Lighting & Learning


Today I delivered a presentation on layered lighting to the Toronto section of the Illuminating Engineering Society.

At my request, one of my hosts scribbled “Great Presentation” on a napkin, so now I can officially add “internationally acclaimed” speaker to my self-congratulating biography.  Sounds pretty cool, eh?  Just another reason not to believe everything you read on the internet.

I truly enjoyed every minute of the experience- meeting and getting to know other lighting professionals is a real treat.  And when I meet other lighting people, even if I am billed as the teacher, I always learn something.  


Another of my gracious hosts invited me to the corporate headquarters of one of Canada’s largest lighting manufacturers following the presentation.  He guided me through the facility and brought in engineers and experts to show me their product line.

And I learned something.

I learned that the manufacturer has a broad range of recessed LED downlights including low-cost warm-dim fixtures, well-designed wall-washers, and high quality adjustable downlights like those I use on nearly every project.  I learned that the driver technology can fade to black instead of clicking off like most LEDs, even without high-end dimmers.  I learned that they cut their frame lights in-house and can manufacturer them to any size.  I learned that they can supply custom drywall channels and plates to make trimless designs easier than ever to install.


I learned how their fixtures aim, adjust, recess, accept trims, and are maintained.  I learned that they can test fixtures and dimmers on-site with sophisticated equipment and provide incredible data way beyond lumen output, CRI, and beam spread.

Later, at dinner with other professionals, I learned that this same company has made tremendous strides in the past few years improving the quality of their offerings.  It confirmed what I saw.

This is one way I learn about light and lighting.  When I can hold a fixture in my hand, when I can run the dimmer and watch it shift color, when I can see how three fixtures do a tremendous job illuminating a wall, I become a better designer.

When March is over I will have taught in Nashville, Toronto, and Chicago.

When March is over I will have learned in Nashville, Toronto, and Chicago.

Lighting is learning.


One thought on “Lighting & Learning

Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: