Text: Dr. Martin Lupton

19. Jul 2009

Daylight

Technology has an important role to play – there is no doubt that a big part of the future is LED and, more importantly, better control of light in use, but professional lighting design also has an important role to play. If we just look for a technological sticking plaster then we will just be pushing back the curve a bit – the world is growing, the technology might be more efficient, but we will simply end up using more of it. It is a solution, but a temporary one – we need to think in terms of decision architecture. We need to change the way people (architects, clients and end-users) think about the use and application of light and the greatest opportunity to do this is in the promotion and use of natural light. I don’t think I could find anyone that would argue that sustainability is not a big issue in lighting design – over the last few years, many opinions have been expressed on the subject by many of the leading figures in lighting design. Opinions range from sustainability and the legislation it brings with it being the harbinger of death for the profession, to the greatest opportunity we have ever had to achieve the recognition of the profession. Personally, I would lean towards the latter – finally there is an issue that people want to talk about in relation to lighting – we just need to get our collective acts together and focus as an industry on the right approach. In my mind, this is not the indiscriminate and political application of legislation and numerical criteria but an holistic approach that considers all of the important elements of sustainability – social, economic and environmental. Technology has an important role to play – there is no doubt that a big part of the future is LED and, more importantly, better control of light in use, but professional lighting design also has an important role to play. If we just look for a technological sticking plaster then we will just be pushing back the curve a bit – the world is growing, the technology might be more efficient, but we will simply end up using more of it. It is a solution, but a temporary one – we need to think in terms of decision architecture. We need to change the way people (architects, clients and end-users) think about the use and application of light and the greatest opportunity to do this is in the promotion and use of natural light. Natural light is the only truly sustainable source of light. About five years ago I began to suspect that architects had forgotten about daylight design – I was seeing elevations of buildings where the facade design rationale was about the image the building presented to the street. […]

The full version of the article can be found in PLD No. 67

My opinion:

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