I recently had the fun opportunity to create a float for my church in a lighted Christmas parade. We didn't have much time, but I think we came up with a pretty elegant solution, and our float won first prize in the parade.
What do you think? We are already formulating our concept for next year's parade. Any suggestions?
The City of St. Louis turns 250 years old this year! In fact, it's such a monumental birthday that we are celebrating all year long! There will be a ton of fun activities happening in and around the city this year, including Cakeway to the West, a regional art project featuring 250 fiberglass birthday cakes. But considering the historic nature of this milestone, it is no surprise that one of the biggest participants is the Missouri History Museum. Envision Lighting Design is proud to be a part of the Missouri History Museum celebration as the lighting designer for the upcoming exhibit 250 in 250.
This must-see exhibit is going to be a real treat! It features 50 People, 50 Places, 50 Images, 50 Moments, and 50 Objects of significance over the past 250 years of St. Louis history. Can you guess what some of them might be? Check it out; There are sure to be a few surprises in there. No excuses - the free exhibit will be open for a whole year, from February 14, 2014 until February 15, 2015.
It was another amazing IES Annual Conference! This year, I have to say the pre-conference Emerging Professional Workshop initiated the energy that propelled me through the rest of the conference! If you are not a part of the EP workshop, I feel sorry for you! If you want to be a part of it next year, contact me! We want to host 100 Emerging Professionals next year, which means we need even more experienced lighting professionals to participate and interact during the event
...the pre-conference Emerging Professional Workshop initiated the energy that propelled me through the rest of the conference!
The Sunday night Awards event was beautiful, with a record-setting 29 projects receiving Illumination Awards this year! For me, one of the highlights was seeing my old friend Kelly Jones who received an Award of Excellence for one of her projects. It was also fantastic to see Kristin Peck accept an Award of Distinction! Kristin was an intern when I worked at LDA (a lifetime ago) and her award-winning project was the first one designed by her new firm PrichardPeck Lighting. Congratulations Kelly and Kristin!
Monday morning's keynote address by Ekaterina Walter was on the topic of social media. This is an area where our industry as a whole lags, but I was personally inspired by her talk. There is no B2B; because of social media, business is all P2P. People to people. Number one takeaway: remember to "delight" your audience.
I was mostly attracted to papers and sessions that focused on lighting and health. Asha Hedge spoke about Sensory Processing Disorders and how lighting design - especially for schools - can accommodate students who fall under the umbrella of Autism Spectrum Disorder or have other types of Sensory Processing struggles. The research in this field is minimal. What is available is sometimes contradictory and often based on anecdotal evidence. I believe this is a field which deserves more study, and the more we learn, the better environments we can create for everyone, not just those who have special needs. Lighting is for people. We need to create appropriate environments for all people.
The next general session was a fairly technical discussion about lamp lumen depreciation with LEDs. So many of our old metrics don't apply to LED technology, and we are playing catch-up as the researchers attempt to define new metrics. For example, what LLD factor do we apply to products that increase drive current over the life of an LED to avoid any lumen depreciation? Products with higher drive current could look identical to a lower drive current product at the beginning of life but will depreciate faster. What about driver failure? This isn't a part of a lumen depreciation calculation, but should it be a part of lamp life calculations? This general session was a great illustration of how the conference is turning back toward its "technical conference" roots. That's a great direction for the conference to take, given the speed of change in our industry today!
Lighting is more than meets the eye. The paper session by M. Wei about color preference under LEDs with Diminished Yellow Emission was fascinating. This study took a look at the preferences of people with side-by-side comparisons of two rooms. When energy in the yellow (570-580 nm) part of the spectrum was removed, preference increased - despite a lower CRI. There are currently 22 existing metrics for color quality, but which one or combination is the right one? His summary sentence, "Brightness perception can not be predicted by luminous efficacy." has huge implications. Efficacy is not the end-all be-all? What can we learn about human perception that might allow us to provide better quality of light with fewer lumens? How do our current metrics need to change to reflect this?
The Circadian, Neuroendocrine, and Neurobehavioral Effects of Lighting seminar on Tuesday afternoon, presented by Steven Lockley prompted a great conversation between my eye doctor and me. The crossover between disciplines is becoming more important than ever. Lockley discussed the connection between the newfound photoreceptors in the eye and 440 nanometer light. So, not just any light, but this particular wavelength of light is what helps us set Circadian rhythms. This light impacts our alertness (whether or not we actually feel more alert.) Even blind or rod/cone impaired people can sense light and dark when these photoreceptors are activated. The argument that comes next is, if 440 nm is the ideal wavelength do we need to be sitting around under blue light all day long? Or can warm light sources be enhanced in the 440 nm range?
It's an exciting time to be in lighting design! The more we research, the more we discover how important lighting is. There were plenty more concepts and ideas covered at this conference. There just isn't enough room here to discuss them all. Because of the informative papers and presentations plus the friendships and energy from the Emerging Professionals in our industry, the IES Annual Conference has become a definite "must attend" for me. Hope to see you there next year - in Pittsburgh!
Are you attending the LED Specifier Summit in Chicago? This one-day, seminar-packed event is a great way to pack in some continuing education credits before the end of the year. The speaker lineup is great, too. (Biased, maybe?)
At last night's Illumination Awards event in St. Louis I found myself smiling until my cheeks hurt. Thank you, St. Louis lighting community for being energetic, creative, and fun!
I am so grateful for each of you. There are bunches of unique and special individuals in this group, and as a whole we are spectacular!
In the upcoming days we will be posting pictures from the photo booth and quotes from the time capsule on the IES Facebook page and Twitter to stretch out the fun just a little longer...
In the meantime, I'll be working outside on the deck surrounded by my favorite things and enjoying the sparkles of the disco ball!
At the start of my career whenever I attended a meeting, I often found myself to be the youngest person and the only woman in the room. Nowadays I am not typically the youngest person in the room, but all too often I am still the only woman.
Why are there so few women in our profession? And what can I do to make sure the ones there are (or the ones who have been) do not get forgotten?
The architecture community is currently in a bit of an uproar over the fact that Denise Scott Brown was not included in her husband and partner Robert Venturi's 1991 Pritzker Prize Award. In fact, Despina Stratigakos recently wrote a wonderful article about "Unforgetting" Women Architects and Architecture Magazine is challenging its readers to recommend a woman architect for a Wikipedia article to be written by the magazine. I even just learned that Frank Lloyd Wright's first employee was a woman architect.
One of my more popular old blog posts includes a little story about a lighting designer named Lesley Wheel. She was the first female architectural lighting designer, and a great mentor to many people. I think so highly of Lesley's ideas and her work that I'm currently helping to author a book about her design philosophies.
What are you doing to encourage women in our profession? What else needs to change so that the lighting design profession doesn't follow architecture in overlooking this talented segment of our membership? Are we too late? The Wikipedia entry under "Lighting Design" lists 13 men and one woman, the talented Motoko Ishii of Japan. The IES, a 107-year-old organization has only had three female presidents. Maybe lighting designers have some Wikipedia editing to do, as well.
Over the weekend my family and I had the pleasure of helping sort lights for the Holiday Light Recycling Drive with St. Louis Green. I love volunteering alongside my family, and the fact that proceeds from this event supported a great cause - Operation Food Search - made it even better.
The goal is for 128,000 pounds of waste to be diverted from landfills. The lesson for me as I sorted? Be careful what you buy!
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle? We do a lot of recycling these days. Maybe we should take a closer look at the first word in that phrase...reduce.
It is so easy to get caught up in consumerism, but what if we remember to refrain from making unnecessary purchases? Isn't that the most "green" choice of all? It may not stimulate the economy like "going shopping" but reduction makes good economic sense on a personal level.
One of our sorting tasks this weekend was to separate cardboard from lights, and in many cases there were brand new boxes of lights that had never been used. I kept wondering what scenario would lead to someone depositing brand new boxes of lights into the red recycling bins. But then again, I have some "extra" unused lights stored away in a box in the basement myself. Do you have boxes of unopened holiday lights at home? What future purchases can we avoid if only we remember step #1? Reduce.
The St. Louis Section of the IES will be pulling out all the stops for the 40th Anniversary of the Illumination Awards.
Now is the time to become a part of the program. Submit your best project from 2012 today!
Submit online at www.ies.org.
What is your favorite kind of lighting? Firelight? A moonlit night? Sunrise or sunset? Probably not the fluorescent light in your office. As an architectural lighting designer, I realize we have a lot to learn from the natural world. I strive to mimic the best parts about natural light with the limited tools at my disposal. I also try to illuminate spaces without wasting energy.
I believe the answers to many of our architectural and lighting challenges are hidden in plain sight in the world around us. For example, I recently read an article about an ultra-reflective fish that might have applications in lighting. Let's broaden our horizons and loosen our paradigms. As the sun sets on 2012, let's look forward with child-like hope to the unknown treasures 2013 will bring. I am wishing all of the ENvisionLD clients and colleagues a year full of discovery and invention!
What do you envision?
Lisa J. Reed, lighting designer and Principal at Envision Lighting Design, LLC