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Paul James / Pete Brewis - Editorial Comment

October / November 2012

An introduction to the latest issue from the editor Paul James and deputy editor Pete Brewis ...

Paul James, editor, writes: 
Whilst at the Strategies in Light Europe conference in Munich on September 19th, I attended an excellent duo of seminars under the heading ‘New Directions for LEDs in Lighting’. The first, by Andreas Wojtysiak, a Biologist and Innovation Manager for the Light & Health division at Osram, was entitled ‘The Biological Dimension of Lighting: Enhancing People’s Lives’. The second, by Fenella Frost, Marketing Communications Director at Photonstar, was entitled ‘Colour Quality and Colour Tunability’. Both papers concentrated on the biological effects that lighting had on people’s ability to sleep and stay alert, to work harder and to be more healthy. The irony wasn’t lost on the audience or the speakers that the lectures were taking place in a poorly lit, gloomy room which, when combined with the fact that it was the immediate post-lunch session, made keeping your eyes open an extremely difficult task! This wasn’t the fault of the organisers (or the speakers, they were genuinely interesting!) - they have to find venues to hold these events (of which there are now so many) but I’m guessing you’d be hard pushed to find any conference facility in the world that really treats lighting - and therefore the health of its delegates - seriously.
The crux of both seminars was about the way dynamic daylight simulation through LED lighting at 460nm (the peak wavelength of the sun in the blue range) can have a positive effect on peoples’ circadian rhythm as it is the wavelength that our bodies respond to for health and wellbeing. This is basic science to many people within the lighting industry but only now are LED light sources being developed that tackle this issue in the form of vCCT fixtures and the like. As ever, our LED correspondent Dr. Geoff Archenhold has been ahead of the curve on this matter as he publishes the second part of his explanation of the whole colour tunability issue on page 115. I am pleased to say that we shall also be tackling this issue head on with a custom built seminar theatre at next May’s ARC Show at the ExCeL Centre in London. But in the meantime I will personally send copies of Geoff’s articles to the owners of every conference venue that I have fallen asleep in over the last 24 months.

Pete Brewis, deputy editor, writes:  It’s probably safe to say that, for many lighting designers, the ideal fixture is one that barely exists at all. In a perfect world, they would be able to mould light into-and-around a space, allowing a structure to express itself or perhaps enhancing a particular aspect of its character.
Whilst this is certainly true of exteriors and can often be true of the purest ‘architectural’ interiors, for other projects – retail and hospitality spaces in particular – the use of very obvious decorative feature lighting is an accepted, and indeed expected, part of the visual design language. It’s in these spaces that interior architects and designers are likely to play a much greater role within the creative team, specifying decorative lighting features as part of their aesthetic vision. This can throw up a number of questions: how will that fixture contribute to the rest of a lighting scheme? What pieces offer the best solution for a space?
Our coverage of more ‘decorative’ lighting projects has always focused on these questions, and with the launch this issue of darc – our new ‘decorative lighting in architecture’ supplement – we’ll be delving even further into these themes. Covering interior projects and products that sit on the border between light art, decorative lighting and functional lighting design, darc aims to show how the best quality design and technology can enhance the experience of clients, customers, diners and guests.



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