Introducing our New Short Courses – April 2021 Newsletter

BHA School of Lighting is excited to announce that we have just launched 4 new short courses for lighting professionals, architects, electrical engineers & build environment professionals. We are proud to extend our course offerings which have been tailored for those individuals who cannot commit to long term study or courses.

BHASL004C21: Understanding the Spectral Richness of LED Light in Lighting Design

This course has been developed to educate architects, electrical engineers, interior designers, lighting professionals & other build environment professionals about the spectral richness of LED light sources. By the end of this course you will discover that LED lighting systems offer additional energy savings to give your client an excellent ROI by gaining a thorough understanding of new revolutionary lighting design techniques which are required in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Click here for more info


BHASL005C21: Emergency Lighting Course (Emergency Escape Lighting & Emergency Standby Lighting)

BHA School of Lighting’s Emergency Lighting Course has been designed to educate build environment professionals how to design emergency lighting systems for all workplaces based on South African National Building Regulations. Most importantly this course will highlight the difference between emergency escape lighting & emergency standby lighting.

Click here for more info


BHASL006c21: Effects of Glare in the Workplace (Health & Safety for Indoor & Outdoor Lighting Applications)

This short course focusing entirely on glare caused by lighting has been developed to give build environment professionals a detailed understanding about the dangers and effects of glare in the workplace & how mitigating interventions can be applied to minimise or elimate glare.

Click here for more info


BHASL007C21: Specifying LED Lighting in Requests for Lighting Design Proposals & Tender Documents

This course is designed to equip build environment professionals with the knowledge to write water-tight lighting specification documents for projects which will protect you and your client from procuring sub-standard products.

Click here for more info

Additionally we invite to visit our short course to view all other available courses where you will be able to find each course’s curriculum at the link here

I hope that this Newsletter finds you all in good health and that 2021 is delivery many positive opportunities and projects.

The revision and updating of all modules for the advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering task is proceeding well.  I hope to start on Module 14: Standards and Compliance, this week.  The content for this module will be considerably updated with standards for Human Centric Lighting, Circadian Light and Circadian Stimulus as per the CIE directives (International Commission on Illumination), updating of the maintenance factor as per SANS 10114-1: Interior Lighting and EN 12464-1:2019: European Standards for Interior Artificial Lighting.  It will also include SANS 10400-T, Fire Regulations, specifically as it applies to lighting and emergency escape lighting.

You may wonder why I have singled this module out for special mention, well the answer is simple.  It is such an important subject and very onerous for any engineer but particularly for the illumination engineer who when appointed on a project, is required to sign-off all aspects pertaining to lighting by issuing a Certificate of Conformity.

The subject of Emergency Lighting and with particular reference to Emergency Escape Lighting, is regularly misinterpreted which could result in major catastrophes in fire or other disaster situations.  I am sure that you all know and understand the combustion triangle.

On 29 April 2021, I will present the first group tuition session for our students for an introduction and familiarisation lesson on the amazing Relux Desktop ver 2020.2.5.0 software. The purpose will not be to teach but demonstrate the features that are available in this outstanding lighting design and simulation software suite.

I am sure that all of you have grown wary of the effects, inconveniences and abnormal working/social conditions that apply.  Of course, I fully appreciate that we must continue to abide by the rules and follow the protocols.  We cannot afford extended restrictions for our businesses.  It is in our own interests and in the interest of everyone around us that we comply.  It is also therefore essential that we include the various measure such as one-way traffic within offices, social distancing spacing between workstations and the inclusion of “Sneeze/cough” screens in our lighting designs for offices.

I am sure that many of you are “Zoomed” out, or “Teamed” out by now and long for those more effective face-to-face meetings.  My major complaint about virtual meetings is the fact that most are not properly planned and carry on for too long.  I find that in some cases, it seems as if they are continuous ie one virtual meeting after another. It has become extremely hard and frustrating to make personal contact on the telephone due to the unavailability of contacts.

I encourage my students and fellow business colleagues to plan every meeting in detail and time manage meetings.  Valuable business and work time is lost.  I am all too aware myself that “time and tide waits for no man” (a very famous quotation often attributed to Geoffrey Chaucer in the 1400’s but it even predates him by some 300 years).

I encourage every student to adopt a daily office/work routine.  I wake early rather than work late into the evening.  My first task is to check on the activities of the students and extract all assignments that have been submitted and require marking.  My next task is to answer emails that may have arrived overnight or over a weekend.  Only once that task has been completed, do I start on my other tasks which may be revising and updating modules, preparing the newsletter, doing exterior lighting designs or sportsfield lighting, writing articles for various publications and preparing presentations for webinars or group tuition sessions.  In between, I find time for research and my own personal study of new technologies, directives and changes to standards and regulations.

If one does not take control of the day, goals and objectives will not be realised.

I regularly review the progress of every student.  Similarly it is important for every student and person to regularly review their own progress to ensure that they optimise the hours in the day.

I hope that you are encouraged and hopefully are inspired after reading this, that you will reflect and review your study and work routine so that you too will get the most out of your day and in so doing enjoy the benefit of great results.  Hopefully, it will be profitable!

We would like to welcome the following new students to BHA School of Lighting

Lorraine Govender, Aurora Lighting, Johannesburg – BHASL001C20: Foundation Lighting Course
Rowan Forsdike, Eagle Lighting, Cape Town – BHASL003C19: Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering Course
Pieter Maartens, Magnitech Lighting, Johannesburg – BHASL018: RELUX Lighting Design Software Course
Jacques Henegan, LED Corporation, Pretoria – BHASL003C19: Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering Course

Happy Birthday to the following students celebrating their Birthdays this April! We hope you all have a memorable day!

Doreen Sargent, Pretoria – 8 April
Clint Davids, Cape Town – 11 April
Mark Storm, Cape Town – 21 April
Madhura Kotkar, Pune, India – 29 April
Juan Izeta, Arrasate, Spain – 29 April

The following students are preparing to write their final theory and practical examinations before graduating as Illumination Engineers.  We wish you success!

Renske Snyman, Cape Town
Corrie Prinsloo, Centurion
Henk Goris, Durban
Leonel, Esteban Garcia Nunez, Mexico City. Mexico

Join BHA School of Lighting’s “enLightened Community”

Our series of industry accredited live webinars have been developed to share lighting industry knowledge with build environment professionals which cover a vast range of interesting topics from the world of lighting.

Webinar Schedule

8 April: Lighting Design for the Hospital & Healthcare Environment Register Here

22 April: Architectural lighting – Residential & Heritage Buildings

6 May: Façade lighting for Commercial Buildings

20 May: Security Lighting

10 June: Street & Road Lighting Design using Relux Desktop

24 June: Sport Field Lighting

Join the BHA School of Lighting’s Alumni and follow us on LinkedIn –

You can also follow us on Facebook –

We wish you peace and blessings over this time!

To all who celebrate Easter
To all who celebrate Passover
and To all who will soon celebrate Ramadan


The IES Handbook defines “discomfort glare” as a sensation of annoyance and “disabling glare” as painful when high luminance (brightness) light sources are in our field of view. While at work, for example—where we move our bodies and eyes quite a bit, but our light sources are generally fixed—we measure the “glare” by four factors: (1) the luminance of the source, (2) its size, (3) its location in the field of view and (4) the viewer’s light adaptation level.

The fourth factor is most often ignored, but it has the unique ability to mitigate glare. For instance, when you’re driving at night and the cars coming at you in the opposite lane have their “brights” on, you’re going to suffer disabling glare, but when driving in daylight, your light adaptation levels are much higher than at night, and those oncoming headlights don’t bother you at all. When you’re indoors, bright light sources can be discomforting, but a room with light finishes and abundant general lighting mitigates that glare.

Incorporating daylight into designs is one way to provide abundant general lighting. Jim Benya of Benya Burnett Consultancy in Davis, CA, reports that his most recent designs provide sufficient daylight for 80% of the time, while room lights are only on 20% of the time. In addition to mitigating glare, this also reduces the lighting load density of those rooms to around 0.3 watts per sq ft, which is very energy efficient.

If you are now working from home, consider locating your desk near a window to allow daylight in to keep your light adaptation level high, maintain your circadian rhythm and improve your color discrimination. In commercial offices, on the other hand, most luminaires use lenses to refract high-angle rays of light downward, or use parabolic or dark louvers to cut off those rays, but we should be directing as much light as possible upward to brighten the walls and ceilings in the rooms we work in.

At night when we’re outdoors, we should illuminate sidewalks, buildings and store fronts with wide-angle streetlights to increase our light adaptation levels and improve visual acuity. For additional safety, we should follow London’s example and require cameras on all buildings. Indoors, we should not sleep in totally dark rooms, which have been proven to be dangerous for seniors.

An IES committee is now studying the adoption of an indoor glare evaluation system for our lighting code, modeled after Europe’s CIE “United Glare Rating” (UGR) system. The article “UGR on the Rise” by James K. Eads, published in the October issue of LD+A, included a table of the UGR values compared with the Hopkins Rating Scale, where in seven steps, the UGR goes from 10 (imperceptible) to 28 (uncomfortable).

The luminance of our surroundings must be kept high to mitigate glare, because by increasing the luminosity of the background we can lower the UGR and move up on the Hopkins Rating Scale. That could be considered “UGR-LITE.”

My college engineering/economics professor lectured that we must always consider alternatives in our designs. His favourite recommendation was: “When your city’s bridges become too low to allow the new, taller ships to clear under them—instead of replacing the bridges, consider lowering the riverbeds.”

The Brits are doing that now on the Thames River to eliminate flooding in basements adjacent to the riverbanks. We now have the opportunity to mitigate glare, both indoors and out, by flooding the spaces we spend time in with surround light, to raise our light adaptation and comfort levels.


Octopuses can “see” light with their arms, even when their eyes are in the dark, researchers have found. When the arms of the octopus detect light, the eight-armed creature pulls them close to their body.

Because octopuses generally have a poor sense of where their body is in space, this complex instinctive behavior might help protect their arms from the pincers of predators nearby that they might otherwise not sense.

Scientists have long known that octopus arms react to light. Their skin is covered in pigment-filled organs called chromatophores that reflexively change colour when exposed to light. These chromatophores are responsible for the octopus’s colour-changing camouflage superpowers. In fact, it was while studying these light-induced chromatophore responses that Tal Shomrat and Nir Nesher of the Ruppin Academic Center in Israel noticed something odd.

At the time, an undergraduate student in their lab was shining bright lights on octopus arms to elicit a chromatophore response. But the octopus was not cooperating.

“We were using a very strong flashlight and when we illuminated the tip of the arm, it would always pull away. It was very surprising,” Shomrat told LiveScience. “We shifted our experiment to explore this behaviour after we found out that nobody had described it before.”

Their new experiment involved placing an octopus in a tank covered in an opaque black tarp. The octopus, kept in the dark, was trained to reach an arm through a small hole in the top of the tank to find pieces of fish. While the octopus was blindly feeling around for a piece of food, the researchers would shine a bright light on the octopus’s arm at a random time; about 84% of the time when they shone the light, the octopus would rapidly pull its arm away,  suggesting that the octopus is able to sense and react to light with its arms, even when they can’t see the light with their eyes.

“We often feel the heat from intense light, but for the octopus, this isn’t the case,” Neshir said. “In our experiments, we checked for changes in temperature and there weren’t any. The effect is from pure light.”

Having established that octopus arms can sense and react to light, their next step was to explore what controls this reaction. Is it a simple reflex controlled completely by neurons — or special nerve cells —in the arm, or is it controlled by the brain?

To answer this question, they performed a few additional experiments. First, they illuminated different parts of the octopus’s arm to determine the region most sensitive to light. They found that the tip of the arm was the most sensitive to it.

Next, they illuminated the arms of several anesthetized octopuses. If light avoidance was entirely based on a local reflex, it might occur in an unconscious octopus. However, while the chromatophores in the sleeping octopus reflexively reacted to the light, the arms didn’t pull away.

When the scientists cut the muscles at the base of the arms, that also eliminated the arm retraction. Put together, the studies suggest that the arm is sensing the light, sending a message to the brain through nerves in the muscle, and the brain is telling the octopus to move the arm.

One of Shomrat and Neshir’s experiments confirmed this, too. When they would shine the light on a piece of fish, the octopus would initially avoid the food before seemingly deciding to override its instincts and grab the fish anyway.

“The fact that this behaviour is not a reflex, but instead controlled by higher-level cognition in the brain is fascinating,” said Eduardo Sampaio, an octopus behaviour researcher at the University of Lisbon in Portugal, who was not involved in the study.


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