Learning from our mistakes
Hong Kong, 23rd October 2014
I am on my way to China to participate as a speaker in some events organised by the Chinese Lighting Designer Association and currently in transit in Hong Kong. As an invited expert speaker I am expected to share my knowledge and experience in the field of lighting design with the participants to the lighting seminars that are being conducted for aspiring lighting designers, interior designers, architects, government representatives and students. I don’t know the exact mix of people that will attend but roughly this will be the composition of particiapnts. A few hundred are expected over the next few days.
I relish these opportunities because I feel blessed being able to share by more than 30 years of experience in project lighting design with willing and interested people. What good is it for me to keep my knowledge to myself? I have always felt gratified by sharing. I have done that with my book Light Talk, through my magazine articles and through my public presentations and lighting seminars.
The crucial thing is always to learn from your experiences and in some cases from your mistakes. I am not ashamed to admit I make mistakes, even after more than 30 years in the business. The difference is that with time and experience you become better equipped to deal with or even better to rectify it. Unfortunately I have learned that knowing what can go wrong does not necessarily prevent it from happening again, sometimes in a different shape or form. Failures come in many different disguises! Certainly today with the ever changing and developing LED technology we are dealing with a moving target; what you know today may be outdated tomorrow!
There are two main issues that keep bugging me and which keeps me on my toes in designing the lighting for my projects. One is the lighting performance quality, it moves and improves continuously for the renowned quality brands, but at the same times disappoints regularly due to embellished performance claims, mostly driven my commercial pressure. The other is the control of the lighting mostly through dimming. Whether 0-10V, leading, trailing edge, DALI, DMX, etc., no-one seems to have it fully worked out. Here as well many claim they have it “under control” but reality is different and while I have gone through this many times now and I believe I know the problems that we can face, I still get surprises, despite diligently testing the lighting systems. Learning from our mistakes is a continuous process!
Light Watch 5-179: Lighting can mean so many different things to so many different people!