My low-carbon life
Shanghai, 19th January 2010
No I am not talking about my diet! I am referring to a new campaign that started in China to create awareness about carbon producing products and habits. Following the Copenhagen summit in Denmark recently China has committed to significantly reduce their carbon emission levels by the year 2020. Therefore they need full cooperation from the general public. I haven’t seen much of the campaign yet but I am sure lighting will feature in it at some point of time. Many other countries around the world are embarking on similar awareness campaigns.
So as lighting designers what can we do? Of course best is to engage the client on this subject if they have not brought it up as part of the design brief. But some clients are not really that into it certainly if it costs more money. So we need to do it subtly. Maybe we can reduce the number of lighting points in non critical areas. Maybe we can use a new generation 35W halogen lamp instead of a 50W one. Maybe we can set our dimming scenes 10% lower. Maybe we can use CFL or LED instead of incandescent. I think there are many small ways that in the end can add up to a significant reduction…. I encourage readers to share any suggestions on this issue! …
We tend to light up everything because that is what we do, right? But a lighting design is as much about what to light as it is about what NOT to light! Finally we do not design for lux meters! We design for people! So lighting standards aside, we need to assess case by case what lighting is really needed in a space. If we all start implementing a more “low-carbon” lighting design style, we also will greatly contribute to reducing the carbo emmissions.