Back to basics
Singapore, 11th April 2011
You know… the most difficult thing to design is something simple. It sounds strange but we are somehow trained and focussed on designing for sophistication. When we only see one lighting point in a room we panic that we do not have enough light. We tend to over-design. Just a few weeks ago I spent overnight in a mock up room to experience the lighting design. I found that the indicator lights coming of the A/C panel and the light switches, was already so bright that my night light provision was nearly redundant. I recommended to re-look at the switches of course…
Having spent the weekend away for a break it was refreshing to see the simplicity of some lighting solutions in the resort I was staying, just basic stuff. LED lighting is still considered expensive so many of the solutions are based on conventional incandescent lamps which are available practically from every road side stall 🙂 . I sometimes wonder how these local supplies work…while we are talking new generation LED lights, way back down the line in the country side, incandescent lamps are still delivered by “camels” so to speak. From my Philips days I remember that a new product development generally takes about 2 years to reach the stores commercially. You can imagine how long it takes before it finally reaches the outposts of human habitat, no disrespect meant.
I remember one of my first hospitality projects in Lombok, Indonesia. We had specified the then brand new technology of compact fluorescent lighting, the Philips PL lamp. It was such a novelty, that lamps disappeared from the site within hours of installation! Never mind they could not operate the lamps without the ballast.
My point for the day is about simplicity and scaling back our sophisticated thinking…
In Light Watch an example of simple lighting design. Costs? A few dollars. Look around and find these clever environmental designs in your own surroundings. Please share your experiences if you have come across these simple solutions. A word of caution…electrical safety may not always be compliant to regulations, but I am talking about the general idea here. Notice in the picture below the incandescent mirror reflector lamp, in most big cities you can’t find these any more! A brilliant lamp!
Light Watch 70: Sense and simplicity, a coconut light