Perth 19th February 2010
I am not going to talk about torches or head lamps. Today I wanted to touch upon temporary mobile lighting equipment. Most of the time when we engage in lighting design we always design for a fixed architectural lighting installation. Even lighting for exhibitions and fairs can be considered semi permanent and often involves a lighting designer in the design stages. The difference is that it is dismantled after the event. No, I am referring to lighting that can be moved around and has its own gen-set for instance.
This afternoon I went out with my children and noticed preparations for a sporting event (from my understanding the Rottnest Swim Marathon) which is to be held tomorrow. I assume it will start very early in the morning as mobile generators equipped with telescopic mast and floodlights were being tested. Four 1KW metal halide area floodlights on a telescopic mast that could reach up to about 6m. Floodlights were roughly aimed from the ground by a contractor before lifting up the mast. Yes quite glary…but then the aim is just to have some light, glare is of secondary concern in these situations.
Mobile lighting equipment as described above is used in a variety of night time situations such as for road repair works, temporary car parks at special events, construction sites, etc, but also for emergency and rescue operations such as accidents and earthquakes. While most situations are planned and programmed, the calamities are unpredictable and do not really leave time for any design or programming!
However I would venture to say that there is still quite some room for improvement for these mobile installations! The type of floodlights (glare control), prefixed aiming positions, possibly with some set up guidelines, would help making it more efficient and less glary!