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.
06 December 2010
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?
08 February 2011
In December Chris Huhne, the energy and climate change secretary, set out a number of proposals for providing ‘lower-carbon electricity at lower cost than under present policies’. No one in their right mind would argue for higher-carbon forms of energy, but is he right to focus on lowering the cost?