John Bullock Lighting Design
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Lighting Specification and Electrical Design


The Electrical Safety Council recently published an article entitled 'ELECTRICAL INSTALLATION WORK - WHO IS THE DESIGNER? (page 7 of Switched On -  Issue 15). I've always taken the time to explain gently to clients that I'm only a lighting designer and that means I produce lighting layouts. They are not electrical layouts, which are a different thing entirely.

As far as the authorities are concerned, I only produce a specification; its not a design at all. The design has to come from an 'electrically competent person' and there are really only two groups of people who fall into that category, electrical consulting engineers and electrical contractors.

Why is this an issue at all?  Because there are folk out there who think the design bit of the work can be avoided, simply to save money. So long as the site electrician has a layout plan and the correct fittings have been ordered, what else is needed? Well, here's a question for you: How many wires does it take to connect a dimmable compact fluorescent lamp? The answer to that is usually 'one more than you installed before the walls and ceilings were all plastered and fininshed'. And that's an electrical design issue, and its a scenario that's going to occur more often as we all necessarily shift our design awareness and emphasis towards energy saving and 'green specifications'.

And its also an issue of the moment because I see my drawings turn up on site with an electrician turning them around and around trying to make sense of them - drawings that have obviously never seen an electrical design office and it only means one thing: IT'LL ALL END IN TEARS.

RIBA CPD in 2015

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John Bullock Lighting Design
4 Miller Way

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