Singapore 1st June 2011
The stories about electricity scarcity keeps filling the news, specifically in high demand areas such as populated countries like China, India and Japan, I blogged about it not long ago. Today I read that China is to phase out electric bicycles to combat the scarcity? Now that is interesting as electric cars and other modes of transport are being promoted as environmentally friendly in order to reduce our oil (petrol) consumption, air pollution and so on…? I find this quite intriguing, I must say.
It points to the pure fact that we need to reduce the use of our natural resources to a minimum, whether, electricity, oil or water. Not to forget that our whole food supply system is also under threat from the changing climate. As a result some resort to desperate measures to keep their food production going like in China where recently farmers “drugged” their water melons only to see them explode like balloons! Where are we going…?
The more I read these stories, the more I am committed to make my designs as environmentally friendly as possible, with minimum energy and minimum wastage. This all results from a good and thoughtful lighting design, that is obvious. We select the lowest possible wattage, the best possible optics to reduce light spill, create the best possible lighting layouts and make sure we minimise usage to only when we need the light. But what is less obvious is the intangible side of all this. We need to educate the client, other decision makers and stakeholders. If they are not “with us” they may not spent the money to achieve this.
In that light another challenging issue is that of lighting standards. Over the years the comfort and quality standards of lighting have steadily risen, assuming abundance in energy supply, but we should not forget that some of these standards have also been driven by commercial reasons rather than actual needs. Do we really need 3000 lux vertical in a soccer stadium for TV-broadcasting? Today’s cameras are highly sensitive and maybe 1500 lux would work too (…I know it does)…my point is we should continuously be vigilant in our designs and strive towards energy excellence in our lighting proposals always!
In Light Watch today a clever concept developed by Philips called the Light Blossom, a street light that collects energy from the sun and wind and glows brighter when it senses motion…is this the way to go?