The (lighting) world today
Singapore 9th September 2011
This Sunday it will be 10 years since the terrible 9-11 attacks in New York and you can’t really open any newspaper or tune into any news program without the subject being broached these days. Many of us remember the day as yesterday, watching speechless how the second plane plunged into the WTC. Where is the world today, how has it affected our lives and has it in any way affected our lives as lighting designers?
We can definitely say that (air) travel has never been the same. The amount of security we need to go through to go from A to B is scary. It does not stop at the airport, hotels, shopping malls, office towers, and residences, everywhere you have security checks and as lighting designers, designing those security stations, whether it is a bomb check for cars or bag check at a building entrances, it has become part and parcel of a standard building design. Some rooms in residential buildings and specific areas for instance in train stations have been designed to double up as bomb shelters.
But along the way technology has developed at breakneck speed, certainly the LED lighting technology. Most of all we have come to treasure our lives and health more and lighting designers around the world are slowly moving towards a more holistic approach of lighting, were lighting stimulates and provides the stimuli needed for a healthy body clock. We have become more concerned about our environment, the world we live in. Not only about the environmental impact caused by fossil fuels but also the impact of lighting on the natural habitat that surround us. The control of lighting pollution besides energy saving has become a key component of every lighting designer’s strategy…
In Light Watch some images of a newly released project to safeguard the bats in Holland. Bats are a protected species and hence some government departments in cooperation with animal protection groups developed this “bat-friendly” light to be used on
roads in areas with a high density of bats. Like human beings bats have rods and cones, but because of their nocturnal lifestyle, the rods are far more developped then the cones. Studies (very simmilar to the studies we did for turtles I must say) show that the light sensitvity of bats has its peaks more towards the blue and ultra violet spectrum and hence are far more sensitive to white (street) lights. This seems to disturb their hunting patterns and hence their survival. Newly developped amber coloured LED street lights have now been applied in some areas with good success as the lights allow humans to see without disturbing the hunting habits of the bats…