The International Dark Sky Association’s Technical Director joined us to discuss the mechanics of dark sky-friendly projects. Start from tasks; most outdoor lighting is based on pathfinding, not offering reading lamps to the general public; while color temperature has become a focus point, the direction is still the real issue when discussing skyglow issues; and he’s not with the Dark Ground Society, you can create beautiful and useful lighting systems everywhere and still respect your neighbours.
We discussed the process of designing a lighting system, where distributors can fit into that conscientiously, the entanglements surrounding ordinance enforcement, awareness-building as spreading a curse, and fighting back against daytime design habits.
Aleddra’s VP of Sales and Marketing, Dr. Matthew Maa is here to talk about being different in the Disinfection technology business right now. He tells us what separates PECO tech from UV-based options. Aleddra uses PECO and UV-A and UV-C in different cases because not all applications are the same.
We discuss the current market for disinfection, different types of applications and what we really need from these technologies. We also brought up the idea of selling some quick hygiene theater versus actually creating proper long-term solutions. One seems like a smart play for quick learners in the industry, but it looks like Johnny-Come-Lately and his snake oil consultant will be going after both. We do discuss safety surrounding UV lighting, and what happens to all these lamps and fixtures in five years when airborne viruses aren’t at top-of-mind.
In the second part of our special dark sky series we are joined by Paul Bogard, author of The End of Night and What if Night. Our discussion opened with our sense of safety - it’s easy to think that more light makes us safer, but glare makes it harder to see and without other meaningful changes related to security increasing light levels is more about having done something than done something effective.
Darkness can be a place for contemplation if you let it in. Jane and Paul discuss their evening rituals, moon watching habits and how taking a moment with the outside can be much more beneficial than we really think.
We also discuss light on its own as a communications medium, hate on Vegas, the hubris of controlling nature, and the broadening implications of good sleep and good health.
Paul explains that he doesn’t want us all back in the stone age, but does want to see buildings that are genuinely beautiful, part of that is building awareness through appearing on podcasts but by approaching regulators well-weaponed with knowledge.
Find Paul’s Books here: http://www.paul-bogard.com/
Christina Calaway of Spark Media is a real old school lighting dork, which means our conversation begins with pulsed-start metal halides and other semi-forgotten lamp and fixture features. Before this turns into another scrub session, we transition to her current job in the industry: freelance marketing specifically catering to the lighting industry.
The marketing departments of lighting vendors and manufacturing have always had a power over language that comes from having to convince people that lights had value beyond being on or off. As LED adoption is evening out that gift for wording needs to be paired with controls and other features if you want to see success. We share our misadventures in copywriting, tips on working on social media, and the meaning behind web metrics.
We close out on the power of a good spec sheet and why you should sit on your own complaint line from time to time.
The IDA and NAILD have not only signed a memorandum of joint understanding, but will be working together for the next five years on joint efforts for darker, better nights. LS Evolve will have a module on the technical aspects and best practices of dark sky-friendly outlighting, but for now Michael Colligan and Jane Slade will be hosting a series of special releases on the moral, psychological, and physiological reasons to pursue dark sky lighting projects.
In this first part, we discuss how brightness is bad for the human lifestyle, how to appreciate darkness indoors, how light at night changes wildlife, as well as the heritage and connections we have to the night sky.
Light pollution is the easiest thing to solve, and everyone can benefit from it. Tune in for the next few weeks as we explore the power of darkness.
Alp Durmus is a Lighting scientist and assistant professor of architectural engineering at Penn State. He came on the show to discuss his research in optimization of lamp color; reducing light use by aiming for the most reflectivity of the object you’re lighting.
We care more about seeing things than we care about energy use, the idea of saving power and making things look better is an appealing one, but are his methods too complicated to apply in the field?
Aside from our own struggles to make the most of IES TM-30, we discuss provoking reactions with light alone, the role of marketing, why quality means something different to each of the different professions in lighting, and the ethics of manipulating people with lighting systems.
Dr Jacob Liberman is here to explain the nature of light and consciousness to Michael and Greg. He starts with the idea that seeing is more than just vision before explaining his background overcoming his astigmatism, his work as an optometrist, and growth in spiritual self-reflection.
The conversation stray fairly far from the nuts and bolts of lighting and more into the relationship between humans, light and darkness and how that can motivate us to design and build better lighting systems.
You can find more of Jacob’s work, including his books at https://www.jacobliberman.org/
Nigel Harvey is the Chief Executive at Recolight, a lamp recycler in the UK. We wanted to know how effective extended producer responsibility programs really are and whether or not they’ve hit a limit on the number of compliant operators. We weigh the pros and cons of enforcement and persuasion when it comes to recycling, and the strategies that come into play on both sides.
Aside from the business of recycling Nigel likes to take moral stands. Online marketplaces are letting some groups sell lamps without buying into the UK’s scheme for ensuring bulbs get disposed of properly; at this point we need to call on laws that force responsibility onto platform holders. Similarly, Nigel has been arrested twice at Extinction Rebellion protests in London, as much as we try to mitigate carbon and build things better, demand is for carbon is only going up - he’s sick of it and felt he needed to make a stand, his morals are trumping his obedience to the law. We also talk politics and the nature of leadership, and the time scales both work at being wrong for the problems we face.
Adrià Huguet-Ferran is CTO of Kumux, a software company that allows you to optimize almost any LED lightsource for color-tuning. The goal is for more human-centric or circadian-friendly systems, but Michael and Greg think his company’s process needs to be reduced to a one-button solution. That may not be so simple as we bring cultural and geographical biases and individual preferences to lighting systems all the time, forcing color and intensity to follow the clock is an uphill battle for some end-users.
Beyond that, Adrià teaches an online course on energy efficiency and he describes his teaching process. Also, we advocate for more buttons, and offer the two goals that must be hit to save our current existence.
Tom Boyle, of GE Current, a Daintree Company joins Michael and Greg for this week’s episode.
After clarifying what a Chief Technical Officer is responsible for, he shares his perspective on twenty years of change in the lighting industry, and Daintree’s renewed focus on LED and controls he gets into his company’s entry into UV-C Disinfection.
We discussed the various options that are emerging for UV-C and how it should be deployed as a layer in a range of cleaning solutions. Tom brought up the idea of building up people’s comfort levels as we spend more time indoors and how he goes about clearing up confusion for end-consumers. Michael offers the idea of a certification or a rating for UV products, while Greg considers the value of hygiene theatre and signaling cleanliness. Adding disinfection feels like an economic necessity but the market is expanding faster than testing can keep up with it and having a GE logo on a spec sheet makes selling this a whole lot easier in a number of ways.