An ordinary review of “The Science of Lighting” book.

Just like mentioned on its cover, this book will tell us a lot about the science of lighting. A guide for people who want to know more and understand more about lighting. It will tell us about light and radiation, how is light produced, how is light directed and screened, about quantities of light and the unit, about light and vision, light with color, about light and health, about lighting quality. The way of this book tell us about the content is easy to follow and understand. Even though it tells a lot about the science (of course include with formulas, calculation, science terms, etc), the writers have done a great job to make the content easy to understand, even for people who just know or newly learn about lighting.

Before you continue to read this blog, better I declare something here. I am not paid or got request by anyone or any company to write the review of “The Science of Lighting, a guide about the nature and behavior of light” by Wout van Bommel and Abdo Rouhana, ISBN 9789082064339, with 161 pages, published by Philips Lighting University, second edition June 2016. This review is my own personal opinion.

When I join with Philips Lighting in 2007, company give this Lighting Manual book to learn and study. My first impression was: oh no, a textbook again after I’d finished my college 7 years ago? This Lighting Manual book is for sure good references to learn about lighting. No doubts about it. But the way they presented the content, less interesting for me. Dominant with black & white photos or graphics, many formulas with numbers everywhere, thick and heavy, conservative layout. I knew that Lighting Manual book was printed on 1993 (24 years ago) and it’s not fair if I am comparing apple-to-apple with this book, but that’s not the point. The point is, it’s all about the change.

The Science of Lighting cover book
The Science of Lighting cover book

Lighting science (maybe) not so complicated if compare with rocket science. Philips Lighting University tries to down to earth and makes this science is easy to understand for ordinary people. Their target audiences not only lighting employee or engineer, but they broaden their coverage to Instagram generation. There are many medium to share the knowledge, it can be book, movie, seminar, workshop, training, etc. There is a combination of a seminar with an online presence and usually called webinar. But so far, in my own opinion, a book is the best medium to share the knowledge. We can read a book anytime. We can keep it anywhere. We don’t need battery or electricity to use a book. Sometimes we may put additional note or bookmark for some chapter or subject that interested to us. But, a book has limitation too. If some subject or chapter need additional explanation using video or sound, we cannot simply add these into a book. Thanks to technology that in this book also includes the QR code that can be scanned from the smartphone camera and instantly will connect to video or web page content with the related subject in Philips Lighting website. With this method, the reader will get a better understanding with audio+video related to subject that they want to learn. Analog combine with the digital approach.

QR codes included in some chapter that will guide reader to explore relevant content on Philips Lighting website
QR codes included in some chapter that will guide reader to explore relevant content on Philips Lighting website

Philips Lighting knows that before their product or solution is well known by their customer, they educate customer with knowledge about their business environment. Before selling the lighting solution, educate customer with basic lighting knowledge, how to select good lighting product, how to differentiate the best and average quality, how to choose lighting effect, how to save electricity with good lighting solution, etc. So when the customer need solution related to lighting, they know what their problems are. They know to whom they should make contact to find solutions. But, education is a long process. There is no guarantee that after you educate them, they will buy your products. The presence of the brand is the key factor that can lead the customer to remember the brand itself if they need it.

Images or graphics help reader understand more about the content and not only used as illustration.
Relevant images or graphics help the reader understand more about the content and not only used as the illustration.

The interesting part of this book, for me, is the graphics or images and also the way the authors tells the story. As we are now live in the digital era, the image or illustration take the biggest attention than the text itself. Once the guidance book dominates with text than graphics, it will look boring and not interesting to read. Especially when the millennial generation is the target audiences. Then images or graphics are truly essential for the generation of YouTube and Instagram, that probably study more from e-book than textbook. They way of the authors write the content is also essential. I am not native English speaker or has high-grade TOEFL score, but the word choices and the way of authors tell the content, really easy for me to understand. For me, reading this book just like reading a story book. Interesting to follow.

The content of The Science of Lighting book
The content of The Science of Lighting book

This “The Science of Lighting, A guide about the nature and behavior of light” is recommended for people who want to know more about lighting. People who serious to learn and find out more about lighting. I believe this book is good references for student or professional that learn about lighting. Because after reading this book, they will get fundamental knowledge that perhaps they can elaborate more in a practical way. Before published, the manuscript of this book was reviewed by some expert in the lighting industry, including Sudeshna Mukhopadhyay; Ravi Shukla and Matthew Cobham. These three names are my guru in lighting design and application. This book is starter book for lighting, just like an appetizer before you enjoy your main course in lighting area. Very recommended for the new employee that just join lighting company or jobs that related with lighting. And even though this book made by Philips Lighting University, the content are universal and can be applied even for other lighting company/brand.

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