New Decade, New Developments, New Challenges – January 2020 Newsletter

Before I actually realised that we were entering a new decade, I had not even give it a single glancing thought!  It is very true that “time waits for no man”.  The original expression was in fact “time and tide waits for no man and the earliest reference to this was way back in 1225!

It is not time to dwell on the past.

As lighting professionals and students enrolled on lighting courses, we are living in very exciting times for lighting.  Every time that I am wowed by some new lighting or lighting controls system, better and more exciting developments are made known.

How many of you looked at the different cities in the world to see how they welcomed the arrival of the year 2020?  I wonder who watched the spectacular light show in Shanghai which was performed by 2,000 drones, all working in “perfect harmony” (acknowledgement to the Beatles and Stevie Wonder).  It was absolutely amazing to see them lift off and how they formed shapes, a running man and of course 2020 and then in Chinese characters as well.  Prior to the drone light show, there were some unbelievable light projections on buildings depicting the year 2019 in review.  BUT – think about the technological development that made it possible with software to control 2,000 drones.  That was mind-blowing.  Hopefully it will always be for peaceful use only.

I have included interesting articles about the everyday use of disruptive technologies within the landscape of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.  Who would ever have thought that commercial buildings could be built by just 3 people and a 3D printer!

You will read about how the use of robotics in a huge warehouse have replaced 90% of the employees. The threat of dementia and Alzheimer’s for anyone getting more senior in years is of interest to everyone, particularly understanding the important role that light plays.  There is growing evidence about the benefits of human-centric lighting (HCL) in the modern workplace throughout the world.  HCL is no longer thought to be important only in the northern hemisphere, but in EVERY workplace no matter where that may be in the world.

BHA School of Lighting will continue to keep its readers informed and to stimulate more interest in the world of lighting and illumination engineering.

I wish you all exceptional success this year!

Welcome to the following NEW students:

            • Sboniso Dlamini, Eurolux Durban – BHASL001: Foundation Lighting Course
            • Melissa Gouws, Weskus Elektries – BHASL003C19: Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering Course
            • Caleb Ka Ting Lee, KT Studio, Pretoria – BHASL001C20: NEW Foundation Lighting Course

Please join us and wish the following a Happy Birthday:

                • Pablo Albarello, Cape Town – 10 January
                • Andrea Montero Salazar, San Jose, Costa Rica – 29 January
                • Aadil Vahed, Park Rynie – 31 January

Sboniso Dhlamini, successfully completed the BHASL001: Foundation Lighting Course

Ryan Jones-Hockley successfully completed 1st Year of BHASL003C19: Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering Course

Renske Snyman, successfully completed 1st Year of BHASL003C19: Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering Course

A number of students are busy preparing to write their 1st year examinations.  I wish each of you well during this time.  Remember to read the question carefully and analyse it before hurrying to answer.


Japanese clothing chain Uniqlo’s robots have already replaced 90% of its human workers at its flagship warehouse, now they’ve cracked the difficult task of folding T-shirts

  • Japanese clothing chain Uniqlo is coming close to full automation at its flagship warehouse in Tokyo, according to a new report from The Financial Times.
  • According to The FT, Uniqlo’s parent company, Fast Retailing, has partnered with a Japanese start-up that develops industrial robots to create a two-armed robot that is able to pick up t-shirts and box these up, a task that could previously only be done by a human.
  • This is an important innovation as it could enable this factory, which has already replaced 90% of its workers with robots, to roll out a fully automated process.

Uniqlo is coming close to full automation at its flagship warehouse in Tokyo.

According to a new report from The Financial Times, Uniqlo’s owner – apparel giant Fast Retailing – has partnered with Mujin, a Japanese start-up that develops industrial robots, to create a new two-armed robot that is able to pick up t-shirts and box these up to be sent out to customers. This was a task that could previously only be done by a human.

This is an important innovation as it could enable this factory, which has already replaced 90% of its workers with robots, to roll out a fully automated process.

In an interview with The Financial Times, a Fast Retailing executive who focuses on the development of its supply chain, stressed the importance of such innovations in Japan at this time.

“It’s becoming extremely difficult to hire workers, and it’s a lot more than people think,” Fast Retailing executive vice president Takuya Jimbo said. “We have to be the front-runner and continue trial and error because only the companies that can update their business models can survive.”
Jimbo is referring to a labour shortage that is currently crippling Japan thanks to its low birth rate and rapidly ageing society.

Data from the National Institute of Population and Social Security, which was cited in a recent NPR article, estimates that Japan’s population will decline from about 127 million to about 88 million by 2065. Moreover, recent data from Japan’s Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry, which was also cited by NPR, indicated that one in five people in Japan is now over the age of 70.

Because of these, retailers and robot developers aren’t too worried about what this automation will mean for workers.

This building in Dubai is the largest 3D-printed structure in the world — and it took just 3 workers and a printer to build it

  • Dubai is now home to the largest 3D-printed building ever constructed.
  • The city has a track record of building extravagant landmarks to entice visitors, and it’s also home to the world’s tallest building.
  • The 3D-printed office building was an engineering feat, using only three workers and one printer. The city plans to have one quarter of all buildings built with 3D printing by 2030.

Dubai is known as a city of opulence that constantly tries to outdo other tourist destinations.

With the largest population in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai already has the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa which stands 160 storeys tall.
Now, the city has become the site of a new architectural feat: the largest 3D printed building in the world. The building will be used for administrative purposed by the municipality.

These photos show how the construction of this innovative structure came together.

Construction Phase 1

Construction Phase 2

Completed building

Now, the city is also home to the world’s largest 3D-printed building. US company Apis Cor built the structure using only one 3D printer, which was moved around the site by crane.

The two-storey administrative building will be used by the Dubai municipality.  Only three workers, plus the printer, were needed to construct the entire building.  The 3D printed walls were placed on concrete foundation, and reinforced with more traditional construction materials of rebar and more concrete.  Contractors were also brought in to install windows and the roof.  The walls are 9.4 metres tall and the structure is 640 square metres, making it the largest 3D-printed building ever.  Not only is it the largest 3D-printed building in the world, the government of Dubai also says that this is the first two-storey structure of its kind.

The building is a move toward sustainability, using local materials and efficient insulation to reduce energy consumption, the Dubai government said.  Dubai has plans to continue innovating in this area. Under the direction of the prime minister, the city has a goal of 3D printing 25% of all buildings by 2030.


Lighting cuts symptoms of Alzheimer’s patients

The conclusion of investigation – by the Lighting Research Center in New York – is that the lighting in long-term care facilities is usually not bright enough during the day and ‘perhaps too bright’ during the evening.

THE RIGHT lighting can reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer’s patients, a study has found.

Using light which helped stimulate the sleep-wake cycle of 46 people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias improved sleep and cut depression and agitation.

The conclusion of investigation – by the Lighting Research Center in New York – is that the lighting in long-term care facilities is usually not bright enough during the day and ‘perhaps too bright’ during the evening.

Typical indoor lighting provides less than 100 lux at the eye, whereas being outside on a sunny day will provide anywhere from 1,000 to more than 10,000 lux at the eye.

Older adults in long-term care facilities often spend their days and nights in dimly-lit rooms with minimal time spent outdoors, and thus, they are not experiencing the robust daily patterns of light and dark that synchronise the body’s circadian clock to local sunrise and sunset.

Therefore, say the scientists, it’s understandable that many older adults in long-term care facilities are plagued by insomnia and other sleep disorders—yet, sleep could not be more important to their overall health and wellbeing.

Recent research has shown that poor sleep may directly impact the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease, and conversely, healthy, regular sleep patterns may prevent or slow progression of the disease.

The researchers used a variety of light sources including as free-standing luminaires, light boxes, and light tables to deliver the tailored, individualised lighting.

The lighting for the trial – which took place over a 14-week period – saw patients given a circadian stimulus of 0.4.

The project was funded by the National Institute on Ageing and was led by Dr. Mariana Figueiro, professor and director at the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

She is probing whether a tailored lighting intervention can lessen the impact of these symptoms in older adults living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia.

The 24-hour light and dark pattern strongly determines a person’s sleep–wake (circadian) cycle, telling the body when to go to sleep and when to wake up. Studies have demonstrated that daytime light exposure of CS > 0.3 (approx. 350–500 lux at the eyes) can improve nighttime sleep efficiency and increase daytime wakefulness by promoting circadian entrainment.

Older adults with Alzheimer’s and other dementia experience severe dysfunctions of their sleep–wake cycle that include excessive daytime sleepiness, nocturnal wandering, agitation, irritability, day–night reversal and decreased cognitive functioning.

Sleep problems are exacerbated in patients, whose circadian rhythms can become less consolidated, as manifested in increased nocturnal wandering.

They are also at higher risk of depression and agitation.

These disturbances can lead to their placement in long-term care facilities, where they experience even greater inactivity and reduced exposure to daytime circadian-effective light, exacerbating their symptoms further.


Red and blue lighting keep office workers alert

Light has to enter the eye to be effective for circadian entrainment. People in modern society usually spend more than 90% of their time indoors in buildings, yet lighting indoors is typically not bright enough to stimulate the circadian clock. Typical office lighting provides less than 100 lux at the eye, whereas being outside on a sunny day will provide anywhere from 1,000 to more than 10,000 lux at the eye. Circadian stimulus (CS) is a measure of the type of lighting needed to influence the body’s biochemistry. Specifically, it’s the type and intensity of the lighting needed to suppress the hormones that make us feel sleepy. The CS metric is based on the scientists’ model of how the retina converts light signals into neural signals for the circadian system. It identifies the lighting needed to suppress the sleep hormone melatonin. ‘Lighting for the circadian system employs lighting design objectives that differ from those typically used in traditional architectural lighting design, and therefore, requires metrics that differ from those currently used by lighting designers,’ Professor Mariana Figueiro, Light and Health Program Director at the LRC, told Lux.

Researchers from the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the U.S. General Services Administration have just published the latest in a series of analyses exploring how light impacts alertness during the day and the quality of sleep.

The study tested a special luminaire developed by the LRC to help set the sleep-wake cycle and alertness of clerical employees.

Nineteen participants from three U.S. Department of State office buildings in Washington, D.C., completed the three-week study.

The luminaires, mounted near the participants’ computer monitors delivered morning saturated blue light delivering a circadian stimulus (see box-out)) of 0.4, midday polychromatic white light, delivering a CS of 0.3, and afternoon saturated red light, delivering a CS close to zero.

Objective and subjective measures of rest–activity, sleep, vitality, and alertness were used to evaluate the lighting interventions.

Results show that participants exhibited more consolidated rest–activity patterns, indicating that their sleep-wake – or ‘circadian’ – cycles matched the day-night cycle, and woke up earlier during the duration of the research.

The blue light in the morning appears to have advanced the participants’ circadian phase, causing participants to wake up earlier in the morning.

The afternoon red light elicited an acute alerting response close to the post-lunch energy dip (around 3 p.m.), reducing subjective sleepiness and increasing subjective vitality and energy.

These field results are the first to demonstrate that red light in combination with ambient white light provides an effective alerting stimulus, and support the inference that light exposures, when properly applied, can promote circadian entrainment and increase alertness.

The research paper, ‘Light, entrainment and alertness: A case study in offices’ was published in the journal Lighting Research & Technology. Authors include Mariana Figueiro, Mark Rea, Levent Sahin, and Charles Roohan from the LRC.

Previous LRC studies measured light levels for 109 participants at five U.S. government office buildings designed to maximize daylight availability indoors.

Dr. Figueiro and her team found that even in open offices with many, large windows, office workers were not receiving enough light to stimulate their circadian system during the day, due to factors such as season, cloud cover, desk orientation, and window shade position.

In response to these findings, the research team speculate that additional artificial lighting could be used to ensure that office workers receive enough light during the day, and installed circadian-effective lighting for 68 participants at four additional sites.

The study results showed that office workers felt much less sleepy with the use of additional artificial lighting and, as hypothesized, they also reported feeling significantly more vital, energetic, and alert.

“The present findings show that a tailored lighting intervention can help entrain building occupants and can increase alertness during working hours. The ‘non-visual layer of light’ used in the present study is practical and inexpensive to implement, while helping to reinforce the bridge between laboratory results and field applications,’ Dr. Figueiro told Lux.

‘Underwriters Laboratories (UL) will soon be publishing a Design Guideline for lighting offices, factories and educational facilities aimed at promoting better sleep for day-active, night-inactive occupants of buildings.  This study adds even more evidence that bright light during the day promotes and consolidates sleep at night,’ said Dr. Rea.

The scientists say that we now know that most people are not getting enough light during the day. Unfortunately, too little light during the day is compounded by too much light at night. Many people use luminous electronic devices like smartphones and tablets in the evening or stay up late working on the computer. Light from these screens makes the brain think it’s time to wake up, just as you’re getting ready for bed.

Disruption of the 24-hour rhythm of light and dark affects every one of our biological systems from DNA repair in single cells to melatonin production by the pineal gland in the brain. Circadian disruption is most obviously linked with disruption of rest–activity patterns, which can cause sleepiness during the day and insomnia at night—but is also linked with increased risk for diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer.

Exposure to a robust 24-hour light–dark cycle promotes circadian entrainment, which has many health benefits such as increased alertness and feelings of vitality during the day, improved mood, and better sleep at night. Recent research has shown that healthy, regular sleep patterns may even have a protective effect against Alzheimer’s disease.


Out with the old – in with the new foundation lighting course


This course duration is 60 days including the completion of two Online Quizzes.  It is designed to introduce lighting to the students who may be new employees entering the lighting environment or professionals who seek to have an introduction to the vearious facets of lighting.  Subjects covered in the first module include Lighting and Visual requirements, Lighting Standards, Light Sources, Interior Luminaires, Interior Lighting Design, Exterior Luminaires, Exterior Lighting Design for Road and Street Lighting, Light Distribution and Basic Lighting Calculations and Over-Illumination.

In the second module students will be introduced to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the Internet of Things, Power over Ethernet, Visible Light Communication, Indoor Positioning Systems, Lighting and other control systems including Bluetooth, Human Centric Lighting, Lighting design, Lighting Economics and Light Pollution

Qualification: Certificate

CPD Credits: Students who are registered with a professional organisation may apply for CPD credits for part-time study.  A maximum of 20 x CPD credits may accrue in every 5-year cycle.  1 CPD credit is allocated for every 10 hours of part time study.

Cost: USD134/GBP108/EUR120/ZAR1950

Contact: Philip Hammond about more lighting courses
Mobile: +27-(0)81-523 5374
E-mail :

BHA SCHOOL OF LIGHTING – 14 January 2020

Copyright © 2020 BHA Lighting Design & Consulting 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