Five Ways Industrial LED Lighting Reduces Workplace Accidents – September 2019 Newsletter

Nearly 3 million American workers are hurt on the job each year, and poor lighting is to blame for the most common accidents, including slips, trips, falls, and contact with objects and equipment. Despite the risks associated with poor lighting, more than 90% of industrial facilities still rely on conventional fixtures, namely high-pressure sodium (HPS), which are notorious for their unnatural orange glow, insufficient light output, short lifespan, and potential danger from mercury exposure.

Research has shown that simply improving workplace lighting can reduce accidents by as much as 60% percent; in industrial facilities, this could mean the difference between life and death for employees who work in these harsh conditions.

Modern, long-lasting LED lighting is the ideal solution that can help to dramatically reduce the risk of industrial accidents by providing a safer, well-lit environment. Here are five ways upgrading to industrial grade LED Lighting can improve plant safety.

Improved colour rendering

A typical HPS bulb produces illumination with a colour rendering index (CRI) of less than 30, which results in that unnatural orange glow that distorts colours. This makes it difficult for workers to discern between colours on hazmat placards, wiring, and labels, all of which rely on color-coding for effectiveness and safety. By comparison, industrial LEDs boast a CRI of 70 or above, for a much more natural colour that mimics natural daylight. This provides optimal illumination to improve workers’ colour perception.

Increased alertness

Fatigue and drowsiness are contributors to accidents and injuries, and this can become even more problematic in overnight shift work. Compared to the low CRI of antiquated HPS fixtures, which can lower mood and energy levels among workers, the white light of modern LEDs actually reduces fatigue and makes workers feel five times more alert. One CDC study even found that LED lighting helped people detect trip hazards 94% faster, which alone could cut down on thousands of accidents each year.

Instant on

In the event of a power outage, it can take HPS fixtures up to 20 minutes to return to full output. During that time, visibility is severely limited by the low light conditions, which are even worse than normal. In contrast, LEDs come on instantly, as soon as power is restored, which means full visibility the split second the backup generators kick on.

Less maintenance

Aside from their poor lighting, simply maintaining HPS fixtures can also be dangerous due to the risk of electrocution and falls from ladders or lifts. And, because of their short lifespan, bulbs must be changed out frequently, which puts workers at risk every time. Industrial LEDs, on the other hand, last three times longer than HPS — even up to a decade or more. That means much less lighting maintenance and fewer maintenance staff at risk.

Zero mercury exposure

A single HPS bulb contains enough mercury vapor to poison an entire classroom full of children. That means just one broken bulb can put workers at risk of mercury exposure that can cause severe toxicity symptoms, some that can have lifelong implications. LED fixtures contain zero mercury or other harmful chemicals, making them a much safer alternative in industrial applications.

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, LED fixtures can “significantly reduce the frequency of accidents related to the maintenance, operation and repair of lighting systems.” By virtue of their long-life performance, reduced maintenance, and improved visibility, LEDs are an important consideration when it comes to the short-term safety and long-term health of industrial workers.

Please join me in welcoming the following new students:

  • Robert Murray, Eurolux, Cape Town – BHASL001: Foundation Lighting Course
  • Alex Scott, Cape Town – BHASL001: Foundation Lighting Course
  • Juanita Botes, Eurolux, Cape Town – BHASL001: Foundation Lighting Course
  • Brad Portway, Eurolux, Port Elizabeth – BHASL001: Foundation Lighting Course
  • Derick Sutherland, Radiant Lighting, Cape Town – BHASL001: Foundation Lighting Course
  • Gillian Thom, Eurolux, Cape Town – BHASL001: Foundation Lighting Course
  • Luphelo Xalabile Eurolux, Cape Town – BHASL001: Foundation Lighting Course
  • Chantell Luyt, Radiant Lighting, Cape Town – BHASL001: Foundation Lighting Course
  • Lauren Engeldow, Radiant Lighting, Cape Town – BHASL001: Foundation Lighting Course
  • Walter Ritson, WB Energy Solutions, Cape Town – BHASL003C19: Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering

We wish the following students the happiest of birthdays this September:

  • Arnold Gillespie, Centurion – 2 September
  • Rhydian Smith, Cape Town – 8 September
  • Thabo Nkuna, Pretoria – 11 September
  • Dane Upton, UK – 15 September
  • David Cousins, Cape Town – 16 September
  • Bevan Rose, Port Elizabeth – 19 September
  • Max Guldenpfennig, Perth, Australia – 20 September
  • Dean Boyce, Cape Town – 22 September
  • Adrian Cradock, Johannesburg – 23 September
  • Graeme Bevan, Cape Town – 23 September
  • Francois du Preez, Pretoria – 24 September
  • Carl Koch, Cape Town – 25 September
  • Graham van den Berg, Johannesburg – 27 September
  • Mellicia Ralethe, Pretoria – 30 September

Our biggest congratulations go out to Francois du Preez, Delport Du Preez Consulting Engineers, Pretoria on your graduation on 24 July 2019.

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Student News

Here is an interesting read from a great student from “Down Under”


“God’s Country” as some who live here call it. And while it certainly is a beautiful nation, it has many similarities to my home country of South Africa. The weather is the same (ish), the language the same (ish), the sport and colonial influence the same (ish). But there are also wild disparities, both personally and professionally, which we have experienced firsthand since arriving here some 18 months ago.

I trained as an Architect in South Africa, and after graduating in Port Elizabeth in 2010, I spent my ‘formative’ years as an Architect in the Eastern Cape. I wouldn’t change this for the world. The EC, in my opinion, is the most gorgeous of the provinces, the toughest and the most rewarding. It taught me my skills in relationship building, construction management, and contract administration in what at the time was still a pretty male-dominated industry. Because of the nature of work I was involved in (government tenders for the most part) I was forced to become wily, self-sufficient and an Architectural All-rounder.

Such is the nature of the South African architectural industry. Apart from the major centres, like Cape Town or Jozi, Architects in South Africa are involved in every aspect of the project life – from the initial chat with a potential client, through concept development to tender/construction documentation, site supervision and eventually project close-out. The role is all encompassing, and one which I love. Being based in a province where most professionals were trying to ‘semigrate’ to the fairest Cape, afforded me the opportunity to shine in my profession, and to grow enormously in my craft.

It was under this guise that I decided to start my own personal development, in the hopes that I could set myself apart from the rest, with a foray into lighting design a few years ago through BHA School of Lighting. I’d be lying if I said I knew what I was getting myself into at the time, but as someone who enjoys learning, and with a sick fetish for writing tests and exams, I thought it would be a good start into some sort of bridging understanding that could cross between my first love, Architecture, and the other engineering disciplines I dealt with on a daily basis.

The course taught me valuable lessons in time management, and gave me confidence to engage with Electrical Engineers in particular, but all consultants I managed in the Principal Agent role I so thrived in. And so I thought this would continue as my husband and I made the big decision to move to The Land Down Under, as we sought better opportunities for our future and selves in early 2018.

Well, needless to say, I had underestimated the architectural climate this side. Here in Aus, everyone is a specialist. All-rounder Architects are few and far between, and I quickly became involved in certain aspects of my profession and was sidelined from others, much to my disappointment.

Sometimes, however, life throws you a bone – especially when you least suspect it.

The lighting course that I took without too much thought, I ended up excelling in. Under Philip’s encouragement I enrolled for the Advanced Diploma, confident that I would succeed. And it seems to be paying off.

You see, lighting designers here in Australia are usually either Electrical Engineers with a particular interest, or Interior Designers with the same. There are very few, if any Architects that are lighting designers, and my education, coupled with my qualifications have lead me to a position (again, without much thought – the story of my life) where I am now specializing as a Lighting Architect, a role I didn’t know even existed. And while I am still at the very beginning of my path in this direction, I see great potential, as does my company.

I am presenting talks to my colleagues on the power of lighting the future, of where our tech is taking us, and I am way ahead of the curve when it comes to discussing Lifi, smart systems, the Internet of Things, and its applications in the retail/commercial space. I am writing articles for newsletters and blogs, am being asked for opinions on installations (while still trying to hide my Imposter Syndrome tendencies) and am now creating work for my company in an avenue that a year ago wasn’t possible.
And all this because of a lighting course I was inspired to join, after a BHA led CPD presentation back in East London. I’m incredibly grateful.

And – I’m a specialist! I’m now living the Australian dream.

A Brief History of the Online Course

Since 2012 when I realised that absolutely nothing was being done in Southern Africa to promote education about lighting science and best practises, I have devoted huge amounts of time and energy to correct that shortcoming.

Initially, I wrote a series of manuals and launched a correspondence course.  The response and enrolments in May 2013 was beyond my wildest dreams.  I am sure that the fact that I pitched the cost to be affordable in the South African context, was without doubt why so many individuals enrolled.

As time went by, administering, marking and constantly e-mailing students back and forth, made me work 7 days a week to try to stay on top and minimise any delay marking examinations.

I went on my own “Indiana Jones” quest to find a digital solution.  In October 2013, I finally located what appeared to be suitable software developed in Australia.  There was at that time only one problem, it did not limit students to a module at a time until they had passed the examination to be able to access the next module.  After a relatively short time, the developers had solved the problem.

The long hard task began of formatting the software for the original course which was first a certificate course, writing fresh content for each module, preparing a quiz question bank online, preparing new examination material and finally, vetting a vast amount of video content that I had been accumulating for the online course.

Once all of the material was ready, the next phase was spending several hundred hours uploading the content to the Webserver which had been setup by our most competent outsourced IT specialist, Heinrich Kleinschmidt of Southern Star Computers.  Our webserver is our own private secure webserver.  We take IT security seriously at all levels of our business to protect ourselves and of course every student and client.

It was not long before the course was approved as a Diploma course.  Enrolments continued in a steady stream.

In September 2018, the Level NQ7 Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering course was launched.  This course had an entirely new curriculum.  The 2nd Year curriculum addresses all of the new disruptive lighting technologies which fall within the Fourth Industrial Revolution, technologies that change the way that we approach lighting, technologies that change the way that we install lighting and technologies that continue to develop.  BHA School of Lighting is the leading lighting educational institution to offer a comprehensive course with the new content.

We have achieved more milestones in 2019 with an increase in the number of international student enrolments with more students from Namibia and Botswana.  New students from Australia, India, UK, USA, Mexico, Columbia, Ecuador and the U.A.E have enrolled.

From time to time, I presented a few Live Lectures on various subjects.  The system that we used was not always easy for students to use.  We began our search for professional Webserver software systems.

Exciting News

On 27 August 2019, the first Webinar was presented on the new software.  It was a follow-up to a Live Lecture presented earlier in the month.

The subject was “Helping You to Achieve Your Goal”.  It was well-attended and was regarded as successful despite a couple of minor glitches with the sound.  Those sound glitches have been overcome after purchasing a professional microphone.

Students receive an invitation to scheduled webinars.  The event can be added to their Outlook Calendar and they are able to instantly respond it attending or not.

Participants can attend the webinar online on their PC or laptop or on their smart device by downloading the app.  Participants are able to ask questions to be answered during the Q & A session at the end of the presentation.  The webinar is recorded on the system for viewing later.  After the event, I receive a detailed report on who attended, their geographical location and the device used to view such as web, android or iOS.  It also keeps track of the time spent by participants and the time that they left the event.

A series of webinars has been planned.  The first of the invitations have been sent to students.  Each webinar will be presented live twice – first for international students from 15:00 to 16:00 and then for all other students from 18:00 to 19:00.  Of course there is no restriction on either time, which means that anyone can attend.  50 Participants can attend each webinar.

Webinars being planned include:

  1. Module 7 and other calculations – making calculations fun, logical and easy – 10 September 2019
  2. The photometric laboratory – 17 September 2019
  3. Standards and compliance – removing the mystique and providing an easy guide – 24 September 2019
  4. The Spectral qualities of light & alternative methodology to use when determining illuminance levels for different light sources – 8 October 2019

If any reader other than students would like to receive an invitation to a webinar, simply e-mail your request to me at

Of course, there are a number of other courses and tutor sessions that are offered by BHA School of Lighting.  To learn more about the other courses visit

Advanced Diploma Student Benefits

Most students and readers are not fully aware of all of the benefits of this course

All students

1.  The most up to date manuals for each subject by module.
2.  Fantastic academically and scientifically correct video content.
3.  Excellent documentary additional resources.
4.  Access to webinars.
5.  Availability of personal mentorship throughout the course.
6.  The ability to form a student community using the system online messaging facility.
7.  Read blogs.
8.  Latest announcements.
9.  Monthly newsletter.

Second Year Students – additional benefits

1.  Amazing new technology study content.
2.  Practical exercises for all new content.
3.  Currently, no less than 7 complete published lighting e-books and other documentary resources to compliment the knowledge gained during first year and to download, print and keep in their resources library for the future.
4.  Additional communications via e-mail containing special news, events and relevant information or facts.

The cost of this course is so reasonably priced that it is affordable for ordinary South Africans and extremely affordable for international students.  Similar overseas courses with a little over 50% of the content cost around R180,000!

Enquire and enrol now if you are not a student!


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BHA School of Lighting

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