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Crew wages - how does £240k sound?

Started by Tim Atkinson in :the bar Dec 30, 2013. 0 Replies

As we've just commented, the …Continue

Tags: social, economic

Does being 'sustainable' cost too much time and money?

Started by entsust in :the cafe Dec 14, 2013. 0 Replies

While the thinking is that being more 'sustainable' as a business should lower your costs, does it just cost too much to begin with - in both time and money?By the time that you've invested in all…Continue

Tags: social, environmental, economic

:unique visitors

It seems it's the time of year for trade shows in the lighting industry. Mere weeks have passed since PLASA London finished at ExCeL, and in a few weeks, on the 20th and 21st November, in PLASA's old home at Earls Court, LuxLive takes over. The Lighting Industry Association's show has never been more important.

LuxLive is essentially the LIA's annual trade show, and concentrates entirely on non-stage lighting. So why does that make it important, then? Well, we know that certainly in our large theatres and arts centres, it’s all that making front of house nice that’s pulling the biggest slice of the power in our buildings, not the shows, with 46% of our theatres’ energy going on front of house and offices*.

Of course, a large part of it is the heating and the cooling, but most of the rest is general lighting. Theatres, galleries and arts centres tend to have been built without windows, or certainly fewer of them than you would normally expect in a public building of comparable size. We therefore rely on artificial lighting to make them usable and habitable

It’s a tricky business, though. In our lovely, often listed, buildings, we have an aesthetic to worry about that not too many other public buildings do. The lighting needs to be functional, and look classy – it’s part of the experience you buy into when you buy a theatre ticket. Unfortunately, for so long, CFLs were touted as the future of lighting that they started to worm their way into theatres and performing arts centres, causing a rash (that’s still there) of poorly lit interiors.

You get no ‘twinkle’ from a compact fluorescent, so all those chandeliers filled with them ended up looking flat, bland and dreadful instead of sparkling and opulent. Even in fittimgs with shades, those protruding glass prongs hardly set off the 'luxury' tingle.

Because of the long lifetimes, the occasional failure or get-in casualty meant an identical replacement was impossible, leading to a mish mash of colour temperatures, brightnesses and twisty-twirly styles (see previous post here). The majority weren’t dimmable, so achieving any kind of atmosphere or ambience was not simple. There were of course benefits – CFLs are low energy lamps, so the savings were (and still are) good (although reactive power could be an issue – that’s for another time), and that was ultimately what they were all about.

Happily for all those with building lighting responsibility, we have moved into the era of the practical LED. Both retrofits and new fittings are capable, and can actually make your public (and private) spaces look better, rather than worse. The choice is bewildering, of course – which is why LuxLive is a godsend of a show. Few places else do you get to see all the major and minor players and their products out on display.

To avoid the mistakes that many of us made with CFL, it is almost imperative that you see before you buy. Of course – that doesn’t preclude you still getting a sample or two, but until you’ve seen the offer, you really can’t make a decision.

There is a huge backup programme of professional development and case study seminars. We're slightly biased here - :entertaining sustainability’s Tim Atkinson will be compering/chairing most of the programme in the Ecolight Theatre, a whole conference strand dedicated to low-energy lighting. There are a few sessions on the leisure and hospitality industry in the Ecolight programme, but there is a huge diversity of topics on offer, including a live design clinic and a tech theatre.

Products-wise this year’s show will, we think, be a real consolidation of the frantic LED race of the past few years, with some genuine innovation and class suitable for public buildings on show. As ever, we’ll be particularly on the lookout for a good, well-priced LED candle retrofit (see discussion!), as well as keeping our eyes peeled for some more ‘good things’.

Buying light bulbs is an investment now in a way that it has never been before – with thousands of pounds at stake – in expenditure and energy-saving potential – it’s gone way beyond the repairs and renewals budget. This could be the most important trade show you go to this year…

You can join in our lighting discussions in the General Lighting mini-group.


Register free for LuxLive here -  www.luxlive.co.uk


What general lighting product do you need for your building that you want to see at LuxLive – what is it your building really needs? Tell us below….sign in or sign up to comment.

* Source: Green Theatre:Taking action on climate change, GLA, 2008 Pictures: Revo Media, Wikimedia Commons

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Tags: economic, social, technical

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