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Events: AGM: Masterclass President’s address 2013/14

The LED legacy

Richard Caple: ‘There is still a knowledge gap’

luminance, then the “investment” may end up not being so wise.’ On both counts the society, which he noted was growing, with a current membership of more than 3500 worldwide, had a strong role to play. ‘The SLL provides a wealth of education and guidance on best practices, and we must continue banging the drum on quality lighting,’ he said.

‘I would hate to see good lighting take second place to a good internet connection’ Caple also raised the uncertainty which hung over areas such as the relationship between lighting and wellbeing. ‘Humancentric lighting, or however you wish to term it, seems to be the current in-vogue topic. While it is generally acknowledged that changes in the colour and intensity of lighting can affect our mood, wellbeing, alertness and productivity, I feel it is still unclear how we actually apply this,’ he said. ‘Do the needs change if you are working in an office compared to a hospital?’ Ultimately much more independent research was needed, he said, ‘and, importantly I think, we must never forget that there is no substitute for daylight.’ He said that the SLL was working on a position paper around this topic, which was scheduled for publication later this year. There was, of course, a wider uncertainty stemming from Brexit, continued Caple, an issue about which he would be t

The fallout of the LED revolution was a key theme in incoming president Richard Caple’s address. Acknowledging the radical change that the lighting industry has undergone over the past decade, Richard Caple said that it had left ‘a legacy of misunderstanding’ about LEDs. ‘I think it is recognised by most that the LED revolution is over, but I still think...that when it comes to this technology, greater clarity is needed from manufacturers and suppliers, as well as improved standardisation. I still feel there is a knowledge gap between end users and professionals.’ Although he was fascinated by the degree to which the industry had so quickly become technical and involved, he also had concerns, Caple said. ‘If we compare a modern luminaire today with one of 10 years ago, the two are very different animals. They are different because not only do today’s luminaires provide light, but they are also a platform for other embodied technologies, such as Wi-Fi, Li-Fi, Bluetooth, and sensors that can monitor CO2, temperature, humidity and so on. ‘While I am not suggesting that this is necessarily a bad thing, I think crucially we must not forget that first and foremost, a luminaire is exactly that – a device to illuminate our space.’ While it was essential to embrace new technologies and an ever greater connected world, Caple argued that the lighting industry must never forget that quality lighting is fundamental to people’s health and wellbeing. ‘I would hate to see good lighting take second place to a good internet connection,’ he said. He also expressed concern that far too much emphasis was placed on the energy-saving potential of LED technology. ‘While this is, of course, extremely important, not least from an environmental perspective, it is just one factor in the overall consideration. I see whole projects being based on energy, CO2 and maintenance savings with not a single lighting calculation being made to check that the proposed replacement will meet the requirements of the space and its users.’ He said that ‘return on investment and paybacks seems to rule over all else’. ‘As Iain Macrae discusses in his article in the last Newsletter [May/June 2017], staff costs far outweigh any capital or maintenance costs for a building. If the new lighting is not fit for purpose and fails to meet the basics such as light levels, uniformity, colour performance, and compliance with glare and

Photography: Michael Eleftheriades

The lighting profession must come to terms with the many implications of evolving technology, argued incoming SLL president Richard Caple in his AGM address

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SLL July/August 2017  

SLL July/August 2017