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Steve's thoughts from SPARC Design 2012

The inaugural SPARC Design was held in Sydney on 31st May to 2nd June at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Circular Quay in Sydney. It was held in conjunction with Vivid Sydney as well as IES: The Lighting Society’s Annual Australia and New Zealand Lighting Awards. I would like to convey my gratitude to all those who assisted in making these two events a wonderful success. And the venues! What stunning buildings and facilities in their own right as well as being immersed in the heart of Vivid Sydney light displays in the Rocks area.

With displays from some of The Lighting Society’s modest decorated designers to students from lighting courses presenting their newly gained skills, we hope that this modest but high quality start to SPARC Design will demonstrate to all the great opportunity to be exposed to the fascinating and creative world of lighting.

The significance of lighting design is becoming a more apparent feature in our built environment as decision makers are being seduced with the promise of energy reductions by retrofitting new lamp technologies into existing lighting installations. Many within the lamp retrofit industry do not appreciate their basic responsibility of retaining fundamental lighting performance requirements of installation post-retrofit. That is to say, upon retrofitting a lamp with different photometrics (i.e. amount of light, output distribution) and performance characteristics (lumen depreciation rate and temperature effects) the retrofitting company has unwittingly acceded responsibility for the lighting installation’s compliance to the relevant lighting standards.

Any retrofit installations should be checked for compliance to relevant lighting standards (and any additional contracted obligations associated with lighting) by a person competent in lighting design. Currently, the only recognised qualification for competency in lighting design, within Australia and New Zealand, is a Registered Lighting Professional (RLP) from IES: The Lighting Society.



I think it is rather fitting that the entrance to the Museum of Contemporary Art was illuminated with the following image during SPARC Design, the exposé of lighting designers skill, knowledge and thinking: a great place for reflection for facility managers, building and business owners prior to embarking on a “low energy” retrofit solution without due consideration for the lighting quality legacy.

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