The week that was…21-25th November 2016
Singapore, Weekend 26 – 27 November 2016
You may notice that I am not travelling a lot at the moment…It could be a sign of slowing economy or simply because we are delivering our work to such satisfaction that our clients are happy to carry on without having expensive meetings :). We do have a lot (really a lot) of communication via Skype, WeChat, Whatsapp groups, which seems to be gaining a lot of popularity. Many of our projects have these chat groups that include client, project manager, design consultants and depending on the progress of the project the site and contractor team as well. Instant messaging, photo and video exchange make communication very fast and practically in real time! It works well for us in our projects and helps reduce the number of design and coordination meetings specifically on site significantly. Though as I am writing this I am getting pictures sent through from our project in Tahiti (yes very far away) which shows the installed lighting mock up producing a poor lighting result. The client says they bought as per spec and from our recommended supplier…while I have my doubts and cannot really verify from here we will sort that out on Monday, but this is a typical situation where long distance communication is a big challenge and just being on site allows you to correct or rectify the situation on the spot. For now on the pictures it definitely looks too spotty and too bright. In a client’s mind there are many different interpretations of what “as specified” means. There is of course the possibility that we did not specify the correct light, but I think we did…we will find out…
Smart lighting controls.
This week we also dived into the world of smart lighting controls by meeting representatives of Esave, Schreder and Casambi to get a better feel of the various systems that are available and the protocols they follow. There are several platforms available, from the standard “ZigBee” platform through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. While they principally target the same results, some seem to be more advanced and reliable than others in terms of outreach and coverage, network response and operational features. We are researching this currently for our city master planning project which is focussed on outdoor lighting, our general interest in smart controls is in regards to all applications, interiors or exteriors. There is no denying that the future is in smart controls and understanding the opportunities will help us in our design work. One of the key issues is often the proprietary aspect of a system, with many clients wanting to have system that is not limited to one brand only. At this point in time many of them are still proprietary. In general it seems that the more advanced systems are nearly limitless in their capabilities with new features still being developed as the IoT makes further inroads into the lighting industry. From ROI calculations it becomes clear that besides the energy savings from LED conversion a further big saving (20-50%) can be achieved by dimming the lights to minimum levels when there is no usage of the road or space with ROI’s that can achieved within the first 1-2 years already!
Towards “invisible” lighting
As it also happened we met with Rosco (which we mostly know for their filters) who are now moving strongly promoting the improved features of their LitePad product. The interesting part being that it can be shaped (2d and 3D!) in practically any form to suit. While it was being demo’d as a square tile, it can take one any shape in principle. It can have a mirrored back ground but it can also be imagined and a see-through bringing another dimension to the product. The overriding trend I want to highlight here is the move from firstly non-architectural lighting players into the world of architectural lighting, but also the move towards highly integrated products that become part of the built environment without it really being perceived as a light source when switched off. I also met with a company called ETN which promotes the ORA brand in cooperation with a company (EDL) leaders in the production of laminates. ORA is a sound system that can be built invisibly into (behind) the laminate, needing less then 70mm space. While this is not a lighting product it does show the way that lighting will undoubtedly move as well…invisibly integrated into the environment, windows becoming light, walls becoming light, floors becoming light…with the development of micro-LED and RGB Laser fast progressing the days of visible light sources will soon be numbered…I also read up about magnetic LED lighting, that allows you to put a magnetic light tile anywhere you want, or compose patterns to personalise your space with control by app or hand motion…
Finally I leave you with something I did not know existed…a white rainbow. It is apparently a phenomenon that is produced by tiny droplets of fog, which has much weaker colours and appears as white, also known as a fog bow. It can apparently also be created by moon light (moon bow) rather than sun light for the same reason. Regardless the photo that appeared in the media was stunning.
Enjoy your weekend