Shedding Light: Procrastination and its detrimental effect on the lighting industry – monthly column featured in Sparks Electrical News (Crown Publications)

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It is hard to believe that the first month of 2021 has gone and by the time this article is published, February will also have flashed by.

This surely bears out the old proverb, ‘Time and tide waits for no man’. And, of course for those who continually delay or put-off doing something positive, there is the wonderful expression by Edward Young, an English poet (1683-1765): ‘Procrastination is the thief of time’.

When I was preparing the content for my column using Mind-Mapping, a technique that I teach every student to use for study purposes but which can also be used for any form of planning to be done, I researched what the effect of procrastination was. Most procrastinators probably selfishly think that that are the only ones affected. It often affects those around them and more.

What does procrastination actually mean? It means to intentionally and habitually delay or put off doing something to some later time, which in most cases never eventualises. Some of the reasons that researchers have found, include:

  1. The task is too long, complicated, boring, not important enough or not likeable.
  2. Preference for own pleasurable activities.
  3. Over confidence that there is a lot of time or they over-rate their competency to complete the task.
  4. ‘Care Less attitude’.
  5. Pure laziness.
  6. ‘Know it all’.

 

With that said, I continue to be astounded by the complete lack of detailed knowledge about the technical aspects of lighting, new lighting technologies and other associated technologies and controls in South Africa. The general attitude towards these aspects in South Africa is very poor compared to the attitude of our international students. In fact, my associates and colleagues from The Institution of Lighting Professionals in the United Kingdom and of those at The International Association of Lighting Designers in the USA and throughout the world, are so far ahead that I am continually inspired by them, but I am also frequently asked to share my knowledge with them.

My students, most of whom are professionals from the built environment and lighting industry, are often required to write about the new technologies in lighting and controls as applied in South Africa that they know about. They regularly answer that they do not know about any cases in South Africa where new lighting technologies and controls have been used. It is no wonder that the adoption of these advances and new technologies is so slow or even non-existent in South Africa.

The CIE, Commission Internationale De l’Eclairage or in English, The International Commission on illumination, regularly publish directives, which all in the lighting industry, lighting designers and consulting electrical engineers should know, understand and implement. In addition, there are many changes in the methodology of lighting design including lighting in the COVID-19 era. I have not found any other lighting design in South Africa that includes any of the changes, methodologies or directives.

I do not wish to be critical of our professional colleagues, however, I urge them to take huge positive steps to gain the required knowledge that I have referred to. South Africa, your clients and, in fact, the success of your practices in the field of lighting and the technologies referred to, also cannot delay.

Attend our webinars, those of your own institutions and organisations such as IESSA and others. Enrol for courses, read lighting journals and newsletters. There are so many ways in which to gain good knowledge.

Readers are welcome to contact me for a chat to learn more. I am always willing to assist you to improve your knowledge and lighting designs with no obligation whatsoever.


BHA SCHOOL OF LIGHTING – 30 MARCH 2021

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