Due to growing concerns of COVID-19 in the lighting industry and the New York community, the Designers Lighting Forum of New York is postponing the LEDucation 2020 Trade Show and Conference that had been scheduled for March 17 – 18.
LEDucation is being rescheduled to August 18 – 19, 2020. I expect that our TM-30 Annex E seminar and demonstration room will be part of the rescheduled event.
LEDucation this year is on March 17 and 18 at the New York Hilton Midtown where I’ll be part of two presentations. The first, at 9 am on Tuesday morning with Wendy Luedtke of ETC, is a seminar called Specifying Color Rendering with TM-30’s New Annex E. The session presents the new ANSI/IES TM-30 Annexes E and F, which apply recent research to identify three color rendering design intents (Fidelity, Preference, and Vividness) and provides specifiers with TM-30 values to achieve them alone or in combination. Our goal is to increase awareness of Annexes E and F and to help attendees better understand their contents and use. The seminar is most appropriate for people with some prior knowledge of TM-30, although there will be a brief TM-30 overview for those who are new to the topic.
Then, on Wednesday, we’ll be joined by Jess Baker of Schuler Shook for a daylong demonstration of Annex E. In the TM-30 Demo Room visitors will experience an immersive mockup illuminated with a variety of light sources illustrating the Annex E design intents. The lighting demonstrations will be paired with TM-30 values to show how TM-30 can be used to select light sources for each intent. Visitors will experience sources that meet different levels of the IES TM-30 specification guidelines outlined in IES TM-30-18 Annex E. We’ll be presenting the demonstration on the hour and half hour from 9 am to 2 pm.
Recently, ANSI/IES TM-30 was improved with the addition of Annexes E and F. Annex F reviews and summarized five studies that explored using TM-30 metrics to predict subjective visual outcomes. Annex E uses that research to establish recommended specification criteria when the designer’s color rendering goals are Preference, Vividness and/or Fidelity.
I’ve been using Annex E on projects and have spoken to other designers who have begun to use it. It provides useful, accurate information that allows me to evaluate the color rendering results of light sources in a way that hasn’t been possible until now. It lets me make informed decisions about my projects, and explain those decisions to colleagues and stakeholders in (relatively) easy to understand terms.
TM-30 and the TM-30 calculators continue to be a free download from the IES here. Annexes E and F are also free on the Errata and Addenda page here and here.
Last Thursday Donald Trump spoke to a group of Republicans in Baltimore. One of the things he said caught my attention: “The lightbulb. People said what’s with the lightbulb? I said, here’s the story. And I looked at it, the bulb that we’re being forced to use, No. 1, to me, most importantly, the light’s no good. I always look orange. And so do you. The light is the worst.”
Now, I’m not aware of being made to look orange under LEDs, nor have I ever noticed LEDs making my friends, colleagues, or students appear orange. You can’t imagine how embarrassed I’d be if it turned out that a real estate developer and entertainer had more astute color perception than me, a lighting designer and Co-Chair of the IES Color Committee. If our only means of evaluating the color rendering of a light source, and evaluating the orange content specifically, was CRI we would have no objective way of testing his statement. CRI, technically Ra, is a single value that gives us an average of the match between the light source in question and its reference source (either a blackbody radiator or a CIE definition of daylight, depending on CCT) using only eight color samples.
Since Ra is an average value there’s no way to understand the rendering of any particular hue. I’ve talked about this here. However, one of the wonderful things about ANSI/IES TM-30 IES Method for EvaluatingLight Source Color Rendition is that we can use it to test that claim. TM-30 uses 99 color samples that are distributed across the color space and the visible spectrum.
It also breaks the color space up onto 16 Hue Bins, each one covering a specific range of the color space. In the case of orange, we want to look at Hue Bin 3. Specially, we want to look at Rcs,h3 (the subscript CS stands for Chroma Shift) which quantifies the increase or decrease in the saturation or vividness of orange compared to the reference light source.
So, let’s put the science of TM-30 to work and see if we really do know that LEDs make us look orange!
The TM-30 calculator contains a library of 300 SPDs (spectral power distributions), of which 137 are commercially available white LEDs. The CCTs range from 2776 K to 6123 K. If white light LEDs really did make us look orange we’d expect to see a large majority of them have a positive Rcs,h3, probably with an average chroma shift in excess of 10%. In fact, the 137 SPDs have Rcs,h3 that range from -8% to 1% with an average of -3.6%, a decrease (not an increase) in the saturation of orange. It’s not me, it’s him. TM-30, which uses the most modern models of human vision and a set of colors that cover the color space and visible light spectrum, proves it. What a relief!
Don’t believe me? Download TM-30 and the calculator for free from the IES web site and see for yourself.
Of course, I’m not saying LEDs are perfect light sources. Like any other product there are good ones and bad ones. However, TM-30’s measurements of fidelity and gamut (as averages) and measurements of fidelity, chroma shift, and hue shift (by hue bin) permit us to make a thorough evaluation of a light source to understand its color rendering characteristics. Using this knowledge, we can determine if a particular light source distorts colors and is appropriate for a project, or not.
I should take a moment to note another error he made when he said, “And very importantly—I don’t know if you know this—they have warnings. If it breaks, it’s considered a hazardous waste site. It’s gases inside.” Perhaps you’ve heard the acronym SSL or the phrase solid state lighting. LEDs are a version of SSL, which means that they are…well, solid. Unlike previous light producing technologies LEDs are a solid combination of materials. As such, if one were to physically break (which is unlikely since LEDs are small, are mounted to a heat sink and often covered with a lens, so you’d have to break a lot of materials simultaneously) no gas, hazardous or benign, is emitted. He’s thinking of fluorescent lamps and the small amount of mercury they contain. Even then, a broken fluorescent lamp doesn’t turn the area into a” hazardous waste site.” Here are the EPA’s instructions for cleaning up a broken fluorescent lamp.
This is a lighting design blog, but many of my students are interior designers, so I’m going to speak to them for a moment with interesting news. The Council for Interior Design Qualification has updated the definition of Interior Design. The short definition is:
Interior design encompasses the analysis, planning, design, documentation, and management of interior non-structural/non-seismic construction and alteration projects in compliance with applicable building design and construction, fire, life-safety, and energy codes, standards, regulations, and guidelines for the purpose of obtaining a building permit, as allowed by law. Qualified by means of education, experience, and examination, interior designers have a moral and ethical responsibility to protect consumers and occupants through the design of code-compliant, accessible, and inclusive interior environments that address well-being, while considering the complex physical, mental, and emotional needs of people
This week I’ll be focusing and setting light levels in a new corporate board room. The first photo below shows testing of the RGBW LED cove lights. The second photo shows the partial installation of a hard dropped ceiling with downlights and a central luminous panel.
Sometimes the New York Times is oblivious and yesterday was one of them. In an article titled Lighting a Room, Simplified the author wrote about the importance of lighting in the home. In preparing the article, she spoke to and quoted four interior designers, one fixture manufacturers and one professional lighting designer. In addition, all eight of the photos in the article are taken during the day, so they’re nice illustrations of the use of windows and daylight in residential interiors but terrible illustrations of electric lighting, which is the topic of the article. They seem to be marketing photos for particular lighting fixtures, not examples of good lighting.
It’s too bad. There are plenty of lighting designers who would have gladly shared their expertise and their work with the public if asked. Unfortunately, this article is a reflection of the public’s (and the author’s) lack of awareness of the contribution good lighting, and therefore a good lighting designer, can make to a residential of commercial project.
Lighting doesn’t just come with a building. Most interior designers and architect receive little or no training or education in lighting design when they’re in school. Yes, some do have an affinity for lighting and can create beautiful work despite their lack of training. However, the best lighting design is most likely to come from the best trained people – professional lighting designers. If you are looking, one place to start is the IALD’s web site and the Find A Lighting Designer tool on the home page.
By now most of us have attended one or more seminars or webinars about IES TM-30 and understand that it is a method of measuring various color rendering properties of a light source and reporting those measurements. The thing that’s been missing is a recommended set of values that set minimums, maximums and/or tolerances for the various measurements. This has been true for two reasons. First, TM-30 is a method and as such was never intended to set recommended values. The second is that while the science behind TM-30 is solid, the science doesn’t offer any predictions of acceptability.
Good news! After almost three years of research and tests around the world we’re much closer to establishing a set of recommended values. At this year’s IES Annual Conference in Boston, Tony Esposito, Kevin Houser, Michael Royer and I will be presenting the seminar “Specifying Color Quality With TM-30” The description of the seminar is, “This presentation will discuss several research projects which have used the IES TM-30 color rendition framework, and whose results have been used to develop various specification criteria. We will discuss UFC 4-510-01, The Department of Defense Unified Facilities Criteria for Military Medical Facilities, which has already implemented IES TM-30-15 specification criteria.”
During the seminar we’ll review some TM-30 basics, look at several research projects that are helping to establish TM-30 thresholds, and review how to use the TM-30 calculator. Don’t miss it!