Tulips or people?

Dear Editor,
I just flew into Amsterdam airport at 5am and noticed an amazing number of small, bright sodium light patches on the clouds at relatively low level. It struck me that these are above the fields of poly-tunnels where flowers are grown. Apart from the light pollution aspect, is this really a sensible use of energy?

Is it sensible that lighting for humans becomes increasingly controlled and we are forced to use poor colour rendering light sources in the name of efficiency, while vast amounts of energy are used to extend growing periods for flowers? Is it better to create inhuman spaces for the sake of a few cut flowers used, presumably, to try to make these spaces ‘feel better’?

If we really want to make the kind of energy savings required to meet the Government’s Carbon Reduction Commitment it will take a massive change in the behaviour of the population and massive investment in generation infrastructure. We can do our bit in lighting but it is a very small slice of the pie chart and cutting into it seriously challenges the quality of lighting.

For lighting to make even a vaguely proportional energy saving it will be necessary to replace and refurbish around 70 per cent of the existing lighting installations in commercial buildings before 2030. As the government has added another 2.5 per cent of VAT to the cost of refurbishment, the economic case for building owners to undertake this work is severely compromised. If VAT were removed from building refurbishment there would be a greater incentive for building owners to refurbish and a chance that lighting would be able to meet its proportion of the Carbon Reduction Commitment.

Yours faithfully,
Kevan Shaw
Design director

Photometry – some common misconceptions cleared up

Dear Sir,

I read Alan Tulla’s feature in the July issue ‘Why all LED downlights are 100% efficient’ which referred to the fact that LED luminaires have an LOR of 100.

Tackling the technology

Dear Editor,
A funny thing happened to me the other day. I was on the phone to a contractor who was not too pleased that the LED sources he was installing did not appear to work. Not being the kind of company to let this be an issue, we rushed to site to find he had cut the fitting in half to make it fit into the recess.