The week that was June 6-10 2016
Singapore – Kuala Lumpur – Singapore – Guangzhou – Singapore, Weekend 11th June 2016
Another busy week with lots happening. The week started with another technical lighting test on site in Singapore to determine the inter-compatibility of our proposed high ceiling auditorium lights with the motorised lifter that will allow the raising and lowering for maintenance or eventual re-programming needs as well as checking out the connectivity in regards to dimming and DMX control. Then a quick trip to Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday to try ad complete the commissioning of the IBT façade lighting followed by my trip to Guangzhou to participate as an invited speaker to the lighting design forum and attend the annual general meeting of the Chinese Lighting Designer Association (CLDA) which were held on the side lines of the annual Guangzhou International Lighting Exhibition (GILE). My attendance to the CLDA AGM was in the capacity of being a core member of the International Advisory Council (IAC) that mentors the CLDA in becoming an association of international standing.
I can’t advocate enough how important compatibility testing and visual mock-ups are nowadays. The LED technology as well as related lighting control technologies are developing so fast that what you think you know today may not apply anymore tomorrow. Constant due diligence has become a nearly inevitable daily part of lighting design. With a deadline looming of coming mid-August, we need to go out for tender in the next 1-2 weeks and hence making sure we got it all correctly specified is crucial. This time we had mocked up the high ceiling RGB power lights to make sure all parties understood the workings and implications for installation. Theory and practice can sometimes be worlds away. We also had a serious look at the process of installing the recessed DMX downlights in the lower balcony ceilings which need to be installed from the top and hence in this case would require the creation of additional ceiling access panels. We stuck our heads into the ceiling space to check for obstructions but found it generally clear to go. A final visual test is planned early next week.
This project has been a long and dreading affair for various reasons. Principally the awarded lighting supplier took on the project on a design and install basis but in order to “cut” costs had decided they would only request the lighting manufacturers agent to supply, leaving out the T&C component offered as part of the package. The installation part however turned out to be a bit too much to chew from the looks of it and when poor installation works started to catch up with them, they found themselves alone on the dance floor without T&C support. They tried to circumvent this by saying that for the products that were failing, the manufacturer should come to the table and replace them free of charge. The manufacturer’s agent of course cannot ascertain what the cause of failure is alleging that in all likelihood it was due to poor installation and not due to product failure, a view I am also very much inclined to support. Till recently we had a client who is not happy about the “unfinished” situation and refuses to pay; a contracting supplier who is unhappy to continue work because they are not being paid with us caught in the cross fire. The contracting supplier has now taken the smart decision to finish the job first in the assumption that the client will pay later and has therefore resumed the commissioning for which we made this trip. We assessed the façade lighting on the night, identified the lights that needed further fine tuning so we could guide the contractor who was bungling down the façade in a gondola from the 300m high building. I then left back for Singapore leaving Andre to supervise the works, a tedious process, considering the height of the building and the difficult (some far away) viewing angles…
The GILE organisers provide design forums and symposia with speakers from all walks of life which are freely accessible for visitors to the fairs. These presentations are meant to be a platform for information and knowledge sharing and my invitation to speak was for the Think (Lighting) Design Forum. Due to the relatively short notice I decided to reprise my presentation from Abu Dhabi albeit in a adapted and revised format. Kindly hosted by A-Lighting magazine (one of China’s leading lighting magazine’s and the CLDA’s media partner) the Think Design forum was spread over 2 days with renowned guest speakers like Gad Giladi (former president of the PLDA), Johan Moritz (City of Malmo), James Wallace, Kjell Hult (Alingsas), Mark Burton-Page (LUCI), as well as local stars like Lear Hsieh, Hank Shih and Carrie Yu. A great program with great attendance.
A-Lighting was also the principal host of the award night and gala dinner that honoured achievements in the lighting industry to which all VIP guests and speakers were invited to. In typical Chinese fashion, the evening was loud and bright with much toasting (kampei!) going on. The Fair itself is rather different from Hong Kong or even Frankfort even though all are organised by Messe Frankfurt. The GILE is much more an OEM event with hundreds of manufacturers you will never have heard about, some with some interesting, intriguing names or offerings. I noticed one company calling themselves the 1% company in an appearance alluding to the dimmability of their products. Another company promoting lights for plant growth advertised that their LED products were specially designed to stimulate the growth of cannabis (yes, I am not kidding!).
CLDA / IAC
Last but not least I attended the CLDA’s AGM in my capacity as executive IAC member. With the meeting room filled to near full capacity the event was as always cheerful and conducted in the friendly spirit and enthusiasm typical to this association. The spirit of togetherness and common mission to make the association a success was reinforced by the issuance of this year’s association T-Shirts: colour yellow, the 8th one since its incorporation in 2008. My collection now includes green (2014), orange (2015) and now yellow. Highlights of the meeting were the announcement of an MOU signed with the city of Alingsas (from the famous lights in Alingsas) about future cooperation and exchanges and awards to recognise past years contributions to the association. I was surprised but very honoured to receive an award for my efforts over the past year, thanks Lear. After the meeting we moved to our dinner venue where the joyful mood continued into the night…
Have a great weekend.