By Jason Livingston
We're putting the finishing touches on a lighting design and as we look at cut sheets we continue to be disappointed that many fixture manufacturers still don’t seem to understand the proper methods of measuring and reporting LED life. For example, an Edison Price cut sheet says that lamp life is “rated 50,000 hours based on L70/B50 criteria. LM80 report by the LED manufacturer furnished upon request,” a USAI cut sheet says that life is “Based on IESNA LM80-2008 50,000 hours at 70% lumen maintenance (L70),” and a Lighting Services Inc. cut sheet just says “Tested to LM79 and LM80 Protocols” and then gives a life of 50,000 hours. Unfortunately, these statements don’t mean what the manufacturers suggest they mean. Let’s take a look.
We’ve had several people call this year to ask, “Why should I hire Studio T+L when the local sales rep/distributor has offered to do the work?” In one instance the caller was an interior designer we’ve worked with before who wanted help in explaining the role of a lighting designer to a client. In another, it was the client of an architect who was urging that we be brought on board as a theatre consultant. In all cases the owner was looking to save money, and saw adding another consultant to the design team as a potential waste of money. Nothing could be further from the truth.
A former student of mine who works for Edison Price Lighting is organizing a group of seminars they're calling "Light In Action." It takes place here in NYC at EPL's showroom and factory, and includes demonstrations of lighting techniques, discussions on the future of LEDs (led by a representative from Xicato) and dimming LEDs (led by a representative from eldoLED), as well as a factory tour. Sounds fun, right? There are six dates between now and the end of the year. Visit EPL's web site for more information.
For the second year in a row, USITT is promoting rigging safety on social media by asking people to use the hashtag #RigSafe on April 29th. USITT will be promoting their Rigging Safety Initiative providing free rigging inspections and safety training for high school stages. USITT is also producing the Jay O. Glerum Rigging Masterclass in Denver this June.
Researchers at MIT and Purdue University have demonstrated an incandescent lamp with an efficacy of 6.6 percent, and with a potential efficacy as high as 40 percent. The paper was published in the April issue of Nature Nanotechnology. The demonstration compares favorably to current low efficacy fluorescent and LED lamps, while the upper limit is double the current maximum efficacy for fluorescents and LEDs.
I often tell my students that design is as much a process as it is a product. Even so, they (and some of my clients) sometimes want to go from first meeting to finished design in one step. I suppose one could do that, but the result wouldn’t be a thoughtfully appropriate design, it would just be fixture selection. The difference lies in the early part of the design process where we gather information about the project and the expectations of the stakeholders, followed by an analysis of that information towards the stated goals of the project. Only after completing those two critical steps can we begin the work of putting the design together and executing it. Here’s one way of looking at the entire process.
Elizabeth Donoff asks "International Year of What?" in her editorial in this month's Architectural Lighting, and I have to agree with her. Early last year I noted that our professional organizations showed no plans to take advantage of the International Year of Light, and indeed nothing worth mentioning happened. The professional societies of the lighting community (IES, IALD, etc.) added the International Year of Light logo to their web sites, but that's about all. They held no significant events, published no important documents, and made no efforts to raise the visibility of the profession with potential employers (architects and owners) or with the public at large. The IALD boasts that their regularly scheduled events were added to the IYL calendar, but say nothing as to what resulted, probably because the result was nothing. Lightfair 2015 was business as usual, I saw no recognition of IYL.