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Preface to the Call For Papers

Dear Friends of PLDC, dear Lighting Design Community,

The sixth edition of the Professional Lighting Design Convention, PLDC will be taking place in Paris/F from 1. to 4. November, 2017. This may initially sound or read as being pretty much matter-of-fact and sober. But it in fact marks something very special and a real chance for the lighting design community. Allow me to elaborate on this a little.

Over the last ten years, since the very first PLDC in London back in 2007, we have – through PLDC and the PLD – witnessed and been part of a fundamental change in the lighting design world. In London, those present adopted a Declaration on Lighting Design as a profession for the first time. This was disseminated worldwide, providing the initial impetus for many to become pro-active. In the meantime, the Declaration has been translated into different languages and has served as the basis for defining a lighting designer’s scope of work and responsibilities.

And yet here we find ourselves, ten years later, on the threshold of an even more radical change – in both the technological sense and with respect to the profession. The motto for PLDC 2017 in Paris is “Shift happens”, which couldn’t be more apt. It was not without reason that we opted for Paris as the location for the next PLDC. This motto is equally meaningful for the City of Paris, given their reputation as the first City of Lights.

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The PLDC team have continued to develop the event over the years, expanding the conference and the accompanying programme and aligning it to address current trends and requirements. The market has responded with gratitude and increasing interest, as the growing numbers of attendees show. In 2007 we recorded over 1000 attendees, and at PLDC 2015 in Rome we attracted 1700. There is every indication that the number of PLDC attendees in Paris is not likely to be below that of Rome. Our objective is to be the largest effective platform dedicated to the development of Lighting Design worldwide.

But it is not the number of attendees that decides how successful a PLDC is, but rather what results from the papers presented and the other educational opportunities and discussions on and around lighting and the profession. The higher the quality of the content and the presentations, the more dynamic Lighting Design will be able to develop. The more interesting and interested the attendees are, the greater the chance is to change the market and play a pro-active role in achieving that. In past years, PLDC has sent out strong messages – with effect. Key developments, and even trends have been born at PLDCs and established in the industry as a whole. This is where ideas are presented and solutions found. But this is also where critical issues are raised, and discussed and debated openly. PLDC is THE international platform for independent, state-of-the-art lighting design – not to be missed if you want to be part of the future.

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In Rome, a Think Tank comprising seven experienced professionals from the world of architecture, lighting design, lighting education and research, and with experience in working with public and private clients, met to analyse and discuss PLDC and the lighting design market. The Think Tank discussions concluded by defining PLDC as the “Thought Leadership Event” of international lighting design. As a concrete result of these discussions, we have taken it upon ourselves to take crucial steps to develop PLDC and accept responsibility for the market. VIA-Verlag has undertaken everything in the last few months to create the right framework to provide the international market with an appropriate platform.

 

Now it is up to you – the lighting designers, researchers, educators, architects, clients and, of course, the lighting industry, to fill this framework with life. We are looking for the best, the most future-oriented and relevant contents for the best community of lighting specialists, who come together in the same place at the same time to learn and discuss what the future holds in store. We are not looking for lectures which have already been presented and discussed elsewhere, but for approaches and information that is new and can inspire us all to overcome the challenges of the future. We are looking for designers and others who are prepared to work together to shape the lighting design world and gain the recognition for the profession that it deserves.mediale Stadt

 

Do not restrict your input to simply responding to the Call for Papers, but consider this overall process as a real chance for Lighting Design. Take the time – through your cooperation, your know-how and your thoughts – to be part of the start of a further development in the lighting design world. We have engaged the assistance of more than 20 practising professional designers to read and evaluate your submissions in a blind review process. You can be sure that this will enable us to again compile the best possible programme for the coming PLDC 2017 in Paris.

It is now up to the lighting design community, and to you personally, to again make PLDC an educational event that will benefit every individual attendee and support the call for recognition of the lighting designer within society as the truly qualified expert when it comes to all aspects of designing with light.

Joachim Ritter, September 2016

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Are they serious?

by Joachim Ritter

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Competition for lighting design and light art … without any lighting experts on the jury!

The City of London is rated as one of the world’s largest cities. Along with Paris, New York City and Tokyo, the British capital ranks as a trendsetter.

And this also applies to lighting design. Many designers are based in these huge cities, and work from there. Wouldn’t you think that means that there should be a sufficient number of professional people in London, for example, who have know-how and expertise when it comes to judging the quality of light and lighting?

The City of London recently launched a design competition to illuminate 17 bridges along the Thames from Albert Bridge to Tower Bridge. The competition finalists will be asked to conceive a design masterplan for the project, while providing a concept design for four specific bridges Westminster, Waterloo, London and Chelsea. The winning concepts resulting from the international design competition are to be realised by 2018. So far, so good.

What is rather strange about the whole set-up is that not one of the seven jury members can claim to be a lighting expert. That doesn’t mean to say that Lord Rothschild, Architect Malcolm Reading, Prof. Ricky Burdett representing Urban Studies, or Justine Simons, Head of Culture at City Hall in London, do not or should not have an opinion about light and lighting. But not to have any expertise at all when it comes to judging the quality, contemporary nature or feasibility of any of the design proposals submitted smacks of gross negligence to me. The design criteria stipulate that the design needs to display outstanding aesthetic quality, show innovation and incorporate energy-saving technologies, and feature interactivity. Who in the jury is able to address such issues when evaluating submissions?

This again shows that “people” are certainly aware of lighting design in architecture, but not aware of who lighting designers are and what their skills are. Neither associations nor education programmes have managed to establish themselves as an essential part of design competitions of this kind. Apart from the fact that in this Call for Proposals the boundary between lighting design and light art seems to be more blurry than it is helpful. The competition claims to be looking for a public art installation, while the strategic priorities contained in the brief give the impression that it is a lighting design they are looking for. To be honest, it is hard to decipher exactly what the expectations are.

All that remains is for the professional lighting designers (or light artists, who knows?) to use the competition to set themselves apart from other disciplines and to call attention to the difference they make.

For information on the competition click here.

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Recommended reading – books to look out for at PLDC in Rome

This year, the VIA team has once again come up with a selected list of books for recommended reading. They will be available at PLDC in Rome for you to take a look at. Some of these books will be available for purchase for the first time at PLDC.

See the light free“See the Light” by Svante Pettersson, the experienced Swedish lighting expert, has gained substantial popularity over the last few months. The generously illustrated book depicts, from a Scandinavian viewpoint, how light works and how to differentiate between lighting solutions. “See the Light” is especially valuable for all those who like to see the work that they and other like-minded individuals perform daily confirmed in book form. “See the Light” is a standard work, a highly inspirational book about light, the philosophy of light and the art of getting to know your visual sense, which in the end boils down to common sense. A detailed critique can be found here.

 

Buch von ChristopherThe complement to Svante Pettersson’s book is the latest work by Christopher Cuttle. From its title: “Lighting design: a perception-based approach”, it appears to be a book about a specific design approach. Correct, although all the perception-related information is scientifically proven in numbers before the design concept is realised. Christopher Cuttle always manages to unlock yet another part of the true world of lighting design. A detailed critique can be found here.

 

 

 

 

light-shadow_01Aleksandra Stratimirovic is active in the overlap between lighting design and light art. Together with Sandra Praun, she has published a book that makes this overlap the core of the work, even rendering it visible in the way the book itself is designed and presented. “You say Light – I think Shadow” is a collection of comments and statements from leading architects, designers, artists and other key figures who have recognised light as being a central part of their lives and wish to share this with others. At the same time, the work itself is a huge compliment to ‘the printed book’ as a medium, and is informative and inspiring throughout. A detailed critique can be found here.

Modeling Daylight englishA new book, which will be presented at PLDC for the first time, incorporates discussion and a collection of experimental studies on the topic of daylight. Giovanni Traverso has put together a practical manual based on his own perception of the topic plus a series of studies carried out by students which take a close look at a creative approach to designing with daylight. “Modelling Daylight” is designed to promote discussion on the purposeful use of daylight. It is an impressive documentation of the creative power daylight can have in architecture – an inspiration and practical manual in one. The principles of daylight design are presented clearly and in a well-structured way, and examples shown that enable a practical approach to follow on from the theoretical fundamentals. A detailed critique can be found here.

 

 

All books amoung others can also be purchaised through the VIA shop here.

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Modeling Daylight

Inspired by daylight – A book on experimental creative use of daylight
A critique by Joachim Ritter

Modeling Daylight englishThe apparent reason for so little daylight being used as a design element in architecture is that a large number of designers lack the know-how and skills to handle it. Their creativity, you might say, does not go beyond the rectangular window opening. One way or the other, every room looks more or less the same: square. You feel you are trapped in a box, although there are enough windows to escape through… Thinking out of the box is (literally) becoming increasingly more difficult. And there is not much in the way of literature when it comes to how natural light can be used as a design element in an architectural space. New requirements related to energy savings and what planners tend to perceive as the ‘enforced use of daylight’ has put us in a situation where we can no longer make out what is light and what is architecture, because everything is simply overly bright.

Inspiration is called for. This is where the book “Modelling Daylight” by the Italian architect and lighting designer Giovanni Traverso comes in. As the initiator and head of the summer course entitled Daylight Thinking that took place in Vicenza/I in 2012, he and his students created a series of models to demonstrate that through daylight interior spaces can gain a quality that has nothing to do with rectangular openings set in the facade. Daylight can become the main feature in a space, if the designer is able to handle it creatively.

The manual aims to raise awareness and make readers sensitive to the idea that light can become a fundamental element in architectural design, capable of positively modifying the experience of the user.

The book motivates and encourages readers to return to the purposeful use of daylight. But it is also a manual containing helpful references and feasible approaches, and in that sense goes beyond the purely experimental. Time and again when reading the book, one is inclined to reconsider one’s own philosophy of natural light and place more importance on the use of daylight in architecture on an everyday basis. Which is as much as to say that this is not a book that will simply added to the bookshelf and disappear forever, but always be within reach as a source of reference. It is not a sequel to grand works such as William Lam’s “Sunlighting as Formgiver for Architecture”, but defines a new lighting design quality that is achievable through daylight.

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With this book, Giovanni Traverso has succeeded in providing convincing material on the purposeful application of daylight. The information, data and reports on the studies are presented in a clear, well-structured manner. His ideas on daylight design and commitment to spreading the educational word come across confidently and are easy to follow. “Modelling Daylight” is sure to be more than just an inspiration to those who read it.

Giovanni TraversoAbout the author
Giovanni Traverso is an architect and lighting designer, based in Vicenza/I. In 1996, together with Paola Vighy, he co-founded Traverso-Vighy Architetti studio, specialising in sustainable architecture and experimental projects related to the application of light. He is Senior Lecturer at ‘VIA”, UFL and has also taught in the MSc programme in Lighting Design at IUAV University in Venice. In July 2012, he headed the international summer course ‘Daylight Thinking’, UFL.

 

 

Date of release: 28.10.2015 at PLDC in Rome
VIA-Verlag
Italian  version: ISBN 978-3-9811940-4-3
English  version: ISBN 978-3-9811940-5-0
German version:  ISBN 978-3-9811940-6-7
Price: € 24.90
www.via-verlag.com

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UL first-time partner at PLDC…

…or what has a safer world to do with lighting?

UL_Enterprise_red_4cPLDC is proud that every aspect of the lighting design market will be discussed at PLDC in the interest of the future for lighting. Many manufacturers are currently introducing their latest developments and services. At PLDC they will be discuss and developing new ideas and creating new trends together with lighting designers.

But safety is also an important element of the future. Developments must be of high technical quality. This is where UL – the abbreviation for Underwriters Laboratories – helps and guides with information and services. UL certifies, validates, tests, inspects, audits, and advises and trains. They provide the knowledge and expertise to help customers navigate growing complexities across the supply chain from compliance and regulatory issues to trade challenges and market access. In this way, UL facilitate global trade and deliver peace of mind.

UL works closely with a variety of diverse stakeholders to help make the world safer. They optimize the supply chain for manufacturers and retailers and lead in the measures/initiatives/efforts/programs that facilitate global trade. UL collaborates to establish standards that create level playing fields and work to develop new pathways for the latest innovations.

UL services and expertise bring new opportunities to light.

Rapidly evolving thinking about energy efficiency and public safety – along with exciting technological advances – is driving the evolution of the lighting industry, providing greater opportunities and growing challenges. Leverage UL’s safety science expertise, worldwide presence, and active involvement in the lighting industry to gain accelerated access to the global marketplace and to meet regulatory requirements.

UL works to build relationships with the entire lighting supply chain, including manufacturers, retailers, showrooms, designers, regulatory authorities, government agencies and consumers. UL is the only independent laboratory currently serving on the Zhaga Consortium Steering Committee, an industry group that is developing specifications to enable interchangeability for LED light sources made by multiple manufacturers.

The breadth of UL’s service offerings enables our customers to take advantage of cost-saving bundling offers and to eliminate unnecessary redundant testing. UL helps customers meet the performance and energy efficiency requirements in support of programs such as ENERGY STAR®, California Energy Commission, DesignLights Consortium, Lighting Facts, NRCan and Zhaga. Additionally, UL regularly conducts testing to IESNA LM-79, IESNA LM-80, IESNA LM-82 and fluorescent lamp ballast testing requirements. UL’s trusted expertise and network of accredited global laboratories convincingly demonstrates adherence to safety and energy efficiency standards to regulatory authorities.

UL offers targeted services to meet the particular needs of every facet of the lighting industry. And businesses can easily upgrade to UL’s quality services and unmatchable benefits.
Lighting designers and specifiers who are involved in architectural integrated lighting designs or product developments should know about the latest requirements to secure the technical quality of the design and the also include the health factor of lighting.

UL believes in the lighting design profession and partnered the PLDC warm-up in Milan in April 2014.

www.ul.com

 

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About light, bulbs and eggs

by Joachim Ritter

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Pan-luminaire with LED.

It is time to stop and think about changing consumer habits. Times change and there is a growing consensus that things are indeed changing for the better. This would appear to be a new approach! When I was a child the grown-ups were constantly telling how “everything was better in the olden days”, which I must admit I didn’t really understand. At the age of 20 I was reasonably content and could not imagine how life could have been better without colour TVs – an achievement that stems from my generation. Society has changed. It is just the perspective and the saying that remain. And when I catch myself thinking that everything really used to be better, or secretly wonder at least if that was not the case, I realise that the under 40s will not have a clue what I am talking about…

For me the incandescent lamp was the best light source ever. It took a while to convince me that the LED might be an adequate alternative. The young generation cannot understand this at all. LEDs offers so many advantages – from energy saving to the fact that you can control them. There is absolutely no question that state-of-the-art lighting has more advantages than disadvantages, and is thus an improvement on the “olden days” of the lamp world.

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Fried egg under the ceiling…

We have to change. The good old light bulb is going to have to give way to advancement and will no longer be the topic of conversation. At last! Gone are the days of endless debate about whether to call the “beloved” lamp a bulb or an incandescent, when everyone meant the same but were simply using their own vernacular. We will have to find a new pet name for the most popular light source. Perhaps the LED fried egg. The yellow dot with the white bit around it. Or the egg lamp.

Never heard of it? Never seen it? Then you should take a closer look into the spotlights on the market. If I were to found a company that sells LEDs – a practically everyday occurrence on the market – I would consider calling it LEDEg, or in German LEDei (Ei = egg). And if the light source doesn’t work or the colour temperature is wrong, then we can always offer alternative products, because we don’t put all our eggs in one basket.

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A day in the life of an editor

by Joachim Ritter

In our editorial department, it is our maxim that every article and every issue of the PLD must have a message. Our maxim also implies that the message needs to be unique. For that reason some so-called headings are NOT ALLOWED. These include the most hackneyed of all phrases bandied around over the course of lighting design history, spreading like a virus and affecting any headings and captions that cross their path. A problem indeed, since the heading, or the headline, is the most important indicator of the content of an article.

Top of the list of recurrent headings which are NOT ALLOWED in our editorial department is: “putting something in the right light”.

This heading is probably the most widely used title for articles describing the new lighting scheme for a monument, an old building of significance, a work of art, or a product. The idea is not to point out that the existing lighting was not correctly focussed, but rather that the new scheme using modern technology is always better than the old one. Whether that is true or not is questionable. It is not only the technology that is of importance, but the way that technology is applied. By design, so to speak!

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Now, here is a fine example of a well chosen heading for an article: “Mummies – life beyond death”. This heading indicates that the lighting in Drents Museum in Assen (the Netherlands) is so good that the mummies look a lot livelier than they actually are, or were when they were alive. It attracted my attention at any rate. I wanted to find out more about how the lighting had revived the mummies after their passing away.

Conclusion: I would rather have my mummy lit to look alive again than have it wrongly put in the right light…

The source, for anyone who wishes to follow this up, is CLS LED, a manufacturer from the Netherlands who supplied the 130 Focus Compact Spot fixtures (3000 K, 95 CRI) for the exhibition.

Photo: CLS
www.cls-led.com

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Walking the fine line…

… between enhancing or manipulating with light?

by Joachim Ritter

Modern lighting design is becoming more complex. That is good news. It acknowledges the importance of light and its effect on architecture, human beings, flora and fauna. It actually makes no difference to how light impacts human beings. That applies, the same as ever. In a few years’ time people will be questioning how it was ever possible to design lighting for over a century not knowing or believing that light has an effect on human beings. However, digital technology now gives us the opportunity to design better and healthier lighting.

Having that opportunity does not mean that we have the skills to implement it. In that respect, good lighting designers who were leaders in the field 30 years ago and may well be still practising today need to be open to acquiring this new know-how. Thirty years ago it may have sufficed to do great design work based on passion and commitment – and the designs were generally regarded as being good. But those same designs today would probably often be assessed differently. The ability to be a lighting designer is no longer a gift bestowed on you at birth. It is now a discipline which involves design issues being subject to rules and regulations. What designers out there currently dispose over all the required know-how?

The good news is: if this is recognised by society as a whole, it must mean that there are indeed specialists who have acquired the knowledge and skills required to design lighting. Specialists who deserve to be recognised as such. In other words: we have never been closer to gaining recognition for the profession than we are today. And every day means one step further towards this goal!

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Nature as the “rhythm giver” in architecture.

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A patient’s room can be lit according to the rhythm of daylight.

We know that we can enhance people’s feeling of well-being through purposefully designed lighting, lighting that can positively affect human beings physically and mentally. And yet every opportunity also incorporates a hidden risk. At what point does the impact light can have cease to support human behaviour and begin to manipulate? Doping is quite rightly frowned upon in the sporting world, but no one has yet given any thought to using light as a means of doping. Why not? After all, light is able to influence and change our natural bio-rhythms. In the meantime we know that this can be detrimental to our health. We know we can increase schoolchildren’s ability to concentrate using light, although we also all know that many children are not able to concentrate to the full between 8 am and 9 am – because of their natural bio-rhythm. We manipulate shift workers by subjecting them to light levels during the night in order to maintain their productivity, even though we are aware of the fact that night shifts – or simulated day shift conditions at night – can influence the development of cancer. And we talk quite openly about the power of light to positively influence people’s buying behaviour in order to increase sales, although we do not really need many of the items that are so attractively displayed, and purchasing more only contributes towards aggravating environmental issues. We create fascinating lighting installations in shopping malls although we have grown up in natural forests which have shaped our evolution.

I am not saying that we should not apply light to an optimum. I am also not saying that we should not pursue the Human Centric Lighting path when designing lighting. But I do believe that we should be very clear about the current situation and continue to reflect on the power the lighting designer can have if he/she is able to take advantage of all the opportunities that science is putting on our plate when it comes to light.

Because if we are aware of the responsibility we bear, then every well designed shop lighting solution has the right to be realised – to enhance the leisure aspect and experience factor of shopping – the same as any lighting scheme designed to support our circadian rhythm in compliance with our natural environment.

With the knowledge we are gaining about the impact of light, and the technical possibilities that are now readily available, we are walking a very fine line between supporting and manipulating human existence.

This, at any rate, is the insight we gathered as an editorial team while working on the latest issue of the PLD no 98. Or at least these are the thoughts which will hopefully lead us to developing more insight in future. But definitely it is a topic which will be raised more and more, and for sure at PLDC 2015 in Rome.

Light Garden for Blog

Fun lighting in a shopping centre in Lima. Lighting idea and concept: Nicholas Cheung and Claudia Paz

Zumtobel - Gerry Weber (1) nachher_after

Limbic lighting in a Gerry Weber store after redesign. Photo: Zumtobel

Shop, Beleuchtung, Lichtsyteme Lichtsteuerung

Limbic lighting in a Gerry Weber store before redesign. Photo: Zumtobel

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Warm dimming

Lighting management: a key topic in the lighting world in future

When halogen and other incandescent lamps are dimmed they also invariably change colour to a warmer colour temperature – known as ‘warm dimming’ or ‘dim to warm’.

This phenomenon is now considered by many as desirable in numerous applications. These include the hospitality and residential sectors, covering hotels, restaurants and private homes in particular, where the purpose of dimming is typically to change the ambience to something that is warmer and ‘cosier’. Clearly a warmer colour temperature will further enhance this effect.

The solution which Reggiani proposes is to combine two chips in the ‘chip-on-board’ LED so that together these can span a lumen package spectrum capable of providing the maximum designed output when required, while also being able to reproduce the same diffused ambient lighting naturally created when dimming incandescent light sources.

In this arrangement, the power source is a single driver that gradually reduces the amperage input according to the light output desired. As the power to the chips is reduced the temperature mix of their individually fixed colour temperatures is automatically balanced. A gradually decreasing sliding scale, starting from high and ending at the lower of the two maximum and minimum values, coincides exactly with the combined degrees of light output and dimming selected.

This technology can offer a dimming range from 100 per cent down to ten per cent with a very smooth colour temperature transition from a maximum of 3000 K to a minimum of 2000 K. Crucially high lumen maintenance is achieved throughout the warranty period of the light source (typically five years).

While the primary purpose of developing such a twin-chip lamp has been to meet the warm dimming needs of the hospitality and residential sectors, the light source also delivers other very worthwhile benefits in terms of both energy performance and lamp life.

www.reggiani.net/warm_dimming

www.reggiani.net/projects

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“The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci

by Joachim Ritter

The new lighting for The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci met with the approval of experts from the lighting field.

The existing lighting for The Last Supper could only be described as insipid and washed out. It certainly did not whet anyone’s appetite for anything, spiritual or otherwise. Not surprising given that the light sources used to light – or should one say afflict – da Vinci’s masterpiece in the Santa Maria delle Grazie Dominican convent were fluorescent lamps … And we all know that fluorescent light does very little to enhance the appearance of a meal, let alone the people sat at the table.

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on gthe occaision of the opening Adolfo Guzzini proudly comments on the new lighting of “The Last Supper”.

In the last days of March, a special event was staged to officially launch the new lighting scheme for the wondrous painting for the public. Just four weeks before the opening of Expo 2015 in Milan, and two days before Maundy Thursday, state-of-the-art lighting demonstrated that the historic occasion depicted, and the items of food on the table, can look as fresh as they would have done almost 2000 years ago. It is all a question of light, and in this case of digital light. Of course, we are not talking about the display of fruit and vegetables in a modern shopping environment, but about the overall atmosphere in a space in which, according to Christian belief, an historic event took place.

At the Last Supper Jesus took bread and shared it with his twelve apostles, saying “Do this in remembrance of me”. The meal they took together thus became a symbol of his continuing presence in his community, and the words spoken and actions undertaken have been adopted in the Christian belief as part of the Holy Communion, sometimes also referred to as the Eucharist or the Lord’s Supper. The painting is very large: 422 by 904 centimetres and shows Jesus with his twelve disciples at the moment immediately after he had revealed to them: “One of you will betray me”. The painting is regarded as a milestone of the Renaissance period, because the accurate perspective depth it portrays had a tremendous impact on painting in the western world.

Giampietrino-Last-Supper-ca-1520

This is what researchers expect the original painting to be.

The work was created by Leonardo da Vinci between the years 1494 and 1498, commissioned by the Duke of Milan Ludovico Sforza. And now the masterpiece has been relit in close collaboration with Fabio Aramini, who is Head of Photometry and Lighting Design at the Istituto Superiore per la Conservazione ed il Restauro in Rome. The restoration also incorporated retouching the colours.

In the picture there are three windows in the background. The wall on the right from the perspective of the viewer is brighter, indicating the influx of daylight and the position of the sun. This therefore meant that this part of the painting needed to be more brightly lit. This idea was reiterated in the refectory in the monastery where the painting is. All except one of the windows in the refectory are shaded. Incident daylight can only be seen on the right-hand side when facing the painting.

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The painting as it is now.

When painting this masterpiece, Leonardo did not trust in traditional, resistant fresco techniques that meant the paint had to be applied quickly while the plaster was still wet. Instead, he decided to experiment with a new method (fresco-secco technique) that would allow him to continue perfecting the details of the painting even after the plaster had dried.

Unfortunately, Leonardo’s experiment proved to be far from ideal and the painting soon began to deteriorate. Over the centuries, this meant the painting needed to be restored on numerous occasions. In 1999, the latest restoration project, which took over twenty years to complete, finally unveiled what was left of the original painting after carefully removing the clumsy attempts at restoration made previously.

The new LED lighting system brings richer colour to The Last Supper while also guaranteeing better light distribution control and the correct conservation of the painting thanks to unchanging light levels and a consistent reduction in the heat dissipated inside the room. Thermographic assessment and spectramorphic survey values have been achieved that are 30 times lower than the levels stipulated by Italian and European standards for highly sensitive artworks. All the photometric, thermal and microclimatic values registered were conducted and certified by the Photometry Laboratory for the Higher Institute for Conservation and Restoration or ISCR.

The colour rendering index (CRI or Ra) is a quantitative measure of the ability of a light source to faithfully reproduce the colours of objects. In order to compare the colour rendering properties of each light source objectively, the standard CIE measuring method operates on a scale from 0 to 100 (poor to excellent). The Palco floodlights used to illuminate The Last Supper are fitted with continuous spectrum CoB LEDs with a high blue radiation presence and ample warm light tone. The colour temperature is 3400K.

The new lighting systems for the art works and their environment improve energy efficiency and reduce absorbed power (more than 80%) by helping conserve these masterpieces in the best way possible. The decision to replace halogen lamps with new LED products has reduced the power dissipated by the system from 3400 watt/h to 570 watt/h.

At PLDC Fabio Aramini and Piergiovanni Ceregioli from iGuzzini will present the design process in a 45-minute presentation.

Project team:
Client: Architectural and Landscapes Heritage Office for the provinces of Milan, Bergamo, Como, Lodi, Monza, Pavia, Sondrio and Varese.
Lighting solution: iGuzzini Research and Development Centre, the Higher Institute for Conservation and Restoration (ISCR), the Architectural and Landscapes Heritage Office for the provinces of Milan, Bergamo, Como, Lodi, Monza, Pavia, Sondrio and Varese.
Electrical installation: Tecnosaier srl – Lucio and Fabio Pironi.

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