IES NSW Technical Meeting & National AGM November 2018

JHA was delighted to be able to host the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) at their Sydney Studio for the National AGM and technical meeting. The night also included a panel discussion on “Lighting for Being”.

The panel saw a number of experts in various fields discuss a wide range of topics surrounding the use of artificial lighting in our interior and exterior environments. Speakers touched on some of the considerations artificial lighting has on health and well-being.

A range of questions were put to the group including upcoming trends in lighting, the implications of external lighting on the surrounding environment and the night sky. Plus the challenges associated with balancing creative design with compliance to standards and guidelines, and the proposed launch of an artificial moon into orbit over China’s Chengdu province by 2020.

The conversation opened with Lesa outlining some of the effects that light pollution has on our night sky and the obstacles faced by astronomers when gazing at the stars above. Lesa explained how light spill from artificial light installations can impact on the visibility of the night sky, even at significant distances from densely lit urban areas.

Lesa explained how areas such as Warrumbungle National Park – Australia’s internationally recognised dark sky park – can be impacted by lights as far as 500km away in Sydney. She also discussed how controlling the spill of light can help us to minimise the impacts of undesirable light pollution.

From here, the discussion moved onto the careful consideration of lighting design practices in our external environments. Ashleigh provided an account of her vast design experience in the external environment.

Ashleigh challenged some of the standard lighting practices of achieving bright, uniformly lit spaces outside. Instead she suggested we should opt to purposefully create contrast and embrace the darkness when it is suitable. She also discussed the importance of community involvement in the design process for the utilisation and care of our external spaces.

With his extensive experience in architecture, Michael was able to provide a unique insight into the role light plays in setting the scene of a space. He talked about how light can be used to inform a space and provide valuable cues to those who use it, from way-finding through to how we perceive spaces differently with varying lighting techniques.

Michael also emphasised on the importance of post-project support and the education of end users in managing and getting the most of their lighting control systems.

Lawrence elaborated on some of the sustainability initiatives that we see in our built environment in terms of lighting control systems and LED lighting technologies. He highlighted how as engineers and designers we have the opportunity to provide added value to our clients with education and more detailed handover of building management systems.

Lawrence also discussed how we can use standards and guidelines in a way such that they inform our design process rather than consider them as design constraints.

Wendy addressed the emergency of new lighting technologies and how things are shaping up in the world of LED technology. She stated the limitations of retrofit solutions and how that limits the effectiveness of optical technologies. She also encouraged lighting designers to step out of the traditional moulds of lighting design and start using elements such as colour, and greater degrees of optical control to create more novel solutions to our lighting problems.

The final point of discussion was around the artificial moons proposed to be launched into orbit to provide night lighting to the Chengdu province in China. Lesa detailed some of the logistical challenges of aiming and controlling reflected light from something in a high earth orbit over a small city.

Ashleigh discussed some of the cascading effects that this would have on existing lighting installations and the greater impacts on the well-being of the people and the environment.

The night was a great opportunity to get a varied perspective on some of the challenges we face when considering artificial lighting in our built environment. The guest speakers provided the audience with a number of important points to consider when approaching their next lighting design.

JHA would like to thank NEC for kindly lending us the 4K E series displays for the evening. A special mention to Anu Anna George, JHA Specialist Lighting Designer for organising the IES event.