Detective Note

Vol.001 -Blessed by the Darkness


Written by Ignacio Valero
Lighting Designer

No doubt this is the best dynamic lighting event EVER…Tunable white plus dim to warm and RGBW sources, stunningly huge backlit panels providing a truly immersive experience, controlled by the most complex random algorithm, which is performing in real time unique cues, with silky soft transitions, and driving zillions of watts. Nothing is even close to this. We try hard. But, simply, we cannot.

This is the kind of bullshit a lighting designer might think in front of a sunset, while everyone else is just enjoying the wonderful colors. Actually, I do, I have to admit. But the truth is that it can be even worse. Like many other people, I have a deep relationship with sunsets. With each of them. With all of them. With this one I’m witnessing right now as well.

It all began as a child. Even then, I kept suspended in front of a dusk, my mother told me. As a kid, when I kept constantly running from wherever to whoknows, I used to stop, mesmerized, for the sunset call. As a young man, I remember myself cycling as fast I could with my tripod and my first camera, every single afternoon for a long time, just to grab some pictures that looked so unique for me then. Now, at my late fifties, I still keep on hold every day. Sunset light opens some kind of intimate door and, for a while, I leave the dimming sun doing with me whatever it wants.

What I experience, I don`t know for sure. It can be described as a deep connection feeling. I connect, for an instant, with the big scheme: in the precise moment of the sunset, I can feel the whirling of the globe we all share. It is a true sense of time awareness, not knowing if I’m travelling it or it is travelling me. It activates as well an intimate part of myself in which all my sunsets lie, layered, one in top of the other. Glowing gently. Fading out.

Suddenly, the lighting designer who possess me takes the control again. “Fine, but at the end, what is the lighting concept?” Well, this lighting scheme is made with the four elements needed for any lighting project that deserves such a name: light, material, point of view and… a story. Light here is the primal light; material is all the stardust we are, ranging the infinite grades of lightness; points of view are as many as spectators, to made personal this cosmic spectacle; and story… Story is about time. Who best than light itself to keep telling us a story about time? At this moment I felt sooooo at ease, enjoying the pleasure of such a perfect thought, trying to…

-Dad, it’s nighttime, you’re in the dark! Why do you never, ever switch on the lights???

-Nooooooo… don’t!

-It’s supposed you’re a lighting designer, aren`t you? Jesus…!

-Please, switch off this xxxx light!!!!

Oh, man…

Ignacio Valero
Lighting Designer

Ignacio teaches lighting design in undergraduate programs of the Madrid Architecture School, and he is co-founder of Masterdia, a Master degree in Lighting Design in the Polytechnic University of Madrid.