And the cowboys keep coming…

Singapore 14th January 2013

This year will be like the last one…a continuous fight against the LED cowboys. I was confronted to it yet again twice today. Once just by public observation and once through my professional dealings. I had lunch today I one of the well-known coffee hang outs (Dome) and noted that over the new year they had converted their original warm halogen lighting to LED (retrofit by the looks of it). My point is that if it would have been done professionally I should not have noted the difference. However I did immediately upon entering the premises. What had changed due to lack of understanding by the LED Cowboys?

Light colour: suddenly the whole place was bathed in cool white light, which changed the place from a warm and cosy place to an eerie and uncomfortable place. Glare: due to the lamp selection and the way the lamps were retrofitted, the lights in the ceiling had become glary and really in your face! I assume that a potentially higher light output also contributed to it. Light distribution: it was very obvious that a narrower beam had been used as the overall the interiors have become far more spottier with clear dark areas which render the place visually uncomfortable. Overall the conversion to LED looked like a typical example of property management having taking its cue from an LED cowboy. The sad thing is that the general public is being subjected to it without much understanding what’s going on. Gradually this creates a deflated kind of acceptance as if we have to live with this as part of the sustainable LED revolution! Which is a shame as it absolutely does not have to be that way!

In another related situation I was made aware by one of my clients that they had engaged a so called LED auditing company that was advising them on how to benefit from conversion to LED. While they seem to have offices in several countries I had never heard of them. Further internet research learned that (surprise) they were into sales of LED lighting. Now how can you do a proper lighting audit if you are in the business of selling LED’s. To me that is a conflict of interest…and another cowboy…

Light Watch 4-6: Understanding the nature of lighting and lighting design is crucial. Unfortunately there are many examples of lighting where you wonder if there was an experienced lighting designer involved. I recently visited a newly renovated hotel in Singapore and while overall the (interior) design concept is nice, I noticed many instances of failed lighting design opportunities (aiming/shadow – location/reflections).

14. January 2013 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: Light & Learn, light watch, lighting and sustainability, lighting design, lighting standards | 1 comment

One Comment

  1. Happy new year to you, Martin. This posting get´s it to the point. Keep on posting please and hope for many readers.
    Kind regards

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