Green lighting design
Singapore 6th May 2011
With “cooling-off” day in Singapore today (introduced by the ruling party for the day before poling day) no political activity is allowed. With no political party rallies or canvassing of public the city is relatively quiet before tomorrow’s general election compared to the last few days. This cooling-off day is meant for the public to reflect “undisturbed” on the many political messages they have been subjected to during the campaigning. Though generally seen as a favouring the ruling party, it somehow makes sense. We will see tomorrow…
Talking about cooling-off, I am using this time to reflect on green lighting design. Is there such thing? Assumingly green is used as a metaphor for our environment, in this case care for our environment, where green symbolises life and a healthy, natural earth. So green lighting design supposedly symbolises lighting design that cares for our living environment and consideration for our natural resources. This in then should translate into lighting design that minimise energy usage or makes use of sustainable energy resources. Furthermore the lighting design should be in harmony with its environment and by preference not disturb our natural habitat. Finally the materials used to create the lighting environment, the light fittings and the material finishes should be as organic and natural as possible, where feasible made out of recycled materials.
So in practical terms what does it mean? Minimal and sustainable energy usage means low energy, high performance lighting systems such as LED technology, controlled lighting usages and environments through sensor and time driven lighting controls combined with day lighting and solar lighting technologies. I think we are more and more having this part covered as lighting designers. However the use of recyclable light fittings, organic materials and products made in sustainable factories is still in its infancy.
In Light Watch today a project with a so called “green roof” feature. The building is one of the pilot projects towards sustainable design with its final energy consumption claimed to be 35% less than the building code requires in this case platinum LEED classification. In terms of lighting the building makes extensive use of natural day light, solar energy, new low energy LED technology and sensor driven lighting controls. Certainly on my to visit list if I have the opportunity to go there.
Light Watch 85: The California Academy of Science by Renzo Piano