Ever wonder how they change the lamps on those super-high poles along highway interchanges?
They do NOT use a 100' ladder!
I recently had the opportunity to do a mock-up at home. I was comparing the new Soraa MR-16 LED lamp with my existing halogen MR-16 lamps. Soraa was one of my favorite new products at last year's LightFair, and they continue to impress me. You can easily see how clean the beam is by comparing the two photos above. Less evident from the photo is the fact that the Soraa LED renders the wall more like daylight does. These lamps also have a little backlight, so while admittedly not as nice as with the halogen lamps, the glass fixtures where they are installed do glow a little.
I have been reluctant to hop on the LED bandwagon, but my recent experiences have been good ones. We are not all the way there yet, but I think we are getting warmer! The important thing is for lighting manufacturers (and legislators) to focus on lighting quality and not just lighting quantity.
My response? I think the lights were lovely, but I will admit that I had initially hoped to see them from the south. Then I learned that the lights were only installed on the north side of the bridge. Even art gets value engineered, I suppose. Next, I stopped halfway across the bridge hoping to view the show from Treasure Island, but again I was disappointed to discover that the LED lights were aimed toward the city of San Francisco and since LED lights are directional, they weren't visible from the east at all. I had driven enough miles at this point that the additional couple of miles to cross the bridge and see the show from the intended vantage point of the Embarcadero was no big deal.
I hate the critic's suggestion that the art was aimed this direction just to provide it for the affluent residents and the tourists. I would love to know Leo Villareal's response to this criticism. What were the design constraints? What went into his decisions about where to locate and direct the LEDs?
Do you think this installation of LED lights is positive, negative, or neutral for the lighting industry? Is it a good way to get the general public talking about and discovering lighting as an important element in the built environment?
Lisa J. Reed, lighting designer and Principal at Envision Lighting Design, LLC