Kolumne: Euro 2016 in a negative light!

23. Jun 2016

What good football has to do with good lighting – or HCL on the substitutes’ bench

by Joachim Ritter – Don’t read this if you are easily offended…!!!

There it is again. The headline that is hard to beat when it comes to absolute meaninglessness: “Top football seen in the best light”. It actually deserves a red card – and sending off to goodness knows where … Timed to align with the 2016 UEFA European Championship, manufacturers are purposefully drawing people’s attention to the fact that the quality of football can be enhanced by modern LED solutions… This is the standard content of the press releases currently circulating in the media and on various platforms.


Condor Unchained

The quality of the Euro 2016 games right now, you might say, leads one to assume differently. And in the aftermath of Euro 2016 there are not likely to be many manufacturers asking themselves whether the quality of the games may perhaps have had something to do with their lighting, and that the outcome of UEFA Euro 2016 might have looked very different if HCL had been involved from start of play.

The concept adopted by many teams and the parallelism with lighting quality might be summed up as follows: Focus on being compact to the rear and only do as much as is necessary up front. Sorry, dear Italians. That is what you call football culture? In lighting terms that would mean: Focus on meeting the standards and only design light with enthusiasm and conviction when absolutely necessary. A good horse will only jump as high as it is expected to do. And that’s just about where football culture is right now, pretty similar to lighting culture to be honest. On the edge of boredom. My favourite weekly newspaper recently ran an article in which the political climate in Europe was also compared with the quality of football. This seems to be the mentality that affects the way we think in all spheres of life.

So where is all the enthusiasm for football, or lighting, or Europe? Clearly the odd highlight is not sufficient to render the overall game more attractive.
As far as lighting for stadiums is concerned, the question we maybe should ask is whether daylight is not the best quality of light for sports such as football. The Icelanders are living proof that this is the case: while they predominantly play under artificial light in the winter, their performance in France showed the marked release of practically boundless potential… Daylight doesn’t appear to be a prime topic of interest for trade journals, though. The majority of so-called trade journals are more like some kind of paid lackeys of manufacturers’ marketing departments. Which doesn’t seem to have any ethical implications for them at all.

But everyone gets what he deserves in the end. Which also applies to the lighting industry, where neither the manufacturers nor the design community are prepared to acknowledge and support independent journalism, preferring to pat themselves on the back by posting series upon series of images and very little if any textual information.

(Sigh). Dear Friends from the industry: in the football world, success is not for sale. You must know that. Leicester City got to the top of the table on a small budget and by applying a creative concept. Not because of key partners in the lighting industry.

I probably haven’t made many new friends by writing this article… But Germany are still World Champions, whatever happens in Europe. That must have something to do with technical quality. But please, take it easy. Relax! It’s just a game…


My opinion:

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