Introducing the new Master Diploma in Illumination Engineering Course – August 2021 Newsletter

This year has by far been our best year for lighting consulting at BHA Lighting Design & Consulting, being called upon to do Measurement and Verification, Lighting Assessments of existing businesses and hospitality facilities and more.

This has prompted me to include this extremely important but also very complex part of our business as a dedicated subject in the Master Diploma in Illumination Engineering course.  It is without any doubt, impossible to even contemplate undertaking such functions without a thorough knowledge and understanding of lighting.  Graduates from the Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering course will be suitable candidates to undertake such tasks with the appropriate additional knowledge, practical training and experience.  These tasks are conducted according to the stringent international standards and practises.

The Master Diploma in Illumination Engineering Course which is a NQ8/EQ8 level course equivalent to an Honours Degree and is now live on our e-learning system.

We are extremely excited to soon receive our first two enrolments from BHA School of Lighting graduates for this course which will be life changing for the students.

If you are a graduate of the Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering we invite you to find out more here –

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

  •  Grant Melville, Eurolux, Durban – BHASL001C20: Foundation Lighting Course
  • Ahmed Hamdan Al Farsi, City of Barka, Sultanet of Oman – BHASL003C19: Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering Course
  • Fiona Reid, Liquid Lighting, Johannesburg – BHASL003C19: Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering Course
  • Warren Watt, Liquid Lighting, Johannesburg – BHASL003C19: Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering Course
  • Martina Mantaras, Montevideo, Uruguay – BHASL003C19: Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering Course
  • Sione Fourie, Pretoria – BHASL003C19: Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering Course
  • Mark Vigus-Brown, Magnitech Lighting, Johannesburg – BHASL018: Relux Lighting Design Software Course

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

  • Lukas Wayiti, Windhoek, Namibia – 1 August
  • Paul Nel, Cape Town – 1 August
  • Justice Bhengu, Durban – 3 August
  • Mardie Hufkie, Cape Town – 14 August
  • Savas Seckin, Istanbul, Turkey – 20 August
  • Sicelo Zitha, Johannesburg –  11 August

Our congratulations go out to the following students, who recently graduated from the Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering Course during July 2021.Leonel Esteban Garcia

  • Nunez, Mexico City, Mexico – graduated on 9 July 2021 with Distinction
  • Henk Goris, Durban – graduated on 31 July 2021

We wish you both every success now that you are qualified Illumination Engineers and lighting designers.

Cindy Montague from Pretoria is preparing to write her final theory and practical examinations before graduating as an Illumination Engineer.  We wish you every success!

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

  • 5 August: Facade Lighting by special guest speaker David Gilbey (Italy) REGISTER HERE
  • 19 August: Spectral Quality and Characteristics of LED Lighting – the link to HCL and CLA REGISTER HERE

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

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Over the last year, the office has been redefined. And we have quickly learned to work remotely. Now we are returning to buildings, and our expectations have shifted. We are re-evaluating how space is used. Office space has changed over the years to adapt to different collaboration and management styles. The most recent shift has moved us from a mix of enclosed offices and cubicles to open space and large pods. With a need for rapid response and risk reduction, we now see a need for flexible space and a hybrid work environment. New technology enables building owners and occupants to meet these demands. Through systems integration it will be possible to ensure that conference rooms and workspaces are automatically set for the desired work environment upon reservation. For instance, if the meeting includes a presentation, the room can be set to a dimmer light with any audio-visual equipment powered on and ready to go. Building managers can also arrange for the temperature to be automatically adjusted based on occupancy.

New Customer/Tenant Requirements

There is an increased focus on sustainability and healthy buildings. We are seeing an increase in requirements for net-zero buildings. A net-zero building uses the same amount of energy that it produces each year. But this shift does not come easily. Owners, consultants, and contractors are using building systems and green energy sources to meet these demanding requirements. Wind, solar energy, and energy storage systems such as lithium-ion batteries are examples of common energy solutions.

Building systems are also increasingly designed with a focus on reducing energy consumption. For example, motion detectors automatically turn off lights if the space is unused. Building management systems can be programmed to reach the desired heating/cooling setpoints in an energy-efficient manner rather than having systems running continuously or occupants reacting to temperature extremes.

There is also a renewed focus on healthy environments, which are known to promote better work conditions. Although this is not a new concept, recent challenges have highlighted indoor air quality. It is well known that conditioning spaces reduces health risks. It’s important to examine building air quality from a holistic standpoint and not only in isolation—this includes the air brought into the building, how it’s conditioned, what temperature and humidity setpoints are programmed for each space, etc. By using dedicated approaches to indoor air quality, one can protect people’s health and safety inside the building and increase productivity. However, a careful balance needs to take place, as simply increasing the rate of air changes may increase building energy consumption. Today’s building management systems can use sensors to set the appropriate air exchange rate while balancing energy concerns.

These goals may be achieved through dedicated approaches to indoor air quality.

New Technology in Building Systems that Will Help Meet New Demands

Building systems have advanced with the use of increased sensors and new technology. For instance, some lighting systems now utilize Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology. Ethernet has become a standard cabling method for diverse building systems. Even NFPA 72 has a section on a shared Class N (Ethernet) network.
By integrating building systems to create a smart building on a converged network, it’s possible to leverage occupancy data from different sensors and systems to achieve energy efficiency and comfort for the occupants. This also eliminates redundancies of occupancy sensors and switches, and ultimately reduces the cost of ownership. With an integrated building management system, a building can now set the temperature in a space or call an elevator when an employee uses their access card to enter the lobby. Or in the event of an emergency, the operator may see the alarm shown on a graphical map, and the associated security cameras will be activated to show the live feed.

Emerging Technology Committee Activities
The NEMA SB Emerging Technology Committee (USA) is exploring the concept of a Life Safety Knowledge Portal to enhance lifesaving responses while reducing risks to first responders and building occupants. Conceptually, the portal will store building data and permit access to it to essential first responders during an emergency.
Building systems have access to a remarkable quantity of data, including smoke detector status, security cameras, in-building temperature gradients, emergency calls from occupants, and more. If presented clearly and accessed in real time, this information could enhance lifesaving responses while reducing risks to first responders and building occupants.

In April, key Members of the industry attended a workshop. These experts included first responders, representatives from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and others. We posed questions including:

  • What information would be of most use to first responders?
  • How could this data be securely stored and easily accessed?
  • Can it be connected to the Next Generation 911 technology?

It is important to start asking these questions now, as it may take a code cycle to formalize the concept and structure. Work has already begun through recent fire alarm code updates. The 2022 edition of NFPA 72 permits remote access within parameters and adds a framework to follow for cybersecurity protection. Cybersecurity will remain an ongoing project discussion for the design, installation, ongoing maintenance, and use of the systems.

Additionally, it will be necessary to define the format for data management across all building systems. This includes capturing and storing the data from these diverse systems so that it is available when needed. One of the challenges we will face is deciphering the data, as the tags used for the metadata across different building systems may not match.

As we look to the future, technology will continue to play a role in creating an office space that is comfortable, accessible, and an extension of how we work and live. By sharing data across the diverse building systems, owners will be able to meet sustainability requirements and operating budgets. And in the event of an emergency, the building will be a resource to aid the first responders. A smart building is truly a safe building.


Signify’s Robert Lee brings some positive perspective to the demands placed on connected lighting and controls, which will drive greater confidence in returning to commercial office spaces and other campus-style buildings.

I am certain that most of you in the audience have seen the phrase “Keep Calm and Carry On” featured on any number of merchandise items such as T-shirts, mugs, and so on. This phrase originated from a motivational poster produced by the British government in 1939 in preparation for World War II. What is remarkable is that even though 2.45 million posters were printed, few were displayed in public during the war. It was not until 2000 that the word got out, when a bookshop owner in England accidentally discovered the original poster in a box of secondhand books that were purchased at auction and went on to sell copies of it, according to Wikipedia.

I see a strong parallel between the need to continue daily life both during and beyond WWII and what we are going through now. Instead of fighting an enemy with military weapons, we are waging a battle against an invisible enemy known as COVID-19. As of this writing, this pathogen has infected over 118 million people worldwide and caused over 2.6 million confirmed deaths, according to the World Organisation.  The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has reported more than 26 million confirmed cases and more than 527 thousand deaths in the United States. Given the situation, “Keep Calm and Carry On” is a fitting motivation as we prepare for, and look forward to, a post-pandemic world.

(Image credit: Graphic courtesy of Signify.)

Growth in commercial connected lighting

I would argue that this phrase is also a strong motivator as the lighting industry marches forward. Despite the difficult 2020 and an uncertain 2021, there are some bright spots that we can draw strength from, including connected lighting.

For three consecutive years, I’ve witnessed strong sales of connected solutions for commercial lighting control. This growth has even exceeded industry analysts’ projections for the North American market. In an April 2020 blog for Signify’s website, I explored the idea that the disruption caused by the pandemic might bring new opportunities for the lighting industry. Specifically, I proposed that connected lighting systems would gain greater adoption because they could become the “sensors of human experience” through telemetry and data. This is especially true now even with the easing of restrictions regarding the indoor environment, and the concept has been echoed by other lighting industry stakeholders.

In a follow-up blog for Signify’s website, I explained how five converging requirements — touchless and automation, flexibility, need for data, ecosystem mindset, and wellbeing — will shape the future of connected lighting systems for years to come. I can take this one step further by stating that these five requirements are not only shaping the future of the lighting industry but also other industries that offer products and services that we use every day.

There are additional data which suggest that commercial connected lighting systems will gain more adoption. According to market intelligence and advisory firm Guidehouse Insights, global revenue for commercial connected lighting systems is expected to grow from roughly $4.4 billion in 2020 to $19.1 billion in 2029, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.9%. Within this category, services are expected to grow at a CAGR of 19.4%, slightly faster than hardware (16.0%) or software (18.6%).

Lighting controls could increase occupant confidence

Recently, office furnishing manufacturer Steelcase surveyed more than 32,000 workers from around the world to share their overall work experience during the pandemic. 95% said that they would like to be back to the office in some capacity, while 19% said that they are completely satisfied with their current work-from-home arrangement. And according to a separate survey reported via Tech Republic, 29% of respondents went as far as stating that they would quit their jobs if they were told they could not work remotely.

So how do we cope with changing attitudes toward the traditional workplace? What technologies can accommodate social distancing requirements, making building occupants feel safer?

One solution is adding touchless control technology (including occupancy and daylight sensing) along with a connected lighting system that delivers both automation and flexibility for functional spaces. Compared to wired control systems, wireless control systems can be installed at a lower cost and in less time. They also provide facility managers with more flexibility in tailoring lighting systems to new layouts or health guidelines. Coupled with advanced features such as energy monitoring, remote diagnostics, and presence detection, it’s no wonder that the touchless lighting control system is gaining greater traction.

In the lighting industry, there is growing pressure on cost management as well as greater recognition of and demand for the well-being of the building occupants. Automated touchless control technology is available now and will carry some of the facilities management burdens. Offering advanced features without a hefty price tag is imperative for adoption of networked lighting controls. They also need to be simple enough for lighting manufacturers to integrate, for installers to mcommission and for end users to utilise. These will be some of the keys to success in a post-pandemic world.

So let’s keep calm and carry on by staying connected, shall we?

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