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?
Check out this late-night action shot! This was a few weeks ago at a late Sunday night meeting at 801 Chophouse in Clayton, MO. Lisa was photographed measuring light levels for this beautiful new restaurant. Make a reservation there soon to enjoy the warm ambiance that was created by Core10 Architecture. This spot is sure to become a St. Louis favorite. Be one of the first to visit.
Thank you to Michael Byrd of Core10 for the photo!
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!
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?
It's another cloudy, snowy day here in St. Louis, and I'm longing for summer! That got me looking through some pictures from back in June, and I decided to share these two with you just for fun.
See the pole going straight up into the middle of this tree?
There's a light at the top of it!
Not much light reaches the ground, though...
Have a great weekend, be well, and create beauty!
Vincent Van Gogh is quoted, "I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day."
I just finished reading In Praise of Shadows by Jun' ichiro Tanizaki, first published in Japan in 1933 and 1934. It is a thought-provoking look at electric light as an intrusion on daily life and traditions. It eloquently presents the perspective of a novelist - not an artist or a lighting designer or an architectural professional - on light. He makes a solid case for the enhanced beauty of materials such as lacquer and gold leaf in the shadows where even a frail glimmer of light generates a vibrant sparkle, as opposed to bright light, where luster is totally flattened. He laments, "So benumbed are we nowadays by electric lights that we have become utterly insensitive to the evils of excessive illumination." One example he cites, "people will light the lights, then switch on an electric fan to combat the heat. The very thought annoys me."
Fast forward eighty years.
We have now illuminated most of the inhabited planet, some of it beautifully, other bits garishly. For whatever reason we seldom pause to appreciate the dark but are drawn to light like moths to flame, myself included. Since reading In Praise of Shadows I will accept Tanizaki's challenge (and Van Gogh's) to find the richness and beauty in darkness. As a lighting designer I will do my part to keep the stars visible so that I, my children, and the generations to come can see them...and dream.
Van Gogh also said, "For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream."
Emphasis on Independent.
Has your lighting rep shown you this fixture? What?? Why not? It is one of the most fun things I've seen since RGB LED!
Oh...your lighting rep doesn't represent this product.
One of the advantages of hiring an independent lighting designer is that we work on your behalf: to get you the best possible lighting solution at the best possible price. Whether that means you should actually eliminate light fixtures from an overlit space or if it means you should buy products from five different lighting reps - we can facilitate that!
As an independent lighting designer, ENvisionLD can often provide lighting design services for around the price of one decorative fixture on your project. Chances are, by hiring us you will save money in the long run - by avoiding products you don't need, or through energy savings, or by increased worker productivity.
Hire an independent lighting designer for your project today. Get better results and have more fun!
Lisa J. Reed, lighting designer and Principal at Envision Lighting Design, LLC