Category Archives: Climate

Color Shift


  • Aging UV exposure may cause plastics to change color
  • Operating conditions and contaminants in the atmosphere may cause color changes


  • Defines the color point specification of lamps
  • Guidelines for how a person can distinguish between similar colors
  • 2 step ellipse: 2 times the just noticeable difference in color


  • Measure the output of the LEDs AND sort them into various ranges, or bins, before sale, based on color and flux
  • Size and range of colors of the bins is critical to determine how close a match the LEDs will have to each other and the color variation between units
  • All supplied LEDs must fall within a 2 step macadam ellipse [lm-79 and lm-80 of IESNA]


  • Measure of color fidelity
  • Does not account for object color shifts that increase color saturation which can enhance visual preferences, color discrimination ability and visual clarity


  • Being developed by the national institute of standards and technology to be considered for the TC 1-69
  • Ability to account for the direction of object color shifts
  • Represents the overall color quality of products for all types of light sources

Impact of Temperature on Light

When fixtures and lighting systems are tested under the IEC 60598, the ambient temperature is kept close to 25 degree centigrade and 65% relative humidity. After injecting the right voltage, the fixture is kept burning for four hours. In this time the temperature rise of the various components used in the fitting would have stabilized, and the temperature rise recorded through the help of thermocouples fixed to the various parts of the fitting. From this set of data, the release of the fitting is decided.  If the fitting is found suitable for 25 deg. Ambient (Outdoor) and 35Deg. Ambient for indoor, it is cleared for sale, as the temperature in Europe never exceeds these temperatures. However, in other parts of the world, the temperatures are usually much higher.

  • Fixtures are currently tested between 20°c and 30°c which is not adequate.
  • Under the IEC 60598 [25°c, 65% RH], the fixture is lit for four hours until the temperature is stabilized.
  • If the fitting is found suitable for 25°c [outdoor] and 35°c [indoor] conditions, it is cleared for sale.
  • Europe rarely exceeds these conditions but other parts of the world do.

Impact of Humidity on Light

Some areas have almost 90% humidity through several months of the year. The humidity in the air coupled with water in the ground means that all components of a lighting system need to be addressed as a complete system to ensure proper functioning. The water/ humidity finds the weakest link in the system and creeps through to the other parts via capillary action which has an adverse impact on the functioning and life of the components.

Choice of hardware must also be informed by whether the environment is near the ocean, as the salines will then have an adverse impact on the componentry.

  • Humidity coupled with ground water means that all components of a lighting system must be addressed
  • Water finds the weakest link in the system and seeps through via capillary action
  • Alia Diwa Resort Goa:
    • Wiring processes: use of glands, mastic tapes and silicone fills essential to keep humidity and ground water out
    • Salinity has an adverse impact on the componentry.

Creating Sustainable Lighting Solutions

Bushwick Park: project by AWA Lighting Designers

Bushwick Park: project by AWA Lighting Designers

Over time, the architectural community has become increasingly invested in the realization of environmentally sustainable design, and this trend shows no sign of abating. This is a global movement. Sustainable solutions acting in a major metropolis can save building owners significantly on operational costs and cut back in vast quantities on the carbon emissions that would otherwise pervade. And, in other parts of the world, sustainable lighting solutions can make the difference between continuing one’s day, be that education, work or home tasks, or allowing darkness to swallow up needed hours of productivity. Thus, sustainability touches us all.

From low impact materials to energy efficiency, to design for reuse and recycling, there is much to be done. In this context, design connects architects with their partners and consultants, as they work toward their common goal of defining and creating structures that live up to the promise of sustainability. With architecture, technologies, materials and products all merge to create the tangible pieces of lighting design. In their collective application we see the final effects, and the success or failure of strategies and visions. How these pieces are put to use by installers and later by building occupants has tremendous importance on their visual comfort, efficiency performance, function and beauty that must be considered carefully from design inception.

Able to realize the vision of their architectural partners, lighting designers are critical members of the process. For, it is very true that one of the most efficient ways to reduce the overall carbon footprint of a structure is to amend its lighting design with smartly conceived and realized design. And, in the developing world, sustainable lighting nourishes the very essence of life. Thus, although it is just one piece of the puzzle, lighting has an outsized effect on sustainability. Understanding what is possible in this arena only serves to invigorate a practice and encourage new paradigms.

Light triggers critical physiological and psychological responses within human beings. And, since most of us spend the majority of our lives in the built environment, the level and quality of light within these buildings has real implications for our health and wellness. Luckily, today’s architect is armed with sophisticated structural options that allow for more lighting choices than at any point in architecture’s history. In today’s design world, it is no longer a question of whether to design with light in mind, but how to design with light in mind. As we become more aware of light’s implications on our physiological and psychological selves, and as technology affords a greater range of options, architects and their partners are left with an increased repertoire to draw from.  As it relates to health and wellness, the key points to consider are the quality, the quantity and the type of light being delivered within the space. 

Consider first how light comes into play in a health-oriented society. Many functions necessary for growth and well being such as breathing, sleeping, blood pressure, body temperature, appetite, moods, mental acuity, and the immune system are governed by the endocrine system, which is strongly impacted and affected by light, both natural & created by electric sources. There is also evidence suggesting that proper quantities of visually perceived light are needed for healthy functioning of the cerebral cortex, the part of the brain that controls motivation, learning, and creativity; the limbic system, the part of the brain that stores emotional impressions of the world; and the motor cortex and the brain stem, the parts of the brain that coordinate body movement and the maintenance of life.


2020 PARADIGM SHIFT – Past / Present / Future

  • Is there a Paradigm Shift Coming?
  • Changing technologies
  • New materials
  • New policies


1750 - 2000 timeline


  • Total Penetration of LED Components for the Global Lighting Market is 14.4% [2011]
  • $1.8 Billion/$12.5 Billion

Global Lighting Market


  • 140 lumens/watt 220 lumens/watt
  • Solid state lighting [SSL] will comprise 70% of the global lighting market by 2020

Conventional Lighting / LED Lighting

  • Lack of standards for many components of the led package
  • Reliability of the led package impacts future growth

Manufacturing Costs

What is Culture?

The definition of culture is better understood when the different variables that define it are studied. In order to get a better resolution on what culture really stands for, it is important to understand the ingredients/ elements that contribute to a culture. Some of these elements are listed below:

  • Arts and architecture
  • Technology
  • Economics
  • Religion
  • Literature
  • Politics
  • Tradition and Ritual
  • Human Physiology
  • Context / Climate

Lighting solutions in different cultures carry certain unifying elements, and then there are local variations that may arise due to any of the reasons listed above. We use the McDonald’s metaphor to explain the local variations. The following is a listing of the different McDonald staples internationally:

  • Belgium:  Croque McDo
  • France:  French fries are fried potatoes
  • Hong Kong:  Rice-Fan-Tastic, McRice
  • India:   Maharajah Mac, chicken tikka burger, veg burger (no beef)
  • Israel:   McShawarma, barbecued vs. fried beef patties
  • Japan:   Tsukimi Burger (Moon-Viewing Burger!)
  • Pakistan:  McKofta, McChutney Burger
  • South Korea: McBingsoo (Korean shaved ice)
  • USA:  Super-Sizing

Gartner Hype Cycle

In understanding how culture affects light, we can make some more accurate deductions based upon how people interact with new technology. The most informative perspective on this was developed by the American research firm Gartner in the form of the graphic called the ‘Hype Cycle’. The graph elapses the time over which a piece of new technology or design will be engaged with by the public, and how the public will engage with that new design over that time. The basic principles of the Hype Cycle suggest that a new design will initial become incredibly attractive as the namesake’s ‘hype’ is created surrounding its release. Upon its release the design will fall downward to its lowest point titled by Gartner the ‘Trough of Disillusionment’, in which consumers become frustrated or disappointed by the reality of the product. However the Hype Cycle notes that after coming to terms with the product’s reality, and having experienced it in their everyday lives, the product’s engagement increases to a mild plateau from which it ever so gradually descends until newer technology is introduced, and the cycle begins again.

Gartner Hype Cycle

Gartner Hype Cycle

The Gartner Hype Cycle is a methodology that’s been used effectively by Gartner since 1995 to predict market trends. The Hype Cycle provides a graphic representation of the maturity and adoption of technologies and applications, and how they are potentially relevant to solving real business problems and exploiting new opportunities. The Gartner Hype Cycle methodology gives a view of how a technology or application will evolve over time, providing insight into managing its deployment within the context of specific business sector.

A corollary to the Hype Cycle could be that the technology triggers happen in different parts of the world at different times, and they continue to propagate through their hype cycle at different rates. If ‘light levels used’ are seen as a function of technology and then mixed with economics to understand the speed of absorption, we can better understand why certain areas of the world have a propensity for higher light levels. It may also mean that the ‘light levels used’ in different parts of the world, based on their economic prowess, may be located on different parts of the Hype cycle.

While allowing for this perspective, a critique of Gartner’s effort is that the design is not cross-culturally adaptable in its entirety. The reality of a product’s release is that the timeline it takes exists in parallel with other dimensions not mentioned by Gartner’s Hype Cycle, such as culture and climate. In forming our critique of Gartner’s Hype Cycle, we developed our own edition to push forward the ideology that surrounds the development of new technology. In our edition of the hype cycle, we see that the focus is on lighting design, but that the design approach is considered as part of the concerns of culture and climate. The cycle is also concern with practical obligations like budget, function and architecture. The cycle’s Y axis possesses more concerns than visibility, looking at economy, technology triggers and light levels. The adapted design allows for a more practical look at consumer engagement when dealing with the field of light.

Gartner Hype Cycle: Reinterpreted

Gartner Hype Cycle: Reinterpreted

AWA Lighting Designers Launch “Contextualizing Light,” The AWA Movie Channel

AWA Lighting Designers are pleased to share our work with our friends and well-wishers through “Contextualizing Light,” the AWA Movie Channel on YouTube and Vimeo.

Click on these links to visit our channels!


Taking Daylight to the Next Level: How Daylighting Analysis is Changing Design


Ashjar at Al Barari residential project

Until recently, renderings were the architect’s primary tool for understanding daylight in their designs—renderings, and a healthy dose of intuition. But a new generation of daylighting analysis tools, which is emerging alongside a new generation of daylighting metrics, are enabling architects to look at daylight in new ways—with important implications for design.

Business as usual, when it comes to daylight, is to use rules of thumb to design, then use renderings to check the design and communicate the intent. Rendering has fast become an art form: the creation of exquisite, evocative, often atmospheric imagery that communicates the mood, the experience, the visceral feel of the design. This is no accident: daylighting is a magic ingredient in architecture, bringing dynamism to static structure, imbuing buildings with a sense of time, and renderings are a powerful way to capture and communicate these ideas—a necessary complement to the hard line plans and sections that comprise much of the architect’s lexicon. Renderings have expanded our ability to communicate designs. They have also expanded our ability to conceptualize designs—and especially to conceptualize the daylight in our designs.

Click HERE to read more

Article Written by : Carl S. Sterner

Image courtesy of : 10 DESIGN

Source : Archdaily

Lighting Zeitgeist: Culture, Climate and Materials (Part 2 of many)

Culture, climate and materiality  form the three pillars of light that are the bedrock for our critique of the lighting zeitgeist.

Climate and materiality are two great concerns within lighting, but while they possess enormous influence, they do have clearly defined boundaries. The broader a definition is of culture, the more accurate it becomes; the inverse for both climate and materiality. The flexible nature of culture holds a great deal of interest for design, in that how we manifest objects, systems and behaviors through design is a large part of the dialogue surrounding the question; what is culture? Lighting solutions internationally balance universal ideas about light with local variations. A given culture’s position in the global economic development cycle is often reflected in its use of lighting in urban, night environments. However, striking a balance between regional differences and globalization is often a challenge.
o The culture of lighting defines us. In an era that is increasingly segmented, with a renewed focus on site-specific, culturally aware design, every practitioner in the built environment can benefit from better understanding the implications of culture in lighting design. While the nature of culture is interesting, attempting to define or sculpt its wide boundaries is not the primary aim of this posting- Starting a  dialog on the differing nature of culture globally as it affects light is- we are interested in how culture informs light and affects how we perceive light.
o Every culture has had a distinct relationship with light, and that continues today. As it is manifest, light defines broader tastes and styles within a culture. And, this has deeper implications than mere fashion or vogue. As more firms and practitioners begin to operate across geographic boundaries, understanding cultural drivers is critical for meeting the needs of the populous- From lighting the villages of India to designing civic, residential and institutional environments in New York City, to exploring the burgeoning and conflicted world of the Middle East, every practitioner in the built environment can benefit from better understanding the implications of culture in lighting design.
o What are the elements that define individual cultures? We might list the arts, architecture, technology, economics, religion, literature, politics, tradition and ritual, human biology and physiology, local conditions, climate, and natural resources. In analyzing a culture’s unique views on lighting, we might consider light in relationship to each of the above elements. While certain elements, like the human physiological response, remain consistent cross-culturally, others, such as climate or religious traditions, can vary immensely.




symphony of light hongkong 2