To Embrace 4IR Lighting Technology or Ignore it? That is THE Question! – October 2019 Newsletter

I have studied and been writing about the subject of the Fourth Industrial Revolution from both a general and a lighting context since 2015.  In the initial period when I wrote about this from 2015 until around 2017,  it was mainly to stimulate interest and create some understanding about 4IR.

Since 2018, the pace of development has accelerated.  The early adopters have been the banks.  Gone are the personal bankers at branches, that personal attention that clients received has been on the decline BUT online banking and applications for use on mobile devices has developed at an astonishing fast rate.  It is generally accepted that the banks discourage clients from visiting the bank.  Their clients can complete virtually every day-to-day function at home, on the go or at work.  Nedbank has even started deploying 33 robots to improve process efficiencies and intend deploying 200 robots by the end of 2019.  Artificial intelligence (AI) has given banks the ability to automate the routine administrative and operational functions functions withiut the need for people.

Nedbank also make uses of a robot named Pepper which was developed by the Japanese software and development company, called Softbank. Pepper can recognise principal human emotions, voice, chat with customers and answer questions.  Some have even gone so far to state that Pepper is better than the call centre.

New digital banks have recently launched with more to follow.  In the process, the main stream banks have reduced staff through natural attrition and retrenchment.  Substantial numbers of walk-in branches have been closed.  Yes – the union SASBO (South African Society of Bank Officials) plan to embark on a protected strike on 7 October which is to be supported by COSATU (The Congress of South African Trade Unions) because they feel threatened by 4IR.

My question is always – would it not be better for the union to adopt a positive approach and explore how their members could up-skill themselves to be able to embrace the new technologies and developments?  Would this not be better than perhaps letting the banks justify hastening even more retrenchments in favour of robots and systems that do not strike, or are never absent from work and never demand wage increases or overtime?

That so far is by way of introduction.  My question to each of you as students and to those companies and other readers of this newsletter, is “What are you doing to ensure that you are ready for 4IR?  Are you embracing 4IR lighting technology or are you ignoring it?  Are you adopting a very typical South African view that the Fourth Industrial Revolution lighting technology will still take years to roll out and that South African project Developers and users will rather wait and see until the technology is mature.

This attitude prevailed for a number of years after LED had been introduced to South Africa mainly due to the fact that so many poor quality and poor colour LEDs were offered and sold which resulted in many people being horrified. BUT….. quality LED products were always available but at higher prices.  Eventually all segments of the market and the professionals realised that they could not make their decision to purchase based on price alone.  Today, there is no reason to specify old technology at all!

I am sincere when I say to you, if that is your view and you have the attitude that I have described above, do so at your peril.  You simply cannot have that mindset.  You do so at your own peril.  You risk falling so far behind, that you will be a follower rather than a leader.  You will be ill-prepared rather than well-prepared and to be an early adopter to take the lead.  If you decide to be a leader, it will be of considerable benefit to your reputation in your field.  Students of the Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering course are already leaders.  They will be at the forefront of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.  They will be “bullet-proofed” against the risk of being “culled” for falling into the unemployable category.

This may sound harsh.  I intended that because I encounter incredible complacency regularly.  The time to act is NOW!


  • Daemian Mare, 4V Lighting Solutions, Durban – BHASL003C19: Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering
  • Guy Rouillard, PioLED Lighting, Durban – BHASL018: Online RELUX High Level Standard Course
  • Ashraf Mapker, PioLED Lighting, Cape Town – BHASL018: Online RELUX High Level Standard Course
  • Ryan Sumeri, PioLED Lighting, Durban – BHASL018: Online RELUX High Level Standard Course
  • Sijen Naidoo, PioLED Lighting, Cape Town – BHASL018: Online RELUX High Level Standard Course
  • Courage Sawila, PioLED Lighting, Johannesburg – BHASL018: Online RELUX High Level Standard Course

Join me to wish the following an awesome birthday and an amazing year ahead

  • Sonto Msimango. Cape Town 8 October
  • Melissa Lentz, Sydney, Australia – 10 October
  • Etienne van der Merwe, Durban – 14 October
  • Erin Jones, Cape Town – 16 October
  • Alex Scott, Cape Town – 17 October
  • Ryan Jones-Hockley, Johannesburg – 17 October
  • Prithum Raggo, Durban – 19 October
  • Koos de Wet, Mossel Bay – 21 October
  • Julian V. Smith, Cape Town – 30 October

Join our Alumni and Follow us on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/company/bha-school-of-lighting/

Follow us on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/bha_lighting_design/


BHA SCHOOL OF LIGHTING WEBINARS

Many of the students have participated in the webinars on a variety of subjects to assist them with their studies including a “Guide to Achieving Your Goal”.  A further series of webinars are planned on interesting subjects for the students.

BUT ………

Great news for architects!

A series of webinars has been accredited and validated by the Cape Institute for Architecture for 0.2 CPD Credits.  The webinars are Fee of Charge to all architects.


Li-fi Installed at Hamburg Football Club

Journalists covering the football action at Hamburg football club HSV Fußball AG are set to become the first in the world to file their stories using li-fi.

Journalists using the system receive a USB Access Key, which plugs into their laptop.  This picks up the li-fi signal and transmits data back to the luminaire. The li-fi system is free from interference and encrypted. Also, an extra layer of security is built-in as light waves cannot pass through walls.

This is because Signify’s Trulifi system has just been installed in the press centre at the Volkspark stadium.

HSV is believed to be the the first football club in the world to install the groundbreaking lighting technology which uses light waves instead of radio waves to provide an Internet connection.

The Volkspark stadium, which opened in 2000, has a capacity of 57,000 and is one of 10 stadiums that will host the European football tournament in Germany in 2024.


It is also certified to host other top international tournament matches. Like many stadiums, the wireless signal in its busy press centre was prone to overload due to journalists accessing the network and interference from mobile devices of fans, staff and officials, all pinging the wireless router.
Signify installed 84 Philips PowerBalance gen2 LED recessed luminaires in the stadium’s press centre.

Eight of the luminaires have an integrated Trulifi 6002 transceiver, which modulates infrared light waves to provide an Internet connection of up to 150 megabits per second (Mbps).

Journalists using the system receive a USB Access Key, which plugs into their laptop.  This picks up the li-fi signal and transmits data back to the luminaire. The li-fi system is free from interference and encrypted. Also, an extra layer of security is built-in as light waves cannot pass through walls.
‘We opted for li-fi given the increasing demand for bandwidth from journalists using our press centre. For them a reliable wireless connection is everything. Now they have good quality light to write their stories along with a reliable, fast and highly secure wireless connection,’ said Daniel Nolte, segment leader area organisation and infrastructure at HSV.


Bluetooth Deal to Drive Adoption of Human Centric Lighting

A BREAKTHROUGH agreement between two major manufacturers is set make daylight-matching human-centric lighting available to a wide audience.

Casambi, the pioneer in wireless lighting controls based on Bluetooth, has teamed up with LED technology specialist Seoul Semiconductor to provide precision control of LED lights that match the spectrum of sunlight.

Casambi’s wireless control technology can now be used with Seoul Semiconductor’s innovative SunLike Series LEDs – the first LED light source to closely match the spectrum of sunlight.

‘Human-centric lighting’ describes lighting that is designed to work with the human body’s natural rhythms.

It relies on the well-established fact that the human eye detects the presence of a particular wavelength of blue light in the spectrum that makes up sunlight, and uses this to judge what time of day it is.

In this way, light helps regulate our sleep–wake cycles and other bodily rhythms, and has a significant impact on our mood and well-being.  Human-centric lighting harnesses this effect by adjusting its brightness and colour temperature during the day to mimic natural light.
But not all so-called human-centric solutions are the same. Even if they look the same to the eye, different white light sources contain different amounts of the crucial blue wavelength that triggers the body’s response.

Most solutions described as human-centric do not have a spectrum that resembles that of real sunlight, so they end up providing too much or too little blue.

The Lux Award-winning SunLike Series LEDs are the first LEDs to be closely matched to real sunlight, so they provide a similar biological stimulus, says the company.

The company this was confirmed in a recent study by Dr Octavio L. Perez, adjunct researcher in integrative lighting at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

The study, due to be published soon, looked at the non-visual effects of light on the body, and found that the SunLike Series LEDs provide up to 21 per cent more ‘circadian stimulus’ than conventional LEDs at a colour temperature of 4000K, and the same stimulus as daylight at 6500K.

Another study by scientists at the University of Basel in Switzerland found that LED lights with a spectrum close to sunlight could have a very different effect on human circadian rhythms to conventional LEDs, with beneficial effects on health and wellbeing.

Professor Christian Cajochen and his team found that people who spent time under LED lights with a spectrum close to sunlight were more comfortable, more alert, had better moods and slept better, compared to those who spent time under conventional LED lights.

Customers can now use Casambi’s Bluetooth-based wireless control system and app with products containing SunLike Series LEDs to precisely adjust the level of light, in the knowledge that the spectrum reflects real sunlight.

Casambi allows lights to be controlled by a timer, or by a huge variety of presence/motion sensors and ambient daylight detection sensors. It can control luminaires that shift in colour temperature over a very wide range, and designers have the freedom to configure dimming, and create scenes or animations to suit the particular application.

Timo Pakkala, co-founder of Casambi, told Lux: ‘Casambi’s partnership with Seoul Semiconductor puts power into the hands of the lighting designer, who can use their expertise to decide how to customise the lighting to the needs of the particular application and the users of the space, and plan an effective human-centric solution based on the latest science.’


BHA SCHOOL OF LIGHTING – 2 OCTOBER 2019

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