What is Lighting Design? – June 2019 Newsletter

What is Lighting Design?  How can it be so difficult?

This is a question that I have been asked more times than I can remember and that’s not because I am getting older and having memory loss.  Gratefully I have not fallen into the unfortunate category of dementia.

The question usually comes from those who simply have no idea and their question is completely innocent.  And then there are those who should know better and usually find that they have no foundation of lighting knowledge and are out of their depth in that space.  Their questions often originate from their own embarrassment and inadequacy.


Without any further introduction to the subject, lets describe Lighting Design in such a way that it is polite, inoffensive and does not embarrass anyone but rather subtly educate them.

I found this explanation and chose to share it: “Lighting design is a process of integrating light into the fabric of architecture”.

Lighting is the means to express the desired character of a space.

As lighting professionals, we appreciate that much of our work requires us to provide task lighting, to comply with standards and to keep within budgets, but the majority of lighting designers forget that they need to express themselves in an artistic way to fully complement the task lighting.  They need to be lighting artists and simply lighting designers.

There is so much more than just the achieving the desired correct lux levels and light intensities.  What about comfort and well-being?  What about glare?  What about evacuation in emergencies or disasters?

What about lighting economics?  Most people do not realise that modern LED lighting and equipment such as PoE and more, can be regarded as asset classes due to the reliability and longevity of the equipment.  As such they can be recorded in the asset register, can be depreciated over 3 years, that it has future value and can form part of the sale of assets if a business is sold or in cases where businesses are merged.  The modern qualified lighting designer is able to present the client with all of the facts and show them how to achieve the best return on investment.

Yes you read correctly.  If the qualified lighting designer has been well educated in lighting, he will be able to demonstrate to the client that modern LED lighting is in fact one of the best investment forms.  It will deliver returns that few traditional investment instruments such as equities, unit trusts, insurance policies and even in the case of some properties, lighting will outperform them all in terms of the return on investment over time coupled to the huge energy savings attributed to using LED lighting.

To conclude, now do you see why there is so much more to lighting design or illumination engineering?

If you are an enrolled student for the Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering course, no need to panic, you will be taught and you will learn all about all of what I have spoken about,  during the course.

Do you Remember the Expression: “I love it when a plan comes together”?

Yes, those of you who are old enough would have remembered that it was Hannibal Smith played by George Peppard in the A-Team who always said that.

Of course, you will be correct to say that it has nothing to do with lighting.  However, I hope that you will indulge me.

As I developed the online courses over time, I came to realise that there was a growing demand for courses from much further afield than only South Africa.  It was for that reason, that BHA School Of Lighting made a significant investment on our website.  We commissioned one of the leading brand development companies in South Africa, Sherpa Brand and Design Agency to develop our website.  After a number of meetings to present concepts to us, a website design was approved.  The website served us well for about two years until Sherpa recommended that it be improved to be more appealing to international and local visitors alike.

I invite all of you to visit our website again and scroll through each of the pages and “READ MORE” buttons.

New students are in the process of enrolling for the Advanced Diploma course from Miami, USA, Ecuador, Mexico, India, Spain, to name a few.  Some have already enrolled and are loving the course already.

So, that is why I asked you to indulge me for using “I love it when a plan comes together”.

There are two reasons for this improved traffic to our website.
1. Our position in search engines.
2. Being featured on the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) Education Trust website at https://www.iald.org/IALD-Education-Trust/STUDENTS/learn-2-light/Lighting-Design-Schools/BHA-School-of-Lighting

Our Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering has been proven to be the most affordable, most complete and best value for money formal lighting course in the world.

At my age, I am so excited and appreciate that it is this that keeps me so young!

BHASL018: Online High Level RELUX Course – the best on offer for all who are in lighting design – Certificate

ZAR 5425 – USD 375 – GBP 302 – EURO 340

Ts & Cs Apply.  Valid until Close of Business on 31 July 2019

We offer the best and most comprehensive online RELUX training
“Going Beyond Standard RELUX courses”.

On-Site 6 Hr Tutor Sessions for Consulting Electrical Engineers available for booking from August 2019 onwards

You and your team will learn how to design taking the spectral qualities of light sources, specifically LED, into account in your lighting designs.  You will also learn how to use special tools to incorporate this into RELUX, how to provide your clients with amazing economic results including Return on Investment (ROI), How to specify LED lighting products in a way to protect your practice from poor quality substitution, so-called offering of “Equivalent or equal”.

To book a tutor session contact Philip on +27-(0)81-523 5374 or phil@bhalighting.co.za 
For details and cost (can claim cost back from SDL)

I invite all students to join me to welcome the following new students to BHA School of Lighting

  • Rhydian Smith, Lighting Revolution, Cape Town – BHASL018: Onine High Level RELUX course
  • Bernie Bothma, Province Lighting & Automation, Johannesburg – BHASL018: Online High Level RELUX course
  • Leonel Esteban Garcia Nunez, Lighting Designer, Mexico City – BHASL003C19: Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering
  • Henk Goris, REO Group, Durban – BHASL003C19: Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering
  • Shaun Bergh, Olaff Bergh Agents, Pretoria – BHASL003C19: Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering
  • Craig Swinburne, CRS Electrical Maintenance Services, Hilton, KZN – BHASL003C19: Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering

Join me to wish the following students/past students, a very happy birthday and a successful year ahead:

  • Jean Basson, Windhoek – 5 June
  • Justin Pullinger, Brandfort – 6 June
  • Mia Koster, Windhoek – 6 June
  • Ruan Paul, Pretoria – 7 June
  • Loren Hoffman, Cape Town – 8 June
  • Pieter Venter, Johannesburg – 9 June
  • Ayanda Mavundla, Pretoria – 21 June
  • Leon Strydom, Centurion – 24 June
  • Riaan Aucamp, Mosselbay – 30 June


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


Derived Illumination

by Andre Roosenschoon, 2nd Year Student – Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering

After qualifying in 1987 I began my journey into the world of Architecture. Wasn’t long before I realised this was only the beginning. I have heard it said that all a qualification gives us is the learned wisdom, that we actually know very little and the university of life is where we all derive and implement our acquired value.

In 2015, I attended a fascinating, interesting and totally thought provoking CPD event, passionately presented by Mr Hammond. The subject matter, you guessed it, Lighting, the built environment and Illumination Engineering.

I could only imagine the potential benefits of further studies into this fascinating subject and consequently enrolled with the BHA School of Lighting to augment my Architectural and Structural Engineering knowledge. At that point, little did I understand, how wide ranging, diverse, interesting, beneficial and I must add equally daunting the Illumination Engineering field could be.

I am certain that there are some other students who will share my initial incorrect perceptions that the ground-work in the first year modules was not quite what I was expecting to study. We were supposed to be studying lighting, not Biology, Human health, Psychology, Old age, Physical Science and Architecture. There must be some already graduates from the course who may chuckle at this.

The wisdom of fundamental subject foundation escaped me at that time. The shock of revisiting our school going days once again, I thought those days were long gone. Well, as life frequently reminds me, I was wrong again!  In truth I found the grounding modules were actually really quite interesting.

Sure, now that my studies have advanced, I acknowledge that the foundation modules are essential to the course and the subject matter certainly is not as intimidating as I may have originally perceived it to be. I am sure many will concur that disciplined structured perseverance is key. Always keep in mind that knowledge gained will always add value.

The daunting part of this experience for me is the fact that each and every module exponentially opens up into more and more fields of discovery. I often need to consciously limit my self-imposed “rabbit hole syndrome” as there are only so many hours available.

Further subject exposure emphasises for me that this discovery will not be ending soon. Exciting scientific cutting edge technological developments will require our dedicated constant future involvement. Benjamin Franklin once said “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.

With increasing demands placed on the build environment professionals to collectively deliver sustainable compliant structures, has highlighted the necessity of re-evaluation of forgotten or often disregarded integrated passive design measures. My Illumination Engineering studies have certainly reminded and highlighted for me that better care needs to be implemented with our designs.

We all too often have been subjected to client demands of low fee, high speed, cut and paste themed building developments with minimal care of the world around us. It has become essential that all built environment professionals must fully integrate and collaborate for a more holistic, human-centered experience. In the end, our efforts are about creating an environment that is safe, pleasant and exciting for people to work and play in with cognitive respect for the other creatures around us.

It would be remiss of me not to highlight and offer monumental thanks to the BHA School of Lighting and particularly Mr. Hammond, an absolute gentleman, who has unselfishly offered this opportunity for the betterment of the built environment.

I certainly am filled with an excitement and vigour not felt for many years, firstly to complete my studies and then to commence with the next chapter, hopefully as a better more well-rounded professional.

Researchers Create New LED from “Multi-Particle Exciton Complexes”

(Aday Molina Mendoza, Matthias Paur, Thomas Müller; Image: TU Wien)

A research team at Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) developed a new kind of LED which generates light from the radiative decay of exciton complexes in extremely thin layers.

Researchers produced what they called as “multi-particle exciton complexes” by applying electrical pulses to extremely thin layers of material made from tungsten and selenium or sulphor. These exciton clusters are bonding states made up of electrons and “holes” in the material and can be converted into light. The result is an innovative form of light-emitting diode in which the wavelength of the desired light can be controlled with high precision. The finding was published in the journal  “Nature Communications”.

Electrons and holes

In a semiconductor material, electrical charge can be transported in two different ways. On the one hand, electrons can move straight through the material from atom to atom in which case they take negative charge with them. On the other hand, if an electron is missing somewhere in the semiconductor that point will be positively charged and referred to as a “hole”. If an electron moves up from a neighboring atom and fills the hole, it in turn leaves a hole in its previous position. That way, holes can move through the material in a similar manner to electrons but in the opposite direction.

“Under certain circumstances, holes and electrons can bond to each other,” said Prof. Thomas Mueller from the Photonics Institute (Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology) at TU Wien. “Similar to how an electron orbits the positively charged atomic nucleus in a hydrogen atom, an electron can orbit the positively charged hole in a solid object.”

Complex bonding states with trions, biexcitons or quintons which involve three, four or five bonding partners are also possible. “For example, the biexciton is the exciton equivalent of the hydrogen molecule H2,” explained Thomas Mueller.

(Image: New Exciton LED – TU Wien)

Two-dimensional layers

In most solids, such bonding states are only possible at extremely low temperatures. However the situation is different with so-called “two-dimensional materials”, which consist only of atom-thin layers. The team at TU Wien, whose members also included Matthias Paur and Aday Molina-Mendoza, has created a cleverly designed sandwich structure in which a thin layer of tungsten diselenide or tungsten disulphide is locked in between two boron nitride layers. An electrical charge can be applied to this ultra-thin layer system with the help of graphene electrodes.

“The excitons have a much higher bonding energy in two-dimensional layered systems than in conventional solids and are therefore considerably more stable. Simple bonding states consisting of electrons and holes can be demonstrated even at room temperature. Large, exciton complexes can be detected at low temperatures,” reported Thomas Mueller. Different excitons complexes can be produced depending on how the system is supplied with electrical energy using short voltage pulses. When these complexes decay, they release energy in the form of light which is how the newly developed layer system works as a light-emitting diode.

“Our luminous layer system not only represents a great opportunity to study excitons, but is also an innovative light source,” says Matthias Paur, lead author of the study. “We therefore now have a light-emitting diode whose wavelength can be specifically influenced – and very easily too, simply via changing the shape of the electrical pulse applied.”


On April 21 1981, Standard Bank introduced 25 ATMs around Johannesburg, one of the first rollouts of ATMs by a major bank.

At first the IBM 3624 ATMs operated only from 7am to 7pm, Monday to Saturday, and it took 20 seconds for a cash withdrawal, while you would have to wait 60 seconds for a balance inquiry.

Thirty-seven years later there are considerably more ATMs around the country, but you can also do your banking at any time on any day on just about any device — while online or on an app on your phone or even while on social media, all within seconds.

Those ATMs could be considered an early form of fintech; a bank spokesperson told the Rand Daily Mail at the time that they would ultimately perform 90% of teller duties.

The introduction of ATMs were a disruptor, shifting customers from the bank to outside where they engaged with technology to get their money that before would have been accessed from inside the branch.

The main thrust is that banks are looking into AI as a way to cut costs

Recently, a similar shift has taken hold as South African banks have embarked on digitalisation. According to a Citi GPS report on the Bank of the Future released this year, globally banks are the biggest investors outside the tech space in artificial intelligence (AI). The banking securities sector poured $1.9bn into AI in 2016 and this is expected to jump to $7.5bn (R107.5bn) in 2019.

Co-Pierre Georg, an associate professor at the African Institute of Financial Markets and Risk Management at the University of Cape Town, said that he expected to see two major developments in the coming years.

The first is the emergence of online banks like BankZero and TymeDigital as branches increasingly become a relic of a time before smartphones. The second is disintermediation as more will be possible without the help of intermediaries, starting from payment services, forex transactions and even parts of the loan book.

Georg said AI had already changed banking and would continue to do so.

“There are some applications, such as robo-advisers, where AI improves the customer experience. But the main thrust is that banks are looking into AI as a way to cut costs.

“The effect will be that a large number of jobs in the financial services industry will be lost.”

The current system was inefficient and the cost of compliance enormous. Automation and big data were expected to solve some of these inefficiencies, but the consequence was that fewer people would be needed for the same services.

During Standard Bank’s results presentation, CEO Sim Tshabalala said the cost of a transaction on digital channels was much less for clients than in a branch or at an ATM, but that was putting pressure on revenue.

“The volumes are increasing but the pricing is much less on electronic channels … [yet] the cost of product and service delivery is still the same because we haven’t fundamentally changed the infrastructure.”

There will be a big drive towards customer self-service on the latest social media platforms Arrie Rautenbach, CEO of Absa’s Retail & Business Banking.

But Mark Brits, a senior GM at the Banking Association SA, said while there would be job losses there would also be new jobs created.

Brits said it was difficult to make a prediction on job losses, as a large portion of the country still favoured cash and many South Africans did not have smartphones and were therefore excluded from the new system.

Raj Makanjee, CEO of FNB Retail, said the bank’s aim was to complement and enhance rather than replace human capital.
“We invest in our people to take advantage of technology and automation for a better service.”

Over the years, IT-based roles at FNB have increased significantly, with IT and IT-related roles accounting for close to 15% of the workforce.

Makanjee said automation offered significant improvement in areas where repetitive tasks could be performed optimally by machines that learn and self-improve.

He said that, for instance, in areas such as judgmental credit (when an assessor approves or declines a credit application), the introduction of automated credit decision models resulted in the less complex decisions being automated and that freed the judgmental credit assessors to focus on the more complex matters.

Brits said in the next five to 10 years he expected SA to still have a mixed offering of digital and brick-and-mortar branches, but there would be a reduction in branch networks and more ATMs.

But branch network reduction has not yet taken hold as a number of banks increase the number of locations.

Capitec last year bought a 40% stake in Creamfinance for à21m (R348m) that will form part of the group’s online lending capabilities and offer advanced credit scoring through machine-learning capabilities. The group is also rolling out 15 branches without cashiers.

Capitec said it was not replacing employees, but had consultants to assist clients with more complex transactions.
The group said its view on automation and AI was that it was not meant to replace people, but rather enhance human capabilities.

Absa, which recently launched ChatBanking on WhatsApp and Samsung Pay, said its technology unit had invested about R350m in the past three and a half years in automation technologies, specifically robotics and AI, which include voice and face recognition as well as fraud detection.

Arrie Rautenbach, CEO of Absa’s Retail & Business Banking, said, a big portion of Absa’s workforce would be supplemented by AI and other supplementary automation technologies in the future.

“There will be a big drive towards customer self-service on the latest social media platforms and bolstering existing channels, enabled through integration with voice assistants such as Alexa or Siri and augmented and fully virtualised banking services,” said Rautenbach.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution Continues…


• MSC Cruises’ next flag-ship, MSC Bellissima, to be christened in Southampton, UK in March 2019
• This new digital guest service,co-developed with HARMAN, is an evolution of MSC for Me, will launch on MSC Bellissima

MSC Cruises, the world’s largest privately owned cruise company and leading cruise line in Europe and South America, revealed today another industry first with the introduction of a digital cruise personal assistant as a new feature of MSC for Me, the Company’s digital innovation program. This new and ground-breaking guest service, developed in partnership with HARMAN International a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., and leader in connected technologies for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets, will debut on MSC Bellissima, currently under construction at the STX France shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France.

The Company also announced that MSC Bellissima, which will be MSC Cruises’ next flagship, will be christened in the port of Southampton, UK on 2nd March 2019. The two announcements were made today in London at the launch of MSC Cruises’ new 2019-2020 brochure to travel agent partners and media.

Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises, commented, “This is another example of how we are continuously innovating to better serve the needs of our guests, not only for the cruise guests of today but those of the future as we shape the future of the cruise holiday. We employ state-of-the-art technology in a uniquely comprehensive way, building it into every step of the development of our new ships, starting from their conception and design to the final guest experience. It is through our cruise expertise, the skill of our shipyard partners and our unique collaborations with world-leading digital and technology experts such as Samsung and now HARMAN, that we are able to introduce ground-breaking technology to provide our guests with a connected experience that enhances their cruise from beginning to end.”

The virtual personal assistant for MSC Cruises guests is a conversational, voice-enabled Artificial Intelligence (AI) innovation that can communicate, learn and intelligently predict guests’ needs in order to make relevant suggestions. This new and unique offering will provide guests with tailored information to help simplify and enhance their MSC Cruises holiday experience by providing quick and easy answers to questions from the comfort of their own cabin.

AI named Zoe on MSC in all cabins

Industry-Leading Digital Innovation 

MSC Cruises’ digital innovation programme has been devised in collaboration with more than eleven of the world’s leading digital, tech and behavioural science experts, including Deloitte Digital and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. This latest enhancement to MSC for Me has been developed by MSC Cruises’ dedicated Business Innovation team led by Luca Pronzati, Chief Innovation Officer and HARMAN, experts in the field of voice-enabled technology having developed audio solutions for technology leaders such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft. This new collaboration is as a result of the long-standing relationship between MSC Cruises and Samsung, a true partnership founded on a joint vision to shape the future of the cruise industry through the introduction of the very best connected technologies.

Sanjay Dhawan, President, HARMAN Connected Services and HARMAN CTO, commented, “Digital Assistants and voice recognition technologies are transforming the way we communicate and get our work done today. With this outstanding solution, MSC Cruises will completely transform its guests’ experience on board. Imagine getting instant and personalised information like cruise events, entertainment options, journey updates, or just playing your favourite music by a simple voice command. HARMAN is excited to bring this innovation to MSC Cruises.”

Unlike other home digital assistants that rely on cloud-based programs with internet-connected devices or applications, this digital offering will be designed around a ship-based solution, customised especially for MSC Cruises’ guests’ needs. The current ways in which guests seek their information on board will be further enhanced, allowing for a uniquely personalised experience. Reflecting MSC Cruises’ truly international onboard offer, guests will be able to communicate with the new digital personal assistant device in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Brazilian Portuguese and Mandarin. The personal assistant will initially launch on MSC Bellissima, but will be available on all future new ships and plans are in place to introduce the feature to the rest of the fleet.

The unique service is the latest feature of MSC for Me, a multi-channel digital experience that is designed to connect guests to their holiday experience with cutting-edge technology. It includes the MSC for Me App, in-cabin connected television, and the interactive information screens around the ship amongst other features. MSC for Me was first launched on board MSC Bellissima’s award-winning sister ship, MSC Meraviglia.

It is customary to include articles of interest in our monthly newsletter.

Many of the readers are not BHA School of Lighting students, so I thought that for the benefit of our other readers, they would be interested to learn about some of the other benefits that our students enjoy.

Apart from always being assured that the course content is the most up to date in the world, the students enjoy access to Blogs within our amazing e-learning platform where they can read some interest blogs which include academic Research Papers from around the world which deal with some of the amazing inner detail on light, lighting, LED lighting technology, measurement of light and other subjects.

Students are able to post their own Blogs on the system as well.  This is an important facet in providing our students with a well-rounded and complete resources to add value to their knowledge base.

In addition, students are challenged to enter BHA School of Lighting video competitions, one of which is currently running.  The winning entry will be featured online in South Africa and internationally.  The winner will receive an excellent and enjoyable book on the subject of lighting worth R 2,000.

Our Advanced Diploma in Illumination Engineering has been recognised internationally as one of the best and most comprehensive in the world.  This is something that we are extremely proud of, having developed the course from scratch in 2012/2013, launching it for the first time in May 2013 and finally launching the online system in 2014.  It was no mean feat.  The task is never over, course content for all of the courses is continually revised and updated.


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