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LightBench at PLDC Copenhagen

The LightBench is a sophisticated piece of urban furniture that is the result of years of intensive development. It is made of first class materials that ensure high durability and many years of inspiring usage. The invisible patented mounting technique of LBO LightBenchObjects protects the LightBench from theft and vandalism throughout the year.

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This high-quality sculptural object is a reinterpretation of an existing retro park bench incorporating modern materials and technologies. It is designed for people of all ages. It combines multiple functions in one unit: connecting people, creating moods and a pleasant atmosphere, or serving as a means of orientation.

Via an app the owner is able to adjust the colour and brightness of the LightBench and program colour-changing sequences or colour-synchronize the Benches to align with larger installations. State-of-the-art LED technology (515 inbuilt RGB LEDs per Bench) makes these urban furniture objects energy-efficient. A regular 110/220 volt outlet is all that is required for the electrical connection.

The light elements are made of opalescent acrylic glass with a 30-year guarantee against drying out.

The LightBench is NANO-sealed for enhanced protection.

From the very beginning of the concept phase through to the final realization, all aspects of the product were meticulously planned to meet customer requirements and satisfaction.

Technical data:
Frame: high-quality brushed and polished stainless steel
Weight: 165 pounds
Total carrying capacity: 771 pounds

LBO also offers companies or corporations the opportunity to have their logos or names milled into the back rests of the Benches, or milled out and the letters or spaces filled with clear acrylic glass or clear or coloured Swarovsky glass gems. The glass gems refract the light and generate rainbow effects.

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Life is turning digital…

By Joachim Ritter

Many people might take this as a threat, and even I have been accused of being sceptical about digital lighting. Which is not true. I also believe that digital lighting is a good thing and a necessary further development for our society, similar to what we have in the communications world. To be honest there are a lot of parallels that can be drawn.

What the candle is to lighting, the homing pigeon is to the communications world. Trained pigeons have been very helpful in spreading information. Long before pigeons came into play, man used fire at the opening to and inside caves, and in the Stone Age cave paintings to tell stories of how they lived.

Then there was printing – not a European invention by the way, but a Chinese one. The first print version of the Diamond Sutra appeared on 11. May, 868. It was an early example of block printing (also known as wood block printing). This was obviously a case of the Europeans copying the Asians, and not the other way round. It was not until the middle of the 15th century that German Johannes Gutenberg did his part for the Renaissance by inventing a machine for printing manuscripts. Books and knowledge were in high demand, and Gutenberg’s printing press allowed large numbers of books to be produced and distributed.

In the field of lighting technology this can be compared with the incandescent lamp. The invention of the electric light bulb meant that light was available for everyone. And here the paths of communication and light cross for the first time: people could come home from work and read. Education and knowledge was accessible for everyone, insofar as their social circumstances allowed.

And now we are entering the digital age – for many a considerable upheaval and only to be stomached in bite-size steps. Nothing is going to stop this development, however. There is no getting round it. Generations of architects and lighting designers currently embarking on their careers will in future be dealing primarily with LEDs – and all the advantages and disadvantages they bring with them. Solid state lighting will be a matter of course for future designers, to the extent that conventional lighting technology will still be known, but not of any real significance. Those who fail to adapt will quite simply miss the bus.

There are comparable developments underway in the media and publishing industry. Very few teenagers read a newspaper nowadays, and the demand for books and magazines is dropping fast. People wanting to access information of any kind use the Internet, social networks, tablets and smart phones. Information can be accessed when and wherever you like. Communication is digital, like light.

Professional Lighting Design is also entering this new age and not turning its back on this world of opportunities. We are currently developing a tablet version of the PLD, the concept of which is unique. And the Internet version will be a big surprise for a lot of PLD readers and supporters. What was not necessarily considered high-priority at VIA Publishing in the past will soon be replacing the print version. The difference will be something like the LED taking over from the incandescent lamp. A purely technical issue. From the point of view of content there will be no radical changes, only more content. And quality will remain the core factor of everything we do.

We are not yet giving anything away regarding what the PLD will look like in detail. All will be revealed on 1. October.

Is the digital world an all-round good thing? Certainly not. Even new technologies can be tricky and problematic. But there are far more pros than cons: life is turning digital, that’s reality. The downsides require discussion and sometimes action, but they form the basis for further development.

The drawbacks of mobile phone madness and a world ruled by e-mails include the fact that many people feel they are being controlled all the time. A friend of mine not only writes “virus checked” under his e-mails, but also “NSA-checked”. It is doubtless more difficult for secret service agencies to listen in to conversations by phone than to tap a homing pigeon, and it is definitely easier to track e-mails than pigeons. I doubt whether we will ever resort to pigeon post.

But this will not be the end of pigeons. Nor will it see all print magazines or letters with postage stamps die out completely – not yet anyway!

And in the lighting world there is still place for the candle – the perfect solution at the right time in the right place. Only the incandescent lamp remains banned: how come?

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Luminaires put art objects in the F. T. Foundation in their true light

Blog Rietberg_RathausText: Joachim Ritter

It never ceases to amaze me what people publicly promote as good lighting. But it is all the more amazing that nobody gets up to complain and do something about it. It’s like the story about the emperor’s new clothes …

It’s really not about intentionally attaching little value to a project or discrediting those responsible. But I do think it’s about time we were more honest in the way we describe or report on designs or installations that are not good or, let’s say, where there is room for improvement. The lighting design community must have the courage to criticize concepts and let the designer(s) responsible know. If we don’t criticize and just keep everything to ourselves, we will not be providing the generations that follow with the kind of support that will allow them to decide what the right approach is and what they should let be.

Last year, a small rural town by the name of Rietberg in the North West of Germany received a new lighting scheme. Rietberg has an historic town centre that its inhabitants are proud of. They were recently named as one of ten winners in a national competition entitled “Towns in a New Light”, which was organised by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research. The main idea behind this competition was to promote the use of solid state lighting in historical town centres.
The result in the case of Rietberg is a new energy-saving lighting scheme using LED technology that was financed by public funding.
From the design point of view the result is an absolute waste of money. The undifferentiated manner in which the Mayor of Rietberg commented on the new lighting is a perfect example of the basic problems that arise with new installations: “With this project we have laid a further milestone for modern urban development and climate politics. Our contribution can serve as an example of the successful integration of energy-efficient LED lighting into an historical environment for all towns with historical centres or buildings”.

From this statement it is pretty clear that many still regard energy-saving as being the equivalent of well designed lighting.

The project
The local government in Rietberg has been thinking about modernising the road lighting in the Blog Rietberg_Fassadehistoric town centre and thus reducing energy consumption since 2009. At the same time, the phase-out of mercury lamps throughout the EU as of 2015 was to play a part in the considerations of the way forward. Local businesses looked forward to having better lighting on the streets that would still observe the standards stipulated in DIN EN 13201. The main point was that whatever changes were made, the lighting was to underscore the unique identity of the historic centre. That meant acquiring the consent of a large number of private owners to illuminate the historically valuable facades without undermining their original quality. Furthermore, the issue of barrier-free design was to be observed – in this case with special reference to visually handicapped persons.

The result
From the point of view of the design and architecture the project would appear to be a fine example of complete lack of concept. The facades are floodlit uniformly, similar to the initial attempts at facade lighting we witnessed in the eighties. In some parts, however, the lighting comes across as being totally non-uniform and quite unrelated to the architectural forms and features. There are shadows where shadows make no sense, and the illumination for the tower is the ultimate in light pollution. LEDs or not. LED technology does not automatically do away with light pollution, which puts unnecessary strain on the environment.
Blog_Rietberg_AlleeThe clearest indication of any kind of intended concept can be seen in the roof lighting, or parts of it at least. Why in those specific sections of roof remains inexplicable to the observer.

Perhaps I am being unfair to the designers, or whoever planned the scheme. Perhaps it is the photos that are not doing the lighting justice. But then the design practice being promoted here should not have approved the images. As a consequence anything that is disseminated in the form of press information is posted on all Internet platforms and in all relevant magazines without comment or criticism.

How can anyone be encouraged to discuss design quality when no-one ever questions what is offered for publication?

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Hersteller ruft LED Lampen mit Sicherheitsrisiken zurück

You can read the English version here.LSGAm 18. März rief der LED Retrofitanbieter Lighting Science Group 554.000 Lampen der Marken Definity, EcoSmart, Osram Sylvania , and Westinghouse vom Markt zurück. Insgesamt wurden 68 Berichte bekannt, in denen LEDs überhitzten und in der Folge zu Schäden an den Fassungen, den Leuchten bis hin zu Teppichen und Stromkreisen führten.

Es handelt sich nach offiziellen Erkenntnissen um Produkte der Modelle A19, G25 und R20 (auch bekannt als PAR20) LED-Lampen. Die Modelltypen erscheinen eigenständig oder mit den Kürzel: „ECS” in Verbindung zu Ecosmart (eine Marke von Home Depot), „DFN” in Verbindung zu Definity (eine Marke von LSG), „OSI” in Verbindung zu Osram Sylvania, oder „WHP” in Verbindung zu Westinghouse. Die entsprechenden Lampen können durch den Datencoden zwischen Oktober 2010 und März 2011 identifiziert werden. Die Codes sind auf der Fassung der Lampe aufgedruckt. Das Format lautet „L4810”, welches die 48.. Woche des Jahres 2010 (d.h. 28.  November 2010) markiert. Die 6 oder 8 Watt LEDs wurden in China, wie auch teilweise in Mexiko, hergestellt.
Die gesamte Liste mit allen 24 Datencodes kann auf der Webseite der Consumer Product Safety Commission‘s Rückrufhinweise abgerufen werden.

Das amerikanische Magazin „Consumer Reports” testete die EcoSmart A19 LED Hellweiß 40 Watt ECS 19WW 120 864680, konnte allerdings keine Überhitzungserscheinungen feststellen. Dennoch sollten Verbraucher, die Produkte dieser Produktreihe gekauft haben, diese nicht mehr einsetzen. Ersatz kann unter der Telefonnummer des Herstellers (855-574-2533) oder auf der Webseite recall page bestellt werden.

JoachimPortraitSW150x150Kommentar von Joachim Ritter

Die Lighting Science Group ruft 554.000 LED Lampen von Markt zurück, weil sie ein Sicherheitsrisiko darstellen und sogar Feuer auslösen könnten. Diese Nachricht lässt aufschrecken und zunächst Ängste hervorrufen. Einige werden sagen: Natürlich die LED-Lampen und haben es geahnt, andere ungläubig konstatieren, dass sie von Hitze bei LEDs nichts wussten oder nichts wissen wollten. Diese Nachricht wird eine Welle der Diskussion auslösen und plötzlich werden LEDs nicht nur Energie sparen, sondern auch Befürchtungen schüren. Um ganz ehrlich zu sein, das ist gut so und die Hitze der LED-Lampe zu einer notwendigen Abkühlung in den Gemütern der LED-Fans führen. Ich behaupte, dass etwas Besseres uns aktuell nicht passieren konnte.

Damit meine ich nicht, dass ich mich über Verfehlungen freue, sondern dass durch diesen Vorgang auch Risiken der raschen Entwicklung und der unendlich vielen Anbieter von LED-Produkten verdeutlicht werden. Aber es wird Zeit, dass nun endlich Qualitäts- und Sicherheitsstandards definiert werden und aus dem Hype nun eine sachliche Diskussion wird. Es ist Zeit zu erkennen, dass gute und sichere Produkte nicht für Pfennigbeträge aus Billiglohnländern zu bekommen sind und das die Konkurrenzsituation und das freie Spiel der Märkte ein Sicherheitsrisiko darstellt, welches Katastrophen auslösen könnte. Das freie Spiel der Märkte hat schon in der Finanzwelt zu Zusammenbrüchen geführt. In der Lichttechnik könnte dieses auch Menschenleben betreffen.

Aber wir sollten auch nicht überreagieren. Jede technische Entwicklung beinhaltet Risiken und auch konventionelle Lichttechniken führen Strom. Das Problem ist also nicht die LED sondern der Hype um dieses Produkt, welcher unseren Blick eintrübt. Die LED-Technologie schürt nicht nur die Erwartungen als Wunderwaffe gegen Energieverbrauch, sondern auch die Risikobereitschaft. Die LED ist für Hersteller kein selbstverständlicher Segen mit unendlichen Gewinnen, sondern leider auch der Grund für Einbrüche in den Gewinnmargen und erheblicher Kostendruck. Das führt unweigerlich zu Risikobereitschaft.

Es zeigt sich erneut, dass Ingenieurwesen und der unendliche Glaube an der Technik immer auch Gefahren beinhaltet. Die Geschichte hat uns gelehrt, dass solcher grenzenlose Glaube zu Unglücken geführt hat – wie der Untergang der Titanic, die Katastrophe der Hindenburg oder auch die Challenger-Katastrophe. Gottlob ist bis jetzt nach meinen Erkenntnissen eine derartige Katastrophe in der LED-Lichttechnik nicht bekannt worden, doch kann diese Rückrufaktion ein wichtiger Schuss vor den Bug der oftmals schnellen Entwicklung im hart umkämpften Markt der LED-Retrofits sein.

Sehen Sie hier die lezten Enwticklungen zu PLDC 2013 in Kopenhagen.

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Manufacturer recalls LED bulbs from four major brands

Die deutsche Version können Sie hier lesen.


The Consumer Product Safety commission of America have announced that The Lighting Science Group have had to recall 554,000 LED bulbs sold under the brand names Definity, EcoSmart, Osram Sylvania, and Westinghouse because of danger of fire. 68 reports of LEDs overheating, with damage to light sockets, fixtures, rugs, carpet, floors, circuits or lamps has led to the LED light sources being recalled.

The affected bulb models are A19, G25 and R20 (also known as PAR20) LED bulbs. The model type will appear alone or with one of the following prefixes: “ECS” referring to Ecosmart (a brand of Home Depot); “DFN” referring to Definity (a brand of LSG); “OSI” referring to Osram Sylvania; or “WHP” referring to Westinghouse. The suspected bulbs are identified by a date code from October 2010 to March 2011. These codes can be found at the base of the bulb printed in the format “L4810”, which would indicate the 48th week of 2010 (i.e., Nov 29th, 2010).

The 6 or 8-watt LEDs were apparently manufactured in China, and some in Mexico, between October 2010 and mid-March 2011. They were marketed as and include A19, G25, and R20 (also known as PAR20) bulb types. For the full list of 24 date codes, check the Consumer Product Safety Commission‘s recall notice.
The Magazine „Consumer Reports” tested the EcoSmart A19 LED Bright White 40W ECS 19WW 120 864680 but did not encounter the overheating problem. If anybody may have bought an affected LED, should stop using it. To get a free replacement, contact the company (855-574-2533) or fill out a form on its recall page.

Comment from Joachim Ritter

The Lighting Science Group have had to recall 554,000 LED lamps because of danger of fire. This news is startling, to say the least. It will leave many people feeling scared. Some will claim they saw it coming, and that LED light sources are not all they are made out to be; others will state unbelievingly that they were not aware that LEDs produce heat and are loathe to acknowledge the fact. The announcement will doubtless give rise to discussion: suddenly LEDs will not only be known for energy efficiency, but also for fostering fear. To be frank, this is a good thing, and the heat generated by LED lamps will hopefully lead to the hotheads among the LED fans cooling down enough to begin to understand the truth of the situation. I would say we can be lucky that this has now come to light (no pun intended).

That doesn’t mean to say I relish the fact that things go wrong sometimes, but rather that this occurrence spells out the risks inherent to rapid development and to the never-ending array (again, no pun) of suppliers of LED products on the market. The time has come to really define quality and safety standards, and to channel the hype into interested but realistic debate. We have to realise that good, safe products cannot be purchased for next to nothing from low-wage countries and that competition and free enterprise can lead to safety hazards, which in turn can trigger disasters. Free-market economy has already caused the financial world to collapse. In the lighting world, this could cost lives.

But let’s not overreact. Every technological development contains a certain element of risk and conventional lighting technologies also operate on electricity. The problem is not the LED itself that clouds our view, but rather the hype around SSL technology as a whole. LED technology not only fuels our expectations as a kind of magical remedy to quell energy consumption, but also fires the readiness to assume risk. Manufacturers do not necessarily see the LED as an all-round blessing that generates endless easy income. It is often the reason for a fall in profit margins, coupled with significant cost pressure – it’s not surprising that people succumb to taking risks.

This again shows that faith in engineering per se and the endless belief in all things technical can be dangerous. History has taught us that infinite belief can result in catastrophes of huge dimensions – such as the sinking of the Titanic, the Hindenburg disaster, or the explosion of the Challenger Space Shuttle. As far as I know there has not been a catastrophe of these dimensions in the solid state lighting world, but this product recall could be taken as a warning shot and encourage us to review the status of development in the hard-fought LED retrofit market.

For latest updates on PLDC 2013 in Copenhagen go here.


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