The conference was supported not only by a range of lighting professional bodies and companies, but also organisations from the wider building services and engineering world. Possibly as a result of this the conference lacked the usual insular “inside the lighting bubble” approach.
The contributions to debate of the many mechanical specialists present gave the event a refreshing width that was often missing from the old-style SLL Lighting Conferences. Indeed the nature of the event makes the clash of dates with the CIBSE Technical Conference, which took place on the same day in Liverpool, all the more perplexing. One hopes that in future someone at CIBSE HQ has a diary.
As a veteran conference goer this reviewer judged all the sessions well presented and worthwhile. Peter Raynham kicked the event off with a session on lighting standards. He rose to the challenge of making standards interesting and pointed out how different users of these documents interpret them. Also, we now all know the difference between CEN,CENELEC, ISO and IEC!
John Mardaljevic set out the chronological development of daylight standards, and went on to point out the various inconsistencies in their application to assessment methods promulgated by organisations such as LEED and ASHRAE. He also described a major contemporary dilemma in that some design concepts are not in codes because they require computer software to implement, but software houses are unwilling to commit to produce the necessary software because the concept is not in the code. This is a major problem for the next generation of code writers.
A presentation by Nozomu Yoshizawa described the effects of reductions in illuminance levels in offices in Japan as a consequence of the need to reduce energy because of the recent earthquake. It indicated that users were satisfied with illuminance levels of half the Japanese design standard of 750 lux. Reduction in illuminance levels are sometimes a taboo subject in the energy saving debate but maybe in future it is worth revisiting.
Peter Boyce gave one of his masterly tours of the lighting quality scene, and a presentation by John Gorse of Philips gave us all of the latest on LEDs. The latter included an interesting section on OLEDs but left the impression that they are devices still looking for an application.
This delegate took from the conference some new concepts such as cylindrical illuminance and “just noticeable fade”; an update on essentials like standards and codes; and, of course, this month’s predictions for the luminous efficacy of LEDs (it’s 140 lumens/watt).
All in all this was an informative and worthwhile event. If Peter Boyce’s scale of lighting quality was applied to conferences, it was one to “raise the spirits”.