John Bullock Lighting Design
John Bullock Lighting Design
Lighting Product DesignLighting Product Design
Heritage Lighting ProjectsHeritage Lighting Projects
Home Lighting ProjectsHome Lighting Projects
Exhibitions Lighting ProjectsExhibitions Lighting Projects
Leisure Lighting ProjectsLeisure Lighting Projects
Exterior Lighting ProjectsExterior Lighting Projects
Commercial Lighting ProjectsCommercial Lighting Projects

What we'd really like to see from the lighting industry


It usually goes something like this: reducing energy consumption is a sustainable thing to do � low-energy light bulbs reduce the use of energy � therefore low-energy light bulbs are sustainable. Sounds reasonable, but as all you aficionados of Aristotle will know, that�s just a plain old syllogism � an inference � it�s faulty logic. Which is a pity, because it seems as though an entire industry is either fooling itself or trying to fool the rest of us into believing that�s it�s true.

Making a low-energy light fitting does not take a genius as we can see from the fact that everyone and their ancient relatives are doing it. And it doesn�t take too much extra effort to make a low-energy light fitting that complies with the regulations (Building Regs. Part L, for those of you sitting at the back). And it doesn�t really help when the powers (that be) loosen the requirements for compliance to something so meaningless as to be downright foolish.
Sorry - It�s an opinion, and its all mine.
Perhaps this is all perfectly understandable. We�re in the direct path of a major resource crisis, but its all been wrapped up in the old-fashioned trappings of an energy crisis, so perhaps we choose not to see it as it is, only as we�d prefer it to be. But this is probably the big one, so we�d be better off setting out some ground rules for where we ought to be heading from here.

Ideally, Sustainable production means taking nothing that can�t easily be replaced and replaced within a reasonable span of time. A barrel of oil cannot be replaced in a reasonable span of time. It�s extraction simply takes away and leaves future generation (our children and grandchildren and those who come after them) with less and that is not a sustainable situation. At the same time � and being very topical � replacing oil-based fuel with plant-based biomass fuel is no more sustainable if the land being used was originally growing food. It might be good for business,  but it�s a bit rough on the communities that were relying on the food. Waste is another issue. The conventional view is that waste is �someone else�s problem�, although the someone in question is rarely identified. Throwing stuff away doesn�t work any more. The global community has shown us that �away� has gone away. Its all our own backyard. We can no longer afford to do business this way. It�s been called �mortgaging the future�. Others have called it what it really is: stealing from our kids.

Of course, sustainability in practice is a bit more rough and ready than just waving a magic wand or expecting a non-existent world government to save us; we are where we are and all we can hope for is to shift things along in the direction that we need to go in.

For now, I want the UK lighting industry to think about a shopping list of what all this sustainability malarkey will mean for the board of directors:
* product design that embraces the closed cycle of use and re-use rather than the old take-make-waste practices of old.
* manufacturing management that identify and then reduce material and resource usage.
* waste management that roots out inefficient practices and reduces the amount of stuff that we throw away (there is no �away�).
* distribution management that seeks to reduce packaging and distribution costs.
* corporate management that identifies the ways that energy is wasted as a consequence of business decisions

That�s an awful lot of �management� being look for, don�t you think?

Anything else: oh yes � and make really good quality light fittings that use as little material and energy resources as possible. And all the time, remembering that the most Sustainable light fitting is the one that doesn�t get switched on, so educating the wider community on its own management of resources.

RIBA CPD in 2015

Here are the links to my event calendars



John Bullock Lighting Design
4 Miller Way

Website designed by Alacrify