The week that was 15-19 February 2016
Perth – Kalgoorlie – Perth – Singapore, Weekend 20-21 February 2016
The week started with some summery days in Perth which often come with magnificent sunsets. The weekend had started with one of the biggest arts festivals in the world (according to the organisers, the 3rd biggest in the world…), the Perth International Arts Festival (PIAF) combined with the Arts Fringe Festival. I attended its opening event a cultural history of its aboriginal land owners wrapped in a show of music, storytelling and magical projections. Famous West Australians like Tim Winton (writer), Tim Minchan, (Musician), Ernie Dingo (TV Presenter and actor), the John Butler Trio and many more participated in a joyous night with lighting obviously being one of my dear interests…The transition from day to night with a glorious sunset on the day reinforced how damn strong the impact of natural light is in our lives…
On Monday I met with the project manager of our church projects in Perth. In one of them we intent to install more than 200 candles for special ceremonies and going with the times we are envisaging the installation of real life wax candles but invisibly equipped with LED technology. The effect is so good that you cannot differentiate between a real and an LED candle. Even the wax dripping along the candles is reproduced and the candle really smells like wax (well it is wax, so obviously). The attraction of this solution is that we can install the candles permanently and hardwire them to a control panel allowing the minister to “switch on” the candles instantly for dramatic effect. No more replacing of burned out candles or some candles blown out by a whisk of wind. Our biggest challenge now is to make the candle to be as small as possible. As we are hardwiring the candles in permanent positions all the “gear” can be mounted away. As I understand it now the biggest challenge is actually the manufacturing of the wax housing without affecting its structural strength. An exciting challenge, look much forward to the end result…!
The City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, about an hour’s flight east of Perth, has been a loyal client to us for more than 10 years and every year there is some further work to do. This time we have been called out to review the lighting of one of the very first projects we did, which was commissioned about 6-7 year, a sports oval with 6 x 20m hinge poles, each equipped with a head frame with asymmetrical floodlights. At the time the structural height of hinge poles was limited to 20m and our design was worked out around this limitation. Lighting levels at full blast are reaching between 300-500 lux which is considered more than enough for senior competition of large ball sports. The sports ground fully complied with the related Australian standards. The only “downside” which was accepted as a limitation of the installation, was slight dip of the lighting levels in the center of the pitch. At the time not an issue as compared to what was there before the installation was compared to Kalgoorlie’s WACA, in reference of the iconic cricket grounds in Perth. The rave reviews in the local newspapers on opening day were very satisfying for all involved…a job well done.
Over time however other sports facilities have upgraded and a certain comfort level expectancy is settling in with both players and spectators. The players started to notice the slightly lower levels in the center of the pitch and with good intent they decided to tilt a number of floodlights up as to increase the lighting levels. It seemed to work as players happily reported that the lighting had improved to satisfaction. However it gradually started to trigger a new angle of complaints, this time from the spectators. They now complained that they had difficulties in following the game and seeing the players. Unable to figure out what to do now they decided that perhaps it was time to call in the experts and that was what we came to do. A high level of people attended the meeting, the mayor himself, the CREO of the city council, the head of the sports federation, representatives of sports clubs as well as the venue manager, everyone eager to chip in their opinion and of course make sure their interests were looked after.
The assessment from our side was easy, by tilting the floodlights above the recommended maximum tilt angle, obvious glare was created by the floodlights making it difficult for spectators to see because of the constant brightness adjustments the eye has to make between flied and flood lights silhouetting players in the process. By adding some round symmetrical additional floodlights with tight beam control on top of the poles and re-adjusting the asymmetrical floodlights back to their original design aiming angles this problem will be easily resolved. With a solution at hand without having to redesign or replace the existing installation (something that was feared by some), the party departed home happily. We of course are going back to the drawing board to see how to resolve this but with confidence it can easily be achieved…a satisfying night all together…
We also did take the opportunity to look at another sports ground, completed by us more recently, to see how it was holding up. All looking good, with the city’s asset manager proudly showing off it was all working well…nice feedback…
Midweek I flew back to Singapore to wrap up projects and project presentations with the team needed over the coming 2 weeks. I am travelling 2 weeks non-stop starting Monday with the intent to wrap up many of the design issues in the workshops we have on the site of these projects with the project teams. In my mind these meetings, if effectively organised and planned, can resolve more in 3 days of face to face meetings then 3 weeks of communicating via email. As the meetings are held on site, unexpected issues can straight away be checked and resolved as all parties are present. Being well-prepared is therefore a prime condition for participation and the success of the meetings, hence my time in the office to make sure we will deliver. The downside of all this will be the travel, but I will take that in my stride…
Have a great weekend!
Perth City at sunset
Kalgoorlie – Shepperdson Park
Kalgoorlie Digger Daws Oval – the obvious light quality difference
Perth beach sunset