The topic of climate change is receiving more coverage than ever and it is clear that lighting has a role to play in potentially mitigating its effects.
As part of this conversation, we are proud that two members of our lighting team recently took part in a panel discussion looking at the future of lighting and sustainability which was run in a collaboration between the Lighting Journal and the Young Lighting Professionals.
Aptus was represented by Street Lighting Technician Abigail Aspin and Street Lighting Designer Chris Smith, with both contributing a range of thought-provoking ideas exploring what the lighting sector can do to lessen its impact on the climate.
One interesting point raised by Abigail centred on how lighting professionals need to be asking themselves whether a solution is right in the context of climate change rather than simply going along with a specification.
“It’s about trying to know what’s right and what’s wrong rather than just trying to keep everyone happy,” she said, clearly acknowledging that professionals in her role can help find environmentally-considerate alternatives when schemes are being designed.
Later in the debate, Chris brought up the subject of futureproofing and challenged people to think about the best way to design lighting projects and strike a balance between energy efficiency and maintenance.
“I can do a lighting design and pick from hundreds of thousands of different optics and lanterns out there to make it the most energy efficient possible with the fewest number of assets. But the issue local authorities then face is they’ve got to maintain this,” commented Chris.
“It is finding the right balance between specifications. Does restricting it to a certain type of lantern in a certain area really work better than having full access to the entire range of products out there to bring the energy down as much as possible?” he added.
But it wasn’t just energy and global warming on the dynamic duo’s agenda. Abigail also spoke about how the impact of artificial lighting at night on wildlife and ecology needed to be part of the wider climate change debate.
“I am very interested in the wildlife side, how artificial lighting affects bat populations for example,” said Abigail. “I think it is important to be making sure that climate change mitigation is increasingly a part of what we’re doing.”
Further discussions from the wider panel focused on the circular economy and the reduce, reuse, recycle mantra as well as what barriers to change there are in the industry and whether sustainable products are tested enough.
Everyone at Aptus is incredibly impressed with Chris and Abigail’s contributions to the debate and we look forward to them working on more sustainable-centric developments going forward.