Time waits for no one – May 2022 Newsletter

The Principal´s Pen

Good News The world continues to rotate.  The sun rises and sets each day, despite the war in Ukraine, despite the incredible lockdowns taking place in 27 cities in China affecting 165 million people, despite all other bits of less than great news in the world and in South Africa.

There is so much to be thankful for, to be excited about and to look forward to. We continue to receive new commissions to do the lighting design for projects in South Africa and elsewhere in the world.  We continue to receive enquiries for enrolment on our world class Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering course from all over the world.

Great positive news!  It is so important to remain focused on what one does best, to remain positive and avoid being drawn into any conversation which might be even slightly negative.  Fill your minds with positive, happy thoughts.

I have worked with students for ten years.  During that time, there have always been students who never waiver or stray from their study plans, and then there are those who require constant prodding to keep on track, and finally, there are those who fade away.  We are no different from universities and other higher educational institutions.  They all have drop outs particularly during first year.  When I researched this topic, I was staggered to learn that the first year dropout rate in South African Universities is between 50% and 60%.  Our dropout rate in 2021 was the worst level at 13% which we attribute to the easing of many of the COVID restrictions and the return to offices and face to face meetings.  We have since launched a major initiative, thanks to Daniel, where each student’s progress is monitored against their personal study plan.  This initiative aims to arrest a possible slide before it occurs.  Of course, it has been very successful but there are always those who fall into the category: “You can lead a horse to water but you cannot force it to drink”.

It is my personal opinion that the primary problem is that many of those who have dropped out, do not know how to apply time management to themselves.  In other cases it is a lack of self-discipline and drive.  In a small number of cases, we are faced with an avalanche of excuses and reasons why there is no progress.

I always stress to students who are earnest about making a career in lighting for themselves, that the course is then like a race to arrive at the finish line and graduate to earn the coveted qualification of Illumination Engineer.  I also stress that weather they are like the hare or the tortoise, both can reach the winning post.

In support of the students, Daniel and I provide personal mentorship to individual students, private lessons and group lessons are available on demand at very low fees, and finally we offer a monthly Student Support Session for 1 hour to First Year and Second Year students separately.  These sessions are free of cost.  They are unprepared and it is where students are able to ask questions about any of the content no matter at what module they may be at.  They are also able to ask any lighting or system related question.  They have been well attended.  From individual feedback from students, they find the sessions very helpful, interesting and enjoyable.

At the end of the first week of May, the company who provides us with exception support for our IT requirements, Southern Star Computers will be complete a software upgrade for our brilliant e-learning software (see their banner at the end of the newsletter, Click on their banner or any other of the companies that we work with to discover what services they offer). The software upgrade will provide our students with a brand new and greatly enhanced experience.  There are many features that will also benefit us as educators as well.

We continue to strive to continuously improve the quality and content of the courses that we offer whilst always offering them at affordable enrolment fee levels with a range of instalment payment options for individual students.  Readers will be astounded at the cost of similar lighting courses with less content offered by overseas institutions.

Our appeal to students is do not fall behind.  Our offer to anyone contemplating enrolment, act now! Time waits for no man.

I wish you all a very good business month and trust that projects will continue to roll in for all of you.

With best wishes

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

  • Ahmed Hamdam Al Farsi, Sultanate of Oman – 2 May
  • Vongai Pasirayi, Johannesburg 3 May
  • Brian Chipatiso, Johannesburg 4 May
  • Nina Smeda, Stellenbosch – 4 May
  • Oliver Hauser, Johannesburg – 19 May
  • Ruben Trigaardt, Cape Town – 21 May
  • Melissa Gouws, Vredendal – 27 May

The following students are preparing to write their first year final theory and practical examinations before starting second year studies.  We wish you success!

  • Shaun Bergh, Pretoria
  • Leshmook Maharaj, Durban
  • Ruben Trigaardt, Cape Town
  • Thibault Fay, Johannesburg

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Upcoming Events from BHA School of Lighting


Cost: Free of Charge

Date: 19 May 2022

Time: 5:45pm for 6pm – 7pm (SAST)

Presenter: Phil Hammond

About: Over several years presenting webinars, topics on a variety of lighting subjects have been requested by participants.  This webinar has been created to address all of those topics that fall into the general category of outdoor lighting.

  • Definitions
  • Types of outdoor lighting
  • Standards and compliance
  • General floodlighting
  • Security lighting
  • Lighting of public areas and amenities
  • Walkways
  • Outdoor work areas
  • Emergency assembly points/areas
  • Strategic use of light in residential complexes
  • Lighting of waterholes in game parks for identification

Events from the Institution of Lighting Professionals (The ILP) UK

NOTE:  ALL ILP STUDENT MEMBERS (BHA School of Lighting Students) free to register for Hi Lights and see below for other events.

VISIT THE ILP HERE TO REGISTER: https://theilp.org.uk/

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South Africa