Lighting vs Writing

Contrary to what I have posted lately, this blog is about lighting design as much as it’s about literature and writing. So how come there are rarely any posts about lighting, you might ask? Or you are a hardcore literary fan and you are just glad that the lighting updates are few and far apart.

When I moved to London, I had a long list of lighting projects that I wanted to see, buildings etcetera that I had read about and wanted to see in real life. I was good at ticking off that list and to write about what I saw, analysing what I thought about it.

As I made London my home, three things have happened. My writing has taken a larger and larger part of my life as my spare time has been filled with writers groups, lectures about publishing and writing, and exciting discussions with fellow writers. I also have a full-time job as a lighting designer within retail. That sounds very exciting to everyone outside the business who think that I spend my days being creative and designing for the theatre (if only). But like any job, the day to day life of a lighting designer can be quite mundane and, to be frank, boring. I have also seen all those exciting projects that I wanted to see and have not had the opportunity to create a new list.

To be honest, in some ways I miss a lighting design group to meet up with on a regular basis to get inspiration, hear about events and projects or just to discuss where this fast moving business is heading. What are the issues we all come across on a daily basis? This is very much what I’m doing in my writers groups and it helps to keep the inspiration and excitement up even on tough days when you just want to give up and work with something else. You loose faith in you abilities or are just having an unusually hard-to-get-anything-done day.

Since I’m pursuing two professions, it easy to start comparing the two. Personally, I don’t believe in comparing unless you are trying to make a decision between two or more options. Instead, do what gets your juices flowing and do it to the best of your ability. What everyone else is doing is up to them.

20150627_135742Daylight – our cheapest, most varied and beneficial light source.

Milan Lighting Design Trip

Last week I was sent to my company’s head office in Milan. I was very excited to be allowed the trip and appreciated the break from the normal routines.

It was an intense trip but also full of inspiration. Not only did the company have the usual showroom where our fittings are displayed but there was also a showroom to explore colour rendering (how accurately colours are seen), colour temperature (the difference in how warm/cold the various light sources are preceived) and light against different textures.

There was also a museum with various pre-electricity lamps that the family has bought and collected over the years. I love that stuff! There was everything from the simplest oil lamps purely for practical use, to elaborate, quirky and heavily ornamental lamps.

In todays society, we take light for granted as we tend to over-light our spaces, leaving lights on in rooms where we are not, for example. We forget that once to extending daylight into the evening was expensive and precarious as the burning flame had to be watched. No light where it was not needed. From an eco-friendly perspective, an attitude we perhaps should take to heart again.

I was also given a chance to see the amazing architecture of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. It was designed in 1861 and built by Giuseppe Mengoni between 1865 and 1877. I have seen a similar galleria in Naples but Galleria Vittoria Emanuele II was even more grand. The central dome with its glas and steel structure mind-blowing.

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