BHA School of Lighting’s 5th Anniversary – June 2018 Newsletter

In mid-May, I had to pinch myself when I checked back and realised the correspondence lighting course which BHA School of Lighting launched started five years ago in May 2013.  The number of enrolments within the first month was astounding.  I had identified the dire need for some formal training in the illumination field, but never imagined that the hunger to learn was so great.  Looking back, I had identified that need as far back as 2010, but it was only in 2012 that I made the decision to develop a course curriculum, one that would at the very least be as good as the courses offered overseas.  However, for those of you who know me well, that would never be good enough!  I wanted to develop a superior curriculum which would then produce graduates who would be well grounded and well rounded in the field of illumination engineering.

By September 2013, I was labouring under the intensity of paper generation, scanning, e-mailing and extremely long hours that were needed to give attention to the needs of students and the marking of their examination submissions at the end of each module completed.  By then the students numbers had grown at a rapid rate.  I realised that I had to find a better and more efficient system to give the students the best possible learning experience and for my own sanity and health.

I began my personal voyage of discovery.  There were a number of platforms that I found, but none that could do what I needed them to do.  I needed a system that would restrict students from proceeding to the next module until they had achieved the minimum pass mark required for the module.  Eventually the system platform was found which is in use now, which at the time could almost do what I required of the system.  After communicating with the developers, the function I required was soon part of the system thanks to the software developers.  Rather than mention this later, the system continues to evolve and improve regularly.  In fact there have been two new improved versions released this year alone.

Once the system platform had been selected, we invested in a private secure webserver for our exclusive use which also provides the best possible security and level of confidentiality for students.  Finally, it was time for the biggest task of all, loading the course material onto the webserver.  I assure you that it was a monumental task.  Once that task had been completed, the entire system was tested and tested and tested!  Finally, the students’ particulars were loaded and enrolled on the system.  Each student then received a personal e-mail which provided them with instructions to access the site and how to login.

Both the students and I have never looked back since migrating to the online platform.  The course content has evolved to be the best available in the field of lighting in the world.  That is a BIG statement to make.  It is incredibly rich in additional video and documentary resources.  It is loaded with beneficial features for both students and myself alike.  It changed my life and the lives of the students as well.  I do not generate any paper.  All assignments, Quizzes and examinations are marked live online.  The students receive their feedback directly online. Students can message me directly from within the system without the need to ever use other conventional software.  All student administration and grade results are always up to date without any additional workload or processes.

The next milestone was achieved when the course status received approval for Diploma status.  A number of proud graduates have successfully completed the course to date.

Over the last 12 months no less than 16 different new courses have been developed of varying duration for various possible student groups.  One of the courses is for consulting electrical engineers only which is a 5-6 hour tuition session at their own offices for their entire team who work in the lighting environment.

We currently have 182 enrolled students for the various courses, the majority of whom have enrolled for the Diploma course.

We are pleased to welcome the following new students

  • Ross Sharp, NPH Electrical, Cape Town – BHASL002: Primary Lighting Course
  • Gideon Richter, Green Power Energy Solutions, Midrand – BHASL003: Diploma Course
  • Brandon Gopaul, ACDC Dynamics, Cape Town – BHASL003: Diploma Course
  • Sonto Msimango, Rawlins Wales and Partners, Cape Town – BHASL018: RELUX Course
  • Philip Nicholson, Bosch Projects, East London – BHASL018: RELUX Course
  • Francois Joubert, EMS Technik, Orania – BHASL018: RELUX Course
  • Edward Mohlwini, Royal HaskoningDHV, Lephalele, Limpopo – BHASL018: RELUX Course

Happy Birthday to all of you who are celebrating your birthday in June 2018!

  • Jean Basson, Windhoek – 5 June
  • Mia Koster, Windhoek – 6 June
  • Pieter Venter, Pretoria – 9 June
  • Lynette Jeppe, Bloemfontein – 11 June
  • Jonathan Witthuhn, George – 19 June
  • Riaan Aucamp, Mossel Bay – 30 June

This story is not only about successfully graduating.  It is about the fact that this gentleman commenced the course on 19 January 2017.  He had no prior education or experience in the field of lighting.  He is a successful businessman in a business is so far removed from lighting that any reasonable person would have said that it would be impossible for hi  to complete the course and graduate sooner than the 2 year time allowed.

I am extremely pleased to congratulate Robby Cohen who graduated with distinction on 2 May 2018, with an astounding 8 months to spare.  I am proud of your accomplishment and the fact that since graduating, you are continuing to improve your proficiency in RELUX and have since graduated to RELUX Desktop.  Please don’t stop.  Never forget the story about the man who wanted to get to Carnegie Hall!

Robby’s parting words:

“I would like to take this opportunity, as a recent graduate of the course, to express my gratitude to you. The diploma in lighting engineering course has been an amazing journey, one that I’ve enjoyed tremendously; found challenging, invigorating and rewarding.

The knowledge you so generously share, the logical structure of the modules, as well as the practical implementation of the learned material-leading to an overall grasp of one of the most exiting fields of modern technology, coupled with a strong sense of accomplishment as well as the need to further my everyday study of this remarkable new profession I’ve just started to comprehend.

I couldn’t wish for a better guide, mentor and friend to walk me through the course and share the humor we weaved along the way.”

Lighting Matters: Scotopic richness – what the experts say…

To read Phil’s monthly column featured in EE Publishers’ Vector Magazine click the link here –

Social Media

Click the link to follow us on Instagram –

Click the link to follow us on LinkedIn –


If you cannot immediately define this term, you need to arrange a tuition session with me.

The ONLY people that I know who can answer this are the engineer practices whom I have tutored and the 2nd year Diploma students.

Knowledge about this subject and fully understanding how it affects lighting design, will save your clients thousands of Rands/Euros/Dollars in capital cost, it will also ensure even greater energy efficiency but most importantly, it will ensure that you are not guilty of over illumination.

The single greatest contributor to increasing visual complaints, eye fatigue and increased use of corrective spectacles is due to poor lighting design and lack of attention to visual acuity, visual performance and visually demanding tasks.

To learn more and make one of the best business investments in vital knowledge – Contact me on +27 (0)81 523 5374 or to schedule a tuition session for you and your team at your offices.

We now offer 18 different courses.  We have tailored courses for the lighting industry and built environment professionals, no doubt there is the right course for you or your staff.  Visit our website at to find out more.

Remember – “Procrastination is the thief of time”.  Don’t delay.

Enrol today.  Contact us to discuss group rates. Installment plans also available.

Professional Lighting Design Service

We offer extensive specialist lighting design services throughout Africa and overseas.

Contact Phil at for all exterior lighting designs including street lighting and specialist sport field lighting to meet 4K outdoor television broadcasts requirements.

Contact Daniel at to discuss any interior, architectural or landscape lighting design requirements, Daniel can also help you with any problems that you are encountering.

All lighting designs are fully compliant with relevant standards and regulations.  Our fees include post installation inspections and pre-commissioning illuminance measurement and Certificate of Conformity as qualified Illumination Engineers.

Lighting boosts office workers’ sleep by 26 minutes

By now you all know that I am a prolific reader.  I continually hunger to learn more about the wonderful profession that I am engaged in.  I frequently read about the benefits to us from LED lighting, but more recently I read something really mind-blowing!

I have mentioned what I refer to as democratised lighting,  lighting which the individual user can control in their personal space according to their own individual preferences.  Wait for it – it has been shown that the workers are benefiting by an average of an extra 26 minutes sleep per night.  Workers had reported that they ascribed this fantastic benefit to their ability to have brighter cooler light at times and that they can change the intensity and the colour temperature during the day and particularly in the latter part of the afternoon before going home after work.

Eindhoven University of Technology was able to provide qualitative measurement of the importance of personalisation which led to greater well-being.

The office workers were first exposed to a randomly selected lighting regime for three weeks.  For the following three weeks they were exposed to a new test regime.  Workers who had been selected for a control group received standard office lighting with an average illuminance of 500 lux on their desks in a neutral white light of 4000K.  The rest of the workers in the test group received a dynamic light with varying colour temperature and intensity.

The test went even further by customising the light to the test person’s eyes and even went so far as determining whether the person was a morning lark or a night owl!  How amazing is that!

When the light was measured close to the eye, the researchers discovered that the workers with personalised control set for higher illuminance levels in the early morning.  The colour temperature level at the desk and close to the eye was also higher in the personalised, dynamic scenario regardless of the time.

They also found that the employees personalised lighting group enjoyed better tuned lighting exposure even if they moved about within the office space.

When the same subjects were surveyed, they reported that they slept for an average of 26 minutes longer.

Additional detailed analysis and tests are still being conducted to fully verify the findings and to measure sleep quality, reaction to light and light sensitivity.
Probably the m
ost interesting finding to date has been that there is no “one size fits all” type of lighting design or system.  Humans are individuals, each with their own individual tastes, preferences and requirements.  This applies equally to light intensity and colour temperature.  It has clearly demonstrated the preference for “democratised” lighting control.  As was found by Deloitte in The Edge Building in Amsterdam, the average workers with personalised lighting and air-conditioning control preferred illuminance levels at around 150 lux when working.

Finally, workers were able to account for the sleep benefits and less about alertness, general health or productivity benefits.

This study is a part of a project called “Personalised Intelligent Lighting Control Systems (PILCS) and it is led by Professor Yvonne de Kort.

Quote of the Month

Next Month

Human Centric Lighting is not just a nice to have, it is fast becoming the norm

Focus on offices where Human Centric Lighting has been successfully installed with phenomenally good results after occupants were surveyed after some time.



Copyright © 2018 BHA Lighting and BHA School of Lighting, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

BHA School of Lighting

20 Arena North, Grand National Blvd

Royal Ascot

Cape Town, Western Cape

South Africa