Green is A Number – A Creative Stage Lighting Webinar


I just found this on the Creative Stage Lighting Blog, and this is about an hour and 20 minutes’ worth of your time that will come in handy in the future.  From Kevin Loretto’s Creative Stage Lighting Blog (bolding is mine for emphasis):

How do you measure the environmental impact of a light fixture? There are many ways to look at it, starting with the light output compared to the energy input. But that’s just the beginning. Take a quick trip through the green valley of sustainable lighting including best practices for lessening the environmental impact of your lighting designs.

About The Presenters:

Richard Cadena

Richard Cadena is the author of several books for the production professional, including Electricity for the Entertainment Electrician & Technician, Automated Lighting: The Art and Science of Moving Light, Lighting Design for Modern Houses of Worship, Focus on Lighting Technology. He is a 24 year veteran of the entertainment lighting industry and he has a background in electronics and electrical engineering.

His work experience includes stints with two of the world’s largest automated lighting manufacturers and he has designed lighting systems for tours, theatre, and permanent installations. He is also the technical editor for PLASA Media, an Authorized WYSIWYG Trainer, and freelance lighting designer. He is proficient in WYSIWYG, LD Assistant, and Vectorworks and he teaches classes in lighting, electricity, and control systems. His training seminars and webinars are renowned for their humor and creativity and are among the most popular in the industry.

James Bedell

James Bedell is a lighting designer based in New York City. Bedell has lit productions for Pace University, Off and Off-Off Broadway theater and dance companies, and has earned a SpotlightOn award for best lighting design.

Today Bedell is focused on lighting architectural spaces including corporate headquarters, restaurants and retail locations. He is the founder of Build2Sustain, a consultancy dedicated to making the business case for sustainable design in commercial spaces.

Bedell is the owner and principal designer of JPB Lighting.

James and Richard are awesome brains. You need to watch this webinar if for some reason you haven’t already!

Acting Green vs. Buying Green [Infographic]

I saw this great infographic over at Inhabitat, from a cool website called eLocal — the idea behind it is the idea of the difference between buying green and acting green.  It’s pretty clever, check it out!

After all of this time, I still kinda cringe that we call it “green.”  I feel like the reality of the situation should be enough to force people to think with a little bit more earthen responsibility, as “green” really refers to sustainability.  perhaps I’m a wee bit pessimistic about the whole thing, but the real idea behind branding the idea of sustainability as being “green” is to save the Earth.  She needs saving, folks.

Beware! The Blob

While not a 1970s scifi horror flick, Sunday Paper‘s spectacular short film Light is certainly haunting. For a fascinating and beautiful minute and a half short film, it certainly carries an elegiac note.



Just watch it!


Light from Sunday Paper on Vimeo.


Jax’s Link-O-Rama: Daft Punk Edition

It’s geektastic and rave-a-licious up in here, y’all.

Hooray for Daft Punk.

Jax’s Link-O-Rama: Party at the Louvre Edition

I had a party recently.  It was not at the Louvre.  That’s because I’m not a Nobel laureate laser-inventing genius.  Gotta get on that.  Anyway–here are your Monday links!

Grand Louvre courtesy of Felber on Flickr

Image snagged from Felber’s Flickr stream.  Thanks!

  • The US Department of Energy is throwing money around in the interest of better phosphorescent OLED technology. (OLED-info)
  • Prime opportunity for inventing a good euphemism: LEDs with “tighter binning”.(Enlighter)
  • More on LEDs: planar lighting. (LEDs Magazine)
  • Denied: Maryland doesn’t get smartmeters just yet. (Earth2Tech)
  • Fossil fuel subsidy WTF.  Aren’t we past rewarding stuff like this? (CleanTechnica)
  • Speaking of lighting a flat surface, here’s an edge-lit display how-to. (Make Magazine)
  • Vroom, vroom! (CleanTechnica)
  • Partying down with laser geniuses–at the Louvre! (
  • This won’t hurt a bit: laser injections! (
  • Here’s the Earth2Tech weekly roundup. (Inhabitat)
  • A late addition: this is a story from a couple of months ago, but it’s just come to our attention here at JOL, so we’ll pass it on.  Just in case you ever doubt that lighting designers are rock stars: here’s a sad INXS-style incident involving one of our own. (NYT)

Austin’s Solar Sunflowers

A while ago I wrote about the Solar Sunflowers that are installed on the rear end of a retail park in Austin.  They’re large beautiful structures that you can see on I-35 as you drive by a certain Home Depot.  Here’s the aerial view:

I have always wanted to see these things up close and personal, so when Leia and I were driving down I-35 to hook up with some friends for SXSW we sort of spotted them from the highway.  It’s pretty fantastic to see something like this after you’ve researched it – the experience was awesome.  It’s also nice to be able to have a light nerd freakout around my wife.

The photovoltaics for these units are built into the structure of each of the 15 flowers; they in themselves are functioning art.  During the day, the sun shines through the PV material, which has some blue poly edges that create beautiful blue light in the shadows.  At night the sunflowers’ stamen-like LED arrays illuminate the face of the PV panel with deep blue light.  Beautiful!

Austin’s Solar Sunflower Garden, off off I-35 – from Jim Hutchison on Vimeo.

Panasonic Says 19 Years on Their EverLED Lamp


Stories of Panasonic’s new EverLED lamp are making their way around the intarwebs in the last week – in October (the 21st to be specific), Japan will see the release of Panasonic’s new line of household LED incandescent replacement lamps.  Panasonic is selling this new LED source as one that will last 19 years if used an average of about five and a half hours a day.  One one hand, awesome!  On the other, will there be a department to substantiate fraud claims if this doesn’t work?  And how on earth have they tested this claim?  I’m no rocket surgeon, but is this all based on mathematical estimate?

First, what does an average of five hours a day equal?  It means about 40,000 lamp hours.  Take that how you will.  40,000 hours is 40,000 hours no matter how you spin it.  But – when you claim 19 years on an average of five and a half hours a day, what happens when you run the lamp constantly for 500 hour stints at a time – or even 72 hour runs on average?

Don’t worry, I’m not poo-pooing Panasonic’s EverLED lamp.  I’m actually excited to see it in action.  We’re testing one of EternaLEDs’ HydraLux-4s in our apartment for testing, and it’s doing great, and provides a good light.  I’m a lighting designer – I am critical AND loving!

The Panasonic EverLED has some interesting efficacy numbers – keep in mind that these numbers are without a luminaire – just the lamp on its own:

  • The LDa7D-A1 model, equal in output to a 40W incandescent, has an efficacy of 82.6 lm/W
  • The LDA4D-A1 model, equal in output to a 30W incandescent, has an efficacy of 85 lm/W

These numbers are very good – they basically make the EverLED models about 40 times more efficient than an incandescent lamp (a rough number is about 12 lm/W for a 40W incandescent).  But what do you think the number one issue keeping consumers away from LED lamps is currently?

If you guessed price, you’re right on the money.  The EverLED is going to cost about $40 bucks (or 4,000 yen), and at this time is only available in Japan.  Similar LED lamps are upwards of the same price range.  When you can buy a pack of incandescent lamps for under two dollars, what’s giving the low-income families incentive to buy something that costs the same as a tank of gas?

Check out some images, and the press release from CompoundSemi:




From CompoundSemi:

September 10, 2009… Osaka, Japan–Panasonic Corporation, a leader in electronics technology and innovation, today unveiled bulb-shaped LED (light-emitting diode) lamps, the latest addition to its EVERLEDS LED lighting products. The new line-up consisting of eight types of bulbs offers the industry’s most energy-efficient(1), lightest(2) and smallest LED bulbs(3). They also include the industry’s first compact type LED bulbs(4) and dimmable lamps. By offering a variety of energy-saving, long-lasting, environmentally-friendly LED lamps, Panasonic encourages consumers to replace traditional incandescent lamps to address climate-change issues.

The new line-up includes 4.0 W (LDA4L-A1 and LDA4D-A1), 6.9 W (LDA7L-A1 and LDA7D-A1) and 7.6 W (LDA8L-A1/D and LDA8D-A1/D) standard type (E26 base) LED bulbs and 5.5 W (LDA6L-E17-A1/D and LDA6D-E17-A1/D) compact type (E17 base) LED bulbs. Available in “Daylight” and warm “Lamp” colors, they will go on sale in Japan on October 21.

The new products use Panasonic’s own heat dissipation technology to increase the bulb’s energy-efficiency. Generally speaking, LED’s luminous efficiency increases as temperature decreases. So it is important to lower and optimize the temperature of an LED package to achieve higher luminous efficiency. By applying alumite treatment to the surface, Panasonic successfully increased heat dissipation to lower the temperate of the LED package.

Combining this technology with the design which tightly joins the LED package and the casing, the company has achieved the industry’s highest energy efficiency in LED bulbs(1).

Also, when used as a downlight, the 6.9 W standard type LED bulbs deliver the brightness equivalent to 60 W incandescent bulbs5). That means it can save up to 2,000 yen per year on energy bills. The 4.0 W standard and 5.5 W compact LED bulbs produce the output comparable to 40 W incandescents and the 7.6 W standard LED bulbs have the brightness of 60 W incandescents when used as a downlight(6).

Panasonic also made the new LED bulbs the lightest2) in the industry by making the casing thinner and reducing the amount of aluminum used in the product. The standard size E26 base bulb weighs only 100 g and the compact size E17 base bulb weighs 50 g.

Further, Panasonic employed its own thermal analysis technology to optimize the heat dissipating configuration (heat sink) to create the most compact E26 base LED bulbs in terms of length and outer diameter. The new LED lamps, including the industry’s first E17 base LED bulbs, will easily fit into existing fixtures with which other replacement bulbs did not physically match.

The E26 base LED bulbs have a long lifespan of up to 40,000 hours. That means they last for about 19 years when used for 5.5 hours a day. The E17 base LED bulbs have about 20,000 hour life span. The new LED bulbs also feature a durable glass globe using glass manufacturing technology Panasonic accumulated over the years. They emit virtually no UV or IR radiation. The 7.6 W standard type and the 5.5 W compact type LED bulbs are dimmable from 10 percent to 100 percent.


(1) The standard type LDA7D-A1 LED bulb, which produces the brightness equivalent to a 40 W incandescent lamp when used without fixtures, has luminous efficiency of 82.6 lm/W and standard type LDA4D-A1 LED bulb, which produces the brightness equivalent to a 30 W incandescent lamp when used without fixtures, has luminous efficiency of 85.0 lm/w, as of September 10, 2009.

(2) As a standard type LED bulb, as of September 10, 2009.
(3) In terms of length and outer diameter.
(4) As a compact type LED bulb (E17 base) which produces the brightness equivalent to a 25 W mini-krypton when used without fixtures.
(5) Direct lighting when used with the LB72630Z fixture by Panasonic Electric Works (PEW).
(6) Direct lighting when used with PEW’s LB72106 (4.0 W LED bulb), LB72630Z (7.6 W LED bulb) and LB74059 (5.5 W LED bulb) fixtures.

Thanks to CNet, Inhabitat, and CompoundSemi!

Seeing Green

It’s time for a rant, isn’t it?


What Does “Green” Mean?

It’s not easy being “green.”  It’s something that is constantly beat into our heads day after day.  It is, however, very important that the world become “green” and buildings get “green” and lighting gets “green” and so on.

What is “green?”  What does it mean when a structure gets “greened” or something is “green compliant?”   What do “green consultants” do, and how do we flip our surroundings to live the “green life?”   We are lighting whole cities with LED sources, and we are adding solar powered lighting to streets, parks, highways, warehouses, malls, classrooms, emergency rooms, operating rooms, rooms at the Pentagon, in theatrical production, in signs and advertising, and in more places than is possible to list to bring them closer to being “green.”

Everything is “Green” Now, That’s What They Saaay

Calling everything “green” is very odd to me.  It is partially odd because by nature I kind of expect every person I meet to do all things with a modicum of respect and intelligence; it is also partially odd because I am always surprised that “green” everything isn’t the status quo, if you know what I mean.   I won’t go into a tirade about how “green” is a truly talented marketing ploy or anything like that – but I would think that, let’s say for example, if I was building a new house in a sunbelt area, that I would make a very high fraction of the whole if not all of that house’s power be some kind of sustainable energy.  The opposite of doing that is just building a house and relying on a failing system of power distribution because that’s what’s cheapest.  That’s pretty lame.

Does “green” mean making smart choices that benefit civilization and have no impact on the Earth?  Shouldn’t it?

I say call it what it is – that’s my issue with “green.”  The truth is the best idea, always – we can get over how much the truth might suck, but once we found out we got lied to, more trust is lost first.  I had a conversation with Vik Duggal and James Bedell at Konstructr back in the winter (which I still haven’t had time to edit, sorry guys), and Vik said something that I thought made perfect sense (pardon the paraphrasing, Vik): “We should be building structures that last for a thousand years – not that get repurposed after eight years and torn down after ten. Does this not make perfect sense?  Whether we can or can’t, why aren’t we trying?  Is it capitalism?  I guess my thoughts are more along the lines of Jacques Fresco with the resourced based economy idea and less with capitalism.  Maybe someday we’ll figure it out.  I am still amazed at how fast a CVS or Walgreens store can be constructed – in Denver over where our house was, they tore down a Walgreens store and are constructing a new one about 50 feet away from rubble of the first.

Glimpses of Progress

Seeing solar panels for sale and all of the required metering at Fry’s earlier today really positively shocked me, mostly because I build and maintain our home’s computers, and try to be very DIY.  They were still in the $160-$200 range for 80w (about $2.50 a watt), but everything seems to get cheaper as people realize they can get it anywhere.   My area of knowledge and skill happens to be light and lighting, and when I think of “green” something or other, it’s usually within that realm.  LED light is getting better all the time, fluorescent technology is constantly evolving, and light sources using plasma are getting into concert production, architecture, and art.  Even incandescent lamps are improving.  Granted it was because some politicians said they had to do it – but I’ll take that over nothing.

“Green lighting” and sustainability are concepts that should be linked to standard practices – we certainly want everything bigger, stronger, faster all the time – but this is the time to buckle down and make this happen.  Major technological bumps in the line graph of civilization are usually made at the precipice of a large problem that needs solved.  This is our time, and this is our problem.  From my angle, all people who deal with light should at least consider this problem every once in a while.  I feel like we need a strong motivator – fixing problems because they’re so profitable but leaving more important problems to become bigger problems because there’s no money to be made needs to stop.

If you think about how important it is to, you know, still continue to grow as a civilization and all – and then you compare it to how much politics and the Wall Street BS makes me want to puke in my mouth, I can only come up with one question: what are the billionaires and the oil money people going to do when we’re out of oil and we didn’t solve the problem first?  I bet it sucks counting your money in the dark.