Does everyone ascribe the same value to things as others do? – May 2019 Newsletter

When I decided to write about this subject, I was reminded of a question that my Headmaster who taught me Latin once asked.

He asked me for the definition of a cynic.  I had to dig deep to remember where it came from.  I remembered that it had is origins in the Greek which was first mentioned by Diogenes, a disciple of a school of philosophers founded by Antisthenes in Athens in about 400BC.  Roman philosophers later also spoke about cynics.  However, it was the famous Oscar Wild who described a cynic as “one who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing”.

May aspirant students have said that the Advanced Diploma in illumination Engineering is too expensive.  Let me give you some perspective on course pricing elsewhere in the world and tell you more about the outstanding value of the course.

Courses suitable for the general lighting students that are offered include the following:

  • Brunel University, London, a 3 year full-time course @  GBP 18,720 or R346,320
  • Lighting Education Trust, London Southbank University 3 Year Part Timed distance learning course @ GBP 2950  or R54,575.



  • The BHASL003C19: Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering which is a NQ7 course is a bargain even at the full price of ZAR R40,000 /EURO €2,500.00 / USD $2,750.00 and GBP ₤2,220.00.  It is even greater value at any of the special offers that we publish from time to time and an absolute steal at the subsidised price when available once a year such as recently at ZAR R12,000.00/ EURO €800.00/ USD $858.00 and GBP ₤670.00.
  • I have included the costs in foreign currencies as well for the benefit of overseas aspirant students.
  • The course content is far more current than the content of either of the above two overseas courses.
  • The course content offers students the opportunity to study the latest lighting technologies including who to design the complex equipment architecture to include as part of their lighting designs.
  • The course is rated as NQ Level 7 which is a Bachelors Degree, Advanced Diploma, POst Graduate Certificate and B-Tech equivalent according to the published levels.
  • The course qualification is internationally recognised.

Now back to the matter of knowing value rather than only the price.  Of course, I do understand that individuals may first have to save or arrange finance, but there can be no doubt about the incredible value that the course offers students.

All Consulting Electrical Engineers – Important Notice

If you have never scheduled a tutor session with me for your team, do not delay.  Don’t be left out in the cold.  Contact us to arrange a session in the comfort of your boardroom.

BHASL004: The Spectral Richness of Light and Alternative Calculation Methodology

This could save your clients huge amounts on their hard-pressed budgets for lighting and still be fully compliant with standards and regulations.  Give your clients excellent Returns on Investment – yes today lighting is an investment that can give better returns than any other form of investment.

Valid only for the month until 24 May 2019.  There are still a few sessions available NOW ONLY R7,500.00 plus expenses if away from the Metropole of Cape Town.

Winter Special Fee Offers

No time to waste, enrol now to take advantage of these low fees for enrolment!

BHASL001: Foundation Lighting Course – a basic introduction to lighting – ideal for sales personnel of lighting companies – Certificate
ZAR R750.00 – USD $52.50 – GBP 42.50 – EURO 47.50

BHASL002: Primary Lighting Course – the first 6 modules of the Advanced Diploma Course – suitable for more advanced lighting personnel of lighting companies – IMPORTANT – if students decide to continue with the BHASL003C19: Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering, they receive full academic credits and a part fee credit – Certificate
ZAR R6585 – USD $454 – GBP 366 – EURO 412

BHASL018: Online High Level RELUX Course – the best on offer for all who are in lighting design – Certificate
ZAR R5,425 – USD $375 – GBP 302 – EURO 340

Ts & Cs Apply.  Valid until Close of Business on 24 May 2019

Please join me to welcome the following new students:

  • Kerven Relton Pillay, Kareebo Engineering & Lighting, Johannesburg – BHASL003C19: Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering
  • Chaitanya Dang, Architecture Bespoke, Raipur, India – BHASL003C19: Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering
  • Tamara (Tammy) Ann De Oliveira, Elbro Electrical, Cape Town – BHASL003C19: Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering

We all wish the following a very happy birthday and a successful year ahead!

  • Colleen Bedford (Graduate), Kenton-on-Sea – 5 May
  • Daniel Banfield, Cape Town – 5 May
  • Gosiame Montle, Johannesburg – 9 May
  • Pieter Venter, Johannesburg – 9 May
  • Martin Zuhlsdorff, Pretoria – 12 May
  • Ronald Mabote, Johannesburg – 15 May
  • Ziggy Karolus, Cape Town – 18 May
  • Gideon Richter, Centurion – 24 May
  • Zane Barkley, Midrand – 31 May

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Study links fluorescent lighting to inflammation and immune response

This extremely interesting article appeared in the Neuroscience News on 19 April 2019 and was sent to me by graduate Robby Cohen.  Thank you Robby for your contribution.

For years, in fact for almost as long as I have been in the lighting field,

Summary: Studies in fish and mice found genome-wide changes in the gene expression of patterns in the skin, brains and liver following exposure to white fluorescent light. Both the skin and brains exhibited increased inflammation and immune response following exposure.

Source: Texas State University

Fluorescent lighting has become one of the most common artificial light sources in use today, but new research from Texas State University suggests there may be unexpected consequences at the genetic level.

The research team, comprised of Mikki Boswell, Yuan Lu, William Boswell, Markita Savage, Raquel Salinas and Ronald B. Walter from the Xiphophorus Genetic Stock Center in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Texas State, along with Kim Hildreth and Christi Walter from the Department of Cell Systems and Anatomy at the University of Texas Health San Antonio, have published their findings, “Fluorescent Light Incites a Conserved Immune and Inflammatory Genetic Response within Vertebrate Organs,” in the online journal Genes.

“Evolution occurred over many millennia exclusively under the full spectrum of sunlight. Thus, life had the opportunity to conscript each wavelength in the solar spectrum for the regulation of specific gene expression pathways,” Walter explained.

“Over the past 60 years, we have increasingly relied on artificial light sources that emit much narrower wavelength spectrums than does the sun. Yet, little research has been conducted to determine gene expression consequences, if any, from the use of common artificial light sources.”

In research using zebrafish (Danio rerio), Japanese rice fish (Oryzias latipes) and the hairless mouse (Mus musculus), the Texas State team identified genes activated by the wavelengths emitted by fluorescent light. The results show increased inflammation in tissue and organs in the subject animals, regardless of whether the species is primarily active in the day or night.

“In this report, we show genome-wide changes of gene expression patterns in skin, brain and liver for two commonly utilized fish experimental models (zebrafish and Japanese rice fish, also known as medaka), and a mammalian (mice), following exposure to 4,100 K ‘cool-white’ fluorescent light,” Walter said. “In spite of the extreme divergence of these animals (i.e., estimated divergence of mice and fish about 450 million years), and drastically different lifestyles (i.e., diurnal fish and nocturnal mice), the same highly conserved primary genetic response that involves activation of inflammation and immune pathways as part of an overall acute phase response was observed in the skin, brain and liver of all three animals. Follow-up studies to further define this response in mice are underway.”

Complex spectra for sunlight (top) measured at noon in San Marcos, TX, and 4,100K “cool white” Fluorescent (bottom). The image is credited to the researchers.

The team now hypothesizes that under broad-spectrum daylight conditions, these genes would be subsequently deactivated by wavelengths from a different part of the spectrum — but these additional wavelengths may be absent in fluorescent lighting.

The skin and brain of the three animals, as well as the liver of both fish models all exhibit, increased inflammation and immune responses; however, the mouse liver suppressed this reaction. Overall, the conserved nature of the genetic responses observed, among fishes and a mammal, suggest the presence of light responsive genetic circuitry that is deeply embedded in the vertebrate genome.


As long as I have been in the field of lighting, I have known about the complaints of occupants of workplaces where fluorescent lighting was used in abundance.  Complaints ranged from headaches to eye-strain, tension and anxiety, all of which was blamed on fluorescent lighting.

And now, scientists and academics have established that fluorescent lighting and no doubt most other light sources including LED, causes inflammation of tissue and organs.

This is not really so revolutionary because many scientists, academics and neuro-science specialists determined the need for human-centric lighting.  The person who discovered the existence of light sensitive ganglion cells in the human eye and that they regulate the human body clock is Prof Russell Foster.  He appreciated that humans need varying quality, intensity and colour of light for their well-being.  This comes down to the fact that it is now understood that all forms of life on earth including humans, requires broad spectrum lighting closer to the broad spectrum of sunlight.

Now can you see why it is also important to try to incorporate natural daylight into lighting designs wherever possible.

There are a number of additional reasons which exacerbate the problem.  These include over-illumination by between 2 and 5 times according to the International Ophthalmic Conference. misinterpretation of available outdated standards, professionals not keeping up to date with new methods and lazy lighting designs.

For these reasons and those stated in the article, all of us in the lighting industry have a responsibility to practice lighting by making use of all the available knowledge that we have acquired, the skills that we have learnt and the latest technologies that are available to provide lighting that is best suited to the well-being of the occupants of interior spaces and all fauna and flora including humans in all outdoor illuminated spaces.

Robot helps light Japan’s Toyota Stadium

The venue slashed commissioning time for the entertainment lighting while improving the accuracy of 554 new Internet-connected LED floodlights from Signify.

Another major outdoor sports venue has lit its playing area with LEDs, as Japan’s Toyota Stadium switched on 554 new floodlights — but only after dispatching a robot across the field to ascertain how best to set and angle the lights.

The robotic cart, armed with five light meters and guiding itself to 96 precise locations on the field, slashed 70% of the time it would have otherwise taken three teams of three people with tape measures to do the same job according to lighting supplier Signify (the former Philips Lighting).

It also provided greater accuracy than nine humans would have achieved, while reducing the potential damage to grass — a great concern to groundskeepers.

The 55-lb robot helped to determine settings based on photometrics such as horizontal and vertical illuminance, correlated colour temperature (CCT), and colour rendering.

At 55 lb, the robotic cart was one of the smallest players on the field, but it made a big difference to the lighting team at Toyota Stadium in ensuring uniform LED illumination and other key characteristics. (Photo credits: Signify.)

Toyota Stadium, owned by the city of Toyota (the eponymous car company hails from there), is the home of professional soccer team Nagoya Grampus. It hosts other sporting events such as this year’s Rugby World Cup, as well as concerts.

The 554 Philips ArenaVision single-colour floodlights are part of a broader LED lighting package that Signify has supplied the stadium, which includes colour-changing floodlights and spotlights from Signify’s Colour Kinetics range. In total, Signify provided 1130 LED lights including a combination of floodlights, spotlights, and tube luminaires.

The Colour Kinetics lights support fan experience and can be synchronized to music. Signify integrated the entertainment lights with the floodlights, which it controls via Interact Sports, the company’s connected Internet of Things (IoT) lighting management tool that comes in various “flavours” for specific lighting application scenarios.

Sport Field Lighting

Sport field lighting is not for sissies.  The lighting design is complex because it requires each luminaire to be precisely aimed to provide the required lighting levels over the surface of the playing area.  It is not only the horizontal illuminance that must be measured but also the vertical illuminance usually at 1.5m above the horizontal for the players and for the television cameras, super slow motion cameras and in the case of cricket, the stump cameras or in the case of athletics on the finishing line for photo-finish cameras.

To further add to the complexity, each sport discipline’s International Governing Federation specifies their particular requirements for lighting.

The task does not end with the delivery of a lighting design.  The illumination engineer is then required to do Measurement and Verification (M & V) before commissioning which naturally can only be carried out at night.  This involves measuring the playing field and marking it out in either 10m x 10m grids or 5m x 5m grids depending on the requirement of the sporting bodies.  First, the horizontal measurement using a Spectral Irradiance Colourimeter is done placing the detector read head on a firm base in the centre of each of the grids.  Once that has been done, four vertical measurements are taken in the centre of each of the grid squares using a high accuracy Spectral Irradiance Colourimeter mounted on a tripod set at precisely 1.5m at all times ensuring that it is 100% level using the spirit level fitted to the tripod.

M & V is a task that takes a team of four persons 2 to 3 night to complete, or possibly longer if aiming adjustment of any of the flood lights is needed.

Still, it is not the end of the task.  The illumination engineer then compiles a matrix to compare the measurement readings that were taken with the illumination levels achieved for both the horizontal and the vertical illuminance in the lighting design in the centre of each of the grid squares. Providing the measurements achieved are equal or better than the lighting design illuminance and providing the Uniformity and Diversity levels meet the sporting bodies specifications, the illumination engineer then issues a Certificate of Conformity specifying the various standards and specifications that are met with the matrix attached.

Now, I invite you to read the next article which is evidence of how new disruptive technology is being used to not only make it easier to complete the M & V task, but also with a higher degree of accuracy in much less time,  It also uses IoT and other connectivity to fine tune the aiming settings of the flood lights.

The mind boggles and excites one to ponder where technology is heading!

Mind Mapping and Examinations

Recently, I wrote to all of the students to highlight the value and importance of mastering the use of Mind-Mapping. The image above is one of my own mind-maps so that you can see that “I practice what I preach”.

I emphasise that once you have mastered the use of mind-maps, it will revolutionise how you will be able to recall facts.  It will also teach you how to order your thoughts in such a way that learning for examinations will be a breeze.

Of course, examinations are open book examinations BUT ……. I must stress that in the first year end examinations there are only five questions in the first paper (Modules 1 to 11) and seven in the second paper (Modules 12 to 18), the questions are multi-faceted which means that to achieve the top marks, you need to draw on every bit of the knowledge that you have accumulated to answer them.


If you have mastered the use of mind-mapping and you have produced one mind map for each module, all that you will need to have available to write the examinations is 11 mind-maps for the first paper and 6 mind-maps for the second paper.  That’s only a few pages rather than searching through documents!

My message to you should now be clear – there is not another minute to waste – get to it and master this amazing technique.


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