Friday, November 4, 2011

Magic Lighting Tools

Light changes the appearance of objects, rooms and materials. It has a huge impact on how individuals perceive objects, structures and environment. This influence determines the emotional and physical feeling that individuals get when entering rooms, buildings or perceiving environments, objects and structures. Therefore a good lighting design which strengthens the emotional and physical appearance is imminent for all environments, buildings and materials.

Magic Lighting Tools contains the information on the equipment and techniques that professional lighting practitioners use to create amazing environments with light. Download your own copy here.

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" and is certainly increased and strengthened, when applied in the right lighting setting.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The dot matrix printer evolved.

So what happens if you take away the paper you print on, make the ink water droplets and allow gravity to carry them away?

You end up with this incredible fountain which is installed in Osaka Japan.

While this looks fantastic with the white lights to illuminate the droplets I can't help but feel some CK product in there would have really lifted it... But I am a bit biased!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Victoria bridge lighting in the news.

As some of you know a while ago Modus did the Victoria bridge lighting for the 100th anniversary of the bridge, last night TV1 used the lights as the back drop in their live sports cross. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What's the craziest thing you have done lately.

I will bet you dimes to dollars its not as crazy as the guy in this video.

Monday, September 5, 2011

A real LED replacement lamp

The CFL is dead, long live the LED. 

LEDs are finally at a point where they are suitable for general use illumination. While they aren't the "go to" source for all jobs they certainly will be in the future. 

The above LED lamp from Philips was developed for the DOE (US Department of energy) challenge to produce a 90lm/W lamp for use as a direct replacement for a 60W GLS lamp.

Unlike when CFL first came out this lamp has had to undergo the most rigorous testing that a lamp has ever been subjected to, with testing starting as far back as March 2010 and the prize only just awarded consumers can rest assured that this lamp will go the distance. 

While not commercially available till early next year (2012) this lamp has certainly set the bar when it comes to quality. 

If you would like to find out a bit more about this challenge and the testing that this lamp had to go through in order to win this have a look here... 

and here...

While we think that this is great, Cree have just released a prototype of a lamp which is producing over 150lm/W...

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Here's a sneak peek at exciting happenings at the Auckland's Queens Wharf "Party Central" fanzone for the Rugby World Cup 2011.

The hospitality "cloud" on Queens Wharf will host 6000 revved up rugby fans come kick off time in three weeks. Managing the night exterior environment will be no small task with the widely varying needs of entertainment venues, transit ways and pulsing social spaces.

Dynamic digital lighting with selective switching, dimming, fading and sequencing is all possible with Philips Starsense outdoor lighting control and monitoring system from Modus.

Large scale theatrical scene setting to create atmosphere and and conviviality for revellers...on-demand high intensity lighting for security and policing, all are at the fingertips with this groundbreaking control approach.

"Adaptive lighting" that moves on-and-off, up-and-down according to the need is nowbecoming a mainstay for progressive exterior lighting systems world-wide. Orchestrated by advanced software and communication systems a PC control "dash-board" facilitates the real-time selection and monitoring of a wide range of technical, environmental and financial parameters.

Municipal managers and event planners have never before had such flexibility at their fingertips. Modus is New Zealand's number one in the application of advanced exterior lighting and control systems.

Monday, August 15, 2011

LED Lighting - Getting It Right.

Modus, alongside Philips Color Kinetics have been a part of the installation of efficient, low maintenance, environmentally intelligent digital illumination systems throughout Aotearoa.   

LED lighting systems create huge possibilities - but we find that there are often still allot of questions around the technology, and most importantly around how to best apply it to individual projects.

Philips Color Kinetics currently have over 34,000 installations in more than 100 countries around the world.  Some of these installations have been running continuously  for almost a decade - with this sort of experience comes an unmatched wealth of knowledge.  

Importantly to us this knowledge can offer architects and designers important insights into how LED lighting can be integrated into architecture to create sophisticated environments that utilize the best available energy efficient digital lighting technologies. 

Philips Color Kinetics have put together a great outline of the pros and cons of LED technology that dispels some of the myths around the technology in a publication called - LED Lighting: Getting It Right.  It's a great resource if you are looking at LED systems for any project - Interior or Exterior.   

If you have any more in-depth queries or would like some assistance with an LED lighting system please give us a call here at Modus and we'd be happy to walk you through a range solutions for your project.

Friday, August 12, 2011


I have been told if you don't have a cat on your blog, then you don't have a blog.

Monday, August 8, 2011

International Film fest 2011 - the best.

Well the International film festival wrapped up a few weeks ago now, some may remember last year when I pointed out a couple of films pre-festival. Instead this time I thought I would point out the ones I enjoyed after seeing them.

For those of you keeping track I saw 25 films this year, up from 17 last year. Unfortunately this year there wasn't really any films which I have been telling everyone to go and see. But that doesn't mean there weren't some gems you shouldn't see if you get the chance.

So here are some films I think you should watch and may even enjoy.

Let the bullets fly: Set in china, its a movie about a bandit who pretends to be the new governor for a province and bumps heads with the local "evil mobster/lord" Hidden behind the comedy is a truly epic Machiavellian power struggle between the bandit leader and the lord. Not ashamed of what it is its a fun movie with a good solid story.

Cold Fish: A story about a man from a family who runs a fish shop who has no say or control over his life just drifting on the currents. He meets another fish shop owner who imposes too much control over his life. The ensuing chaos as these two characters collide is epic. This film is a little dark at times so don't say I didn't warn you.

13 Assassins: Easily one of my stand outs, think a big budget western, but with principled samurai who again seek to take down an evil corrupt lord set to become the next Shogun of Japan. This film is 2 hours and the last 50 minutes is just a single full on battle... how full on? A village gets turned into a trap and 2000 soldiers fight 13 Samurai in what is the best battle ever.

The Last circus: A dark comedy about a circus and a love triangle. How dark? Think black hole dark. Shot with a muted colour palette this was the most visually stunning film this year. My favorite part? A clown in a dress leading a charge of militia with a Machete!

Hobo with a shotgun: B grade cinema at its finest, if you liked. Planet terror/Death proof then this film is for you. They have somehow managed to make a B grade film that actually has a story worth following.

I saw the Devil: A revenge film out of Korea, about a police officer who leaves the right side of the law to get a serial killer who kills his wife and unborn child. Truly gruesome at times but at the end is perhaps a cautionary tail about exactly what revenge gets you when you trade everything for it.

The Yellow Sea: Another twisted gangster film out of China, about a young man who takes a contract kill to get himself out of the slums he currently lives in and into a whole heap of trouble when things go sideways. The underdog for most of the movie, he has to figure out who set him up and exactly what went wrong so that the appropriate people can pay.

Troll hunter: The funnest film this year, about a bunch of students who stumble upon a secret government department in Norway that covers up and controls the Troll population. If a scene where a 200 foot troll chases a land rover over a frozen tundra sounds like something that you would like to see then this is for you.

Most of these are "art house films" however I think that all of the above are distributed by Madman who has a really strong presence in NZ so you should be able to find them.

One final disclaimer here, some of the above films could be gruesome depending on your definition, always read the back of the box and remember the decision to watch or not is always yours and yours alone!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Table lamp - an inversion.

Where traditionally the lamp would be shielded and covered by a shade of some description, this design uses lamps as the shade.

More and more I am liking simple yet different lighting like this, what a great idea.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Splendiferous Barfing cup.

Ok so I probably laughed way to hard and way to long at this.

But its a great example of what a bored youth gets up too at their minimum wage chain restaurant job.

Friday, July 22, 2011

*new goodies* UNITED by Modular Lighting Instruments

In simple terms, United is a naked ‘seamless’ fluorescent lamp in a powder coated aluminum housing. It is precisely that plain simplicity that makes Modular Lighting Instruments latest release so special. 

To start with, the exposed lamps ensure higher efficiency, thus reducing power consumption. That efficiency can be increased even further when selecting a white interior to amplify light reflection. 

United consists of one or more U-profiles, which are available with or without a cover. Anyone who believes fluorescent lights cannot create a cozy look should definitely rethink their view. 

United is the ultimate tribute to the fluorescent tube lamp. It radiates a warm, white color and is a welcome sight, in either white or black.  

You can download Modular Lighting Instruments latest mini book here or shoot us an email if you would like further info.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Auckland Council Orewa Road Lighting Technology Trial

Modus Lighting supplies Auckland Council the LED lighting and controls that deliver major energy and environmental savings.

Chris Byrne & Damon Birchfield Onsite at the Orewa Trial

There has been much activity in recent times with various New Zealand local councils exploring new road lighting efficiency concepts to identify energy, environmental and financial savings opportunities.

The Electricity Commission “RightLight” Efficient Road Lighting Programme that rolled out last year promoted processes and guidelines to encourage the undertaking of council road lighting technology trials and assessments.

Damon Birchfield, Energy Efficiency and Environment Officer at the (then) Rodney District Council was a participant in the EC training workshops and wished to progress the opportunity within the Rodney District with a well researched and rigorous road lighting efficiency study.

This has resulted in the Auckland Council Road Lighting Technology trial at West Hoe Road, just off State Highway 17 Orewa, north of Auckland. This trial deploys best practice LED road lighting fittings with advanced electronic control and dimming systems.

Philips SpeedStar Luminaire as Installed in Orewa Trial

Modus Lighting Ltd was the equipment supplier, IT designer and systems integrator for the project.

BEFORE - Traditional HPS Lighting at 100% light level
AFTER - MODUS LED Lighting at 100% light level

As well as LED appraisal, a significant part of this trial was to evaluate the practicalities of adaptive lighting for NZ roading conditions, as a means of achieving operational savings. Adaptive lighting is the selective adjustment (up or down) of lighting levels during different stages of the nightly period in accordance with the exact needs of the prevailing traffic and pedestrian activity levels.

The new lighting equipment on trial delivers full light output at high activity periods, is dimmed by 50% at shoulder periods and is dimmed by 75% at low activity periods.

AFTER - MODUS LED Lighting dimmed by 50% to 50% light level.
AFTER - MODUS LED Lighting dimmed by 75% to 25% light level

The trial employs Philips SpeedStar LED light fittings combined with Philips advanced electronic light level dimming and control to adjust the light output to deliver the exact amount of light required for the conditions, minimising waste light and waste energy.

The results of the whole-of-life assessment over a 30 year period are -

a) Energy saving (kWh) vs currently installed orange light (HPS) technology = 54% saving

b) Energy saving (kWh) vs traditional white light (MH) technology = 73% saving

All of the improvements are attainable at a lower whole-of-life financial cost than that of traditional High Pressure Sodium or Metal Halide technologies of an equivalent quality level.

Further details of the trial are available from Modus lighting Ltd General Manager, Chris Byrne at

Modus Lighting is now ready and able to supply NZ councils with energy and money saving technologies that far outperform outdated traditional options.

COFFEE! - what is it and where does it come from?

Well like most sales offices we here at Modus run on coffee, sometimes I even think if a client offered to pay us in coffee we would accept!

This video is a brief introduction to coffee, caffeine and why coffee is capital AWESOME!

Monday, June 13, 2011

48 Hours furious film making challenge - 2011

Well some of you may know that I am a bit of a film buff. This extends to making films as well, so this is our entry to into the 48 hours furious film making challenge.

This isn't our first year doing this, this is in fact our third effort and i must say each year we get better.

If you are quick you will even see my first ever part in a film, not that I was that good.

If you have the time give it a watch we managed to place third in our heat, which was our bect result to date! As always a big thank you to our sponsors, especially Modus who provide the lighting and the space to film!

Monday, May 30, 2011

hot off the factory floor...

In the heart of Auckland city our team design, engineer and manufacture unique lighting solutions for New Zealand architecture. Our range of products is diverse and is constantly evolving to meet specific customer requirements that cannot be met with an off the shelf product.
The Dish Pendant by Modus is inspired by traditional lamp shades and light sources and offers a modern take on these traditional forms utilising state of the art LED lamp technology from Phillips. 

Offering both slick styling and green credentials the Dish Pendant combines the new Phillips Master Glow LED lamp with a strong angular aesthetic.

Available in classic black or crisp white textured powder coat finish – or in custom colours upon request.

Modus are also capable of undertaking many types of customisation, from custom commodity type products to one off unique pendants. Give us a call or pop in and see us if you would like to talk about custom options for your next project.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Just another table lamp?

When is a table lamp not a table lamp?

I think that if there is any product that can qualify for the above statement its the below. A simple return rolled piece of material with the edges cut to form the profile of a classical table lamp with a much reduced footprint.

Simple and stylish, a great modern take on a truly classical design. Or should that be profile?

Friday, May 20, 2011

CDC list Zombie Apocalypse.

The CDC in America has listed a Zombie Apocalypse as an emergency you should be planning for.

They have listed a set of steps which they feel you should take to plan for this type of emergency. However the following paragraph is from their website, "CDC would conduct an investigation much like any other disease outbreak. CDC would provide technical assistance to cities, states, or international partners dealing with a zombie infestation"

From the numerous Zombie movies which I have watched and all my extensive research into such a situation, there is one thing I know you can count on, and that is that the bureaucracy won't get it right quick enough and you may end up as the living dead yourself.

So what can you do to avoid this gruesome fate and be amongst the survivors of World war Z who have to retake the planet for the living?

There was the recent movie Zombieland, which documented the travels of a group of survivers through the tail end of the apocalypse, which when you think about it and all the rules they talk about and the lessons learned it really acts as a primer for knowledge on survival in this situation.

There are also two books which are required reading for anyone hoping to survive the coming storm...

Diligent study of the above material should guide you and those around you, through this most traumatic of situations and now that the CDC have listed this as a situation to be ready for it should make you wonder "What do they know that I don't?"

Think we are safe down here in little old New Zealand? Think again! The Zombie survival guide lists a known zombie outbreak which has already occurred here. In the book "world war Z" they talk of a situation were a handful of Maoris hold One Tree Hill against a quarter of the population of Auckland which have reanimated as the dead using the traditional Pa as a defensive structure.

Get ready, get thru. Sage advice from our own Ministry of Civil Defense. I hope to see you on the other side of WWZ.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It's been a busy month for our favorite Belgians with more new lighting from Modular just released...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Double down is here.

So the double down launched today to much "Ba hum-bugging" from the main stream media.

Having had a look at the nutritional value of the product (or lack thereof) it isn't that bad, considering it weighs with less Calories and fat than a Double Whopper from BK, which I normally get with cheese added, and fries.

So Dean and I put our cardiovascular health on the line and tried one each, and my verdict is.... That this is the most delicious thing that I have ever had from KFC.

If you think that they are gross and won't be getting one, thats ok I will eat your's in the next 5 weeks which is how long it's around for. Don't miss out.

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Piece of Cake

Modular Lighting Instruments, the Belgian pioneers in architectural lighting design have just released a new luminiare - SoufflĂ©, shown above, which continues the signature Modular combination of technicality and aesthetics.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mothers Day, Sunday 8th May

Sunday 8th May is fast approaching and our friends at the Hamilton City Council sent us through this video of the the Color Kinetics installation on the Victoria Bridge in Hamilton lit up pink in support of the Waikato Breast Cancer Trust this Mothers Day.

The Waikato Breast Cancer Trust, working in association with GEO Skin Care, have a wonderful pamper pack for Mother's Day which contains 100ml hydrating hand and body cream and a gorgeous handmade natural soy candle - for only $30.00 (excl postage & packing $4.95).

A wonderful idea for a fantastic present for your Mum on Mother's Day. And not only does she get a gift for herself but 50% of the proceeds go back into the WBCT breast cancer research programme to support the fantastic work that they do - 2 gifts in 1!

Get along to their website for more information and to place your order, and if you are in Hamilton wander down to the river to see the light display on the Victoria Bridge.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Pouring light

The below table lamp uses a LED in the bottom of the cup portion to provide a lighting source and the stem is made from phosphorescent plastic, so it glows after the light has been turned off.

A very clever variation on a very old topic, the table lamp

Design by: Yeongwoo Kim

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Meet Scotty...  just released into this world by Modular.

Designers Courvreur & Devos have worked with Modular to create an architectural luminaire that gets back to bare basics - an asymmetric rotating, homogeneous light source combined with an ingenious hinged joint enhanced by some perfectly executed details.  Wiring and hinges are integrated seamlessly into the design creating an eye catching, refined luminaire that is able to blend into the architecture of each space.

In the past few years technology has changed at an incredibly fast pace - especially in the lighting industry - and Modular are at the front of the pack when it comes to new lighting generations for interior spaces with their LED architectural luminaires.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ultimate Rube Goldberg machine

The video below shows the ultimate Rube Goldberg in action, I had the lame kids toy version of this when I was younger, complete with dump truck and bucket loader. While I got over my fascination with this toy the creator of the below apparently never did.

My best bits are the Archimedes screw, where he uses a camera to real time sort the balls and walks them up moving stairs without sides.

Simply incredible, a must watch.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Edinburgh Street

Ed St is a new bar & restaurant located at 27 Edinburgh Street Pukekohe.  Formerly the old Pukekohe Fire Brigade Station built in 1924 Ed St's design is a tribute to the historical nature of the building. The proprietors wanted to retain its character and restore it to its former glory as one of Pukekohe's most iconic historical landmarks. 

Modus created a series of seven individual bespoke pendant luminaires for the two main dining areas at Ed St that reflect the mix of history and contemporary style within the space.  The Edinburgh Pendant design was based upon the simple forms of  pendants created around the turn of the 1900's re-interpreted with modern materials and forms. Small details such as the exposed cord fixings and clear cable work alongside hand spun aluminium, polished chrome and contemporary manufacturing techniques to offer a an echo of the industrial to the refined aesthetic.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Why full cut off luminaires are important.

The below picture is a great example of why we should be aiming to decrease our light pollution in and around our urban spaces.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lighting features for Unreal Engine 3

Some of you may know me well enough to know that i am an avid gamer.

The below is a trailer for the features of the new Unreal Engine 3 running the new Direct X 11.

Most games these days are made on three different engines. Cry Tech 3 used in Crysis 2. Frostbyte used in the Battlefield franchise and lastly Unreal Engine 3 used in Bulletstorm.

The above video shows some fantastic new realistic features which specifically revolve around lighting and shadows. If your internet connection can handle it turn the HD on and prepare for some stunning visuals.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Flying bird.

From the title you can be forgiven for thinking that I am stating the obvious, but this bird is very special...

The above video is of a mechanical bird that flies simply by flapping its wings. Which contrary to the simplicity of that sentence is something that is very difficult to achieve.

Aerodynamic principal and the lift generated by an airofoil is a topic that we have understood since the mid 1920's.

What makes this "bird" so unique is that it has no power source other than its own wing beats and can land and take off on its own.

Watch the video above to see for yourself how natural the bird looks in flight and how the head and tail move when it turns.

Friday, March 18, 2011

New Zealand Design's New HQ

Essenze have now moved into their stylish new premises at 223 Parnell Road and they very kindly invited us along to join them for a beverage or two at their grand opening on Wednesday.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Browsers - your portal to the internet.

A few days ago Microsoft released their new and upgraded browser IE9.

Microsoft and a number of the more tame IT news outlets are making great claims about its speed, operation and ease of use. However if you look a little deeper, scratch the surface and run some serious test (called benchmarks in the IT industry) you will see that IE is the slowest browser available to you, and in my opinion the worst.

I recently switched ISP and suffered a brief internet outage at my place. When I went to use my PC during this time I realized how much you do on a PC that involves online activity and the internet.

Top of the morning to ya!

Happy St Paddy's day everyone! This morning I got out all my green gear.

We even have our Irish lighting on!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

really good local stuff.....

Over the summer a dear friend of mine introduced me to something amazing - Pic's Really Good Peanut Butter.  New Zealand made in Sunny Nelson with nuts from Brisbane.  There is no sugar, emulsifiers, antioxidants or miscellaneous oils, just peanuts.  Genius! (and terribly tasty)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Angry Birdsky

The best mash-up so far this year.

Friday, March 11, 2011

What a nice Friday afternoon surprise.... 

We've just received a sample of the new Color Burst from Philips Color Kinetics via courier direct from PCK HQ in Boston.  New developments from Philips Color Kinetics generally cause some commotion in the Modus office, and this was especially true this afternoon as several of us have been waiting to get our hands on this little spotlight!!!  

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

glowing on the catwalk

With a design aesthetic described by some as cyber-goth Paris based UK designer Garath Pugh creates avant-garde clothing using materials as diverse as mink, synthetic hair and electrically charged plastic. His latest collection at Paris Fashion Week 2011 on March 2nd included models wearing LED mouthpieces that gave a certain otherworldly air to their appearance... see the image above from the Guardian.

An interesting use of lighting technology - allthough possibly not a look everyone could pull off.  Check out some more images here

Monday, March 7, 2011

Banned iPad 2 commercial

Hands up who wants the new iPad... Yeah I figure everyone else wants one too.

the below is apparently a banned TV spot for the new iPad. I can't figure out if its really an Apple promo or something done by some random guys. But it is fairly funny and worth a look.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The screens we will all have tomorrow

Everyone has an LCD, heck you probably have 3 or 4 in your house. Your TV, laptop or PC monitor or all. The above is Fujitsu's take on what you will all have tomorrow...

Fujitsu's showing off a working prototype of a 22-inch computer display that receives both images and power wirelessly, the truly wireless monitor. Yes, that includes the power cable as well! "The screen gets power using a magnetic induction transmitter, which you would have built into your desk. The video itself would be transmitted from a wireless USB connection from up to 32 feet away." The prototype is currently on display at the Fujitsu booth in the Dealers only section at CeBIT 2011. Pricing details are expected at launch...