The week that was 6-10th July
Perth weekend 11-12th July 2015
Monday 6th July, Perth – 6am, a shock to the system!
As a roaming jet setter I need to plan my time around family and work and my return to Perth yesterday was for a very good reason, the birthday of my youngest daughter! Happy Birthday Kyra! I am proud of her as she has completed university and found herself a job pretty soon after graduation, not an easy feat in the current economic climate. On top of that a job that will allow her to grow and develop herself in disciplines (arts and media) that she really likes. Well done!
I got a shock to the system having to get out of bed in the wee hours of the morning this Monday to suit the working habits of Western Australian contractors! They knock off at 3-4pm hence doing lighting tests in the evening would be considered “overtime” so we were kindly requested to show up at 6am to do our lighting tests…being a night person, a real shock to the system. But fair enough it is still dark at 6am as in the winter it only gets light around 7am! But after a heavy week of traveling getting up at 5am was not my preferred option! We duly arrived in time however and completed our tests within the hour allowing us to make a final decision on the lights to be used. On the bright side I had a nice early breakfast in town and was behind my desk with still the whole day ahead of me…
Tuesday 7th July, Perth – Sun and wind
I woke up to a cold morning with temperatures close to zero; a welcome but chilly change to the boring 30 degrees year round in Singapore. It just does remind me how much I love seasons and everything that comes with it, sun, wind, rain and everything in between. Speaking of which, technological developments keep on improving in regard to the generation of solar and wind energy with new concepts being designed for the capture of wind and storage of solar energy reaching new heights. Studies (done by the Kingston University in London) towards incorporating wind turbines under a bridge in the Canary Islands show that the generated energy could provide power to nearly 500 homes! The potential here is to safe typically 140 tonnes of CO2 per year or the depuration effect the equivalent of more than 7000 trees. Architects and engineers are studying ways to incorporate wind turbines into architecture with the least possible urban impact. In the solar energy world things are moving as well. Researchers from the university of Texas have found ways, for the first time, to store electrons generated from the photo electro chemical cells that gathers the sun’s energy, for long periods of time. The actual hybrid chemical/ technical reaction process is above my “paygrade” to understand and explain (J) but from what I understand it seems to be a break through allowing for continuous storage around the clock without loss of energy. This is an important breakthrough as up till now converted solar energy has to be used within a fairly short time to avoid the energy dissipating quickly…I reckon there is still a lot coming our way in these fields…keep an eye out for it!
Wednesday 8th July, Perth – Back to the future…
Working on old heritage buildings as we do in some of our projects brings along some interesting experiences and one of the most obvious ones is the fact that many of them either do not have any official CAD drawings to work on or have old archived hand drawn drawings that are useless in today’s electronic environment unless converted into usable electronic files. I have my big presentation tomorrow and I am laying the last hand at my presentation to show how our lighting concept will transform the church interiors. The only tool we have here to visualise the transformation to our clients are photos of the actual interiors, which we then photo-shop to show the lighting effects that we intent to achieve. To do this realistically you really need to understand how lighting works and how it will interact with the existing materials etc. In the early days we would have sketched this on paper, but today, with modern computer software, we are able to realistically reproduce the future. The pictures below just show the end result of one of the churches only, where we are introducing even some “heavenly” colours to appease the new youth generation who congregates in the church for their own events! As a post note; the client was rapped with our presentation and will now move to seek further feedback from the congregation for a mandate to go ahead with the proposed lighting design concepts.
Thursday 9th July, Perth – Sunset dimming
One of the big trendy developments in lighting is tuneable lighting, or the ability to tune the light to different colours but most specifically the natural light colours associated with sunrise to sunset roughly between 2200K and 6500K. This requires a number of core LED chips of different colour temperatures, generally amber and cool white, together with a smart dimming control system that mixes and balances the light outputs of the engines to the desired effects. It is imperative for lighting designers to keep a constant vigil in regards to what is being developed in the market if only to keep abreast of the latest developments and for that we have an open door policy and are pro-actively chasing manufacturers to demonstrate their latest innovations. So also today where we met with one of the local suppliers to get the latest on his “sunset dimming” system. The engine in this case is a mixture of one amber in the centre surrounded by a mix of 2 and 4 LED’s of different colour and intensities creating a perfect blend of colour from deep warm amber to bright white in its full output. A smart lens assures an invisible blend of the light output making it practically impossible to distinguish which or how many of the LED chips are actually creating the lighting effect. Key to all this is the smooth dimming which provides a traditional experience of dimmable incandescent lighting…I found it impressive…
Friday 10th July, Perth – In the public eye I finished the week catching up with the heritage architect for our churches projects to run the lighting concepts by him as well and discuss any heritage issues that may impact on the execution of our lighting design. I was thrilled to find him very excited as well and basically giving us the go-ahead to proceed with design development. As we were discussing possible implementation we found that some of the improvements required for bringing the churches up to current safety standards would actually be helpful in the integration of the lighting, which shows that communication and consultation between specialists somehow always ends up to be very fruitful. I always enjoy brainstorming and squaring up with experts in their field of work as somehow it always produces creative outcomes as was proven again today!
As we head into the weekend the city is abuzz with the winter light show that has been commissioned as a spectacle for the dark winter nights, a 3D video projection on some of the old heritage buildings that were recently completed and transformed into a social art and entertainment hub, Brookfield Place. The two week show commissioned by Brookfield along St Georges Terrace for the winter months brings some colourful lights validating some of Perth’s heritage buildings into the public eye. With temperatures at night hovering towards zero degree, the lights are a welcome brightness…
Have a great weekend!