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DAYLIGHT EXPERIENCE Why we need to rip up the rulebook when it comes to designing for daylight REMAKING THE NIGHT? How Covid-19 may reshape our nighttime economy, and how it is lit INTERNATIONAL RESCUE The at-height challenges of retrofitting Londonâ€™s St Pancras International
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JULY / AUGUST 2020 LIGHTING JOURNAL
THE 06 REMAKING NIGHT?
The UK’s night-time economy is worth £66bn, and lighting plays a key part in making it tick. But in a post-coronavirus world of social distancing it may face huge challenges even to survive. A high-level panel, as part of a new ILP collaboration, discussed how light and lighting may be able to help
EUROPEAN 14 COMMUNITY
The Covid-19 pandemic ran a coach and horses through the industry’s planning for the year when the lockdown hit in March. But how has the UK industry been coping compared to its counterparts across Europe?
16 BALANCING ACT
The weeks of lockdown and, now, the ‘new normal’ of socially distanced working means lighting is having to rethink how, where and when employees work. Neil Knowles explains how, even before the pandemic, his practice, Elektra Lighting Design, had embraced this new thinking by moving permanently to a four-day working week
20 SOLAR FLAIR
The Covid-19 pandemic has turned our lives upside down since March. As lockdown restrictions gradually ease, we may need to be rethinking many of the day-to-day practicalities of how we live, including the role of, and potential for, solar street lighting, writes Tim Barker
No one would dispute that social housing is residential space to those who live within it. So why, ask Elettra Bordonaro and Luciana Martinez, is the (often more expensive) lighting used on social housing estates often so limited?
26 COLOUR CONTROL
A colour-changing, dynamic LED scheme has transformed Southampton’s historic Queen’s Park, in the process turning it into a prominent landmark and civic destination in its own right, as Georgia Thomas outlines
16 INTERNATIONAL 30 RESCUE
Retrofitting to LED 118 high bays 100m off the ground in an iconic Grade 1 listed landmark, London’s St Pancras International Station, was always going to be challenging. Adrian Dennis explains how some of the complexities of the project have been overcome
34 DAYLIGHT EXPERIENCE
When designing for daylight, designers, architects and lighting professionals are often so focused on compliance and energy saving that they forget to see the bigger picture, writes Arfon Davies. Daylight design needs to be, first and foremost, about wellbeing and experience
STORYTELLING 38 THROUGH LIGHT
From studying how great artists have used light in their work through to using analogue sketching, Seraphina Gogate and Sophie O’Rourke argue that understanding how to ‘draw’ with light can enable lighting designers to master light and spatial composition
CONTRACT 42 TRACING
If contracts have been disrupted as a result of the pandemic lockdown, there are ways to mitigate accusations of breach of contract. But, as Howard Crossman explains, each option needs careful consideration before being pursued, meaning it is a good idea to take expert legal advice first
SOLVING THE SMART CITY PUZZLE?
Nick Sacke makes the case that smart cities will require greater collaboration, commerciality and scalability if they are to advance and develop
48 DIRECTORY LETTERS 50 AND NEWS
p COVER PICTURE
The Kericho Cathedral in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley, with a lighting scheme by Arup. As Arfon Davies explains on page 34, daylighting can be the key to creating inspiration, in this case spiritual inspiration. Photograph by Edmund Sumner
JULY / AUGUST 2020 LIGHTING JOURNAL
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o many things have already been changed by the coronavirus pandemic. How we work, connect, socialise and ‘meet’; our expectations and aspirations. However, I suspect that, if anything, Covid-19 has barely got started in terms of turning our lives upside down. As the UK gradually reopens, with some socially distanced shops, workplaces and schools gradually kicking back into life, we’re beginning to get a sense of just how much change there is yet to come. We’re still, however, a way off understanding how this may change demand for the physical infrastructure that has, up to now, accompanied ‘normal’ life: retail and office space, transport, hospitality, entertainment and our night economy and so on. These changes, in turn, will naturally have huge ramifications for our industry, both how businesses operate and in terms of demand for light and lighting. For example, as Graham Festenstein has highlighted in our night economy debate from page six, changes to how, where and when we work (and when and how we commute) may bleed into what we as consumers, and society, require from our night-time environment. I found our discussion in May, part of the ILP’s new friendship agreement with the International Nighttime Design Initiative, absolutely fascinating. There are so many unknowns here. How will we use (and light) entertainment or cultural venues? What is eating out or meeting for drinks going to look or feel like? If the virus is less easily spread outside, how can the external public realm be better used (and illuminated), especially come winter? Perhaps unsurprisingly, our panel didn’t arrive at hard-and-fast answers, because these are impossible questions to answer right now. But I do think it was a valuable and important opening to a conversation that the lighting industry, night-time economy operators, landlords, local and metropolitan authorities, and national government will all need to be having. The changes being wrought by the pandemic do not, of course, mean existing challenges, and existing inequalities, have gone away. If anything, the risk is that the economic fallout from coronavirus simply exacerbates and widens societal disparities. To that end, I found what Elettra Bordonaro and Luciana Martinez have to say, from page 22, about lighting social housing – the aesthetics of light and social inequality – both worrying and thought-provoking. Just as with the night economy, these are important conversations the industry needs to be having. Finally, on a different note, I spoke to the absolutely charming Neil Macauley in May. Neil wrote in to praise Simon Cornwell (quite rightly) for his regular Light on the past columns, and his letter is published on page 50. As a member of the Institution for more than 50 years, a past President, and editor of this journal from nearly two decades I was honoured to make Neil’s acquaintance, as well as relieved that he felt we were still doing a good job! It was also a privilege to be reminded of the long-standing pedigree and quality of the journal. Everyone on the Lighting Journal team will of course continue to do our best to keep Neil, and all of you, proud to be ILP members. Nic Paton Editor
© ILP 2020
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JULY / AUGUST 2020
The UKâ€™s night-time economy is worth ÂŁ66bn, and lighting plays a key part in making it tick. But in a post-coronavirus world of social and physical distancing it may face huge challenges even to survive. A high-level panel, as part of a new ILP collaboration, discussed how light and lighting may be able to help
JULY / AUGUST 2020
The coronavirus crisis: the night-time economy
t the time of writing (in early June), the UK was taking its first steps to, very tentatively, reopen following the coronavirus lockdown. Nonessential shops were set to reopen within days, some primary schools were bringing in limited numbers of pupils, with secondary schools set to follow suit. But it was very much baby steps, and huge challenges remain. Perhaps one of the biggest is how we also get our night-time economy – pubs, bars, restaurants, theatres, clubs, entertainment and so on – back on its feet and functioning in a new world of social distancing and infection control. The night-time economy is important. In fact, it is estimated to be the UK’s fifth biggest industry and worth around £66bn, according to the Night Time Industries Association . Self-evidently, light and lighting plays a critical part in this success, both in terms of directly illuminating the venues and outlets that make up this economy, but also in lighting the infrastructure and public realm that allows people to engage with and enjoy it. So the health, even the very survival, of the night-time economy post-coronavirus will have a critical knock-on impact on the lighting industry. None of us, of course, can know what the next few months or even years will bring. But in any discussion about the future of the night-time economy, it is clear light and lighting needs to be part of that conversation. To that end, to kickstart debate and try to get a feel for where things may be going – and may need to go – in this important ‘new normal’, the ILP has announced a friendship agreement with the International Nighttime Design Initiative (and see the panel overleaf for more on this).
NEED FOR AN INDUSTRY CONVERSATION
The first activity of this new partnership was to bring together in May (via video conference) a high-level panel of experts to discuss the relationship between lighting and the night-time economy; the tensions, challenges and potential opportunities that we may all be facing as we move into what is likely to be a very different, and very uncertain, future urban nighttime landscape. The discussion was chaired by Graham Festenstein, the ILP’s Vice President – Architectural as well as owner of Graham Festenstein Lighting Design, who opened the debate by highlighting that he hoped it would be just the start of a much wider industry conversation. ‘I think we need to consider, particularly in the UK but not exclusively, how lighting strategies and how seriously the public realm is being taken,’ he explained. www.theilp.org.uk
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The coronavirus crisis: the night-time economy
‘In the last 15 years we have seen lots of lighting strategies. However, in the last few years, maybe since 2008, there has been less public money to deliver these things. I’m wondering, in terms of our experiences, whether we feel that lighting has been embraced by urban designers, the planners and politicians, and whether the role of good design in lighting is really understood in terms of the nighttime economy?’ Graham asked.
THE ILP/NTD PARTNERSHIP
To coincide with the International Day of Light on 16 May, the ILP announced it was entering into a friendship agreement with the International Nighttime Design Initiative (NTD) to share knowledge, advocacy and education around these important issues. To that end, this discussion in May was just the first step in what it is hoped will lead to a series of wider moves to kickstart debate about the future of the night-time economy. ILP VP – Architectural Graham Festenstein said of the collaboration: ‘Public lighting is at the core of the ILP’s DNA and we are delighted to enter a collaborative relationship with NTD. We look forward to expanding the conversation around public lighting and the urban realm and hope to learn much through our exploration and partnership with NTD.’ You can find out more about the work on the NTD at: www.nighttimedesign.org www.theilp.org.uk
‘One of the things that has struck me in the last few years is how it seems that planners don’t have any power to deal with poor lighting,’ suggested Sarah Gaventa, director of The Illuminated River Foundation. ‘A historic adviser/heritage consultant at a local authority recently said to me, “we don’t have any control, people can flood or light their buildings in all sorts of lurid colours anytime they like”; there is no power to enforce, and it has a massive impact on the environment,’ she said. The fact that the City of London is the first, and as yet only, London borough to have a lighting strategy was ‘extraordinary’, she added . Equally, the fact the London Plan had initially completely overlooked lighting – something that prompted the ILP to get involved – simply illustrated how lighting was too often either forgotten about or brought to the table very late in the day in the context of public realm . ‘Most people don’t even know what a lux level is, and certainly not facilities managers of buildings. It is a bit of a free-for-all really,’ Sarah added. Others on the panel, however, were less sure. ‘I don’t know if people think it’s true that planners have no power; they seem to have a lot of power,’ said Paul Traynor, principal director and founder of Light Bureau. ‘If there is any existing lighting on a building and you are replacing it with a complete new scheme, then you class that as maintenance rather than a new project; so it is possible for you to take some crappy lighting that is defunct and do something else without getting permission,’ he added. ‘My experience is that private landlords
absolutely “get it”; they are very, very enthusiastic about it,’ said Mark Ridler, head of lighting at BDP. ‘Consequently, landscape designers who I have worked with seem to be more literate and acknowledge that it is part of the consultant make-up that most projects need.’
OPPORTUNITY TO RETHINK PUBLIC SPACES
However, government was another matter, Mark conceded. ‘Whenever you talk to local or national government, it seems as though it just isn’t acknowledged as something that is important at all. The number of [lighting] professionals within councils has just been going down and down and down, particularly during the austerity period. ‘I don’t really see that changing unless – and this is the opportunity – the Covid thing is already driving a lot of activity in terms of segregation of human population within the public realm, which in turn is going to drive the removal of cars from public spaces and a re-emphasis on pedestrian and cycleways. Which I think should create an opportunity for us to rethink lighting the public realm for humans rather than vehicles,’ he added. ‘I think it is fundamental to us to educate – and I know we have been trying for many years – to somehow raise the awareness of night-time as the other half of the planning remit,’ agreed Leni Schwendinger, creative director and leader at the International Nighttime Design Initiative. ‘That it is worthwhile to make “night” a pleasurable, welcoming, poetic place to this list of people: designers, planners and politicians.’
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‘The big problem is that people don’t think about lighting,’ argued Sarah Gaventa. ‘As soon as you have a conversation with someone from outside the sector, it is “oh yes, I’d never thought about that”. One of the best things we can do therefore is to get more people to look; and to tell some of the stories behind lighting. ‘It is about joining up these things so they become more relevant to people. If you’re having a conversation about, say, colour temperature people glaze over; so it is about explaining lighting in ways that don’t begin with lux or kelvin,’ she added. Tony Rimmer, director at Studio-29, then highlighted the public realm work his practice has been doing across central London with The Crown Estate and The Portman Estate, among others. ‘They all “get” lighting,’ he said, echoing Mark Ridler. ‘They have all seen what lighting can do for the environment. It is financially driven, because they can see that more revenue is generated from what the lighting landscape can bring to the public. What they are not necessarily looking for is just light levels. They are looking for creativity, for things that we can do within the public realm that really want to make people come into the environment. ‘The lead in Crown Estates has specifically asked for lighting to be in on all the meetings; to generate new ideas. It has
really got on board with the benefits of good lighting within the public realm. But I don’t see as much coming from the local authorities; they seem to be a bit more restricted as to what they can ,’ Tony added. Beata Denton, architect and lighting designer at Reflex Arkitekter in Stockholm, Sweden, then highlighted how, if it is indoor spaces that will be more problematic post-coronavirus, then the challenge for Sweden and the UK will be what happens during the winter months? ‘Dark for us means very cold. When it is dark we don’t want to be out, and you don’t need so much light because people go from work to home since it is too cold to be out. And then at night-times when it’s warm, that is when it is natural light all night,’ she pointed out. ‘But in Sweden it is super strict. It is mainly public buildings that are allowed to have any façade lighting on them, and at rather low levels. I do think we miss an opportunity to show Stockholm in its beauty. Only at Christmas time do they bring out all the lights. People get so incredibly happy then and comment on it.’ ‘I think, clearly, lighting has gone up a lot of different agendas, whether to the satisfaction of lighting designers is a completely different story,’ argued Dr Don Slater, associate professor of sociology at London School of Economics and founder of the
Configuring Light research project. ‘For example, I am able to have conversations about lighting with a whole range of different communities, principal actors, even colleagues who are now interested and who thought I was nuts when I started looking at this. So there is a sense of things changing.’ But, given what people were saying about the potentially different emphasis, capacity and focus on lighting between private and public sector landlords, was there a risk of us ending up with a two-tier public realm, asked Graham Festenstein. ‘I think the reason it seems to be coming from private developers more than others is that the developers can see that their competitors are doing it,’ said Mark Ridler. ‘When they go and visit their competitors, it is better than what they’re doing, and so they want a bit of that. ‘I think the reason it hasn’t caught fire in the public domain is that in the public domain councils are so under-funded they haven’t got time to educate themselves or get excited by this. They can barely afford to change the lamps, and they are obsessed with risk assessment and health and safety and they’re not seen to have the capacity, financial resource, time, expertise or training to actually get in with the opportunities,’ he added.
O ur virtual panel discussing the challenges faced by the night-time economy
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The coronavirus crisis: the night-time economy ‘MALLEABLE’ NIGHT-TIME ENVIRONMENTS
Leni Schwendinger then emphasised the need for what she termed a ‘malleable’ night-time environment, one where the public realm, and public realm lighting, reflected, responded to and resonated with the individual communities it was serving. She invoked opportunities that smart and responsive illumination will provide for outdoor scenarios, not unlike a collaborative theatre approach. ‘Let’s lift local communities, figure out – through observation, capacity building, evaluating and analysing – what is happening at night throughout the night. Let’s create transformational environments per locale. This is future-think, and necessary to assert while acknowledging the barriers,’ she said. But Sarah Gaventa responded that for many night-time economy operators the priority post-coronavirus will simply be survival. ‘People aren’t going to be able to go into a theatre; some people will be never able to go back into a theatre. We are having to re-imagine how we use our public spaces, perhaps using large outdoor spaces as “theatres” where people can gather and still be two metres apart. To me, that is a huge opportunity to bring light to the fore, because you are going to have to completely relook at that. ‘Some of the things we’re talking about, I think we’re just going to have to forget about for the next year or two. There are much more immediate and important things that lighting and lighting designers with their expertise will be needed for, to help us transition through to this “new normal”. These organisations are crying out for ways to save themselves, and actually to reach an audience that cannot come inside anymore,’ she said. The fact we are in all likelihood going to see more staggered working hours and working patterns as offices try to accommodate social distancing could mean more people needing to live, work and commute during night-time hours, Graham Festenstein pointed out. But there was also a question of scope, of how much lighting and lighting designers – as just one small cog within the design process – could practically expect to be able to effect change, argued Christopher Knowlton, director at 18 Degrees. ‘So often we are constrained commercially by the fact we are only appointed to do a small piece of work, so you end up with a patchwork. The things that we’re discussing are at a much higher level,’ he said. ‘Without some sort of framework in which to implement this there isn’t a mechanism by which we can have a more www.theilp.org.uk
THE PANELLISTS (clockwise from top left) •
• • • • • • •
Kimberly Bartlett, ILP Vice President – Education and principal engineer, south team lead, Lighting & Energy Solutions, WSP Beata Denton, architect and lighting designer, Reflex Arkitekter, Sweden Graham Festenstein (discussion chair), Vice President – Architectural for the ILP and owner of Graham Festenstein Lighting Design Jess Gallacher, Engagement and Communications Manager Sarah Gaventa, director, Illuminated River Foundation Christopher Knowlton, director, 18 Degrees Mark Ridler, head of lighting, BDP Tony Rimmer, director, Studio-29 Leni Schwendinger, creative director/leader, International Nighttime Design Initiative, New York Dr Don Slater, associate professor of sociology, London School of Economics and founder of the Configuring Light research project Sunny Sribanditmongkol, lighting designer, Studio-29, and architectural representative at the YLP Paul Traynor, principal director and founder, Light Bureau
cohesive approach because the things we would like to do on a much greater scale, even as lighting professionals on a single project, we often don’t get the opportunity. ‘It is just so difficult to get that conversation happening in a wider context. While we have these very noble ideas, and I agree with Leni this idea of creating spaces that have an element of their own identity at night is great. But I don’t feel that as an individual or a company we are empowered to be able to work in that way without a greater framework to make that happen,’ Christopher added.
IMPACT OF BUDGETARY CONSTRAINTS
This tension between design vision and the mundane, practical realities of budgets and planning constraints was a real issue, agreed Kimberly Bartlett, the ILP’s Vice President – Education and principal engineer at WSP. ‘I straddle the fence between the local authority and the design side. So I’m constantly being pulled apart internally because I want to be able to provide these amazing and beautiful designs which are perfect for the area. But on the local authority side I am constantly saying to people, “no you can’t”, because it is not
appropriate or does not fit with our requirements,’ she said. Too often, a ‘design-by-numbers’ approach led to things becoming so diluted or watered down as to end up completely soulless. ‘There is no understanding; there is no flair. You don’t have your own unique lighting signature; you just don’t have that when you start designing by numbers. If we are able to, we need to get rid of that as fast as we possibly can,’ Kimberly emphasised. There will always, of course, be a tension between budget and vision but, especially in the likely challenging economic environment we may be facing, this could become even more pronounced, especially when it came to things such as driving investment in connected or smart lighting, agreed Graham Festenstein. ‘We are in such a strange time at the moment; I do wonder whether our economy is going to go through such a massive change in the next year, and the changes it will mean in the ways we all have to go to work, that there may be alternatives we will need to be having to look at,’ he said. ‘In essence, we will need to raise the money to pay for the enhancements for lighting. So things like data collection; on the one hand it is just useful, but it may
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The coronavirus crisis: the night-time economy also be a necessary evil in terms of the revenue stream,’ Graham added. ‘As long as people know what people collect from them is sensible, you can use that as a selling point to justify why they should have certain lighting schemes for each area,’ agreed Sunny Sribanditmongkol, lighting designer at Studio-29 and the YLP’s architectural representative. ‘Maybe the data shows it is people not spending time in certain areas, so lighting can be made more simplistic. Maybe it is about designing for an area where the data shows that area will benefit. I think we can use that as a way for us to sell and give an incentive to the authority as to why they should invest more in the lighting,’ she added.
UNPICKING THE FUTURE LANDSCAPE
As the discussion drew to a conclusion, the panellists turned to whether, or to what extent even, lighting could help to provide solutions to the immensely difficult and complicated challenges facing night-time economy operators in the post-pandemic environment. ‘I don’t know [if lighting could be a solution]. But probably not on its own,’ said Mark Ridler. ‘As Beata was talking about, one of the reasons the Swedes don’t assemble at night is not because there is not enough light, there is just not enough heat.’ Mark highlighted the work of Jan Gehl around the use of public spaces and the public realm . ‘Lighting is absolutely one of the things he calls upon; and social light as well. But there are another eight or so critical factors: shelter for example. So lighting could only ever be part of a wider solution,’ he said. ‘But I do think it is quite interesting in terms of some of the other ideas people have said. If the inside is too small to gather, then maybe we will gather outside. And that will need light. It will probably need new light. It will hopefully need nice light. ‘You think about the festivals you go to in the summer, and they don’t use streetlights; they use all sorts of different ways of illuminating the public realm to create social spaces – discos in the middle of the night, restaurants, foods, dancing areas, campsites, pedestrian routes from A to B. And they are temporary and pop-up and don’t have to comply. But I think maybe we will get some more of that,’ Mark concluded. ‘It is so important to meet people, and we all want to meet up. For now it has been outdoors all the time,’ agreed Beta Denton. Perhaps we could even begin to re-imagine spaces that straddle indoors and outdoors,
‘WE MUST USE LIGHT AS A PLACE-MAKING TOOL’
Mark Major, principal at Speirs + Major, had intended to be a participant in the debate but was unable to attend on the day. However, as this is an area he feels passionate about, he kindly provided some reflections to Lighting Journal after the event. ‘Good lighting provides essential support to the night-time economy. As we have grown to understand during the Covid-19 pandemic, the night-time economy itself is essential to society. ‘Being unable to visit not only our favourite bars, pubs and restaurants but also the cinema, theatre and other forms of entertainment, we have come to realise how just how important social and cultural activity is after dark. ‘But the night-time economy is not just about leisure. As well as directly employing tens of thousands of people, many health workers, cleaners, security staff, delivery drivers and other essential workers operate during the hours of darkness. ‘Indeed, the Greater London Authority has identified through its Night Time Commission that up to 1.6 million people use London after dark for a wide range of activities .
‘If we multiply this figure across other metropolitan areas, we can begin to understand the scale of the issue. To that end, it is absolutely essential that we improve the quality of people’s experience of the night, not only in terms of keeping them safe and secure but also ensuring that we use light as a place-making tool to provide character, identity and a positive ambience in the public realm. ‘What also should not be forgotten is that we share the hours of darkness with other creatures. It is well-founded that artificial light can have a negative impact on a wide range of flora and fauna. To that end, too, it is essential that, when we are designing lighting in any urban environment, we are not only considering our own needs but are also mitigating the resulting environmental impact by managing energy use, light pollution and light spill. ‘Most of all we need to avoid “over-illumination” by treating artificial light as a precious commodity and not something we simply take for granted. To that end, good design, innovation and challenging the accepted norms is the way forward.’ Mark Major, principal, Speirs + Major
 ‘Think Night: London’s neighbourhoods from 6pm to 6am’, The Night Time Commission, January 2019, https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/ arts-and-culture/24-hour-london/think-night
she suggested, such as bus stops and train stations, to create safe and inviting outdoor ‘nodes’ where people, especially young people, could gather and socialise? Maybe another answer could be putting up tensile structures within outdoor spaces to create some weather protection, suggested Paul Traynor. ‘The other question is, we know that governments tend to respond in situations where there is a recession; they want to stimulate the economy and try to keep public projects going. There might be some budgets for improving spaces externally as a result of the coronavirus. If it’s a way of staving off a deeper recession, they might actually respond to it,’ he said. ‘It’s an issue of zoning and how you move about in space, and organised movements so that the “wrong” people don’t have physical encounters, which are two of the things lighting is incredibly good at,’ highlighted Don Slater. ‘If you think about the way light can be
very flexible in indicating routes – wayfinding and responsive change – how it can shift the relation between risk and danger. Zoning, making little puddles of light for people to collect in; it just seems a very clear connection between the type of material that light is and the kind of social/ public space connections (or lack of connections) we need to talk about,’ he argued. ‘Maybe lighting designers should be thinking about not just how to light the public realm, but how the very notion of space might be changing. The merger of the concrete street and the virtual one; that the lighting we’re dealing with might be coming out of screens rather than lanterns. ‘I don’t know quite where to go with that, but I just have a feeling that different kinds of spaces have been merging over the last few months, and it is interesting to think about that from the lighting perspective,’ Don added.
 ‘The growing importance of the night-time economy’, BBC, November 2019, https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-49348792  ‘Light + Darkness in the City/A Lighting Vision for the City of London’, 2018, https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/ services/environment-and-planning/city-public-realm/Documents/strategies/city-lighting-main-strategy.pdf  ‘London Plan – how the ILP got involved on your behalf’, Graham Festenstein, July 2019, https://theilp.org.uk/london-plan-how-the-ilp-gotinvolved-on-your-behalf/  ‘Project for Public Spaces’, Jan Gehl, https://www.pps.org/article/jgehl
Hong Kong refurbishments 2020
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The Covid-19 pandemic ran a coach and horses through the industry’s planning for the year when the lockdown hit in March. But how has the UK industry been coping compared to its counterparts across Europe? The Lighting Industry Association has been researching the impact of coronavirus across the continent
s the coronavirus pandemic unfurled back in March and April, we reported on the massive impact it was already having on the lighting industry, causing offices to be closed, workers to be furloughed, and site work or projects to be put on hold or cancelled – but also how the industry was rising to the challenge (‘Crisis management’, Lighting Journal, May 2020, vol 85 no 5). As part of this, we highlighted a survey of Lighting Industry Association (LIA) members which had found that, while 89% were managing to stay open in some shape
or form, running capacity was sharply down (45%), 44% of staff were being furloughed, and two-thirds (69%) were struggling with supply chains. More positively, 71% of members polled had a recovery plan in place for when lockdown measures were lifted. That, of course, is where we now are, with lockdown restrictions having been gradually eased during last month (June) and the focus now very much on, first, how (and if ) the economy can recover and, second, whether the relaxing of the lockdown will lead to a new spike in cases.
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The coronavirus crisis: the effect on the industry
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Supply problems being encountered from Asia, Italy, Spain and to a lesser extent, Germany. Lead times are 90 extended. Some UK suppliers are closed creating supply problems. Some report a slow improvement in lead times from the Far East. 80 70
Have you tried to access any of the Government business support measures?
70 50 4060 30 50 20 40 10
30 0 UK 20 Italy Spain 10
0 UK Italy Belgium For the
Yes 71 57 81
Yes 47 49 35 it industry,
No 29 43 19
Page 4 of 4
No 53 51 65 business
lighting will thereat maintaining continuity durfore be a tense few months ahead as we all ing the weeks of lockdown. Comments - UK try to get a sense of what the likely longAmong those businesses that had Some portals are not yetfallout operational. of detailed when business interruption term economic willReports be from the bureaucracy stayed open, inapplying the UKfor95% of members loan. Reluctance on the part of when Banks. the Somegovernmembers have reported rejection ofto loanmaintain applications owing to pandemic, especially had managed sales classification of their business. One business reported a simple process to access business rate application. ment support measures start to taper functions, against 76% for Italy and Page 3 of 4 down from the autumn. 61% for Spain. More than half of UK The one consolation is that the UK respondents (55%) had been able to is not of course alone in feeling the keep at least some manufacturing effects of this crisis. So, as Europe also going, compared with 40% in Italy and gradually unlocks what is, and has 32% in Spain. been, the state of play for our European Italy had done better on maintaining lighting counterparts; how has the Eurodesign and R&D capacity (58% to 45% in pean lighting industry been affected the UK), but UK firms had by and large by comparison? kept the plates spinning better on inwards To try and get a sense of this, the LIA cargoods (80% versus 55%) and despatch ried out a further survey of European (90% versus 52%). lighting trade associations, with the When it came to numbers of staff who results published in May. had been diagnosed for the virus, the percentages between Italy and the UK were BUSINESS CONTINUITY broadly similar (and perhaps representing This indicated that, compared with differences in testing regimes anyway). Italy and Spain (of course two of A total of 85% of UK staff and 82% of Italthe other European countries hardest ian staff had not diagnosed or tested. Diaghit by Covid-19), the UK industry noses, by comparison, were 2% UK and had done well, arguably better in fact, 8% Italy.
SUPPLY CHAIN WOES
On supply chain issues, this was one area where UK firms do appear to have struggled more than their counterparts in Europe. To recap, the UK figure for those experiencing difficulties in accessing raw materials was 69%. This compared to 56% in Italy, 45% in Spain and 58% in Belgium (another country that has struggled to contain the virus). Supply problems were being reported from Asia, Italy, and Spain and, to a lesser extent, Germany, the LIA said. But lead times were gradually improving from the Far East, it added. Approximately half of those polled in the UK and Italy (47% and 49% respectively) had tried to access government support measures, with this slightly down in Belgium (35%). Although not specifying which countries, the LIA reported some respondents as having been hampered by bureaucracy when applying for business interruption loans, bank reluctance to lend and the rejection of loan applications. Finally, what of recovery plans? As already highlighted, some 71% of UK LIA members said they did have a recovery plan in place. This was broadly in the middle of the spectrum, with just 51% of Italian firms by comparison having such a plan, but a more positive 81% of Spanish firms seeing a potential route out of the crisis. Will these plans work? We can only hope so, and continue to watch how events unfold over the coming months.
NO LIGHT + BUILDING IN 2020
One effect of the pandemic in Europe has been first the postponement and then the announcement in May that this year’s Light + Building trade fair in Frankfurt has been completely scrapped for 2020. The show, which had originally been due to take place in March, was initially postponed to the end of September but the organisers have said the show will simply now aim to re-establish itself from 2022, so reverting to its normal two-yearly cycle. The intention is the rescheduled trade fair will run from 13-18 March 2022 to, as the organisers said, allow the industry ‘to catch our breath, to come back all the stronger’. Updates on the show, and the rescheduling, can be found at https://light-building.messefrankfurt.com/frankfurt/en.html
JULY / AUGUST 2020
The weeks of lockdown and, now, the â€˜new normalâ€™ of socially distanced working means that employers in lighting as much as elsewhere are having to rethink how, where and when employees work. We spoke to Neil Knowles about how, even before the pandemic, his practice, Elektra Lighting Design, had embraced this new thinking by moving permanently to a four-day working week
By Neil Knowles
JULY / AUGUST 2020
The coronavirus crisis: the effect on the industry
first came across the idea of a four-day week in the mass media at the end of 2018 and was immediately intrigued. Did it work? Seemed to. Research indicated that people were more productive in less time, with the same amount of work produced. I’m really keen on work/life balance. I have two children who are growing up fast and who I want to be involved with. I have other interests apart from work – like art, baking and karate. So anything which more efficiently uses my time, allowing me to do more of the things I love whilst producing the same high quality work is a win-win. Like all lighting design companies, we are very project focused – we do the design, issue the drawings, send out the invoice, tidy the desk, start on the next. As such, my immediate worry (probably like many I expect) was would we still be able to do the work and invoice the same amount every month? It’s counterintuitive I know, but all the research I read indicated it was possible. So one day last year I called a company-wide meeting and I said to the team, ‘do you want to switch to a four-day week?’. So we wouldn’t work Fridays or, of course, weekends. After the whooping and cheering had died down, we started to discuss it in detail. Contracts needed to be varied. Eventualities foreseen. For example, our staff had four weeks holidays a year, or 20 days (as a minimum). But changing to a four-day week technically meant going pro-rata down to 16 days. Some of them shrugged and said OK. Some saw it as removing four days holiday and so were very against. So those are things you have to work through and think about. So, as a company, we talked. A lot. As a whole, in teams, at lunch. We wrote our thoughts down and shared our hopes and fears. We argued.
If we were going to do it, and do it properly, we knew we had to get everyone on board with the basic idea – that to make a fourday working week work without losing anything you have to work very hard, be very focused, very efficient. For example, there is now no allowances for time off to go to the dentist/get the boiler serviced/ pick up delivery. Do it on Friday or take annual leave.
E lektra’s office lighting for Birchwood in Leatherhead, Hampshire, a design in collaboration with Silver and Co Lighting, which was intended to make the reception look fresh and new
And then there were lots of new decisions to work through. What if we have to come in on Friday for a meeting that could not be moved for instance? We agreed we’d do it – but I’d also do meetings on Saturday if I had to. How, too, to tell people? We set a standard footer – in big letters – on our email from day one telling everyone we were working on four days a week. We got a lot of replies back, mostly saying ‘just noticed this on the bottom of your email, it’s awesome – can you tell my boss please?’ which was good. Not a single person was negative about it. Out of office autoreply is sent to automatically turn on Thursday evening. Again, no negative comments to this. A few speculative job applicants though. So what’s it actually like in practice?
MORE FOCUSED WORKING
We realised that if we were going to do this we need to turn off or remove those distractions you don’t really think about normally. So we encourage people to turn off their email when they’re busy. Put their mobile away and on silent. To say, ‘can you be quiet you are disrupting me’ – especially from juniors who we allowed to say this to seniors. We make a dedicated effort to focus on what’s important – delivery of design information and client care – and not interrupting each other all the time. One of the side-effects we discovered was that working this way cut down on office chat. So we started to arrange more social things, like meals out as a team (and this was of course pre-pandemic) on Thursday evenings. Thursdays became the new Fridays. I was also clear about the criteria on which this would be judged: ongoing client satisfaction and turnover. I was clear that, if we let our clients down or saw a drop in income, we’d be back to our fiveday week. So, what happened? It’s not, to be fair, been without its moments. In the very first month we suffered from a couple of delays to projects, an occupational hazard of course. But it did mean turnover for that month was down, albeit but not because of the four-day week. I held my nerve. Then in month two, turnover was 102% of monthly target. Which was great. However, of course, two month’s data is not a large enough sample set to draw a definitive conclusion. But no deadlines or meetings were being missed and results were being hit. Do we lose clients because of it? Obviously, there will be a multitude of reasons why a client chooses one partner over another. But I’d say ‘no’. Our clients are www.theilp.org.uk
JULY / AUGUST 2020
The coronavirus crisis: new ways of working almost entirely supportive and mostly want to do it themselves. We have had one exception, someone who goes out of his way to call on Fridays and keeps making pointed remarks about ‘not everyone has Fridays off you know’. But his boss recently gave us another project to work on anyway! Having said that, we do have a rota system for working on Fridays if we have unavoidable meetings, for example a big team meeting with eight other companies that has to be on a Friday, or a site inspection. To date, we have had nine such meetings between all 11 of us, over 14 months. One thing to watch for is that Thursdays don’t just become Fridays in terms of people racing to finish everything and, potentially, working late (or even later from home), which can rather defeat the object. It does still happen that teams occasionally have to stay late to complete work, and sometimes it’s unavoidable. But even then, ‘late’ for us tends to be not much more than 7pm and it’s not every week, it’s not every team.
E lektra’s lighting design for the nhow hotel in London, between Hoxton and Shoreditch, with interiors by Project Orange
HUGE FAMILY AND SOCIAL BENEFITS
For the staff, including me, a three-day weekend revolutionises your life. With two days off, you only just recover from the week before starting again. With three, it’s a whole new ball game. I’d argue a three-day weekend is 50% better than a two-day one. Do we do the same amount of work? Seem to. Are we more mindful and more conscious of every moment, trying not to waste time? Yes. Are we really? Yes. Would this model work for everyone, especially now, post pandemic? I don’t know. It works for lighting consultancies like us. Would it work for you? I don’t know. If you run a seven-days a week operation (like a pub) probably not. But why not use this ‘new normal’ – when everything is being questioned or changing anyway – to start these conversations, to think about what how you can – will need to – work differently now and into the future? After all, we may assume the five-day week is ‘normal’ but it is in fact a recent construct, the result of an incremental battle by workers and unions to slowly but steadily reduce hours first from 6.5 days a week (Sunday mornings off for church) to six and then five. For me, four is very much the logical next step. The next discussion for us is working from home. As of the time of writing (in May) the lockdown had been in place for two months, and seems to be all fine. So, why are we spending £60,000 a year on a large office space?! Neil Knowles is director of Elektra Lighting Design
SAFE REOPENING ADVICE
The government in May launched guidance designed to help businesses get back to work safely following the coronavirus lockdown, writes Nic Paton . This outlined five key recommendations for all employers: • •
• • •
Work from home if you still can Carry out a Covid-19 risk assessment before reopening, in consultation with your workers and/or trade unions Maintain two-metre social distancing wherever possible Where people cannot be two metres apart, manage the transmission risk Implement reinforced cleaning processes
The guidance includes specific documents for businesses working in construction or outside; within factories,
plants and warehouses; in laboratories and research facilities; on vehicles or on out on the road; and within offices, among others. CIBSE, meanwhile, has published a range of updates for employers around how to work safely during the pandemic . It has highlighted safety and risk assessment advice and coronavirus updates from the Health and Safety Executive as well as guides on working safely and communicating effectively with your workforce . CIBSE has also published guidance on ‘emerging from lockdown’ and safely reoccupying buildings . On this latter point, Public Health England has emphasised the need for employers to flush out their water system before reopening if their office or workspace has not been otherwise used during the lockdown . This is to prevent the spread of the Legionella bacteria, which can cause Legionnaires’ Disease.
 ‘New guidance launched to help get Brits safely back to work’, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, May 2020, https://www. gov.uk/government/news/new-guidance-launched-to-help-get-brits-safely-back-to-work  ‘Working safely during the coronavirus outbreak’, CIBSE, May 2020, http://www.cibse.org/coronavirus-covid-19/working-safely-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak  ‘Managing risks and risk assessment at work’; ‘Working safely during the coronavirus outbreak – a short guide’; ‘Talking with your workers about preventing coronavirus’. All Health and Safety Executive, May 2020, and available at https://www.hse.gov.uk/ under ‘Coronavirus: latest information and guidance’  ‘Emerging from lockdown’, CIBSE, May 2020, https://www.cibse.org/coronavirus-covid-19/emerging-from-lockdown  ‘Guidance for organisations on supplying safe water supplies’, Public Health England, May 2020, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-organisations-on-supplying-safe-water-supplies
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JULY / AUGUST 2020
The Covid-19 pandemic has turned our lives upside down since March. As lockdown restrictions gradually ease, we may need to be rethinking many of the day-today practicalities of how we live, including the role of, and potential for, solar street lighting
By Tim Barker
t is hard to know where to start when addressing the challenges we currently face. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is creating such widespread upheaval and change to our day-to-day professional and personal lives that it’s hard to grasp the full effect this period will have moving forward. In some ways, this period is showing us that the only constant is change. We’re
being forced to re-examine our working practices and reflect on our way of life. Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing how long the current situation will last. However, as providers of a service to the general public, it is up to us to continue to innovate to help keep Britain lit. In this spirit, is now the time to broaden the discussion around solar lighting and examine its place in a ‘new normal’?
JULY / AUGUST 2020
The coronavirus crisis: solar lighting TEMPORARY SOLUTIONS
Since lockdown began, many of our customers have reported an inability to organise new services or repair faulty connections. This, on many occasions has prevented them from carrying out essential reactive lighting works. With adequate lighting a key component in ensuring public safety, it is important that these works continue to go ahead. The versatile nature of solar lighting is proving a boon in tackling this problem. As solar lighting products require no mains connection, they can be installed rapidly and used on a permanent or temporary basis. As the lockdown progresses, many are now using solar products as a ‘stop gap’ until mains connections become available again. When this happens, solar products can then be easily uninstalled, returned to stores and deployed again as needed.
Safety is always a top priority, however there are now additional factors to consider. Social distancing is very much part of the new normal and may not be going away anytime soon. Again, solar lighting may prove useful in helping to keep contractors and installation crews safe whilst on site. Solar allows for a ‘same day’ solution. Units can be fully commissioned in just one day with a minimal on-site team required.
From contact tracing apps to Microsoft Teams calls, it is clear that technology is playing a large part in the way we’re adapting to this new normal. We expect central management systems (CMS) systems, such as the SAM system in our new Acrospire Defender product range, to be of great use to lighting engineers, especially if social distancing requirements continue. Using CMS systems such as SAM, lighting engineers are able to remotely monitor and control their lighting assets. Not only does this remove the need for scouting patrols, it also gives engineers the operational foresight required to proactively plan maintenance. With this advance notice, the planning of works whilst maintaining social distancing may be more straightforward.
In the midst of a crisis, it’s impossible to say exactly what the lasting impact will be.
T he Acrospire/Green Frog Systems SAM central management system. CMS like this is allowing engineers to do more remotely as well as plan works around constraints such as the need for social distancing
That being said, I think (and I wish I was wrong) that a recession is inevitable. With a recession will come reduced budgets and spending across the industry. There will not, however, be a reduction in the need to illuminate our streets with high-quality lighting solutions to meet the applicable lighting standards. This will result in lighting manufacturers, engineers and contractors needing to do more with less. Again, the technology of solar lighting may offer a solution. By removing the need for mains connections and trenching, solar units can drastically reduce project installation costs. Whilst the unit cost of a high-quality solar unit is often greater than a mains alternative, this increase in costs is more than offset by reduced installation costs. This reduction in cost should allow many much-needed projects to go ahead despite potential future budget cuts.
The coronavirus pandemic has shone a light on the best aspects of human nature. Nurses and doctors are knowingly risking their health to treat patients, neighbours are looking out for each other and inspiring individuals such as Captain Tom Moore are raising vast sums of money to help. Unfortunately, there is a darker side to human nature. In April, newspapers reported that there had been a 60% increase in car thefts since lockdown began . Unfortunately, crime will only continue to rise if economic conditions worsen. At the time of writing (in May), many offices, campuses and commercial properties were still standing empty. Even as
 ‘Motor theft rockets by up to 60 per cent in parts of UK in three years – as experts blame fewer police and warn drivers they face greater risk during lockdown as vehicles are left on driveways like “car showrooms”’, Daily Mail, April 2020, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8244625/Car-theft-rockets-60-cent-partsUK-motorists-face-greater-risk-despite-lockdown.html  Climate Change 2014 Synthesis Report Summary for Policymakers, https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/ uploads/2018/02/AR5_SYR_FINAL_SPM.pdf
lockdown restrictions have gradually eased, security has become an increasing concern. The quick deployment of solar units, particularly those equipped with PIR (passive infrared) functionality may yet prove to be a useful tool in the fight against crime, especially at night.
NEW CHALLENGES AHEAD
Unfortunately, coronavirus is not the only challenge we are collectively facing. Each winter in the UK brings flooding throughout the country. You may recall that during 2019 we saw record-breaking floods in Yorkshire and the West Midlands, for example. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has stated that global warming will lead to more extreme rainfall, with the UK receiving a 10% increase by the end of the century . Further flooding will continue to be a challenge for lighting engineers and energy providers, particularly when emergency lighting is required. Recently, our Australian partner, Green Frog Systems, has successfully trialled solar lighting in flooded areas. As flooding becomes more common, we hope that solar lighting may offer some relief. With the UK committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050, the demand for clean energy technologies such as solar lighting will continue to grow. My hope is that our current challenges leave us with the knowledge that, when we work together and for the common good, anything is possible. Stay safe. Tim Barker is managing director of Acrospire Products, which distributes Green Frog Systems solar lighting www.theilp.org.uk
JULY / AUGUST 2020
No one would dispute that social housing is residential space to those who live within it. So why is the (often more expensive) lighting used on social housing estates so often large, bulky and limited in colour temperature options, material finishes and optical control?
Elettra Bordonaro and Luciana Martinez
JULY / AUGUST 2020
Lighting social housing
Figure 1. These two images show the lighting for (left) a residential street in central London versus that within a social housing estate. This illustrates how lighting levels, installation heights, colour of light and the appearance of fixtures creates an astonishingly different environment. Photograph by Catarina Heeckt
ighting as a material is an immediate marker in understanding urban spaces and, unfortunately, tends also to highlight inequality. Walking through a city from the city centre towards the periphery, one will in all likelihood cross social housing estates and become disenchanted by the contrast of ambience and atmosphere to other residential developments. This is not only because of their characteristic design by day but also because of their identifiable lighting after dark. The contrast in ambience is frequently generated by a difference in lighting quality; lighting levels either too high or low depending on the political approach to lighting, glare and by the appearance of the lighting fixtures themselves. Having worked for numerous years improving lighting of social housing estates, as well as researching the relationship of light and social inequality, our role at Light Follows Behaviour tends to focus on improving the lighting effect of these spaces.
even how the residents use the spaces. Yet this has become the accepted standard for social housing lighting, often influenced by the expectation of high crime rates and safety concerns. In fact, it has become accepted to the extent that lighting for and to social housing is not considered ‘residential lighting ’ within our industry, with many manufacturers marketing social housing lighting as a standalone category requiring a specialised lighting approach. On closer inspection it comes down to much more than just the lighting effect, however. A quick internet search shows the stark contrast between social housing lighting and residential lighting and the equipment suggested to light each. The idea that social housing is a distinct category requiring specially designed lighting and a dedicated catalogue section is unacceptable. We are, after all, lighting residential properties not zoos, stadia or airports.
‘PRISON YARD-STYLE’ LIGHTING
So what accounts for the dedicated typology of this lighting equipment? We understand products need to be robust and vandal proof, but any quality product designed for public realm spaces meets this criteria. Yet lighting for social housing will predictably have an expected aesthetic and quality of lighting: large, bulky, limited colour temperature options and material finishes and limited optical control to name a few. No trace of alternate shapes aside from a rectangle, dome, cylinder or floodlight, size options or optics. Why? This typology of luminaire has become associated with social housing as cost effective and providing ‘appropriate’ solutions. Yet, upon investigation, there are many
Our first site visits are predictable. We typically encounter lighting resembling prison yards or high security areas, with exceedingly high light levels and varying colour temperatures. There is floodlighting to the entirety of public spaces, while other areas are plummeted into darkness. There is no highlight, no focal points and, in most cases, inconsistencies in colour temperature and equipment types caused by reactive lighting design where light has been installed as a ‘quick-fix’ without consideration of the overall scheme. There is little consideration given to light spill into windows, architectural features or the design of the public spaces or
cost-effective and quality options provided by manufacturers who are not marketing their products for social housing as a dedicated sector; in others products that are in their catalogues but rather listed under ‘outdoor’ or ‘residential’ categories.
TYPOLOGY OF LIGHTING FOR SOCIAL HOUSING
Figure 2. Rows of bulkhead lighting along these external walkways on the Shadwell Estate social housing estate in London have become a common element in the lighting of social housing. They are glary, crude and offer no optical control. The image above the shows walkway lighting largely switched off versus, below, with it switched on. The contrast in terms of glare and light spill is significant, and telling. Photograph by Catarina Heeckt
JULY / AUGUST 2020
Lighting social housing
Figure 3. This image again is of Shadwell Estate in London. But this illustrates how the estate landscaping has undergone regeneration of its external areas under the Peabody ‘Improve’ programme with new lighting introduced to accentuate the design
The often-stated claim that lighting designed for social housing installations provide cost-effective solutions is far from the truth. Many products come in at nearly double the price of a ‘residential’ luminaire, which in many cases provides a much-improved lighting effect and appearance. For example, many would not think of installing a bulkhead light or ‘social housing’ lighting outside their own front doors or within more upscale developments. Which raises the obvious question: if these fixtures are not appropriate for residential developments, why do we see them as appropriate
Figure 4. This image shows how integrated details can enhance architectural features. This is, of course, a common approach for many projects but an idea that is, apparently, revolutionary ideas in the context of social housing. Photograph by Catarina Heeckt
for social housing developments? It would seem then, that even in 2020, the lighting industry is making a distinction on who deserves which type of lighting, with bold statements in their catalogues and marketing strategies targeting good lighting for ‘certain types’ of developments. But it doesn’t have to be this way, as these accompanying images show. For example, we’ve recently worked on a project for the Shadwell Estate, a social housing estate in London, as we show here. Our lighting design has included new lighting to external areas with the exception
Figure 5. These images show before (left) and after comparisons of Mare Street Narrow Way, in Hackney, London, following the installation of a new lighting design by Light Follows Behaviour. By putting in the time and effort to choose the ‘right’ scheme for the area, one that actually reduces glare and light spill into residential windows above storefronts, it has been possible to create a unique space for the borough. Photograph by Don Slater and Light Follows Behaviour
of external walkway lighting. The top figure 2 image on the previous page shows the lighting atmosphere and appearance with walkway lighting largely switched off whereas in the image below it the walkway lighting is switched on. What this illustrates is there is no need for such a great amount of lighting and glare on those areas. But this is a common example of how lighting to social housing estates is approached. Similarly, in figure 5 below, work we have done in Hackney, north London, illustrates how it is possible to reimagine public realm and social housing to, in this case, create an ‘outdoor living room’-style atmosphere, one that works for various users and stakeholders and bringing character to an otherwise typical London street. For this project we adopted an unusual installation system for the area. Choosing the right lighting fixture for the desired effect has avoided glare and light spill into residential windows above the storefronts and, in the process, created a unique space.
So, to conclude, we’d argue that breaking away from preconceived notions of how social housing estates are illuminated and with what equipment is a critical first step for social change and redefining the standard and expectation. We need a new conversation around the aesthetics of light and social inequality. Reinforcing inequality through design by assuming the minimum is acceptable is not the way forward. Elettra Bordonaro MArch PhD is co-founder and Luciana Martinez Assoc IALD is senior lighting designer at Light Follows Behaviour www.theilp.org.uk
JULY / AUGUST 2020
A colour-changing, dynamic LED scheme has transformed Southamptonâ€™s historic Queenâ€™s Park, in the process turning into a prominent landmark and civic destination in its own right. But successfully incorporating colour-changing LEDs into an existing street lighting network requires careful planning, testing and collaboration
By Georgia Thomas
JULY / AUGUST 2020
olour-changing LEDs have become commonplace for many and are now of course widely available for use in the home and retail applications. However, incorporating colour-changing LEDs and a central management system (CMS) into a city council asset network at the same time as ensuring all stakeholder objectives are met can still present a number of challenges. A good example of how these challenges can be overcome was a recent project in Southampton. A Southampton City Council colour-changing LED lighting scheme brought together its contractor, SSE Contracting, LED manufacturer INDO Lighting and CMS provider Mayflower. The collaborative approach was essential to the successful delivery of the project.
IMPROVING SENSE OF PLACE
In 2017, Southampton City Council approached SSE Contracting to discuss the potential of including an innovative lighting scheme on its existing Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract. The city council wanted to commission a lighting installation that would improve residents’ sense of place, whilst providing visitors with an illuminated spectacle. The lighting installation was to be hosted in Queen’s Park, a small, historic park near Ocean Village and Southampton Docks that houses a Grade II listed memorial of the Victorian soldier General Gordon. One of several urban parks nestled in the city, it is located adjacent to a recently regenerated area that has a vibrant night-time economy with plenty of passing pedestrian traffic.
colour-changing installation that could be controlled through Mayflower CMS. A number of potential design considerations were identified, including: • • • •
Compatibility testing of the RGB controller with Mayflower CMS Luminaires to retain colour selections whilst being able to dim Lumen output of the different colours at specific dim levels Overcoming the default settings of RGB controllers, which typically revert the scenes applied to the luminaire back to white once the luminaire has been switched off
Southampton City Council’s aspirations included a non-standard and contemporary style luminaire. The INDO RD12 luminaire offered this with the benefit of being versatile enough to house and accept additional control gear, as well as an RGB optic.
Queen’s Park is situated on the edge of a built-up area surrounded by two busy city access roads and lesser access roads leading to a semi pedestrian area. Control of the surrounding LED
Figure 1. An illustration of the human eye response curve
555 nm (100%)
SSE Contracting consulted with SSE’s lighting design team to discuss potential innovations that could satisfy the council’s request for a unique lighting installation. Following a review of suggested lighting solutions, it was decided that a colour-changing feature had the potential to produce not only a functional and vibrant installation, but was also one that could utilise the council’s existing Mayflower CMS. Mayflower CMS had been installed in Queen’s Park in 2016 as part of the South Coast PFI, providing remote dimming, monitoring and reporting capabilities for highways lighting operatives. Southampton City Council agreed to the proposed design solution and requested for the LED lighting outputs to be any colour other than white. Simon Bushell, SSE Contracting ’s lighting design manager for the colour-changing project, worked with Mayflower Smart Control’s senior product development engineer Muhammad Ali to discuss the complexities of opting for a
luminaires and trees with hedges means the surrounding lighting does not dominate the park. The lighting objective for this project was for the path to be used at night for recreational use, therefore deeming a lighting class of S4 as per Southampton City Council policy to be the most appropriate. However, to achieve any levels with colour-changing RGB and the consideration of S/P ratios meant setting the minimum, and averages would be difficult to determine as the level would vary considerably as the light changed. Additionally, the response of the human eye to colour varied considerably, as shown in figure 1 below. To compensate, a uniformity of 40% was therefore set as the target and the minimum was raised to 4.5 lux. This meant that, if any one colour was selected, there still would be more than 1.5 lux giving 50% extra consideration for the lack of response for some colours. It was also recommended that single colours were not the best for people to identify hazards and objects. If all three colours were on, they were therefore to be dimmed to a third. At times, the client would require distinctive colours, and the selection and dimming process was not to be undertaken by the lighting designer going forward.
532 nm (88%)
633 nm (24%)
445 nm (3%)
JULY / AUGUST 2020
Street lighting DALI INTEROPERABILITY
To ensure compatibility between the luminaires and RGB controllers, SSEâ€™s lighting design team included within the specification the requirement for INDO to supply the RGB controller and for CMS compatibility testing to be undertaken by Mayflower Smart Control. INDO reviewed and thoroughly tested several RGB controllers from a range of suppliers to identify the optimum solution that would interface seamlessly with Mayflower CMS. The selected RGB controller was then provided to Mayflower Smart Control for compatibility testing, which would be required to receive DALI commands through the Mayflower lighting network. The DALI drivers had 16 pre-loaded scene settings/colours, based on preset scenes provided by the RGB controller manufacturer. The present scenes, however, can be amended by connecting the DALI driver to the RGB controller. By masking each scene, the luminaire was able to dim through Mayflower CMS whilst maintaining its selected colour. This masking process is shown in figure 3 opposite.
INSTALLATION AND COMMISSIONING
The raise and lower streetlighting columns in Queens Park assisted in an efficient and safe installation of the new luminaires and RGB controllers, undertaken in a barrier-controlled work zone. The physical installation of the internal luminaire components had added complexity than other projects, as the RGB controllers had to be installed before the DALI driver. In order to program the RGB controllers, they had to be installed and connected to a power source. Lights were required to be switched on remotely to provide the RGB controllers with power. Following on-site confirmation of power from an operative, Mayflower CMS Back Office was able to transmit the DALI scene commands over the air (OTA) and change the lighting output colour. The on-site operative then confirmed the output colour commands had been received and programmed as expected. This led to all 18 lighting units displaying a range of 16 different RGB colour combinations.
With all bespoke projects, on-site commissioning can be a complex, time-consuming process. Tweaking of the scene commands and ensuring all possible scenarios are running as expected is paramount. For this project, an example of an unexpected initial result was the RGB controller www.theilp.org.uk
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reverting the scene command back to the default (white light) once the unit had been switched to its ‘off’ state. Following a visit to site, the team at Mayflower Smart Control was able to overwrite the default settings of the RGB controllers and switch them as required. This meant the last scene command was stored in the local memory of the DALI driver, regardless of whether the lantern had been switched off or not. Overcoming these challenges also highlighted the benefit of using two local manufacturers to the client and project site. This proximity meant both INDO and Mayflower could very quickly get together, be on-site or in the office environment to investigate and resolve any questions or concerns. The technical teams also worked closely together to ensure delivery of the project to the desired outcomes.
A VISUAL SPECTACLE
So, what was the outcome? Today the dynamic lighting strategy has
transformed the historic park into a prominent landmark. Hotels and properties overlooking the leafy park, as well as passing foot traffic from Ocean Village, the town quay and the bowling green, enjoy the colourful new ambience; evidence of Southampton’s continued regeneration and modernisation. Residents and visitors alike are now able to marvel at the endless colour combinations of the lighting installation, with Southampton City Council able to create mood lighting to commemorate events, celebrations and memorials. Southampton City Council also plans to integrate the flexible and playful illumination feature into future local events and memorial celebrations and is proving a great way to enhance the character and brand image of Southampton as a city. The contemporary scheme promotes increased use of the park and enhances the welcoming feel of the landscape. Let’s leave the final word to SSE’s Simon Bushell and Southampton’s City Council’s
Figure 3. A screen grab showing how, through masking scenes, the luminaires for the project are able to be dimmed through the Mayflower CMS while maintaining selected colour
Figure 2. An illustration of basic light colour mixing
service manager – highways contracts Colin Perris ‘Managing such a unique project has been challenging, yet extremely rewarding. To go through such an innovative design process with three different companies illustrates just how strong the working relationship is between SSE Enterprise, Mayflower Smart Control and INDO Lighting,’ says Simon. ‘We are delighted with the completed installation in Southampton and look forward to designing similar external lighting schemes in the future,’ he adds. ‘This fantastic local scheme shows the merits of the close working arrangement between the city council and SSE as our PFI street lighting provider, with the bespoke lighting enhancements that can go well beyond just the lighting of our highways,’ agrees Colin.
Georgia Thomas is campaigns manager for SSE Enterprise
KEY LEARNING POINTS •
Build in extended periods of testing for RGB controllers and CMS with on-site commissioning Confirm controller settings using DALI as opposed to visual on-site confirmation Implement setting cycle, controlled by scene command, to automatically change output colours
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INTERNATIONAL RESCUE Retrofitting to LED 118 high bays 100m off the ground in an iconic Grade 1 listed landmark, Londonâ€™s St Pancras International Station, was always going to be challenging. Adrian Dennis explains how some of the complexities of the project have been overcome By Adrian Dennis
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etrofitting station lighting can be challenging at the best of times, what with not wanting to disrupt passenger flows and footfall, often needing to work at height or in confined spaces, the need for retail units to be able to carry on operating, and for the smooth departure or arrival of rolling stock to be unaffected in a round-the-clock working environment, or as affected as little as possible. These challenges were magnified in work we at Zeta Specialist Lighting did with HS1, owners of St Pancras International in London, to upgrade the legacy lighting on the upper deck of the station’s main concourse. Not only did it mean retrofitting 118 high bay lights 100m off the ground, above an intensely busy 24/7 operating environment, but the station is of course a Grade 1 listed iconic London landmark. The project started back in 2017 and was due to be finished over the summer but, because of the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the completion date is now looking more likely to be later in the autumn. The contract win followed a competitive procurement process, involving multiple trials and tests, with us at Zeta developing a bespoke solution for retrofitting both the high bays and 208 wall washer lights to LED.
IMPROVED LIGHTING LEVELS
The reason HS1 wanted to do this was clear enough. To change a conventional light source in each high bay was costing the operator somewhere in the region of £400 a time – in fact, HS1’s spend on lighting maintenance was almost £190,000 a year,
a significant sum. Therefore, switching to LED brought with it self-evident maintenance cost savings as well as, of course, energy efficiency savings. Moreover, because the traditional lighting had been very prone to failure, and because of the cost and access issues to fix them, HS1 always had around 25%-30% of the lights not working at any one time. This state of affairs, understandably, it was keen to resolve and, by switching to LED, it could guarantee 100% illumination 100% of the time. One of the key requirements was to retain rather than replace the historic luminaires, so ensuring the overall aesthetics remained the same. We therefore worked closely with HS1, the station’s contractor
NG Bailey and English Heritage to develop bespoke LED retrofit gear trays that could work within the existing housing. We conducted extensive trials to ensure that the solution provided met all parties’ requirements, especially that of English Heritage, and I’ll come back to that shortly. The colour temperature and CRI was also refined by us in order to meet English Heritage’s stringent requirements.
USE OF ABSEILERS
When it came to installation, because the bays in the middle of the arch are above the tracks where the Eurostar trains come in, it was necessary to use an abseiling team to change them, which was challenging. Even for the lamps down the side, which aren’t above the track, it required specialist ‘spider’ lifting equipment. Another challenge was that there is a weight limit of what you can put on the upper deck, because you have the platform level and then a further shopping area underneath that. How it would work was the contracting team would take a number down overnight. We would collect them, get them back to the factory in Bicester, turn them round in a couple of days, bring them back and then they’d put them back up overnight again. Because of the 24/7 operational nature of the station, each scheduled maintenance round required a three-strong team and timing was key; logistically it was complicated. Additionally, in many instances, the requirement to have secure access involved some closure of lines and overhead power lines, all of which naturally took time to arrange. Having a level of agility and flexibility www.theilp.org.uk
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Station lighting Given the maintenance priorities, the new retrofit solution also had to be built for a very long life. So, technically, it was a very complicated retrofit. And my key learning point from all of this? Don’t underestimate the challenges of working in a complex heritage environment, and always remember you will, come what may, be required to work closely with, and gain the approval of, English Heritage. As a side note, one of the other interesting things was the big clock on the end of the station, which is of course a very familiar sight to the millions of passengers who use the station each year (and shown on the previous page). It is lit by a couple of floods and the original lighting designer had signed his name inside the fitting, probably from the 1970s/early 1980s. So I’ve added mine to it as well for when we put it back up!
SIGNIFICANT ENERGY SAVINGS
therefore proved to be very important during the installation process. The project plan set clear targets regarding the number of retrofits to be completed within each shift. With equipment hire, contractors and arrangements to cordon off parts of the station organised well in advance and at significant cost, it was critical that the retrofit gear trays were on-site on time, every time.
ENGLISH HERITAGE INSPECTIONS
Because of the Grade 1 listing, English Heritage was, naturally, involved at every stage. However, one of the anomalies was that the high bay light fittings had got wrapped into the Grade 1 listing, even though they were not the original lights www.theilp.org.uk
– and this, of course, meant we weren’t going to be allowed to drill into them at all. That was a key reason why the solution had to be a retrofit. A further stipulation from English Heritage was that its inspectors should not be able to tell the difference between the LED retrofit solution and what was there before. What that meant in practice was that initially we had to put three or four up at a time. And then the English Heritage inspectors wandered around looking up. If they could spot what was an LED as opposed to what was original, they would not allow us to proceed. They had to be absolutely identical – the CRI and colour temperature but also beam angle.
Finally, what have been the benefits so far? First off, the fact the station has 100% LED illumination means that the project, even before completion, has already significantly improved the lighting levels and now shows off the station to its best effect. Second, with the lights in the station on around the clock, HS1 has estimated it can expect to realise a strong and fast return on investment. The resultant energy bill cost savings for the 118 high bays are expected to be £13,000 per annum while powering the 208 wall washers will deliver an annual saving in excess of £22,500 each year. Third, it has enhanced the station in ways we hadn’t anticipated. For example, when you look at the side wall pictures where the wall washes are, the steel arch is actually a duck egg blue. And the new lighting has really brought out the colour of that, as a lot of it was in darkness before. Now it is lit it brings back the original effect of how it looked when it was first built, which is just fantastic. I’ll leave the final word to Aara Astourian, assistant contract manager at Network Rail High Speed. ‘Zeta’s expertise played a key part in enabling the LED upgrade project to run smoothly,’ he says. ‘The station is now illuminated with energy-efficient maintenance-free technology and Zeta’s bespoke retrofit solution meant the legacy housings could be retained, a key requirement for English Heritage,’ he adds. Adria Dennis is managing director of Zeta Specialist Lighting
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WORKING WITH YOU
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When designing for daylight, designers, architects and lighting professionals are often so focused on compliance and energy saving that they forget to see the bigger picture, argues Arfon Davies. Yes these are important, but daylight design needs to be, first and foremost, about wellbeing and experience By Arfon Davies
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e have evolved as a species in daylight, and daylight has played a hugely important role in defining, first, our experience as humans and, more latterly, our experience of the urban realm. Ever since we could, we have been forming, shaping land to give us security, to give us shelter from the weather and the elements, but also to give us access to daylight and shade. Take somewhere like Newgrange, the prehistoric monument in County Meath, Ireland. It is 5,000 years old, yet there is a door to the tomb where the sun is able to penetrate through precisely on the Equinox. It creates a quite magical experience of light and one that, even now, we would probably have to spend weeks designing to recreate in a modern building. I don’t know how they did that 5,000 years ago. Or, coming forward through time, if we look at the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. It is one of my favourite buildings because of the way the architects introduced small arched clerestory windows – a corona of arched windows – at the top of the dome. The daylight streaming in gives the effect that the dome is ‘floating’, and acts as a way to define the experience of the space. For me, it really enhances the spiritual experience of the space. As we’ve evolved as a species, and especially with the advent of electric lighting, our relationship with light, and daylight in particular, has changed. Buildings have become bigger, more voluminous, more massive. Floorplates, too, have become increasingly large. In the workplace, people can increasingly find themselves working at desks where they are remote from windows. For the majority of our working days nowadays, we primarily live and work indoors, whereas historically we didn’t. This means our relationship with daylight has become more disconnected over time. And architects and designers are, somewhat at least, responsible for this. So, as designers and practitioners, lighting designers, architects, interior designers, where are we going wrong when it comes to daylight, and why?
COMPLIANCE AND ENERGY
T he Broad Museum, Los Angeles, with a scheme by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Arup. The gallery’s ‘veil-and-vault’ concept maximises filtered natural daylight. Photograph by Hufton + Crow
First, compliance. Compliance, of course, at one level is a good thing, a necessary thing. But historically, and maybe even today, I’d argue designers too often think about daylight and daylight illumination in the context of compliance, of simply meeting the requirements and the regulations What I think this results in, or can result in, is it creates what I call a 2D daylight approach. So, effectively, we end up looking at daylight as something that needs to
be achieved on a two-dimensional plane, be it on the floor or the working plane. It doesn’t consider the volume or the space or the three-dimensionality of the project that you are considering. And I think this is endemic in daylight design. We can produce graphs on the floor, work out what the daylight factor is on that plane; now our computing has got a bit more powerful, we can run daylight analysis that describes the condition of the whole year to give clients the idea of what the ‘daylight autonomy’ is or any other metric used in the industry. But none of that says anything of what the experience of light will be in that space; how the space will feel, at least not directly. All it says something about is how the daylight might comply in relation to what the standards say. Projects end up often having a very uniform distribution of light on a floor or a working plane, yet no actual consideration for what that space feels like or how you experience it in terms of daylight. So my first ‘rule’ when it comes to daylight design is that, yes of course you need to comply, but is shouldn’t be the reason why you consider daylight in projects. Second, energy. Again, I’m not suggesting for one minute that energy isn’t important; we live in a society where we need to think about our planet and our resources. Energy, of course, is very important. What I’m saying is that energy isn’t, or shouldn’t, be the most important reason for thinking about daylight in projects. One of the main reasons why we used to introduce daylight into designs was because it saved energy. Yes, of course, daylight does save energy. But at the same time electric lighting has become much more efficient, thanks to our colleagues and friends in manufacturing. So the energy saving you get from daylight is not as substantial as it used to be. Energy therefore isn’t, or shouldn’t be, the primary reason why we think about daylight.
WELLBEING AND EXPERIENCE
Why, then, should we consider daylight in our projects? For me there are two reasons. The first, of course, is wellbeing. As lighting professionals, I think we’re all familiar with how regularly we are talking about wellbeing; it is a very important aspect of our design approach. We need to think about the people we design for, and we need to think about their wellbeing. Everything we do as designers, wellbeing should be at the centre. There isn’t the space within this article to go into circadian lighting, but it is well-established that daylight has a significant role in our wellbeing, and daylight is the perfect source for entraining our www.theilp.org.uk
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K ing’s Cross Station. Skylights adjacent to the historic structure bring zenithal light that grazes the historic brickwork. Photograph by Hufton + Crow
circadian rhythm. If we get enough daylight every day there is no discussion around circadian lighting, or biophilic lighting or whatever we want to call it. If we design our buildings with daylight, that is all we need to do. My second primary reason to consider daylight is experience; the role lighting – and daylight in particular – can play in defining our experience of space and architecture. Because daylight, as we saw back those thousands of years ago in Newgrange, has an inherent ability to create experiences that are truly memorable. Daylight has this power to define place. There are many places, such as Long Island in New York, that have a very special quality of light because of their
adjacency to large bodies of water, and which as a result have long attracted artists – Jackson Pollock in the case of Long Island. Margate is another example. Turner was obsessed with Margate because of the quality of its light, which he felt helped to define it as a place.
DESIGN FOR DAYLIGHT FIRST
Our principle therefore at Arup, as a practice, is to design for daylight first whenever we can; that is how we approach our projects. Unfortunately, sometimes because of existing infrastructure or even in new projects this is difficult to do and we need to focus on how we supplement daylight, but it is nevertheless the approach we apply to our work.
T he Albukhary Foundation Gallery of the Islamic World at the British Museum, with lighting (and daylighting) by Arup. Photographs by Paul Carstairs
Daylight has this ability to give the projects we design with our collaborators a very, very strong identity; it has this power, I think, to create surprise. As you move through interior environments, as you move through projects, daylight can create a sense of surprise. Daylight itself is inherently a variable light source – the sun rises and the sun sets, predictably, every day. The quality and nature of the daylight changes throughout the hours of the day and the seasons. All these things together mean that daylight is never the same. If you have a gallery, for example, that is substantially daylit you will experience it differently day-to-day based on what the weather conditions are. Daylight also has this almost exceptional, almost perfect, clarity; it enables us to see things truly as they are. It is the light reference of source. And it has this crispness that simply, no matter what manufacturers may tell you, cannot be replicated. It also has this ability to create novel experiences. At King’s Cross, for example, we intentionally introduced skylights adjacent to the historic structure with the intent to bring zenithal light that grazes the historic brickwork. In the process we were able to create this texture of sunlight across the façade. Daylight creates and defines the experience of the space. Daylight also has the ability to create a sense of connection, of connectivity, with the exterior environment. Through atria, for example, you can enable even large buildings to have connections to the outside by means of the view of the sky or surfaces that are lit by sunlight and daylight. Finally, daylight has the ability to create inspiration. In the case of work we did on Kericho Cathedral in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley, it was all about spiritual inspiration.
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K ericho Cathedral, Kenya. Here, the use of daylight is all about spiritual inspiration. Photographs by Edmund Sumner
At Arup we have been working on a project to create what we have called ‘the daylight atlas’. We looked at history, art, pictures, quotes; we spoke to our clients and collaborators; we asked them about their experience of daylight and what they could tell us about it; what was special about that moment. From that, we brought together a whole series of images and quotes about personal experiences of daylight. This has allowed us to create a volume of work so that, when we start talking about daylight with our collaborators we can talk about it as an experience and not as something that is just derived from what we might see in a standard, for example. We can think about what are the qualities of daylight? What are the dimensions of daylight? We can think about what we argue are the five aspects or dimensions of daylight that define it as an experience: quantity, variability, contrast, colour, and distribution. To focus in on just one of those aspects, variability, a client might ask: ‘What is this space going to feel like; what are the daylight conditions going to be?’. Historically, the response might have been: ‘Well I can run a daylight factor analysis for this room and I can show on a grid on the floor what the daylight factor is for a fairly standardised winter day sky condition.’ Or you might have run a big number-crunching daylight analysis showing what every hour of the year might be. But, using the atlas, we are more
interested in asking, ‘what is the experience going to be like as a user?’, ‘what is the client going to feel when they go and visit the space?’. From there we have devised a technique using machine learning where we create an image of the daylight condition for every single hour of the year. This generates about 4,500 images. We then feed these images into a machine-learning algorithm that has been pre-trained, and what this does is search all the pictures and then clusters the images that are similar together. From this process we can then create a dialogue with the client and the architect and say, ‘these are the typical daylight conditions in the space, this is what it might look like’. They can then say, ‘I would like this or that condition or experience, how can I have more of that? How can I introduce more of one condition or reduce another?’. Through design, through changing apertures and so forth, we can then shift the cluster to have more of this and less of that. So, it is more about how we define the volume of light, how we define the experience.
I want us, as designers, architects and lighting professionals, when we talk about daylight to be talking about the experience of daylight, and then to use that to inform our design decisions. We need to be using daylight in a better, more experiential way. We need to be moving from a 2D, compliance-led approach to daylight to
something that focuses much, much more on the experience, the three-dimensionality, of daylight within a space. We need to throw the standards in the bin. I’m not suggesting permanently of course – but they should be brought out only when, as a designer, you’re ready and need them. Early on, daylight design needs to be much more asking ‘what is it we want to achieve, what experiences do we want to create for people in this space?’. And from there it should be about developing a body of tools that allows us to assess that through design and analysis. Finally, I suggested earlier that compliance and energy aren’t important within daylight design. They are important, of course. But my point is they shouldn’t be the primary focus of why we design lighting for buildings period, and for daylight in particular. We need instead to be thinking about wellbeing and the experience that people will have in a space; what does the space feel like, how will it feel, how will clients feel when they experience the projects and the design? Daylight is the source of light we all strive for; it is the natural source of light; it is the best light for our wellbeing. And I would say it is the best light for our use of space as well. Arfon Davies MSc CEng MCIBSE FSLL is lighting director at Arup
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From studying how great artists have presented light in their work through to using analogue sketching to hone your designs, understanding how to ‘draw’ with light enables lighting designers to master light and spatial composition By Seraphina Gogate and Sophie O’Rourke
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Light and shade
he art of drawing light is as complex as drawing time. The act of capturing an intangible entity such as light on paper almost negates it, rendering it as a shadow of its former self. Like time, light exists to help us make sense of our surroundings; so it stands to reason that lighting designers use it as a tool to unlock the beauty within a space, a way to establish visual hierarchies and focal points to guide a person’s eye. To quote that modern master of light, James Turrell, in his 1987 article Mapping Spaces, ‘Light is not so much something that reveals, as it is itself the revelation.’ Most successful works of art use light not as a medium to convey a narrative but as a subject, as a living object to be rendered into reality. Although the discipline of lighting design is a fairly recent entrant into the world of architecture and construction, centuries ago masters of light paved the way for today’s lighting designers. Joaquin Sorolla’s celebrated work Sewing the Sail and Claude Monet’s masterpiece Houses of Parliament drew up the blueprint for the work that we do now.
Using two-dimensional canvases as opposed to the three-dimensional spaces that we now inhabit, these artists used light within art to depict narratives about human experience. In order to truly understand the place of art within the world of light, and its importance in spatial composition, it is essential to go back to the original masters of light and understand how they used it to communicate a message.
LIGHT AND ART THROUGH THE AGES
Light has been inextricably woven in with art throughout the centuries. Various artists have sought to control it; be it the dramatic chiaroscuro of Caravaggio in The Calling of St Matthew, or Jackson Pollack’s mindless flicks of paint in Free Form (The Accountant); light makes art, art. It would be criminal to discuss the art of drawing light without going back to 23 April 1490, the day upon which Leonardo da Vinci began writing his book, simply titled Of Shadow and Light. His work is painstakingly scientific in its pursuit to define light and shadow, with great emphasis laid upon optics and geometry. But even in his guise as a scientist, da
T he Calling of Saint Matthew, Caravaggio (1599-1600) at The Contarelli Chapel, Rome
Vinci is poetic in his definition of light, calling the act of light hitting a surface ‘percussion’, thus endowing it with a sense of dynamism. Da Vinci further describes light as one of the ‘spiritual powers’, in which ‘spiritual’ has the Aristotelian meaning of ‘immaterial’ or ‘imperceptible’, now understood to be energy without mass. Even one of the greatest minds of the past falls prey to defining light through the definition of shadow. In doing so, da Vinci raised a question that would go on to plague the best of artists… if all that can be rendered on paper is shadow, how do we draw light? Lighting designers who go further than two-dimensional paper and canvas are in a privileged position to answer this question – we ‘draw’ light by taking it into the third dimension. Just as light makes art, art, lighting design makes architecture, architecture. What begins as shadows on paper we translate into masses and voids. Drawing light and designing with it are two sides of the same coin; they enrich one another and when used hand in hand, help to answer a question that even da Vinci struggled with.
LIGHT AND ART IN THE THREEDIMENSIONAL WORLD
Fast forward to the present day, and light’s role in contemporary art is a much broader concept. As we’ve moved into a more three-dimensional world, the way we encounter light has become increasingly experiential. Artists no longer look to a brush and a two-dimensional canvas to convey a message; they’ve embraced the physical world of architecture and nature where light inhabits all of the places that we ourselves inhabit. Light is something to be lived in and moved amongst. A living and breathing entity in its own right, with the power to connect individuals to a place, concept or person. The transition to an immersive world of light and art is something that has been explored by contemporary artists, particularly as advancements in technology have expanded our capacity to tell and explore more complex stories. We can control light in a way that we never could before, using complex control systems, intelligent programming and interactive hardware and software. Now that we are able to master intensity, frequency and darkness from a machine, creatives such as international art collective teamLab have championed the use of complex programming and projection to produce artificial worlds that explore the relationships between people www.theilp.org.uk
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Light and shade This is where light comes in, bestowing the object with a mantle of authenticity that our eyes need in order to understand the three dimensions as real.
THE INEQUALITY OF SHADOWS
A shadow is defined within the world of physics as the absence of light. In the world of art, the definition isn’t quite so simple. The success of a work of art is dependent upon how the artist renders the play of shadows cast. Not only is it important to distinguish between a cast shadow and a form shadow, but also to differentiate a warm shadow from a cool one. The colour of a shadow is largely independent of the colour of the light that casts it, complicating matters further. A general rule of thumb to follow is cool light – warm shadow, and warm light – cool shadow. But this is only true if both object and surface are a neutral white colour. Experimenting with your source of light, colour of object and colour of casting surface is the key to making things appear real.
S ewing the Sail, by Joaquín Sorolla (1896)†
DAYLIGHT AND DIFFUSED LIGHT
and nature, in a way that is free from physical boundaries. The act of stripping away these boundaries has heralded a new frontier of art and design, where unique concepts and narratives are being formed. An example of this is teamLab’s visual representations of unique interactions between people, created using real-time programming. What is remarkable about the medium of light, is that it is universally experienced and has an inherent ability to transcend traditional frameworks and be a compelling communication tool. There is a certain magic about light; it captures your attention and has the potential to completely envelop you. Drag performer Sasha Velour, for example, uses light and projection in her performances and talks about finding comfort and inspiration in form because shapes are less bound by the societal influences and constructs that bind us. It could be argued that light (perhaps in a state when removed from any connotations of colour) is less bound by concepts such as gender and has the potential to be a powerful and more diverse tool for storytelling.
THE ART OF DRAWING LIGHT
If we’re correct in our contention that lighting designers draw their artistic
ancestry directly from the original masters of light, how do we apply what history has taught us to the modern world of architecture and construction? As lighting designers our work begins when we put pen to paper and culminates in the complex but poetically beautiful interplay of light and surfaces. But the prospect of drawing light can be daunting – if even Leonardo da Vinci struggled then how can we mere mortals navigate it successfully? As with any creative endeavour, things become infinitely easier when we adhere to a set of guiding principles as a way to master the complexities of the practice.
OBJECT VERSUS SURFACE
Light doesn’t exist in a single dimension, at least not in the world of art. Without a surface, there is no light. Without light, there is no object. Drawing a surface is easy, after all the eye sees in two-dimensional planes stacked one behind the other due to our binocular vision. Drawing a surface is something we mastered as cave dwellers. On the other hand, drawing in dimensions we can’t actually behold with merely our eyes is difficult, for we are attempting to render visually an object that should be read with more than one sense – that of vision and touch.
Multiple light sources or a diffused light source like the sun on a cloudy day flatten the sense of volume in three-dimensional objects because of the lack of drama that a point source can provide. Diffused sources can be most challenging to work with but also produce the most realism in a work of art. Painting colours in flat areas to suit a diffused source of light relies upon value and hue rather than shadow and shade, in order to establish visual hierarchies and make compositions seem ‘real’. A bit of artistic liberty (and by this we mean exaggerating the sun’s influence – or pretending that your diffuse source is in fact directional) when layering values and hues can also go a long way in rendering light correctly. Finally, at Nulty we believe that drawing with light can go a long way when it comes to mastering light and spatial composition, so following a prescribed set of principles stands us in good stead when we’re embarking on a sketch. For example, we place a real emphasis on analogue sketching in combination with digital forms of expression and run regular workshops for our team to hone our skills, and crucially, express of paper what it means to design with light. Seraphina Gogate and Sophie O’Rourke are intermediate lighting designers at Nulty+
† Sewing the Sail (Cosienda la Vela), Joaquín Sorolla (1896), Photography by Flaviaalvarez (8th April 2018), Link and copyright information: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cosiendo_la_vela.jpg, copyright of Flaviaalvarez, CC BY-SA 4.0, changes made: cropped to fit page columns
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The coronavirus pandemic and lockdown has tested business continuity across the economy. Where contracts have been disrupted as a result, there are ways to mitigate accusations of breach of contract. But each option needs careful consideration before being pursued, meaning it is a good idea to take expert legal advice first
By Howard Crossman
he Covid-19 pandemic is not only having massive health, social and economic effects, it also has and will have a significant impact on the performance of many contracts that are or have been entered into by parties in all industries, including those working within lighting. This situation, of course, has come about through no fault of players involved in the lighting industry. Nevertheless, the lockdown has had an effect on business continuity for many and so, from a legal perspective, it is necessary and important to consider the options available to help protect those in the supply chain (which may include lighting firms) from assertions that they are breaching contractual obligations to perform during this time of shutdowns across the country. What can be done? There are several possibilities to explore: •
Firstly, the parties can work together and try and reach agreement to disregard or ‘waive’ certain pertinent contractual terms that would otherwise mean that parties would be in breach of contract for non-performance during the pandemic. Secondly, if appropriate, one or both parties can seek to utilise any ‘force majeure’ clause in the contract. Thirdly, it may be appropriate to explore the doctrine of ‘frustration of contract’ and facilitate the end of a contract where there is true impossibility in performance. Finally, it may be possible to maintain the contract but agree to delete clauses concerning performance of specific terms. This will likely apply where legislative or administrative stipulations are the blockage to performance. The parties would then preserve the rest of the contract.
For the purposes of this article, let’s look at each of these in turn in more detail.
NEGOTIATIONS TO WAIVE RELEVANT CLAUSES
If the parties can negotiate release from certain contract obligations whilst the pandemic is ongoing, then that may be the best option with less legal risk for either party and potentially with a better commercial outcome. Clearly, however, any such waivers or amendments must be documented properly, and procedures followed.
Utilising a ‘force majeure’ clause (or where ‘unforeseeable circumstances’ have prevented someone from fulfilling a contract) carries with it a number of detailed requirements. If not followed, these may mean the clause will not operate or, worse still, the party wanting to rely on the clause may inadvertently have repudiated the contract, with serious consequences as set out below. It is all about what the force majeure clause sets out. This must be scrutinised. Just because there is an epidemic that causes financial hardship or extremely difficult circumstances may not be enough to prove force majeure. Every situation is different and therefore the party seeking to rely on the clause must analyse the clause wording and whether the circumstances fit. Previous examples and legal precedent may not help, as scenarios are often unique with different sets of facts and circumstances. Consider whether force majeure has occurred under the clause itself. Are you having to pick from a specified list of events to check this off? Or is there a more general, looser definition as is often the case in some of the standard forms. It may be necessary to drill down to
identify exactly what has caused the difficulty in performing the contract. Is it, for example, government regulations, or unavailability of workforce, or construction site closures? Once the real cause has been isolated, then you need to turn to the clause wording and assess whether the event that is causing the problem fits the force majeure wording. This may entail careful and realistic analysis. Has the occurrence really caused enough of a problem to justify invoking the clause? For example, if the clause says there must be prevention of performance in part or whole, this means the contract or part thereof must be impossible to perform. This must be contrasted with a test where it is only necessary for the force majeure event to hinder or cause delay to the contract performance in part or whole. The delay test, for example, equates to an obligation of not being able to perform under the time limits stipulated in the contract. It is also important to show that the event circumstances could not have been foreseen and allowed for as a delaying event in the contract. In other words, could the parties have provided for these circumstances in the contract but just didn’t do so? That would mean the event was not unforeseen and therefore not force majeure. Moving forward, could some other action be taken, even at greater expense or with considerable difficulty that would alleviate prevention in performance if that is the test in the clause? For example, would provision of more expensive lighting design services, materials, or obtaining labour from elsewhere get around the problem? If this could be achieved, it is likely not going to be a force majeure incident where impossibility of performance is the benchmark. It is also important for the party www.theilp.org.uk
JULY / AUGUST 2020
Legal issues work and would result in performance becoming illegal. This is known as the doctrine of severance. Therefore, the parties can try and take out the offending stipulations and leave the rest of the contract intact, in other words capable of further performance in part or whole. Extracting, or severing clauses/obligations from the contract by agreement, may be a good way for lighting professionals to safely ensure that the relevant stipulations are excised from the rest of the remaining contract. This preserves the contract and is thereby seen as less risky. However, it must be demonstrated that performance of the relevant clauses/obligations to be severed would be illegal. A shuttered construction site during the coronavirus pandemic. The lockdown will have disrupted many contracts, and managing this process can be tricky legally
invoking the clause to keep records and evidence of the event, in other words the cause and the effect. What caused the force majeure event – for example (most probably in this case) a pandemic? It will be important to provide and keep records exhibiting proof of this event. Additionally, it will be necessary to demonstrate records of how the event has affected the contract, what measures were taken and communicated and when this took place. Notice must be formally given under the terms of the contract. Force majeure clauses will only succeed in providing relief if the procedure under the clause is precisely followed. This goes to the form and content of the notice and time limits for service. Otherwise under the law of England the notice could be found to be ineffective. A final issue to consider is, can the pandemic be relied upon as a force majeure event even if listed in the relevant clause, in a situation where the party seeking to rely on the clause had not been performing the contract prior to the force majeure event? In a recent UK case where such a party was in a dire financial position in advance of the pandemic and evidently not performing its key contract obligations, it was held that it could not rely on force majeure as being responsible for impossibility of performance.
FRUSTRATION OF CONTRACT
It may be the case that virus-related lockdown measures could make performance of lighting-related contracts impossible to perform. As an, example, if construction projects www.theilp.org.uk
involving lighting professionals in the supply chain will effectively have been shut down. This can also relate to any part of a contract that is dominant to its purpose and effect. This is what is meant by frustration of contract. The contract can be terminated without needing to rely upon the force majeure principle. However, contending impossibility of performance and frustration of contract brings with it a high burden of proof and thereby risk. If a party indicates a desire not to carry on with the contract, arguing it has been prevented from doing so, there is a danger that if, in reality, the performance is not deemed to be impossible the party wanting to terminate may itself be seen to repudiate the contract. The consequences of this, naturally, may be serious. If the other party accepts the repudiation as discharging the contract, it could bring a claim for damages to recover the losses of non-performance, which could be substantial. Considerable extra expense or other hardship inflicted will not be enough to demonstrate prevention. The English courts will not allow a looser interpretation to destroy commercially negotiated, valid and binding contracts. Obligations accrued up to the time of frustration, such as payment for previous work, remain valid.
SEVERANCE OF CONTRACT
If the contract is only impossible to perform in part, then the court’s attitude will usually be to try and rescue it from failure and divest the parts and clauses that do not
It is only too clear that the pandemic is and has been hitting industries across the economy hard. The impacts are being felt throughout the supply chain, and the lighting industry is no exception to this. However, as this article sets out, there are ways to mitigate normal contract performance stipulations. When deciding which route is best, bear in mind that the options available will vary in terms of: • • •
each different set of circumstances; the parties’ attitude to the contract position; and last but not least, what has been specified in the contract to deal with these circumstances.
In light of this, getting legal advice as early as possible will serve all lighting professionals well – there are many pitfalls of trying to deal with matters without getting proper advice and inadvertently finding yourself in a worse position. And finally, remember, it is important to see matters from everyone in your supply chain’s perspective: it is an uncertain time for them too. They may well be happy to be flexible and allow for you to negotiate with them. Howard Crossman (email@example.com) is head of construction at Greenwoods GRM
With offices in London, Cambridge and Peterborough, Greenwoods GRM is a UK commercial law firm providing legal advice and pragmatic solutions to local, national and international clients.
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he percentage of people living in cities has risen sharply over the years. As cities start to prepare for exploding population numbers, smart city technology has risen to prominence, with the promise of delivering actionable data to help cities cope operationally with the increasing and varied demands of citizens for services. Across the globe we have seen dozens of smart city projects, yet the development of such projects in the UK has been relatively modest in scale and pace. However, the race to truly achieve smart cities should not be a sprint; and it is not necessarily the first adopters that will reap the greatest benefits.
THE CURRENT LANDSCAPE
Too often smart city innovation moves forward in small steps – single projects or pilots – rather than city-wide leaps. So how to break through this barrier? The answers could lie in greater collaboration, especially with academia; focusing harder on commerciality and scalability; and unlocking government funding By Nick Sacke
There is no doubt that a good number of cities that have rolled out smart projects are already realising tangible benefits. India’s ‘100 smart cities’ goal – pledged by prime minister Narendra Modi in 2015 – is a great example of where the technology has been rolled out widely and quickly, with cities such as Chennai successfully using smart, integrated Internet of Things (IoT) solutions to tackle traffic congestion issues . However, a compelling aspect of these projects – and one that the UK’s smart cities could learn from – is that many of the early projects adopted a ‘build it and they will come’ approach. That is, flood a city with pervasive connectivity, sensors and data storage and analytics infrastructure at scale from the beginning. Thereby ensuring that the platform to support smart projects is immediately available, providing a fertile ground for small and large businesses and the academic community to innovate, research, develop applications and (most importantly) commercialise services at scale for actual use cases that deliver tangible operational benefits. This offers a lesson for the UK as it continues to roll out and develop its own smart cities: the most successful will combine a scalable, operationally aware and efficient technical environment to nurture innovation. This combined with academic research into the most suitable applications for IoT use cases delivers commercialisation and an outcome.
BLENDING ACADEMIA AND INNOVATION
Academia is the foundation of smart city projects, with many developed in partnership with educational institutions. The overarching advantage is this ensures wellplanned, credible, structured projects that take a scientific approach to adding value to cities and city planning. Academia provides the research design that ensures innovation is aligned to functional solutions that tackle key issues to www.theilp.org.uk
JULY / AUGUST 2020
Smart cities: opinion COLOGNE’S SMART MOVE
benefit the population, such as reduced traffic congestion, reduced water and energy consumption and better waste management. However, often this stage is powered by grants and funding and so a further step is needed to make these solutions self-sufficient, with long-term commercial viability.
VALUE OF A COMMERCIAL MINDSET
The commercialisation of smart city projects is a key component in pushing them beyond their pilot stages. Companies working on smart city solutions therefore need to drive both valuable and actionable insights and offer commercially viable IoT that can both add value and have a positive impact on the bottom line. Identifying the right ‘pain points’ is crucial, before addressing them in the best way possible. Sustainability issues are an obvious starting point, as they offer the opportunity not only to benefit the environment but also to offer a significant cost-saving opportunity. By combining the three elements of academia, innovation and commercialisation, we improve smart city programmes and the potential for those outside cities to benefit. The commercial aspect results in a value-driven and scalable model. This becomes a technology possible to roll out across whole regions – even countries – in turn allowing towns and villages to reap the same benefits as their smart city neighbours.
THE UK AND BEYOND
By 2050, the UN is projecting an extra 2.5 billion people will be living in cities, with 90% of that growth coming from Asia and Africa . So, where’s Europe in all of this
and how can we remain competitive? For smart cities in the UK to deliver on the promise of digital transformation, which includes more efficient living, better health as well as greater prosperity, city authorities and their attitude to strategy and planning are critical. The UK must project growth of these technologically driven initiatives based on the sound concept of global competitiveness, in addition to the health and wellbeing of its citizens. In order to achieve this wider vision, one danger that could hamper successful smart city-led innovation is the dreaded ‘funding silos’ that hold the funding mechanism for smart city projects within separate departments. Without joined-up thinking and a collaborative approach to commercialising smart parking, say, in parallel with traffic and waste management initiatives, progress will remain limited. It is therefore only cities that have a centralised IoT funding mechanism to support collaboration that will make significant headway; and that is all down to leadership. While growth in the UK market is expected, it is predicated on these key building blocks of leadership and strategy, skills and capacity, collaboration, and funding. Without this coordinated approach, growth is likely to happen at a much slower pace. With the Asian market already addressing these issues, time is of the essence. The outcomes of any successful smart city project should include better health and wellbeing for citizens, paired with global market competitiveness. The longer digitalisation is delayed, the less competitive it becomes. The IoT
 ‘India’s 100 smart cities: what will success look like’, https://futurecities.catapult.org.uk/2016/01/28/blog-indias-100-smart-cities-what-will-successlook-like/  ‘68% of the world population projected to live in urban areas by 2050, says UN’, May 2018, https://www.un.org/development/desa/en/ news/population/2018-revision-of-world-urbanization-prospects.html
When it comes to effecting city-wide smart ‘leaps’, the city of Cologne in north west Germany (left) could well be one to watch, writes Nic Paton. This is because Signify has recently signed a deal to connect all the city’s 85,000 light points to its Interact City lighting management system, a move that could see it in time become Germany’s first genuine smart city. The agreement will see RheinEnergie AG, which is responsible for the city’s lighting, replace all the light points with connected luminaires within the next 15 years, with work starting in January. Benefits will include RheinEnergie being able continuously to monitor and manage all the lights from a single Interact City dashboard. This should make the planning of maintenance and repairs more efficient and provide RheinEnergie with information and data on the performance and status of the light points. The system can also be integrated into RheinEnergie’s SAP system, so combining the luminaire inventory data with internal accounting and purchasing data. On top of this, the move will mean sensors can be integrated into the luminaires, for example around air quality and traffic flows. This data can then be captured, interrogated and feed into future urban development and planning. Karsten Vierke, market leader of Signify’s activities in the region, said: ‘Together [with RheinEnergie], we’re showing how connected lighting can play a central role in helping modern cities increase their attractiveness, improve the quality of life and become more sustainable.’ community is ever hopeful that UK smart cities deliver on their promises. But the industry can only be of help if it is part of a larger collaborative approach, one that includes joined-up thinking, the correct resources, a centralised government funding structure and the support of carriers and stakeholders. As with the platforms, customers and staff were interviewed, and observers took photos to document results. Nick Sacke is head of IoT and products at network services company Comms365
This directory gives details of suitably qualified, individual members of the Institution of Lighting Professionals (ILP) who offer consultancy services
Stainton Lighting Design Services Ltd
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www.nicksmithassociates.co.uk Specialist exterior lighting consultant. Private and adopted lighting and electrical design for highways, car parks, area and sports lighting. Lighting Impact assessments, expert witness and CPD accredited Lighting design AutoCAD and Lighting Reality training courses
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Providing exterior lighting and ITS consultancy and design services and specialising in the urban and inter-urban environment. Our services span the complete project life cycle for both the public and private sector.
Professional lighting design consultancy offering technical advice, design and management services for exterior/interior applications for highway, architectural, area, tunnel and commercial lighting. Advisors on lighting and energy saving strategies, asset management, visual impact assessments and planning.
John Conquest Stockport, SK4 1AS
Specialist in: Motorway, Highway Schemes, Illumination of Buildings, Major Structures, Public Artworks, Amenity Area Lighting, Public Spaces, Car Parks, Sports Lighting, Asset Management, Reports, Plans, Assistance, Maintenance Management, Electrical Design and Communication Network Design.
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MA BEng(Hons) CEng MIET MILP
Nottingham, NG9 2HF
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Exterior lighting consultant’s who specialise in all aspects of street lighting design, section 38’s, section 278’s, project management and maintenance assistance. We also undertake lighting appraisals and environmental lighting studies
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Specialists in the preparation of quality and effective street lighting design solutions for Section 38, Section 278 and other highway projects. We also prepare lighting designs for other exterior applications. Our focus is on delivering solutions that provide best value.
For more information and individual expertise Go to: www.theilp.org.uk
Neither Lighting Journal nor the ILP is responsible for any services supplied or agreements entered into as a result of this listing
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Letters to the editor/industry news
‘SIMON CORNWELL’S ARTICLES BRING BACK MANY HAPPY MEMORIES OF MY TIME IN THE LIGHTING FIELD’ I do enjoy Simon Cornwell’s well-researched Light on the past articles on bygone matters of the early days in public lighting. They bring back many happy memories of my time in the lighting field. I joined the Institution (or Association of Public Lighting Engineers as it was known then) over 50 years ago and I was honorary editor of Lighting Journal from 1977 to 1995. It was a job I enjoyed, getting colleagues to write technical articles on the subject of their public lighting achievements for publication in the journal. I was President of the Institution from 1981-82 and I guess by now I must be one of the longest-standing members of the Institution – a fact of which I am very proud. Keep up the good work Simon! Neil Macauley Honorary member, Clyst St Mary, Devon
LOCKED DOWN, BUT UNDER THE SAME SKY… Despite many of us still being in lockdown on this year’s International Day of Light on May 16, that didn’t stop lighters across the world sharing and celebrating ‘their’ day. Using the hashtag #WILunderthesamesky, the Women In Lighting (WIL) project asked people to post a single image of the sky above their heads, wherever they were, at precisely midday. The initiative was inspired by the quote by author Maxine Hong Kingston from her book The Woman Warrior. ‘We’re all under the same sky and walk the same earth; we’re alive together during the same moment.’ ‘We wanted to generate a feeling of connection during this difficult period of time,’ explained Sharon Stammers, co-founder of Light Collective, which runs the Women In Lighting project. And we think we can all agree, as this mesmerising collage image shows, the results were both stunning and inspiring.
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To submit a letter simply email Nic Paton at firstname.lastname@example.org or go direct to the ILP. Letters may be edited, and publication is not guaranteed.
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