Warm it up

There’s a distinct problem with light at night. We all know how it can annoy us humans and keep us awake, but the problem is felt by millions, even billions of others, not just us.

The latest figure I could find suggested that in a square kilometre of sky, at all times, there are billions of insects. So it’s no surprise that when you turn the light on at night some of them will be attracted.

But recently it was suggested that if we can’t turn off the lights we should do something to mitigate this mass attraction that we have created. The angle thrown at me was actually that we should be attracting insects to areas where bats can feed, but we have to be really careful about bats, morally and legally. Not sure the insect lovers amongst us would agree with this proactive feeding approach, if we were careful with our lighting bats and insects wouldn’t be impacted at all by our human needs. They don’t need our help, clearly they need protection from us as a species. Continue reading “Warm it up”

Bright lights, another headache?

Glare is a wonderful thing; it creates sparkle, glints and artistic flare. On the other hand glare is an awful thing; creating difficulty to see, veiling detail and tiring the eye.

Whether you love it or not depends on the situation, a club compared to the office, relaxing in the sun compared to driving the car. But we have developed measures to try and quantify glare and what the limits should be. UGR, or the unified glare rating, has been around for a long time. No, it’s not perfect. For one thing, how often do you sit, head at 1.2m above the floor, half way along a wall in a rectangular space and look directly across the room. Continue reading “Bright lights, another headache?”

Colouring your thoughts

There’s a lot of talk about colour rendering and colour temperature, and it seems mostly about what the truth applied to LED.

Should it be R using the 8 sample scale (R8), or R using the 14 colour scale (some call this R14)? Doesn’t Ra of 100 compare to daylight, or is it tungsten? Does LED even tell the truth with colour rendering and isn’t there a better method?

Listen to all the hype, even as an expert and it all gets a little confusing. Then add colour temperature and efficiency and well, we might as all well retire down the bar for a glass of Rioja until we can reach a conclusion.

But there is a lot of talk about little differences. In the LED race to get better colour, we have perhaps forgotten the eyes ability to see, or the brains ability to interpret, both of which are more about perception than absolute measures. Continue reading “Colouring your thoughts”