Painting with light
Mumbai, 20th November 2012
Today painting with light got a whole new meaning for me… In Mumbai for the first stage commissioning of one of my hotel projects, I got some serious “lighting” shocks. Due to approval issues and budget shortages (what’s new?) I was finally called to site (after more than a year without any serious communication on this project). The client had moved on their own in trying to complete the project without involving or consulting with their consultants, thinking they could save costs. However the issues in regards to lighting had become seemingly so insurmountable that they pulled the emergency break and called me in. I don’t think they realised how bad the situation was…and neither was I by the way 🙂
As they had not consulted me on the procurement I had anticipated a lot of “China” stuff, but the extent and depth of the situation only came to light as we step by step went through the lighting installation. Ultra cheap lamps, some fusing as we watched or “played” with the controls, un-aimable light fittings, mixed up circuiting, non-dimmable lights and most of all the extreme poor and inconsistent light quality (colour and performance). LED strip lights that instead of warm white 2700K looked lime green of indefinable colour and brightness.
What topped all was when I caught some workers literally painting (!!!!!) LED strip light with a yellowish paint to counter the greenish effect the actual light produced…wow…I have seen a lot in my life but coating an LED strip with yellow paint is a novlty I am not lightly to forget :). Typical panic, Band-Aid work! The good news is that the owner was with me all the way and really got the full picture and understanding of the impact of all the shortcuts and cover-ups that were happening. With a soft opening scheduled early December there is still a mountain of work to do to salvage the situation. Now with the full backing and support of the owner, my task tomorrow is to organise the “troopers” and set up a methodical work schedule for the remedial works so that when I come back in 2 weeks I can seriously start commissioning the lighting installation with a decent and acceptable end result!
Light Watch 3-179: Believe it or not…painting light…and as a bonus, the mysterious ways of contractors and the way the circuit lights together. One feature, two random circuits…no logic whatsoever..