The week that was 18-22 May

Singapore, weekend 23-24 May 2015 –

Monday 18; Singapore – Pubic media interviews
My short trip to Bangalore recently continues to yield fruits…today I received a copy of the final interview that I had, this one with CW Interiors one of the leading interior design magazines out of Mumbai. While you can always debate the value of interviews I believe that if you have something sensible to say that reflects your knowledge and expertise in your field you can contribute positively to the public opinion, in this case public awareness of good lighting and lighting design. For years education of the general public, fellow design professionals as well as young aspiring designers about the value of good lighting and the benefits it generate to our daily lives has been close to my heart. I have always had the belief that keeping all my knowledge to myself serves only myself and does not contribute in great ways in making our world a better world. By sharing my knowledge through public speaking events, lighting seminars and conventions, my blog and lighting articles but also direct public media exposure helps to make people more aware and excited about lighting and how well designed lighting can be of benefit in their own world. In June I will be speaking at the lighting forum at the Gangzhou Light Fair alongside some famous peers like Charles Stone and Kevin Shaw. Looking forward to it. Fulll article can be found on our Facebook account.

CW Interiors screenshot 170515


Tuesday 19, Singapore – Bike Balls
Sometimes I come across some light-hearted lighting applications. My blog has always has the intent to be light hearted while sharing my daily adventures in the life of light. Some Canadian researchers came up with an “innovative” idea for bike lighting that they dubbed “bike balls” for obvious reasons. They got the idea after having dangled a LED light at the back of their bike seat which had little effect other than a little swinging point. As they brainstormed for a better solution they came up with the idea to incorporate an LED light inside a silicone shell thus producing a much larger illuminated surface, the evolution to dangling balls was probably arrived at after a night were no doubt some drinks were involved. Regardless it is original and fun…as a lighting designer I love these out of the box lighting solutions…I am not a biker, but if I had one I would probably get one…J You can watch the bike balls in action on the YouTube video below.




Wednesday, 20 Singapore – Electricity
One thing that I did not realise is that still one out of 7 people on this earth have no access to electricity! I read that in one of the daily newspapers today. We are so used to have access to electricity that we forget that we are privileged to have that luxury! Not only that, my profession of a lighting designer would be tough if not practically impossible without electricity! These kind of reports, even though probably unnoticed by many, should remind us not to take electricity and our profession for granted! But there is a great positive lining to all this; a bit further in the same newspaper I read that the technology used to convert solar energy into electricity has again made a major step forward with the announcement by researchers from the Aalto University in Finland, having used black silicon solar cells to achieve a new efficiency record in the conversion of solar energy. The black silicon solar cells as I understand are a cell type capable of gathering sunlight even from very low angles, increasing the captive efficiency by adding a dense network of nanoscale needles on top of the silicon. As an added benefit modifying the material in this way also starkly reduces the reflection of the solar cells. This development is only regarded as a small step forward, much more improvements in this technology through better materials with even better conductivity are expected in the near future. The use of solar energy in our projects is still at its very infancy. Only very occasionally we have the opportunity to “think” in renewable energy terms, but with renewed focus I am sure this is one area primed to grow in our profession in the future. The black silicon solar cell:

silicon black solar cell

Thursday, 21 Singapore – Flexibility in design
Lighting design is generally a fixed and integrated layout and installation. But some applications like landscape lighting design require a degree of flexibility to cater for the ever changing surroundings. When a project is realised the landscape is generally still fresh from the nursery, except perhaps some feature trees that have been salvaged from the existing location, with most tree and planters yet to reach maturity. The landscape designer may well indicate the type of tree and specify it’s minimum length on installation, but a 5m high tree can be slender and tall or short and “fat” still satisfying the desired minimum of 5m. Over time these trees however grow and in this part of the world 1-2 years can mean a totally changed landscape in terms of height and density. It has always been a challenge for lighting designers to select lights to cater for this growth. We generally end up with an average which is too much in the beginning but not enough for the final mature landscape. Having a light that can adapt its output and beam characteristics to this growth would be just what we need, isn’t it? Well Louis Poulsen just came out with such light, the Radius, yet to hit the shelves it was demonstrated in our office today and I can see great opportunities for it. Available in a few “sizes” it has not only an adjustable beam (from narrow to wide by moving the lens up or down in the unit) it can also adjust its lumen output and is adjustable as well. It comes with integral drivers, all within a quite compact size for what it does! Great product…

Radius deep 0

Radius deep

Radius adj

The week that was…

Friday 22 Singapore – People business
It does not matter how long you have been in business, how many people you know, our business is a people business. People like to do business with people they know, people they like, people who have supported them successfully in the past. I had a meeting today with an operator I had done business with on and off over the last 20 years and was surprised I found a team that was not even aware we existed. Well they did of course but not prior to our appointment. Impressed by our track record they also wondered why we had not been doing more projects with them. It just shows that the right hand does not always know what the left hand is doing and that in a big organisation like theirs the internal communication does not always seem to work. While we know we are listed on their approved consultants list  I was surprised they didn’t know us. And this was not just a like a new rookie team, no, these were guys, certainly the project director who has been around for many, many years. Now that we have met I suspect this going to change for the good, but the fact that people like to deal with people they know, was once more proven.

Have a great weekend


23. May 2015 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: Education, Light and inspiration, light watch, lighting and culture, lighting and sustainability, lighting and the economy, lighting applications, lighting of the future, lighting standards | Leave a comment

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