Lighting power budgets
Singapore, 10th July 2012
Today again I had to “climb in the pen” as we say in Dutch, to let of some steam as I had received one of those typical energy consultants directives telling me how much watts per m2 I was allowed to specify. It really gets to me as these recommendations are made without any understanding what it actually means. Many of those so called “green” consultants just follow numbers and other peoples recommendations without really thinking. Somehow they think lighting should be an easy target, number of lighting points, watts per point, total watts per m2. Easy peasy. Do they understand that other visual aspects of lighting should be considered and that there are recommended international lighting standards for public safety in lighting to be complied with as well?
Time and again I get these directives imposed on me (often by a junior graduate who just copies the values from an energy saving guide) and time and again I get worked up. Don’t get me wrong I am totally in favour to maximise energy saving (or should I say optimising), we do that anyhow as a standard lighting design practice, it is the thoughtless and inconsiderate way these energy saving guidelines are being used that really frustrates me. So I responded to the team (in the most composed way possible 🙂 ) explaining that trying to be green and sustainable has many other factors to consider than only watts per m2. In an interesting twist the Singapore Standards (SS) that we follow in this project for attaining Green Mark certification refer to another SS code of practice for lighting of workplaces, which clearly states that it is important not to compromise the visual aspects of a lighting installation by simply reducing the energy consumption!
Somehow no-one ever cross references the operational and safety guidelines of lighting with the lighting power budget recommendations. And then we have not even start talking about the client’s budget as some in some cases where we did make the cross reference and tried to meet both the power budget recommendations as well as the operational lighting standards, it was only achievable with top quality optical systems, which most of the time are outside the clients financial budget.
Light Watch 3-101: Some more pictures and colourful compositions from the Singapore Garden Festival where I enjoyed taking some snaps