John Bullock Lighting Design
John Bullock Lighting Design
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The Case of the Glass on the Table


Here�s a prophecy for you; within the next few years you�re going to see electricity prices rise � and go on rising. And as the installation of smart meters rolls out through the country, the electricity companies will find ever more ingenious ways of taking money from us in the shape of new punitive tariff structures. So it won�t matter how many 100W light bulbs you�ve got stashed away under the stairs, you may prefer not to turn them on. Whether is human-induced climate change or the increasingly expensive cost of the extraction of fossil fuels, something of this sort will happen � and soon.

As a lighting designer, it�s a scenario that fills me with optimism and pessimism in fairly equal measure; not so much a glass that�s half-full or half-empty, but a glass that�s too close to the table edge. What I�d like to think is that everyone sees what�s coming and grasps this most uncomfortable nettle well in advance and plan for a low energy future. To me, that means a lighting strategy that fully embraces low energy technology but holds onto the idea that lighting is a vital element in defining our quality of life. On the other hand, I fear that it may come to the usual last-minute panic and we end up with bottom-of-the-table cheap rubbish that leaves our aesthetics bleeding on the streets.

Here�s an exercise that you can do all for yourself. Turn off all the lights in your home/office/shop/restaurant/hotel and then stand in the middle of the place. Now look around. Now - which future would you prefer?

RIBA CPD in 2015

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John Bullock Lighting Design
4 Miller Way

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