Be positive, look to the future & be self-disciplined during the Lockdown – April 2020 Newsletter


At the beginning of 2020, who would have thought that we and the rest of the world would be facing a global pandemic?  Yes, it is fact that in 2015 Bill Gates spoke about the risk of such a pandemic somewhere in the future, but even he has commented saying that he had never foreseen that it would be so soon or quite as severe.

I do not want to dwell on the horrors of the pandemic because enough is said every minute of every day now.  At the same time, I am not burying my head in the sand.  No, I firmly believe that if we are all extremely self-disciplined and ensure that we obey the requirements and rules of the lockdown, we will come through.  I fully appreciate that no one can say how long the pandemic will prevail or for that matter, how long the lockdown will last.  I am convinced that it will last much longer than 21 days.  I am sorry if that is negative, but no on the contrary, I am being realistic.  When you reflect on what has happened in the rest of the world so far, from China across the entire world to the USA, at the point when new infections start to stabilise and flatten out ie the so-called flattening of the curve, the time period is around 2 to 3 months.  Now, I am no expert on this extremely complex subject, but my logic tells me that we should all be prepared for a longer lockdown.

Enough, enough!

There is so much that we are able to do during lockdown.  Here are just some of the activities that we can busy ourselves with:

  • For those of you who are students of BHA School of Lighting, it is a wonderful opportunity to study and make faster progress on your chosen course.  We will be availble for mentoring, private lessons, weekly webinars, meetings and of course marking of assignments.
  • For those of you who work for companies, ensure that your first work priority is to focus on your company work.  Only embark on other activities after you have fulfilled your obligation to your employer.  Remember, they too will be burdened under the yoke of financial strain and business downturn.
  • If you can participate in webinars that will add to your knowledge and understanding, do so without a second thought.  The tide will turn and you will reap the benefit.
  • Try to attend our enLightened Community that I am launching on Tuesday 31 March 2020 at 12:00 through to as long as there is something to talk about.  It is an opportunity to meet with a coffee in the hand (in our own homes of course) and chat to fellow students, architects, consulting electrical engineers and any others who would like to participate.  The only limit is 100 participants at any one time.
  • Enter international Corona challenges if possible.  One such event took place on Saturday 28 March 2020 which Daniel took part in, he ran double the minimum distance of 2.5kms and completed 5.18 kms on our large balcony.  The entrance fee to take part in the event went to a research facility which conducts coronavirus research.

  • Maintain your faith throughout this time.
  • Do that springclean that you have been putting off.
  • If you have been a squirrell hording clutter, now is the time to de-clutter.
  • Tidy the garage
  • Start reading, it is a wonderful habit, it is entertaining, it is food for the mind and it helps you to comply with the lockdown with less stress.
  • Exercise regularly, encourage each of your family to join you.  Try to set a time for this and keep to the routine.
  • Read the article that I have written further on in this newsletter, not entirely on my own with help of expert advice that I read in an article recently.

Stay Safe, Stay at Home

We welcome the following new students to BHA School of Lighting:

          • Tabulani Matshaba, Eurolux Group, Johannesburg – BHASL020: Eurolux Group Exclusive Foundation Course
          • Olivia Thirion, Eurolux Group, Johannesburg – BHASL020: Eurolux Group Exclusive Foundation Course
          • Jurie Wilkin, Eurolux Group, Johannesburg – BHASL020: Eurolux Group Exclusive Foundation Course
          • Roean Thiart, Eurolux Group, Cape Town – BHASL020: Eurolux Group Exclusive Foundation Course
          • Natash Stroebel, Eurolux Group, Cape Town – BHASL020: Eurolux Group Exclusive Foundation Course
          • Shane Scrooby, Eurolux Group, Johannesburg – BHASL020: Eurolux Group Exclusive Foundation Course
          • Tamarin Wilkin, Eurolux Group, Johannesburg – BHASL020: Eurolux Group Exclusive Foundation Course
          • Jaime Rawsthorne, Eurolux Group, Johannesburg – BHASL020: Eurolux Group Exclusive Foundation Course
          • Natalie Picker, Eurolux Group, Johannesburg – BHASL020: Eurolux Group Exclusive Foundation Course
          • Cindy Khoza, Eurolux Group, Johannesburg – BHASL020: Eurolux Group Exclusive Foundation Course
          • Randall Ellis, Eurolux Group, Johannesburg – BHASL020: Eurolux Group Exclusive Foundation Course
          • Lawrenz Naidoo, Eurolux Group, Durban – BHASL020: Eurolux Group Exclusive Foundation Course
          • Nico Mans, Pretoria – BHASL003C19: Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering Course

This April we wish the following students a very happy birthday:

                    • Thomas Theron,Mossel Bay – 1 April
                    • Nadia Franco, Pretoria – 2 April
                    • Brad Portway, Port Elizabeth – 4 April
                    • Anke de Wit, Windhoek – 7 April
                    • Serick Sutherland, Cape Town – 7 April
                    • Mark Walsh, Windhoek – 8 April
                    • Clint Davids, Cape Town – 11 April
                    • Stuart Spooner, Johannesburg – 12 April
                    • Robby Cohen, Cape Town – 16 April
                    • Johan Dippenaar, Cape Town – 23 April
                    • Marius Lourens, Durban – 23 April
                    • Johann Staats, Port Elizabeth – 27 April
                    • Juan Izeta, Arrasate, Spain – 29 April
                    • Madhura Kotkar, Pune, India – 29 April


Congratulations Chaitanya Dang on being the recipient of a travel stipend to attend Enlighten Europe in November 2020. Let us all pray the program still goes ahead later this year.

Congratulations also to Abinaya Jevaraju on being accorded Student Membership of the IALD.


Stay at Home Discount from BHA School of Lighting

During this time of national shutdown due to the increase in coronavirus transmission, this is a special announcement we are sending to all lighting professionals, architects and electrical engineers.


BHA School of Lighting will be slashing the price of courses by offering a 50% discount when you enrol for any specialised lighting course. This special offer will end on Thursday 30 April 2020.

Registered professional members of SAIA, SAIAT and CESA are eligible to earn CPD credits for all self-study activities.

For more info follow the link here –


The company adds new and existing capabilities including desk-level temperature, people count, noise, and others, in optional wireless and PoE formats.

Signify said new sensors in its snap-in bundle “enable businesses to monitor their office environment and optimize conditions for employee health and wellbeing.” (Photo credit: Image courtesy of Signify)

Signify has introduced an all-in-one bundle of sensors for luminaires, aiming to make it easier for office managers to monitor and control indoor climate including temperature, humidity, and noise levels and to thus support a healthier physical work environment.

The matchbox-sized unit is designed to easily snap into Signify luminaires as part of the company’s Internet of Things (IoT) lighting scheme, called Interact Office. Data collected by the sensors travels either via Zigbee wireless or via Ethernet cables — depending on the user configuration — to a central dashboard from which operators can adjust settings.

The bundle includes an occupancy sensor which communicates whether or not someone is in a room, and a separate people-counting sensor. A temperature sensor takes readings at desk level, even with the bundle residing on the ceiling. Other sensors detect light levels, humidity, and noise. The noise sensor is new to Signify, as is the people counter and the ability to gauge temperature at desk level. The company’s previous standalone temperature sensors measured heat at ceiling level when mounted at that height.

A Bluetooth communications chip in the bundle can support location-based services as an option.

“Bundling and delivering these sensing capabilities into one unit eliminates the need for multiple sensors and is also much more cost effective for businesses.” a Signify spokesperson said. “The ability to differentiate the office working experience can help to create a healthy place to work, and help organizations reduce absenteeism.”

Although the bundle fits into a ready-made port on Signify office luminaires, it can also reside elsewhere.

In the Zigbee version, the lights and sensors are powered by standard electrical cabling. Information collected by the sensors is transmitted wirelessly via a meshed Zigbee network to a gateway wired to the office data network.

In the Ethernet version, electricity travels via Ethernet cable to the luminaire and sensors, using Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology. Data travels back over the same cable to the central control point.

A Bluetooth communications chip in the bundle can support location-based services as an option in either the Zigbee or PoE models. The Bluetooth is not used to transmit information back to a central server. The choice of Zigbee as the “backhaul” marks a victory round for the technology, which is vying against other wireless methods including Bluetooth, Wirepas, and others to play the heavyweight role in lighting-based networking schemes. Signify has a history of preferring Zigbee.

Signify said The Edge office building in Amsterdam is considering deploying the new sensor bundles as a means of enhancing employee health. The Edge pioneered PoE lighting from Signify — then called Philips Lighting — over 5 years ago, back in November 2014.

“Edge has worked with Signify from the first disruptive power-over-ethernet LED in The Edge building,” said Edge chief technology officer Erik Ubels, who noted that the new environmental monitoring capabilities could provide “an additional contribution to our employees’ wellbeing.”


Dulwich Picture Gallery, inaugurated in 1815, upgraded part of its existing halogen lighting to a Casambi Bluetooth controlled system incorporating Optec LED spotlights with 12W LED modules from ERCO.

The Dulwich Picture Gallery, the world’s oldest art gallery, has commemorated the 350th anniversary of the death of Rembrandt with an exceptional exhibition celebrating the role of light in the creation and content of his works. In a bold and innovative move the gallery commissioned award-winning cinematographer Peter Suschitzky, who created a lighting concept specifically for the ‘Rembrandt’s Light’ exhibition using a new ERCO LED lighting system and wireless Bluetooth control.

The gallery, located in South East London, designed by Sir John Soane and inaugurated in 1815, upgraded part of its existing halogen lighting to a Casambi Bluetooth controlled system incorporating Optec LED spotlights with 12W LED modules from ERCO. Thanks to the new technology, Suschitzky succeeded in illuminating the pioneering works of the Dutch master – 35 paintings, etchings and drawings – in a unique way and bringing the theme of the exhibition, light and narrative, to life.

Star Wars and Rembrandt

Suschitzky is well-known for his work on films such as Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Mars Attacks, and as Director of Photography on 11 David Cronenberg films.

“If Rembrandt were alive today he might have become a cameraman,” says Jennifer Scott, Sackler Director at the Dulwich Picture Gallery and co-curator of Rembrandt’s Light. “As can be seen in our exhibition, he utilised light to put the viewer into the narrative.”

“All my life I’ve been inspired by the works of the greatest of the Old Masters,” explains Suschitzky. “In my opinion Rembrandt strove to discover a universal truth in human existence, and he used light to create movement and emotion. It’s exactly like this in the art of film-making, where it’s essential for strong storytelling to model with light and direct the viewer’s gaze to the desired spot in the picture.”

Working with light

The thematically arranged exhibition traces how Rembrandt worked with light, from evoking a meditative atmosphere and illuminating people to the creation of effect and drama. “We aimed to use the lighting to emphasise the different themes of the rooms and also the moods depicted in Rembrandt’s paintings,” says Helen Hillyard, assistant curator of the gallery and co-curator of Rembrandt’s Light.

“The first room for example is bold and dramatic – it demonstrates Rembrandt’s unique ability as a storyteller – whilst the last room conveys lush sensuality and creates an intimate atmosphere for the most personal works of the artist. With the new LED lighting system I believe we’ve succeeded in communicating some of the key messages of the exhibition through our own work with light.”

Bluetooth-compatible ERCO luminaires allow individual switching and dimming, with control and programming being implemented via iPad and iPhone. A range of interchangeable tertiary lenses – including narrow, oval, wide and floodlight distribution of light along with framing – have been used to achieve the precise illumination of each artwork.

Exciting potential

“The fascinating thing at the moment is that the Bluetooth system can be designed according to a specific requirement,” explains Alexander Moore, the gallery’s exhibition director. “We’re soon going to present a photography exhibition where part of the lighting has to be switched by timers that are activated wirelessly by the visitor. We’re also busying ourselves with interactive lighting designs that can actually be controlled by the visitor. What is important is that we’ve now opened ourselves up to these new developments and can be part of the current discourse.”

With its wide range of light distributions and high quality photometrics the Optec range of spotlights covers all the lighting requirements for exhibitions: rich-contrast accent lighting, floodlighting of exhibits, uniform illumination of walls and crisp-edged light beams for impressive lighting effects. According to Alexander Moore, the decision to go with ERCO was influenced by both product and service quality.

The film about the project:


I appreciate that every one of us is going to be tested during the 21 day lockdown.  I fully understand the very real need and importance of this, a step which I am sure the President and his top team really considered and discussed at length.  I am absolutely confident in the President and his top team, that their prompt action, carefully considered plans and the detail of those plans, is for the good of every citizen of South Africa, including those who are failing to heed the call to Stay Safe, Stay Home.

Acknowledging that we will all be tested, I have searched for answers and for tips to find ways to deal with this abnormality that the world is facing.  The content below, is the result of my research.

1.  Eat normal, tasty, healthy foods.

I am sure that many shopped as if there would never be food on the shelves again.  On the other hand, when we heard of the threat and took note of what was happening overseas, particularly in Italy and our beloved Spain where one of my sons lives, we started to simply purchase small quantities of extra items on each occasion that we visited a shop.

Our freezers were 80% full anyway, so we purchased hake and salmon, salmon for the Omega 3 rich oils.  Of course we had a supply of rice and pasta. We have always tried to eat healthily, so focus on healthy foods. We’ll still have power!   We keep cans of coconut milk and other non-perishable foods as backup. Other regulars on our shelves are soup powders and sauces and our much favoured cupboard of spices, especially those known for being good for our health.

No healthy diet can exclude fruit and vegetables, so…. if the only reason to go to the supermarket if to purchase fresh milk and fruit and vegetables, you will be doing well.  That shopping trip will be done in a flash and your risk of exposure will be minimised.  Remember to wear a face mask or scarf to cover your mouth and face and if possible wear disposable gloves.  Throw the gloves away in a bin that closes as soon as you enter your home.  If you wear a cloth face mask or scarf, wash those items immediately so that once they have dried, they will be ready for the next shopping excursion.

Remember that fruit and vegetables are essential to support our immune system.

2.  Don’t forget a supply of treats to help you through the day.

You need to reward yourself at the end of the day with a treat for getting through the day like Cheez-Its, peanut butter cups, popcorn, gummy bears… really whatever snacks you’ll be craving if you’re stuck inside for a while.

3. Avoid being too isolated.

In the midst of the worldwide pandemic, people easily panic.

Check-in with your people. Get on the phone, WhatsApp or FaceBook and call your family and friends with some regularity — you’ll probably need it, and so will they. And if someone you know actually gets quarantined, or gets infected with the virus, be there for them as much as you (safely) can. Call them, or just send a playlist, some memes, or links.

“People need to know who to call if they do start getting symptoms, [and] know there is somebody who is going to check in on them, that they’re not just going to be isolated and forgotten about,” said Van Der Linde “If you’re afraid you’re going to get sick, what you really need and want is to know that somebody is going to care for you.”

Join our enLightened Community meetings.  If you have not yet been included in our webinar and meeting address book, and you would like to meet for a chat, a coffee (in your own home of course) then pop me an e-mail.  You will be very welcome.  Everyone is able to chat live on this amazing worl’d best system.

4. Please do not forget to exercise

There are many workout routines you can do from the comfort of your own home, and doing so can seriously help your mental health. There are a bunch of exercises you can do without any equipment, and YouTube has many channels that offer instruction in everything from yoga to Pilates to strength training. And if you can still go outside in your garden, nothing beats a bit of gardening, and the extra Vitamin D is great for your immune system.

5. Keep your home clean

Do a deep clean and purge; if you are going to be holed up there, you will need it to be as clean, organised and uncluttered as possible. Not only does it protect against the spread of illness, but it also makes being cooped up in your home a lot more pleasant. Finish that big list of spring-cleaning chores you may have been putting off or never have time for.

Aportion cleaning responsibilities to each member of the home, its always good to do this task to your favourite music.  Music is much better to listen to than the radio or TV which is overloaded with continuous news about the virus.

6. Go online, but beware.

Go online, but don’t stay online.  Before the shutdown, people’s obsession with their smart devices was ridiculous.  Guard against spending excessive time online.  It must fit into your new routine.  Make time for your online activity and keep to those times.

If you are a student, use the time gainfully to make as much progress as is possible.

7. Plan your entertainment

it is important to watch the news, but in my experience, the best time is usually in the evening.  That is when the President usually addresses the nation or his Top Team give their updates on the lockdown and relevant news.

Watch those shows and movies you’ve been meaning to watch but never got around to?   Once again, limit the time spent in front of the TV screen.

Pull out those books that you’ve received for birthdays and Christmas gifts that you’ve not read.  Pull out the board games, puzzles, back gammon and cards. Get cracking with your hobby that has been gathering dust.  Have some craft supplies on hand.  Ladies, knit or crochet for worthy causes such as 67 Blankets for Mandela Day, winter is coming and the homeless need blankets soon.

8. Seek professional help if you’re really struggling

If you start suffering from a build up in you anxiety levels, whether you’ve been to a therapist before or are just realising you might need to see one, seeking help with your mental health doesn’t need to wait till you can go outside again. Lots of therapists offer sessions over the phone or video chat. There are also apps to help you with your mental health.

9. If you’re working from home, do it right.

Working from home may sound like the dream — pyjamas all day, slacking off, working from the couch! — but it can get bleak and unproductive pretty quickly if you do not approach it the right way.

Daniel, Robby and I work from home. I advise you to keep a regular routine as much as possible, including getting dressed and grooming yourself like you usually would, eating breakfast, and having a ritual to signal a transition into the workday, like taking a walk around your garden, balcony or lounge.

Get dressed on time as if you are going to work, even if now it may be shorts and a golf shirt, my typical working dress.  If you don’t put the effort into yourself, you won’t put effort into anything else.  I know this, and the experts tell us this as well. Actually, seeing and speaking to people matters too, according to experts.  They suggest holding meetings over video chat — and I actually turn the camera on for them on the system that I use.

10. Remember to stay healthy and practice good hygiene

Information is power, and having the right info can be helpful in stopping yourself from freaking out. You don’t need to go overboard on research, but it’s a good idea to be aware of what you should do if you do think you’ve contracted the coronavirus. The easiest way to stay healthy is to maintain proper hygiene. You don’t need a face mask (unless you’re sick), but you should be washing your hands regularly (and remember, soap and water is just as effective as hand sanitiser).

“These are tough, uncertain times, and the best thing we all can do is be kind to ourselves and our neighbours as we all go through it. Stay at home and #flattenthecurve.


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