LETTERS
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
KSLD
Edinburgh

RELATED
It’s not all about LEDs

Dear Editor,

Congratulations on the first issue of Lux magazine. While I applaud the emphasis on low-energy lighting and the focus on refurbishment and retrofit projects rather than new build, I would take issue with your heavy emphasis on LEDs and indeed OLEDs.

RELATED
Don’t ridicule LED retailers

Dear Editor,

I find your article on Topshop in the November issue a little on the silly side – especially when such a cutting edge and bold LED lighting statement has been made. I cannot comment on behalf of Arcadia, but I do feel the lighting industry owes a little more respect to companies that push the boundaries against many odds.