Is it repetition or reinforcement?

April 23, 2021
Recent feedback about the frequency with which certain lighting topics are covered got me thinking about how we address and engage with our audience at every level, relying on expertise from the industry.

In our April/May issue, we featured a technical article by Dr. Martin Moore-Ede on balancing spectra in LED lighting attuned to supporting four objectives namely, proper illumination, human health, human productivity, and energy efficiency. The overall discussion of balancing these needs of course revolves around principles involving the activity of light upon the human circadian system, backed by multiple research studies. However, it also explores the concept of finding proper dosage (daytime and nighttime stimulus levels of light) and offering a different definition of the circadian sensitivity peak at 477 nm. The article further establishes a concept for further study defining circadian irradiance per watt, which would measure the energy needed to provide the daytime-effective threshold for circadian effectiveness, while “a variable such as alerting irradiance/watt […] would indicate the electrical energy required to meet the alertness threshold of blue or violet corneal irradiance.”

Why am I explaining this here when you can read for yourself the concepts outlined in the linked article above? To paraphrase, a recent commenter on social media indicated that this article was offering nothing new despite approving of its summary findings. I respectfully disagree. 😊 For the reasons I stated above, it appears to me that the article does offer something new to the knowledge base on circadian-effective lighting.

But what is more important to convey is the service that we continue to provide to readers all readers across various levels of education and experience in both research and commercial development. In a business-to-business (B2B) publication, by necessity the strategy can’t be solely to offer high-level technical information that discards a previous base of knowledge, simply because you cannot crystallize the professional audience to one level of expertise. Graduate students to high-level product development engineers to lighting designers to executive-level decision makers read our content, and people are constantly moving into the field from other technology areas.

It is that which makes covering deeply complex LED engineering and solid-state lighting (SSL) design principles so multifaceted. There must be reinforcement of some of the established concepts or else you risk confusing readers who are less entrenched in the topic, technology, or application. It’s the reason why we devoted four separate issue cycles to delivering the multi-part series on circadian lighting principles and practice by lighting scientist Allison Thayer, and our long-established color science series as well. It’s also why we try to stay up to speed with R&D from various programs, agencies, and organizations, such as when we covered the Lighting R&D Workshop earlier this year. Yes, some portion may seem repetitive to those who have been involved in the LED and SSL industry for years, but the outlook for technology and applications is always changing. So there will certainly be some new data, design insight, application outcomes, and other value-add knowledge shared.

Reinforcement, not repetition. And continuous awareness of the developments along the way that will help readers navigate shifts in scientific advances, even the most nuanced.

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