Comment: Would you believe it…

08. May 2017

Again HCL…

by Joachim Ritter

I really make the greeeeatest effort not to listen when I hear the term Human Centric Lighting mentioned in connection with lighting design. Unfortunately, masses of design awards are given away every year claiming to be recognising HCL in the designer’s approach, and in my role as a journalist it is my duty, so to speak, to be open to any new information. And yet a quick review of the information provided only leads me to conclude: hardly anybody can really differentiate between light and luminaires, and consequently also not between the quality of light and that of luminaires.

The term Human Centric Lighting was introduces as a strategic measure to differentiate European suppliers from Asian ones. The objective was to use this “concept” to redefine the quality of lighting design. But many lighting manufacturers take this complex topic and simplify it into an argument as to why people should buy, or apply, specific luminaires. Lighting suppliers in the Far East are just as able to adopt this modus operandi – and to the same extent as Europeans.

This is not the first time such an approach has been taken! The term “Made in Germany” was originally introduced towards the end of the 19th century as a means to protect Great Britain from cheaper and lower quality goods from abroad. Germany followed suit and introduced “Made in Germany”, the German industry at the time focussing the core of their product development around quality, which is probably why the term is still considered as a seal of quality by many buyers to this day. Then again, there is nothing to stop Asian product developers adopting the same approach.

Apart from that: when will manufacturers and customers finally grasp the fact that lighting design is not luminaire design, and that even well designed fixtures make no sense if they are not applied correctly. Taking Human Centric Lighting as a key parameter to promote sales is quite honestly short-sighted. (Editor’s note: I originally wrote “stupid” instead of short-sighted, but perhaps that is going a little over the top…). No luminaire can provide the complexity that nature has defined over millions of years. One would have to deeply believe in or be very convinced of one’s own products to maintain this credo. It is not a simple task to design and realise biodynamic light. No set of lighting controls has the intelligence a human being possesses to design light.

On the other hand, there are enough lemmings willing to believe this… My recommendation: Forget it! Good design requires a good and qualified lighting designer who is able to assess the opportunities technologies offer. It does not simply happen. It is not a case of plug and play.
Full stop.

 

Press release of a luminaires manufacturer: Biodynamic light made easy

Everyone is talking about biologically effective lighting solutions, but realising them can be highly complicated. In Hall 7, Stand 7C12 at eltefa, HCL GmbH (the name has been changed by the editor!) will be demonstrating how biodynamic lighting can be implemented remarkably easily using luminaires controlled via PULSE NET.

Plug & Light

The natural lighting effects that can be achieved using HCL GmbH’s Impulse HCL lighting control system can – thanks to external Impulse HCL – be easily used in combination with luminaires such as the new range from HCL GmbH. Independent Impulse HCL DALI real-time control can be mounted on site during installation. The control system provides information on the lighting level and luminous colour for several luminaires and stores it on an SD card. The intelligent controls guarantee that the luminous colour and brightness of the direct and indirect component for a large number of luminaires are synchronised. It is no longer necessary to examine fixtures individually and save that data.

Very likely…

 

My opinion:

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