When the financial crisis really started to bite in 2010 I wrote a (pre-general election) piece (Angels and Lumens), both prescient and semi-comedic, about having to walk darkened streets because an austerity government had turned off all the street lights. It was meant as satire, guys! I envisaged street urchins converting fishing rods to LED lanterns, guiding richer folk through the streets – I called them Light Anglers. I could have done with one today because some of Sherborne streets were unlit and the icy patches were taking advantage of the overall gloom.
Imagine, just before Christmas a town centre in England experiences a power outage, leaving townsfolk wandering around in the dark, guided only by their mobile phone torches (and, yes, I did think about using my phone this morning but I have a whole day away and there’s only so much a Nokia battery can stand . . . and it’s rarely enough). I’ve been writing about emergency lighting this week (my day job as applications editor for Lux Review makes me do it) and it led to a bit of musing about the way that we use emergency lighting. If a shop goes dark, the plan is to have sufficient illumination to get customers out into the street – where there’s no light at all. There must be a better way than this, I thought, and I think today’s short journey from home to railway station demonstrated it.
A few of the shops along the unlit streets had left their window display lighting on, and very gay it looked – positively Dickensian . . . but then again, this is Sherborne where some residents claim Dickens as a personal friend. So why don’t we have a requirement that shop frontages should include emergency lighting in their windows so that the good people in our town centres can benefit from the ensuing borrowed light as they wander the no-longer-pitch-black streets looking for somewhere still serving skinny lattes? I’m just asking.
Train journey update: just west of Basingstoke, the southerly horizon begins to brighten in that gorgeous orange-fading-to-bluee way that it has and fluffy clouds are deep grey against a washed-out blue sky. Marvellous!
A (very) basic guide to ethical specification
Lighting design: it's a client thing
Calculating obtrusive light: whose job is it?
When there's nothing in the catalogue
When is a chandelier not a pendant? When its a lantern!
When clients learn too much . . .
One of our details is missing
Where will light fittings come from?
The end of the light bulb?
Always something new . . . again
Always something new . . .
Combining old and new
On being in the dark . . .
Riffing The Internet of Things
John Bullock writes a regular column for lighting magazines. You can find all of the archived pieces here.
BLOGS - LIGHTING DESIGN
John Bullock writes about all things and anything concerning architectural lighting design; new technologies and old lamps; anything,really.
HOME LIGHTING CONSULTANT
John Bullock designs innovative lighting designs for people's homes. By working closely with clients he is able to deliver solutions that meet - and exceed - their expectations.
BLOGS - CPD RIBA CORE PROGRAMME 2015
John Bullock will be presenting a seminar on latest lighting design and technologies as part of the RIBA CPD Core programme 2015
BLOGS - SUSTAINABILITY
John Bullock believes that the UK lighting industry needs to embrace a sustainable way of delivering good quality product through good design, fabrication and end-of-life management.
BLOGS - LIGHTING HEALTH AND WELLBEING
Lighting has a vital role to play in our health and wellbeing.
CONDUIT (6) - Lighting for Winter Gardens
CONDUIT 5: Home Lighting - LED Lighting (2)
FX Magazine: Lighting Focus - Sustainability (Issue 258)
CONDUIT 4: Home Lighting - LED Lighting (1)
Can Smart Lighting Save The Planet?
CONDUIT 3: Home Lighting - The Bathroom
Can Lighting Save Us From Ourselves . . . NO!
CONDUIT 2: Home Lighting - The Dining Room