London Lighting the unseen buildings

Dear Editor,
Pick up any magazine and there are photos of wonderfully lit buildings by the UK’s top designers. For those without a designer, there is plenty of advice in the series of Lighting Guides produced by the Society of Light and Lighting.

Whilst a lot of effort is put into producing low-carbon new buildings, the elephant in the room is the refurbishment of existing buildings, where there are many more constraints on the design. It is estimated that 66 per cent of the 2050 building stock already exists.
There are still far too many buildings where no thought has been given to the lighting. They are dull, energy-inefficient and do nothing for the users.

Energy regulations such as Part L are often used as an excuse for poor lighting design. But regulations are just another constraint on the lighting design in the same way that budget, client taste, timescale and the architecture are.

Any journal that shows how the lighting can be made better for the vast majority of our ‘unseen’ buildings is to be welcomed.

Yours faithfully,
Alan Tulla

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?

Design and energy

Dear Editor,
Energy in lighting is going to be a big topic for the next few years. It is going to be important that the industry pulls together in a coherent manner to produce sustainable lighting schemes by default whilst allowing good and innovative design to be brought to the fore. This is achievable and design compromise can be avoided.