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MONDO ARC

Paul James - Editorial Comment

Issue 52 Dec / Jan 2009-10


Welcome to this year’s annual LED round-up issue of mondo*arc. As a testament to the popularity of this light source, you will see that this is our biggest issue ever. In these pages you will find some of the best (and largest) LED projects of the year as well as incisive comment about the latest technology developments in solid state lighting.

Dr Geoff Archenhold is extremely optimistic about the LED revolution in 2009 - going so far as calling it an event horizon - and I share his optimism. However, I would offer my own caveat to the men in white coats developing this technology – talk to the Lighting Designers!

Having attended both the excellent IALD and PLDA conferences in October (see our website for reports), it was interesting to note that there was very little LED manufacturer presence at the U.S. version in Sonoma County - despite the fact that it was just a short hop away from Silicon Valley where many of the American LED companies are based. When asked, the people overseeing architectural LED development saw little relevance in attending a Lighting Design conference. I disagree.

These people have more understanding of the work of Robert Noyce, the inventor of the microchip, than Thomas Edison and they need help in understanding what a Lighting Designer needs in his LED tool kit. You will see from these pages that LEDs are beginning to be employed as generic light sources in retail, hospitality and residential projects. But there is still a long way to go to convince sceptical Lighting Designers that the LED is the solution to all the challenges that lie ahead. This, of course, should never be the case anyway but the LED manufacturers can help their cause by establishing dialogue with designers rather than just talking to luminaire manufacturers who, in many cases, are just interested in shifting boxes.

Never has this been more apparent than in this issue’s cover story. With Arup spearheading the LED luminaire development with Cooper and Enfis (and e:cue control), the Yas Hotel project overcame potential heat management difficulties at an early stage meaning more time could be spent on aesthetic issues. The result is the most spectacular LED installation I have ever seen. Now that’s a lesson that can be learned by everyone.

 

Paul James
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