The crowd of over forty attendees began with drinks and nibbles in the bar of our venue, East Hotel, giving everyone a chance to mingle and talk. The cheese platters and bar tab ran out right on cue for us to head in to the function room for James’ presentation.
The presentation spanned the gamut from philosophy to physics. We began with a discussion on the physiological and psychological effects of colour, exploring how coloured light can affect mood, physical strength and hormone production. This reinforced the powerful effect that both natural and artificial lighting has on us, and hinted at the inadvertent side-effects (generally negative) that artificial lighting may cause. The idea that lighting has non-visual effects on the body was new to many in the room.
James continued with a discussion on colour rendering and the limitations of the CRI standard. He also covered the various ways LEDs create ‘white’ light and the difference between full-spectrum white and approximations constructed from discrete bandwidths.
A range of practical demonstrations showed how sensitive the human eye is to small variations in the hue of white light, as well as side-by-side demonstrations of light sources with different colour rendering properties on identical coloured objects. Another interesting demonstration was the effect of different white light sources on the perception of texture.
Overall, the presentation was very well received by all, and hopefully gave everyone a greater appreciation of the variances in LED light quality and an insight into why some light sources that appear identical on data sheets may vary significantly in both cost, quality and appearance. The challenge remains for designers to sort out the wheat from the chaff in the market, particularly with the limited information that is often available. Everyone who attended will hopefully be slightly more equipped to make these choices than they were before.
We also had the opportunity to present one of our local members, John Griggs with a framed MIES certificate, recognising his achievement of this higher grade of IES membership. This allowed a convenient segue into a quick discussion on the merits of attaining lighting qualifications, including the slow but steady march towards some lighting projects requiring designers with particular certifications, and (for the architects in the room) giving clients more confidence in selecting qualified lighting designers.
[text : Anthony Linard, ACT branch Chairman]