The road to super energy efficient lighting – March 2024 Newsletter

This is an often-discussed topic, and the content will vary according to the writer’s or the speaker’s exposure to the optimum level of energy efficient lighting.

I like many other professionals, regularly attend webinars, particularly those where I hope to learn more.

I attended webinar on this topic on 30 November 2023 under the auspices of a leading professional institution.  I do not want to be over-critical, nor do I wish to belittle the great effort taken preparing for the event.  However, I was disappointed.  The speaker missed so many very important facts that should have been highlighted.  Furthermore, it was clear that the presenter had no experience of the new lighting technologies and controls that make additional very meaningful contributions to energy efficient lighting.

Before telling you more about this very important topic, I must inform you that we only specify lighting products and controls that are the highest quality available in South Africa and the world.  We NEVER compromise quality in favour of low procurement prices.  We do not sell any lighting products.  When specifying we are brand/distributor agnostic.


First, we must take a careful look at what the standards require us to comply with when we do our lighting designs.  Our knowledge and ability to understand the standards make us the professionals that we are in our field and as international educators.

The easy part is to read off the lux levels for a particular industry and activity within that industry.  Everyone knows that the lux levels specified in tables are for average maintained illuminance on the work surface.

But what is that work surface usually referred to as the task area.

This where it is essential to know and understand the detail within the standards which are contained within the pages of the standards other than the illuminance tables.

The task area is so often misinterpreted to be the entire space within for example an office.  That is not correct.

There are 3 areas within any office environment.

  1. The Primary Task area, generally accepted to be between 0.5m² and 1m². That is the area immediately in front of the person assigned to a single workstation where they would spend >80% of their task working time.
  2. The Secondary Task area, is the area immediately adjoining the Primary Task area and the remainder of an individual workstation desk, credenza or filing cabinet/s.
  3. Ambient or movement zone. This includes walkways, pause areas, the location of the office hub/copier machine.

What illuminance levels are assigned to the areas above?

  1. Primary Task area – as specified in the tables in the standard document.
  2. Secondary Task area – can be illuminated to a level 40% less than the Primary Task area.
  3. Ambient/movement zone -can be illuminated to a level 20% of the Primary Task area but not less than 100lx.

Of course, I know that it is only possible to design to achieve the required illuminance levels correctly providing the workstation layout is known.

Fortunately, we do design lighting for projects, the drawings usually always have furniture layouts included.  In cases where a redesign of the space is required and no CAD drawings are available, we can scan the entire space or building including the office or other furniture using special software and any i12 Pro and upwards to the i15 Pro. Note the standard iPhone cannot be used because it is not fitted with Lidar. The result of the scan, we then import it into our lighting design software.  This saves us 80% of the time that it would normally take to draw the scene from a CAD drawing file.

I am certain that by now you appreciate what I have explained so far that it contributes to a much more energy efficient lighting design.

We are only step one on the way to achieving a super energy efficient lighting design.

The next fantastic technology is Power over Ethernet (PoE).  Let me explain in more detail.

LED lighting products are dependent on a driver to produce light.  LED chips are low voltage Direct Current (DC) devices.  LED lighting products operating on 230V AC, require a driver to connect to 230V Alternating Current (AC).  The driver electronics in turn converts the 230V AC to low Voltage DC to drive the LED to produce light.

This process results in additional power (Watts) being required by the driver which must be added to the power of the LED lighting product.

Here is where PoE comes into its own.  PoE LED lighting products do not require drivers.  The PoE Lighting product draws its power via data cables using two twisted pairs in the CAT cable. The Data uses another two twisted pairs that are within the same cable to carry data across the IT network. The remaining twisted pairs are spareThe network is powered by DC power which is routed through a network switch unit which can accommodate from 5, 8, 10, 16, 24, 28, 48 or 52 ports. The appropriate network switch size is used in the system architecture always leaving a few spare ports for later system expansion or changes. It is also important to highlight that PoE is safe to work on, does not require a qualified electrician to install, does not require costly low current reticulation, allows greater flexibility when office layouts change, and the cost of installation is around 25% of the normal electrical reticulation and installation costs.

What energy efficiency have we achieved so far compared to the inefficient typically lit office space that is illuminated from corner to corner with the same luminaires throughout?

We will have achieved at least a 30% to 40% greater efficiency using LED products plus a further 2.5% additional energy saving when using PoE.

That is not the end, there are still more ways to achieve super energy efficient lighting.

We have often seen occupants of offices or buildings leave to go to ablutions, to attend meetings in other offices and even travel to other parts of the towns or cities where they operate to attend meetings or other functions.  In many instances, in fact, I would dare to state that in most cases, the lights in their offices are left burning.

Enter the very simple and effective system of occupancy sensing.  Occupancy sensors either remotely from the luminaires or as now fitted within the luminaires, are set to switch the lights off after a preset time when there is no detected movement.  The time delay has variable settings.

This is a further variable energy saving to add to our calculation for super energy efficient lighting.

Building on the sensor technology, we can exploit the daylight availability in offices by incorporating daylight harvesting.  Daylight harvesting is when the daylight entering a space is sufficient to provide sufficient light to meet the standard illuminance level that is required.  When using luminaires fitted with the technology, the luminaires will be dimmed down to levels still ensuring that the required illuminance level is maintained or may even switch off if the daylight produces the required illuminance value or more.  When the required illuminance value starts to fall below that level, the luminaires will brighten up or “dim up” to use that expression until the required illuminance level is achieved and maintained.

How is daylight calculated?

Step 1 is to calculate the daylight autonomy for the office, business, or industry.  That is a calculation to determine how much daylight throughout the working day, will be provided at  the required illuminance level according to the standard used in the lighting design over time.  This is physically measured with an accurate photometer constantly throughout a working day.

Step 2 is to calculate and measure the continuous daylight autonomy in the space.  This is where the light level falls below the required illuminance according to the required standard and the lighting design.

Step 3 is to calculate the daylight factor for the space to be used in all further daylight calculations.

Step 4 is to model daylight using lighting design software.  We recommend using Relux Desktop 2024 version.  This will provide graphic reports for daylight at different times of the day throughout the year according to the seasons, for both clear sky and overcast conditions.

Now that daylight harvesting has been incorporated into the lighting design, amazing additional energy efficiency will be achieved.

Add modern efficient lighting control to the mix such as Bluetooth Mesh, and the energy efficiency will take another step forward.

We have proof of the efficiency of Bluetooth Mesh in a factory where the lighting design was done by BHA Lighting, is in use for almost 2 years.  The luminaires are mounted at 7m above the factory floor. Daylighting harvesting and occupancy sensing is incorporated into the design of the Bluetooth Mesh architecture.  The energy saving varies from 25% in winter to 40% in the summer months.  This is now the standard luminaire for use in the rest of this very large factory.  It is being rolled out in other areas in phases.

Our Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering students learn about and acquire the skills to maximise energy efficiency in their lighting designs that are fully compliant with international standards and regulations.  They learn the theory and gain knowledge through practical assignments on all the latest lighting technologies and lighting controls.  They learn and master system architecture design as well.

True to the theoretical aspects of lighting, we can calculate every aspect of light and lighting.  It is then time to state the energy efficiency through to the super energy efficiency of lighting, in equations.


  1. Only LED lighting products are used.
  2. The lighting design is fully compliant with the full provisions of EN 12464-1: 2021: Light and lighting: Lighting of work places: Part 1: Indoor work places.
  3. That the qualified lighting designer/illumination engineer has an extremely high level of proficiency using Relux Desktop 2024.
  4. All energy efficient 4IR lighting technologies are used.



  1. The basic equation: EF = W/m².
  • Where EF is Energy Efficiency.
  • Where W is watts.
  • Where the measurement in the space is meters.
  • Where there are multiple spaces or offices within the project, the W/m² should be added together and then divided by the number of areas to find the overall average EF for the project.
  1. To determine Super Energy Efficiency (SEE), we will state the technologies used in the form of a quasi-equation:
  • LED + PoE + Occupancy Sensing + Daylight Harvesting + Bluetooth Mesh = SEE



Using the above, additional 4IR technologies can be added to enhance the overall experience in offices, retail space and other applications such as hospitality, tourism and more

  • VLC – visible light communication using LiFi instead of WiFi. Here light is used to transmit data both to upload and download at very high speed from 10Gbps to 100Gbps.
  • IPS – indoor positioning system to provide way finding in almost any application but typically in shopping malls, museums and galleries, hospitals, airports, large retail stores and supermarkets and more.



I have demonstrated the key aspects needed to make any lighting design Super Energy Efficient.  No single aspect is enough to achieve SEE without having excellent knowledge of every aspect discussed in this article.

The contents serve as a good introduction to the route to Super Energy Efficient lighting design.

This becomes even more important when solar energy is included in the mix.  Super Energy Efficiency is essential to eliminate the need for the operator/client to draw from the power utility.

Written by Phil Hammond of BHA School of Lighting Copyright ©

The Principal’s Pen

I have spoken to a number of professionals and lighting companies about the year 2024 so far.  They all said that it has started off very well this year.  I hope that the same applies to your businesses.

We are fortunate to have had three enrolments, with many more who have indicated that they will enroll during February.

The Marketing Home Group in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have asked us to create an English version of the exclusive course that we developed for them, as well specifically for the staff members of their branches in other non-Arabic countries. We are excited to have been asked to do thus, thus further cementing our strong business relationship.  We have also been asked by them to consider developing an intermediate course between the level of their exclusive course and our internationally renowned Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering course. Watch this space.

We continue to work closely with Richard De Villiers of Productivity Active as we continue learning still more about Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Planner daily.

We have begun using the Microsoft version of Copilot – Artificial Intelligence (AI).  Copilot works across all our Microsoft software documents on the cloud based OneDrive server.  It also interacts with the internet and other databases, The results delivered in answer to my requests either typed or addressed by voice, are absolutely amazing.  The result includes references to additional material. I am enthralled by the potential of Copilot although I have only been using it since 16 February.

Students have already received their invitations to attend the FREE Student Support Session on Microsoft Team on 6 March 2024 at 18:00 SAST.  This session is open to all Advanced Diploma Students.  Students to note that you do not need to have Teams to attend, the link that you have received will make it possible to attend and enjoy a great relaxed time together.

I have been asked by many students and other people for the reason that we mostly present our webinars from 18:00 SAST.  It’s easy to answer.  Our students are located from Honolulu in Hawaii where their time is 12 hours behind South Africa across the world to Sydney, Australia where their time is 9 hours ahead of South Africa.  18:00 accommodates all our students and international attendees.

The new short course, BHASL019: Office Lighting will be available to anyone who would like to enroll for this fascinating course on an important subject, from 1 March 2024.  The launch price will be R3,500 and will be valid until 15 March 2024, thereafter the enrolment fee will revert to R4,500.

A NEW Module 14: Standards and Compliance is nearing completion and will be uploaded onto our e-learning system by 15 March 2024. The task has been much larger than originally estimated.  I never rush the release of study manuals because it is too important for the students to receive the best, most academically and theoretically accurate to the best of my ability.

Our Emergency Lighting Course, BHASL005C21, will also be completely revised to bring it into line with the Advanced Diploma content on that subject.  The target date for this update is 15 April 2024.

Several of our second-year students are in the final phases of completing the course and to sit the final examinations before graduating. They are:

  • Liam Abrahams, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Mohammad Al Muhanna, Khobar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Mthulisi Dube, Pretoria, South Africa
  • Oliver Hauser, Johannesburg, South Africa


To each of you, as the finish line approaches, prepare well and we wish you excellent success in the final examinations.

As always, have a fantastic business month and we look forward to seeing you at this month’s webinar.

With best regards.

Philip Hammond

Upcoming Events from BHA School of Lighting

International Women’s Month: The Women in Lighting Project (CPD Activity)

Cost: Free of Charge

Date: 14 March 2024

Time: 5:45pm for 6pm – 7pm SAST (GMT+2)

Presenters: Sharon Stammers & Martin Lupton, Co-founders at Light Collective UK.


About this Webinar: This International Women’s Month Sharon Stammers and Martin Lupton of Light Collective will explain the Women in Lighting (WIL) project, the reasons the project was started and how you can support or participate with an international community of lighting professions.

The Women in Lighting (WIL) project was initiated in 2019 and is an inspirational and global digital platform that profiles women working in the field of lighting and lighting design. It aims to promote their passion and achievements, narrate their career path and goals. It aims to celebrate their work and increase the profile of women working in lighting to help encourage, support and inspire the next generation.

WIL has used social activism to highlight and challenge unconscious bias in the industry via a strong social media presence that has built a large following. The project is also supported by individual ambassadors in 79 different countries.

Together, the project has evolved to form an international connected community that shares information, support and knowledge. Alongside the website resource, there are hundred of events and initiatives happening globally.

Welcome to our new BHA School of Lighting Students

Clayton Davidson, Pioled Lighting, Durban, South Africa – BHASL018: Relux Desktop Lighting Design Software Course

March Student Birthdays

Happy Birthday to the following past & present students celebrating their birthdays this month of March 2024! We hope you all have a memorable day!

Eric Ceba (Graduate), Gqeberha, South Africa – 8 March
Rojean Morris, Paarl, South Africa – 10 March
Henk Goris (Graduate), Amsterdam, The Netherlands – 14 March
Annelize Dankworth, Cape Town, South Africa – 17 March
Mohamed Adalnour, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – 17 March
Kingsley Mohale, Cape Town, South Africa – 19 March
Dayalen (Des) Naidoo, Durban, South Africa – 23 March
Corrie Prinsloo (Graduate), Centurion, South Africa – 25 March
Julio Angel Ramirez Berroa, Fishkill, New Yor Stet, USA – 28 Mar

Our Congratulations to those who have completed short courses

Kingsley Mohale, Lights By Linea, Cape Town, South Africa – Foundation Lighting Course

We wish great success to the following BHA School of Lighting student preparing for Examinations

Nicole Farman, Chicago, USA – Second Year Final Theory

We wish the following First Year students well, as they prepare for the final phase of First Year and their preparations for the examinations:

Rinkesh Kumar, Uttar Pradesh, India
Priyanka Praful, Bangalore, India
Justine Williams, Paarl, South Africa
Charmaine Conradie, Paarl, South Africa
Shamielah Jacobs, Paarl, South Africa
Rojean Morris, Paarl, South Africa

Follow us on Social Media

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

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Join a Professional Lighting Institution or Community

We encourage all of our Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering students to apply for student membership for little or no fees at local and international professional lighting institutions and lighting network communities. By becoming a member you will gain access to further study material, courses, workshops, webinars & stipends.

BHA School of Lighting is proud to be affiliated with the the International Association of Lighting Designers, the Institute of Lighting Professionals, the Virtual Lighting Design Community, The Lighting Police, Women in Lighting and the Illumination Engineering Society of South Africa.

Find more info about each organisation and community, as well as membership info here.

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