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“The lighting design profession: a sustainable future?”

Koert_Vermeulen_dupl_512x512

Koert Vermeulen

The paper will be given in the Professional Practise issues on Thursday.

In a nutshell: After describing the evolution of the lighting design profession, that is to say the evolution of the lighting design community and the profession itself and its changing face, through the evolution of the major players in the industry and markets, client demand and the status quo of competition, the speaker will address the problems lighting designers have now with their image and profession, and the problems they will have to bear in the near future.
The presentation will discuss ways of ensuring a sustainable future for the lighting design profession and suggest a bright new vision for consideration – not just as an approach, but to be applied as a new future norm.
In order to stimulate the communication and interaction required to create this future Big Picture, the speaker will organize a communication campaign with the support of the PLDC organisers prior to PLDC to facilitate the gathering of “real input”.
Using Internet tools and engaging the public through social networks before, during and after the conference, PLDC will thus not only reach the live audience present at the event in Copenhagen, but will also be able to reach out to the rest of the community who were not able to travel to the Danish capital as well as other people interested in the topic and practice of lighting design.

About the presemter: Koert Vermeulen founded ACT Lighting Design in Brussels/B in 1995 and began creating large-scale lighting designs for theatre productions, music festivals, fashion shows, exhibitions and other (corporate) events. His encounter with Franco Dragone in 1999, led him to one of his most renowned projects: “Le Rêve”, now a permanent aquatic spectacle in Las Vegas/USA. In 2004 he joined forces with Bruno Demeester to specialize further in architectural lighting design. In the same year he was appointed as a professor at Hogeschool Antwerpen where he lectures regularly on Lighting Design. In 2009 Koert Vemeulen was selected to be the lighting and multimedia designer for the opening and closing ceremony of the first Youth Olympic Games in Singapore.

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DIN gibt Planungsempfehlungen für “Biologisch wirksame Beleuchtung“ heraus

You can read the English version here.

by Joachim Ritter

Licht ist entscheidend für die Gesundheit und das Wohlbefinden der Menschen. Es beeinflusst physiologische und psychologische Zustände wie Stimmungen, Emotionen und auch die Aufmerksamkeit. Die Bedeutung von Tageslicht oder von geeigneter künstlicher Beleuchtung zur Verbesserung des Wohlbefindens und zur Stabilisierung des circadianen Rhythmus, das heißt der Inneren Uhr, ist unumstritten. Die Wirkung des Lichts auf das biologische System hängt in komplexer Form hauptsächlich mit den Parametern Lichtspektrum, Lichtverteilung, Bestrahlungsstärke und deren zeitlichen Abfolgen zusammen.

Seit dem wissenschaftlichen Nachweis des iPRGC Photorezeptors sind nun mehr als zehn Jahre vergangen. Nun beginnt die Lichtbranche sich auf dieses Wissen mit neuen Planungsrichtlinien einzustellen und damit der Lichtkultur eine neue Richtung zu geben. Zur Umsetzung dieser Erkenntnisse in Beleuchtungsanlagen fehlten bis heute allerdings allgemein anerkannten Planungsempfehlungen, die neben einer guten Beleuchtung für Sehaufgaben auch die nichtvisuellen biologischen Wirkungen von Licht effizient nutzen. Nun sind erste Schritte sozusagen in Stein gemeißelt. In Deutschland werden mit der DIN SPEC 67600 erstmals Planungsempfehlungen gegeben.

Ziel der Planung und Anwendung biologisch wirksamen Lichts ist im Wesentlichen eine Stabilisierung des circadianen Systems des Menschen mit einem günstigen Einfluss auf Leistungsvermögen und Konzentration in den aktiven Phasen und eine nachhaltige Verbesserung der Regeneration in den Erholungsphasen. Der Fachbericht DIN SPEC 67600 gibt Planungsempfehlungen für Lebensräume, welche Arbeitsstätten oder Nichtarbeitsstätten sein können. Eingeschlossen sind auch solche Bereiche, in denen sich die Nutzungen überlagern oder mischen können. Die hier beabsichtigten biologischen Wirkungen beziehen sich auf Tageslicht und auf künstliche Beleuchtung oder eine Mischung von beiden. Der Fachbericht DIN SPEC 67600 legt keine Anforderungen hinsichtlich einer beabsichtigten Verschiebung der circadianen Phase mit Licht fest und enthält lediglich allgemeine Planungshinweise für Arbeitsplätze mit Schichtarbeit.

Nach der ersten Einsicht lässt sich eindeutig feststellen, dass der Umfang der Empfehlungen einige Planer in der Praxis doch sehr überfordern wird. Mit über 46 Seiten für eine Empfehlung wird sichtbar, dass der neue Aufgabenbereich umfassend ist und in keinster Weise mehr der bisherigen Vorstellung von Lichtplanung entspricht. Dieses ist auch eine Chance, denn es beinhaltet die Erkenntnis, dass Licht einen umfassenden und grundlegenden Einfluss auf den Menschen, sein Wohlbefinden und seine Gesundheit hat, den es in der Planung zu berücksichtigen gilt. Es ist insofern auch eine Chance, als nun dem Bauherrn ein Dokument vorgelegt werden kann, mit dem höhere Investitionen für Licht und mehr Lichtqualität eingefordert werden kann.

Deutschland hat damit eine Vorreiterrolle übernommen, ebenso wie übrigens die IES in Nordamerika oder auch die norwegische Lichtgesellschaft aktuell auch. Hier wird an entsprechenden Regeln und Empfehlungen gearbeitet. Die Wandel in der Lichtbranche ist somit dynamisch und nicht mehr aufzuhalten. Der Point of no return ist überschritten.

Im Rahmen der PLDC 2013 in Kopenhagen ist geplant, diese neuen Richtlinien der Fachwelt vorzustellen und zu diskutieren. Licht wird erstmals nicht nur als technische Disziplin, sondern auch als Disziplin des Ambientes definiert.

Die Planungsempfehlungen DIN SPEC 67600, Ausgabe April 2013, kann beim Beuth-Verlag, 10772 Berlin, bezogen werden.

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“Biologically effective illumination”: Guidelines published in Germany

Die deutsche Version können Sie hier lesen.

by Joachim Ritter

DIN does it
Deutsches Institut für Normung has issued design guidelines for “Biologically effective illumination”

Light determines our health and well-being. It impacts us physiologically and psychologically and affects our moods, emotions and level of alertness. The significance of daylight or appropriate electric lighting for the enhancement of our feeling of well-being and for stabilising our circadian rhythm, that is to say the inner clocks in all our organs, is indisputable. The effect light has on our biological system is directly linked in a complex fashion to parameters such as spectral composition, light distribution and irradiance, and how they occur over the day.

More than ten years have passed since the discovery of the ipRGC (intrinsically photosensitive Retinal Ganglion Cells). The lighting industry is now beginning to adjust to this milestone and has produced a set of design guidelines which will give lighting culture a new direction. Up till now, these recommendations have been sorely missing. Planners had no real idea of how to design lighting schemes that would not only provide good lighting to support visual tasks but also non-visual biologically effective illumination. The first steps are now underway. In Germany, the DIN SPEC 67600 design guidelines are now available.

The goal when it comes to the design and application of biologically effective illumination is essentially to stabilise the human circadian system, by positively influencing performance and concentration in active phases of the day and enhancing regenerative processes during periods of rest. The DIN SPEC 67600 document contains design guidelines for living environments, which could be working places or non-working places. Areas are included where working places and non-working places can overlap each other or are mixed. The biological effects to be supported relate to daylight and electric light, or a mix of both. The DIN SPEC 67600 document does not define requirements for using light to achieve an intentional shift in any circadian phase. For spaces occupied by shift workers it includes general recommendations only.

The initial impression when reading the document is that in practice some planners will not be able to cope with the scope of the guidelines – they will be out of their depth. The fact that the guidelines are 46 pages long already indicates the comprehensive nature of the new field of responsibility. They go far beyond what was generally understood as lighting design to date. Then again, tis is also a huge opportunity, because it implies a new awareness of light and the overriding part it plays in sustaining human health and well-being, and that this now needs to be taken into consideration when planning light for any situation. In this sense it is a real chance, because it is now possible to present the client with a document that warrants higher investments being made for lighting and for more light quality.

Germany has been very pro-active in these efforts, as have also the IES in North America or the illuminating engineers’ group in Norway. Other countries are also working on setting up guidelines and recommendations. The winds of change in the lighting industry are of a very dynamic nature. There is no stopping this process now. The point of no return is long gone.

On the occasion of PLDC 2013 in Copenhagen the new guidelines will be presented to lighting professionals and discussed. Lighting design is no longer recognised as a purely technical discipline. It can now be defined as a discipline related to ambience.

The DIN SPEC 67600 design guidelines, April 2013 edition, can be purchased from Beuth Verlag, 10772 Berlin/D. The guideline are in German language at the moment, but will be translated into English in the near future.

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A case for action heroes

By Alison Ritter, B.A. Hons, PGCE

Lighting designers around the world are familiar with the topic of certification, licensing and/or credentialing. Not because it affects them all directly – well, not yet at any rate – but because they all know it is necessary and inevitable. But in order to certify a lighting designer, or to grant a lighting designer the permission to use a specific set of credentials, the required competences of a lighting designer must first be clarified and a means of testing, controlling and updating them found.

As part of the IALD Credentialing Task Force’s ongoing work to develop a certification in architectural lighting design a survey was carried out to determine how well the proposed domains of professional practice reflect what competent architectural designers do. The task force identified seven domains over the course of its two years of research. Respondents were asked to rate how well the domains describe what practitioners do and to rate the importance of the specific domain to the profession on a scale of 0-5, with 0 corresponding to “not at all” and 5 meaning “very”. The task force is now conducting a pilot study to test the assessment process for an evidence-based certification for architectural lighting designers based on the domains of practice. Geographic spread of respondents was diverse, with more than 36 countries represented by design/build practitioners answering the survey. A majority of respondents had 12 or more years of experience. Independent of country of residence, the 637 building/design industry practitioners responding to the IALD Certification Survey indicate the seven domains of professional practice researched by the Credentialing Task Force accurately reflect the practice of architectural lighting design and are important to the profession.  David Becker, IALD member and Credentialing Task Force Chair was extremely pleased with the level of interest and participation from members of the design/build community worldwide.

The question is: where do we go from here? Other associations are also giving this topic a lot of thought. The Society of Light and Lighting (SLL) in the UK acknowledge their members’ Continuing Professional Development activities, and some universities see it as a part of their future responsibility to offer CPD for students who have gained a degree and embarked on a professional career, as well as established professionals, the opportunity to take courses or specific modules to expand their know-how and skills.

Future generations of lighting designers will be able to start their careers with a degree in their pockets, but as we all know having passed your driving test doesn’t mean you are an experienced, safe driver. Gaining a qualification is an excellent first step. Twenty or thirty years of experience also deserves acknowledgement and respect. But with the pace at which lighting technology is developing, gaining new expertise is an absolute must. And then you have to prove you have that expertise and are able to apply it.

A lot of talking has been done. Further discussion is necessary. And concrete steps need to be taken – before lighting designers find they are having to dance to officialdom’s tune.

As Pablo Picasso so rightly said: “Action is the foundational key to all success”.

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Que sera sera – the future of lighting design

What will change in future with regard to the quality of light?

Lighting as part of the Wallpaper.


Well … nothing is going to be like it was before…

Interest in designed lighting continues to grow – steadily but surely. That’s good. But is everyone aware of what that means, and how lighting specialists will have to adapt in order to be able to survive?

One thing is for sure: designed lighting will comprise a new quality in future. There are activities in progress around the world to redefine the quality of light, and to change standards accordingly. What we had all been hoping for for decades is becoming reality. Light is recognised as incorporating both technical and design quality.

Technical quality has generally always meant generating as much light as possible for as little energy as possible. Of course, technical quality also means that new technologies have to work and systems have to be reliable. Design quality involves the application and integration of light into architectural spaces to promote the well-being of the users of those spaces. For example in an office environment that would mean that the lighting is designed to help reduce stress at work. That might sound a bit trite or hackneyed in the first instance, but there is now scientific evidence to prove that we do indeed suffer as humans at the workplace, because in many cases the work environment does not correspond to our biological make-up. In the last 15 years the number of cases of illness due to workplace stress has multiplied significantly. Exposure to specific lighting conditions can indeed boost stress hormone response.

The issue that you as designers and planners now face is how to design lighting in order to create spaces that generate a feeling of safety and well-being in users. Do I know how to design to meet these objectives? What will change in future? Which products can I specify to be able to meet new requirements? What part will daylight design play in my work?

The new requirements are to be reflected in a set of redefined standards. In February 2013 a team of experts and researchers from the field of medical science will meet to work on a proposal for a new standard to assess and ensure the quality of light. This standard aims to incorporate the minimum human requirements with regard to light in a definition of the term ‘light quality’. It will have little to do with the standards we have adhered to in the past, or even those of today.

Within the framework of PLDC 2013 in Copenhagen we are planning to include a broad discussion of the results of the afore-mentioned workgroup. PLDC 2013 will be the first large-scale event offering lighting planners and specialists the opportunity to prepare for tomorrow.In this sense, too, the motto of the Copenhagen event – “point of no return” – can already claim to be hitting one more very appropriate nail on the head.So the answer on the question if there is a future is definately “yes, there is a future, but it will be different.”
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In praise of books

By Joachim Ritter

You can still buy them – specialist books – the Internet and new media have not been able to replace what books offer completely. I must admit the Internet does provide fast and easy access, even if one search in Google consumes more energy than an 11 Watt TCL in 24 hours – to acknowledge the energy savers among us. And yet, if you think about it, time-saving at this level is purely relative. Which is why I decided to take a closer, very traditional look at five recently published books and one specialist publication, and attempt to evaluate these individually and justify the existence of books in general.

Of course, the shelves in my office are full of books and other print media. Manufacturers’ catalogues occupy a large part of the space, although the Internet makes absolute sense when it comes to promoting new or modified products. Whether we like it or not, speed and development cycles go hand in hand. The status of LED technology changes monthly – at least. What was still true yesterday has no relevance tomorrow. Why the lighting industry insists on subsidising the world’s post offices and other couriers by sending out tens of thousands of product catalogues at regular intervals is a mystery to me. Every two years it is not a supplement to an existing catalogue that lands on my desk, and the desks of literally thousands of designers, but a replacement of the last mighty tome. It takes tons of paper and CO2 to produce, print, mail and dispose of the catalogues. Apart from the fact that it is an integral part of a planner’s professional quality to check all data and facts on the Internet anyway. Maybe the industry is just not ready to go about their daily business without catalogues. Maybe we are not ready to forgo the pleasure of leafing through stacks of printed paper. In fact ther is one manufacturer at least who completely moved to digital marketing material. An this is Hoffmeister…

Never the less, the books on my shelves are indeed part of the environment I live and work in. Not that I have read every book from cover to cover, but if we are honest, who has? At any rate, it is good to know I can pick one out and leaf through it, if the fancy takes me. But before a book can even find its way onto my shelves, I first need to find it. That means I need to know exactly what I am expecting of the book. Do I need technical information, something philosophical, a practical handbook I can refer to in moments of need, or a so-called coffee table book that is really “only” designed to look nice – or perhaps justify the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee.

The book entitled “Nordic Light – Interpretations in architecture” is the sort of title that any lighting designer would not hesitate to buy because they would expect to see the connection between Nordic light and designed electric lighting in architectural spaces. And that is how the book starts off, fulfilling the reader’s expectations and daring an historical review of Nordic painting and touching on the architecture of Alvar Aalto, which was probably the most natural reference to Nordic light in architecture before countries in northern Europe were hit by the Culture of Light revolution in the 1990s. What happened to Nordic lighting culture after that can justifiably be challenged here and there. That does not mean to say that this book contains dubious examples, but rather examples of all kinds of lighting design work going on in northern Europe, even if it is not what one might classify as being typically Nordic. The projects shown could be found anywhere in the world. Even an expert in the field answering the “million pound/euro question” on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? would fail to make his fortune if quizzed on the country of origin of one of the projects depicted in the book. The book does not pass criticism on anyone or anything, but it does encourage the user to reflect.

What is typically Nordic is how close the people feel to nature. When it comes to lighting design: that means incorporating daylight into the project, and the recurring use of design elements that are reminiscent of sunrises and sunsets and the pastel colours they contain up north. Not to forget the warm colours of wood.

The book certainly whets the reader’s appetite to head north and see for himself, summed up neatly in John C. Ellis’s afterword: Come and see!

240 pages
290 x 250 mm
Hardcover
Numerous illustrations
€ 60.00 plus post + packing
ISBN – 978 82 997994 4 7
www.centerforlys.dk

After careful consideration I must say I would never have learnt as much surfing the Internet as I did browsing through the book presented above. Not that it would have been impossible to find out about the projects and design approaches online. The question is: would it have been quicker? I would never be able to research and access the same information in the time I can flip through the pages of a book and put it to one side to view a different one. If you enter “Nordic Light” in a search engine you get around 5,080,000 hits. OK, that takes 0.4 seconds. But then you have to check out each one. On the other hand, top of the list on Google is the Nordic Light Hotel in Stockholm, which is not even mentioned in the book…

Nordic Light Hotel in Stockholm. Lighting Design by Ljusarkitektur/S

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A promising light source and its unexpected consequences

The future of the LED as a light source.

By Prof. Dr. Heinrich Kramer, FPLDA

If we are to believe what the manufacturers were telling us at Light+Building 2012 in Frankfurt, then 90 per cent of all lighting products will be sourced with LEDs by the year 2020. The European Union is supporting this plan with their LSL (Lighting System Legislation), LSDEL (Lighting System Design Energy
Label) and Ecodesign Directive 2009/125/EC. This legislation sees all incandescent and halogen lamps withdrawn from the market by 2016 (including low-voltage halogen and reflector lamps) and replaced by new products based on LED technology. Given the experience lighting designers are having with their clients, it is very doubtful that this move is a sound one. There are various reasons for this.

1. The lack of standards for the LED as a light source
To achieve lumen packages from an LED that are the equivalent of conventional lamps you need arrays of several LEDs on one board. This requires determining the geometric layout of the array and the electrical and technical properties of the source, and the manufacturer must bear the responsibility for providing replacements of the same quality for at least ten years. To date the majority of manufacturers give guarantees of only three to five years. At the same time they are promising a lamp life of 50,000 hours. If the LED light source is in operation twelve hours a day, this would mean a lamp life of more than ten years.

As a consequence major clients, who have their own lamp reserves, are refusing to accept LED solutions in their buildings. Some lighting designers have therefore decided not to design any LED-based lighting solutions until the question of replacement has been adequately solved. This would appear to us to be a serious barrier to introducing a new product onto the market – since innovative lighting solutions are usually only developed by leading lighting designers.

Furthermore, every luminaire manufacturer is developing its own circuit boards for the LEDs. So replacement lamps cannot be purchased through one of the four main lamp manufacturers – as was possible previously – but only through the respective
luminaire manufacturer. The result is that a huge amount of time and effort is required in order to handle the purchasing process and keep major clients happy. It is absolutely imperative that LED light sources are standardised and that delivery of replacements of the same quality is guaranteed for at least the next ten years. The price for replacement lamps also needs addressing. It cannot be that a client needs to buy “hundreds” of new LEDs just because one has failed.

Now we have the Zhaga initiative, which also has something to do with standards. Unfortunately, the companies involved are at odds with one another as to the likelihood of there being any standards in this sector at all in the foreseeable future.
Given the current situation and information available, the lighting industry can presume that generations of users to come still think in terms of lamps and luminaires and are not keen to throw away the complete fixture when individual LEDs don’t work. To me, this would appear to be the greatest obstacle to introducing a new product onto the market.

2. Replacing incandescent and halogen lamps with LEDs is like eating apples if there are no pears left
Any LED replacement for incandescent and halogen lamps will automatically have a different spectrum (luminous colour) and geometry. That means that all fixtures sourced with incandescent and halogen lamps will have to be re-sourced by 2016, if the owner attaches any importance to lighting and design quality. This is not so problematic when it comes to the display sector, because investment cycles tend to be shorter. In the case of museums, exhibition spaces and classic building projects, lighting and design quality requirements are so high that any change will have grave consequences. This is a special case because reflector lamps (PAR) are widely used in these environments. The budgets for completely renewing the lighting are limited.
The situation is especially difficult for designers. Old lamps cannot be specified because the clients may not be able to acquire replacements (from 2016 onwards, at the latest). The qualities of the new sources are not yet known. The projects these lamps need to be applied in cannot be completed. I venture to doubt that this is in the interest of the lighting industry. All this has left designers and users feeling very wary and irritated, and clearly represents a further serious drawback for the acceptance of LED technology on the market.

The LED is unquestionably the light source of the future. But it requires a lot of basic re-thinking. Good lighting solutions are based on quality rather than quantity. The quality criteria for lighting solutions as defined in the standards expect only a minimum. One might say they allow reduced quality. Quality design is hardly mentioned at all; nor is the correlation between light and health as acknowledged in the latest research findings. In both LSL and LSDEL it is essentially the quantity and not quality of the light that is given priority. Of all light sources LEDs are the best suited for combining and achieving quality design, healthy lit environments and energy efficiency. We should not miss this opportunity.

Design, health and energy efficiency are a great threesome when it comes to defining the future of lighting.

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Vandalism or professionalism

By Joachim Ritter

Ever since Munich opened the Allianz Arena in 2005 and demonstrated that a football stadium can communicate what is going on inside the stadium via the facade lighting, colour(-changing) facades on sports arenas have become astoundingly popular. Red, blue or white documents who is “wearing the pants”, let alone the shirts, on any given day. The thrill the fans arriving for the game get seeing their team’s colours displayed to all and sundry enhances their feeling of confidence that they will win. Neither Barcelona nor Madrid can technically keep pace with this!

This year’s European Football Championship as well as the summer Olympic Games are further proof: sport revolves around emotions, and always will do. Exactly what light is all about! I am not talking about the fireworks we sometimes see let off at matches. What some fans find exciting and view as an expression of celebration or disappointment is dreaded by the officials staging the game because of potential injury to others. This sums up the problem at hand. On the one hand, the officials want to stage a spectacle that will give rise to strong emotions, but on the other hand they don’t want fans to run riot. And they certainly don’t want any situations to get dangerous.

The solution is actually pretty obvious. As is so often the case in sport, success is the result of technique and coordination. The same applies when using state-of-the-art lighting technologies in sports arenas. I would go as far as to say that the design scope offered by lighting technology today is predestined to be used in these event venues for the masses. For economic reasons, besides sports events the stadiums are also used for large-scale show business events. And those of you who have had the chance to see Madonna and the like on stage will know that football stadiums with nothing going on in them – before the show – are about the farthest from exciting you can get. It is the light show that sparks the event and gets everyone rocking.

No, exciting dynamic lighting is part of what it takes to run a sports facility in this day and age. We are talking about facilities for mass events, where the economic potential is a key factor. The management staff running them cannot afford to make any mistakes or save in the wrong places. The right investment can make all the difference to maximum or minimum takings, and naturally to the success of the venture as a whole.

With the technology available today practically anything is possible – as we saw recently at the Olympic Games in London, and before in Peking. Lighting effects, dynamic light, colour, interactive elements. Sports arenas are made for modern lighting applications and modern lighting applications are made for sports arenas. Nothing is too complex that it cannot be realised, no idea too daring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To return to the Allianz Arena: the following is directed at the football fans among you. It remains a mystery why the facade of the Allianz Arena was lit in green for this year’s Champions League Final, thus forgoing any home advantage for the team from Munich. We all know how it ended up: FC Chelsea won on penalties although FC Bayern were clearly (!) the better team for 120 minutes. I bet it was the light that made the difference between victory and defeat. After all, you have to get everything right if you want to be successful…

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“The lighting design community is undereducated”.

Now, don’t quote me as having said that. It was someone from the lighting design community. But I completely understand what is meant.

While lighting design, or rather light planning, was defined 50 years ago as the ability to handle measurable technical quantities such as energy consumed and the lux and lumen required to create good conditions in which to perform visual tasks, the quality of light today is determined by the extent to which the positive or negative effect of light on the users of a space is considered. Just a few years ago, this was “explained away” as art – nice but not essential for architecture. With the discovery of the iPRGC – intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells – we now have proof of the fact that light impacts the chemical processes involved within living organisms. That is to say that bad lighting has a negative effect, and good light a positive effect on human beings, for example.

So far so good. But who can be sure what light has what kind of effect on living creatures, when we need what kind of light, how we technically create this light and how we apply it at the right time? How can good and poor lighting be defined? Many questions indeed, and very little literature or sources of reference available that can provide sufficiently well founded and generally accepted answers to all these questions. No wonder many designers prefer to stay on the safe side and stick to numbers, which of course ends up delaying any need for the lighting community to define new principles of design. All designers over the age of 30 need to expand their knowledge, even though they may believe they know everything there is to know about light already. Designers over the age of 50 find it all the more difficult to rethink their approach to designing light when they have been able to manage very well thank you for the last 20 years.

The latest technology, the LED and the lighting control systems that go with it, is exciting stuff for all those with a leaning towards things technical, but not so easy to handle for those who consider themselves purely designers. They are committed to design because they want to be able to enjoy creative freedom to the full without being subjected to technical constraints.

But we should not forget that lighting design is also based on certain principles. These are not negotiable, but scientifically proven.

Are there any designers out there who can claim to be true lighting experts with a real command of lighting technology, lighting control and the principles of design? … in spite of the fact that the design community and even the industry can barely keep pace with the innovations right now…

Stand up and be counted – if you dare!

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The advantage of daylighting

LRC Researchers Propose New Metric to Help Architects and Green Builders Take Advantage of Daylighting

Researchers at the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have proposed a new metric to help architects and builders more easily take advantage of the benefits of daylighting, from significant energy savings to the positive impact of light on health, when designing the built environment. This new metric—the daylighting dashboard—provides an early indication of a design’s potential to meet eight design goals that contribute to the successful use of daylighting.

The proposed metrics were recently published in a paper titled, “Conceptual Design Metrics for Daylighting” in the journal Lighting Research & Technology. The project was led by Russ Leslie, associate director and professor at the Lighting Research Center, along with Leora Radetsky, lead research specialist; Mariana Figueiro, professor and Light and Health program director; Aaron Smith, former research specialist; and Lisa Yue, former graduate student. The project was sponsored by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).

The development of daylighting metrics has been the subject of considerable effort and debate, but no widely accepted metric has emerged to help recognize well-daylit buildings. Although simulation software exists to assist designers in daylight analysis, these programs are often overly complex and involve a high level of expertise. On the other hand, rule-of-thumb approaches that are often used to aid in the decision-making process are based on overly simplified assumptions.

Leslie and colleagues proposed the daylighting dashboard, a visual representation of a design’s potential to meet eight design goals: average illuminance, coverage, diffuse daylight, daylight autonomy, circadian stimulus, glazing area, view, and solar heat gain. “We propose eight minimum components and a simple way to estimate performance at the very beginning of building design,” said Leslie. “The daylighting dashboard allows for flexibility in precision, calculation software, or bracketing values for the eight goals, which can be prioritized in the context of individual projects, rating systems, or code requirements.” The daylighting dashboard is also the first integrative approach that includes a validated circadian stimulus model, taking into consideration photobiological benefits of daylighting, such as daytime alertness and more restful sleep at night.

To read the full news release and view an example of the daylighting dashboard, visit http://www.lrc.rpi.edu/resources/newsroom/pr_story.asp?id=241.

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