Maison & Objet, the company chose to have a stand devoted exclusively to lighting: a diversification driven by the initial success of the Balad lamp, launched in 2015, and especially by the manufacturer’s rapprochement with Smart & Green, a specialist in the field. As Bernard Reybier specifies, for this segment, “Today, we are at a level of lighting manufacturer.” And the ranges have diversified, from battery-powered nomadic lighting to connected collections. The in-house studio has developed an app and a switch (in other words, an intuitive, ultra-simplified remote control) to enable lighting and intensity management via Bluetooth. A real investment in this sector, if we consider the training given to specialized retailers and the upcoming development of corners, after the temporary experience in Marseille of the 100% Lighting concept-store. And these developments could be seen in other manufacturers such as Maiori who have also addressed the issues of autonomy.

The contribution of the led

René Adda, expert in sound and lighting, emphasizes that “The technical evolution has exploded the capacity to put light and sound in spaces. The miniaturization of technology, the transition to LEDs (Light Electroluminescent Diodes) and other rechargeable batteries containing Lithium, have allowed the development of a new generation of lamps whose Ingo Maurer und Teams, Foscarini and others have developed the technology in Europe. Lamp and audio are combined on the same support, sound and light come together in the same lamp. The electronic candle with its flickering LED flame means that no one dines in the dark anymore. The candlelight dinner has found its modern version. And this technology comes from China or comes back from China after export and copy. Even if the first incandescent lamp is still burning in Chicago, the programmed obsolescence of lighting fixtures starts with the bulb. Sony manufactures in China, Samsung is Chinese and Thomson, a French brand that used to manufacture in China, has become Chinese, taking advantage of a pyramid-shaped organization that is first and foremost customer-oriented. The LED technology has also changed towards more and more miniaturization, going as far as imitating the incandescent wire that is now wrapped in a glass globe. It is perhaps in the automotive industry that we see the most renewal of LEDs with highlights of the silhouettes of vehicles sometimes surprising in the night as the Peugeot logo in backlighting on the side of the car at the 24 hours of Le Mans. Nevertheless, thanks to LEDs, the consumption of electricity, this fairy Electricity, is reduced by 20 or 30%. But leds and audio must be waterproof and pass all the conformity tests in gigantic factories in China (at SGS), a Swiss control center which makes the products pass all the international certification tests. The twelve mandatory standards to be able to travel around the world are acquired in two to three months.” Long time, short time?

Trilly suspension, Martinelli Luce

Create a sustainable sound space


Apart from the occasional use of mobile speakers, outdoor sound design is still a sector that requires significant technical skills, provided that fixed speakers are desired. Companies such as Henri, which manage indoor installations from start to finish, have expanded their intervention to the exterior. For the moment, these services are very high-end services, such as those offered by Cercle Parnasse. Orange’s top-of-the-line service, it is discreetly celebrating its 15th anniversary with a selected, co-opted quality clientele. The profile of the 3000 members: frequent business travelers from Africa to America with private coaches based in the Rhône Alpes region, on the Mediterranean coast or in the Alps on the high peaks.

Installation on the terrace of the Suite Belle Etoile Hôtel Le Meurice in Paris © HENRI
Installation at the Villa "Grand Prix House" © HENRI

At 37 years old, Younesse Bouzahzah is the manager of Parnasse Sud’s customized services. He accompanies customers on transfers of Bose, Bang Olufsen, Sonos, Origine Acoustics, Architectura Sonora, Bluesound…under the direction of Xavier Righini, manager of Parnasse Sud in Mougins. Since 2023, the circle has expanded with an agency in Aix (Bouches du Rhône and Vaucluse), Lyon (Ain, Rhône), Annecy (Haute Savoie), Ajaccio and Bastia (Corsica). “For any installation, an audit with diagnosis is necessary for indoor or outdoor coverage. The technical study is necessary for the wiring of large residences and depending on the sound and design he wants, we propose different things. Products that blend with the vegetation or drown in the stone, rocks, quality, often anthracite. To be totally independent, the client is accompanied at a distance. With four years of hindsight, we can see that our permanent installations, which are sometimes more expensive, satisfy a traditional clientele that does not want to change its installation every three years. At Parnasse, we sell above all a human relationship and our clientele includes large private individuals, notaries, doctors, architects… co-opted by word of mouth. Our facilities stop at less than 1,000 yards.”

Bénédicte Duhalde