Huangzhou, 21st January 2010
Now this may be a touchy subject, but interesting nevertheless. It was triggered by my discussion with the hotel operator in regards to their operations standards. Hotel operators generally have their own manual which states guidelines and standards for all possible applications, lighting included. Most of the lighting guidelines however are based on past experience rather than future requirements. I cheekily asked him if they would actually check the lighting levels on commissioning of the project. To which he replied that they would only do that if they are not happy with the end result. It is a bit the same with our contracts, nobody really looks at the contractual terms and conditions unless there is serious unhappiness about the performance! This is my point today and sort of a continuation on my entry yesterday.
There is a saying that rules are there to be broken…but while rules and regulations (and lighting standards in this case) are a very important part of our profession, its application must be carefully measured against the actual need and requirements. Let’s not forget that many lighting standards have been put together by people of whom some have strong links to the manufacturing industry. Commercial interest in promoting high lighting levels for instance can therefore not be denied. I think we should not blindly apply lighting standards, just because the lighting standards say so. Of course if there are serious legal implications we can’t just ignore the standards. But at least informed decisions can be made.
I think the answer from the operator really said it all. Why enforce standards if the end result is more than satisfactory! I said it before.. we don’t design for lux meters, we design for people!