Tag: LEDs

The Importance of Right Lighting

In the last couple of years “everybody” has learned about the great cost savings to be achieved by switching to LED lights, direct cost savings of over 50% with additional savings due to reducing load on AC and reducing O&M. LEDs can be used in so many situations, can be dimmed, and now fit in virtually every type of fixture or ballast.

Thus the temptation is just to go to the store and pick up a bunch of LEDs and begin to substitute. Sure you’ll save some cost. But that’s a big mistake and you can actually harm the productivity of your workers, the ability to do business by your tenants, and the sellability of product by the retailers in your buildings.

In fact, even if you are not changing to LEDs, it is important to review your building’s lighting, as the very way we work has changed, as we have gone from reading and writing on paper exclusively to the common use of computers and other screens. Screens supply some light. Thus overhead lighting needs (number of lumens) of office workers to function well have dropped somewhat. Over-lighting is a potential issue, which increases costs, and may adversely affect worker health, mood, and productivity.

OverheadLights

In the “old” days of exclusive working with paper, the recommended lighting levels were as high as 1,000 luxs (1 lux = 1 lumen/sq. meter). However, the US General Services Administration now recommends levels such as 500 lux for open offices, 300 lux for conference rooms, and less in other areas.

Therefore, it is useful before and after changing a building’s lighting to perform a lighting study. Have light readings taken to determine whether you are over-lighting an area. It may be tempting to say after an LED upgrade “I don’t care if I over-light my areas. My electricity costs are now so low, I don’t mind over-lighting.” This is a mistake as over-lighting stresses employees, causes headaches and anxiety, and may interfere with sleep and circadian rhythms. In other words, it may affect productivity, which could cost your company more money than is saved by switching to LEDs.

If you find areas of over-lighting, do some de-lamping: remove some lamps to bring the light levels down to the recommended intensities. Not only will you improve the productivity of your workers and tenants, but you will save additional energy costs and O&M having fewer lights using electricity. But make sure you don’t overdo de-lamping.

Finally, take into consideration the time of day. During different times of day, sunlight may enter certain workspaces. During those times, allow the sunlight in. Workers work better under natural light. Either procure/use daylighting sensors to adjust the artificial light to the sunlight entering from outside or turn down or off certain banks of lights when the sun shines in. Again, make the effort not to over-light areas.

EE Reports has the expertise to conduct lighting studies for you and to make determinations of what types and intensities of lights should be brought in to meet standards for different uses and security. We can recommend the right daylight sensors for different parts of your building and where to re-locate lighting to get not the most, but the best lighting for your tenants and workers, based on their job needs. Contact Marc Karell, VP Engineerng,  today at 914-584-6720 or marc@eereports.com

LED Lighting Facts by the Department of Energy

DOE’s LED Lighting Facts® program showcases LED products for general illumination from manufacturers who commit to testing products and reporting performance results according to industry standards. For lighting buyers, designers, and energy efficiency programs, the program provides information essential to evaluating SSL products.

Central to the program is the LED Lighting Facts label, which presents independently verified performance data in a simple summary that facilitates accurate comparison between products. The data is measured by the industry standard for testing photometric performance, IES LM-79, and covers five areas: light output (lumens), watts, efficacy (lumens per watt), correlated color temperature, and color rendering index. Optional information related to LED lumen maintenance and warranty may also be provided on the label.

RESOURCES AND TOOLS

Products registered with the LED Lighting Facts program are listed in an online, searchable database. Manufacturers have the option of submitting information in addition to the required label metrics, including color and light characteristics. The online product list summarizes the verified data in an easy-to-access way, equipping buyers to make informed decisions about the best products for their applications. The LED Lighting Facts program also offers periodic “Product Snapshot” reports that reveal how today’s LED products really perform, drawing on analysis of the verified performance data from the product list.

Snapshot: Outdoor Area Lighting (7 pages, July 2014)
Snapshot: Indoor LED Luminaires (7 pages, May 2014)
Snapshot: MR16 Lamps (8 pages, January 2014)
Snapshot: “Light Bulbs” (6 pages, November 2013)
Snapshot: Outdoor Area Lighting (7 pages, July 2013)
Snapshot: Indoor Ambient Lighting (6 pages, April 2013)
Product Snapshot Archive

DOE monitors the accuracy of reported product performance through random testing and periodic retesting. In November 2012, DOE hosted a Roundtable to explore needs and concerns related to the retesting. The Roundtable provided an opportunity for retailer, utility, specifier, and manufacturer partners to discuss how the LED Lighting Facts program can evolve and continue to be a valuable resource in the growth and development of the LED lighting market.

LED Lighting Facts Testing Roundtable Report

RELATED ACTIVITIES

A working group under the joint auspices of DOE and the Next Generation Lighting Industry Alliance supports the efforts of LED Lighting Facts by developing and publishing guidelines and reports to help deepen our understanding of LED product performance and reliability. These efforts led to the development of the DOE LED Systems Reliability Consortium, a group of industry experts working collaboratively in an ongoing effort to develop an advanced luminaire reliability model for SSL manufacturers and end users. Progress on their efforts is reported periodically at DOE SSL workshops and other meetings, contributing to a consistent, industry-wide understanding of LED luminaire lifetime and reliability.

In 2014, the Consortium efforts transitioned to the Next Generation Lighting Industry Alliance, and the latest in a series of publications on LED product performance and reliability was published.

These efforts led to the development of the DOE LED Systems Reliability Consortium, a group of industry experts working collaboratively in an ongoing effort to develop an advanced luminaire reliability model for SSL manufacturers and end users. Progress on their efforts is reported periodically at DOE SSL workshops and other meetings. With a model in place to enhance the predictability of the lifetime of LED lighting products, consumer confidence will increase and in turn accelerate adoption.

  • Hammer Testing Findings for Solid-State Lighting Luminaires
    Provides findings from the LED Systems Reliability Consortium Hammer Test on commercial SSL luminaires, a highly accelerated life test method intended to produce failures in SSL luminaires in a reasonable test period, and provide insight into potential failure modes. (48 pages, December 2013)

via LED Lighting Facts | Department of Energy.

LED Lighting Basics by The DOE

The light-emitting diode (LED) is one of today’s most energy-efficient and rapidly-developing lighting technologies. Quality LED light bulbs last longer, are more durable, and offer comparable or better light quality than other types of lighting. Check out the top 8 things about LEDs to learn more.

ENERGY SAVINGS

LED is a highly energy efficient lighting technology, and has the potential to fundamentally change the future of lighting in the United States.  Residential LEDs — especially ENERGY STAR rated products — use at least 75% less energy, and last 25 times longer, than incandescent lighting.

Widespread use of LED lighting has the greatest potential impact on energy savings in the United States. By 2027, widespread use of LEDs could save about 348 TWh (compared to no LED use) of electricity: This is the equivalent annual electrical output of 44 large electric power plants (1000 megawatts each), and a total savings of more than $30 billion at today’s electricity prices.

Learn more about How Energy-Efficient Lightbulbs Compare with Traditional Incandescents.

HOW LEDS ARE DIFFERENT

LED lighting is very different from other lighting sources such as incandescent bulbs and CFLs. Key differences include the following:

  • Light Source: LEDs are the size of a fleck of pepper, and a mix of red, green, and blue LEDs is typically used to make white light.
  • Direction: LEDs emit light in a specific direction, reducing the need for reflectors and diffusers that can trap light. This feature makes LEDs more efficient for many uses such as recessed downlights and task lighting. With other types of lighting, the light must be reflected to the desired direction and more than half of the light may never leave the fixture.
  • Heat: LEDs emit very little heat. In comparison, incandescent bulbs release 90% of their energy as heat and CFLs release about 80% of their energy as heat.

LED PRODUCTS

LED lighting is currently available in a wide variety of home and industrial products, and the list is growing every year. The rapid development of LED technology leads to more products and improved manufacturing efficiency, which also results in lower prices. Below are some of the most common types of LED products.

INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL LIGHTING

The high efficiency and directional nature of LEDs makes them ideal for many industrial uses. LEDs are increasingly common in street lights, parking garage lighting, walkway and other outdoor area lighting, refrigerated case lighting, modular lighting, and task lighting.

LED lighting in a kitchen.

KITCHEN UNDER-CABINET LIGHTING

Because LEDs are small and directional, they are ideal for lighting countertops for cooking and reading recipes. The color can appear more cool or blue than is typically desirable in a kitchen, and there can be some excessive shadowing in some fixtures, so it is important to compare products to find the best fixture for your space.

RECESSED DOWNLIGHTS

Recessed downlights are commonly used in residential kitchens, hallways, and bathrooms, and in a number of office and commercial settings. DOE estimates there are at least 500 million recessed downlights installed in U.S. homes, and more than 20 million are sold each year. Both CFL and LED technology can decrease downlight wattage by 75% or more. See the Solid-State Lighting website for a quality comparison of incandescents, CFLs, and LEDs in downlights.

LED REPLACEMENT BULBS

With performance improvements and dropping prices, LED lamps can replace 40, 60, and even 75 Watt incandescent bulbs. It’s important to read the Lighting Facts Label to make sure the product is the right brightness and color for the intended location. When chosen carefully, LED replacement products can be an excellent option. See the Solid-State Lighting website for information about general service LED lamps.

HOLIDAY LIGHTS

LEDs consume far less electricity than incandescent bulbs, and decorative LED light strings such as Christmas tree lights are no different. Not only do LED holiday lights consume less electricity, they also have the following advantages:

  • Safer: LEDs are much cooler than incandescent lights, reducing the risk of combustion or burnt fingers.
  • Sturdier: LEDs are made with epoxy lenses, not glass, and are much more resistant to breakage.
  • Longer lasting: The same LED string could still be in use 40 holiday seasons from now.
  • Easier to install: Up to 25 strings of LEDs can be connected end-to-end without overloading a wall socket.

Estimated cost of electricity to light a six-foot tree for 12 hours a day for 40 days

Incandescent C-9 lights $10.00
LED C-9 lights $0.27
Incandescent Mini-lights $2.74
LED Mini-lights $0.82

 

Estimated cost* of buying and operating lights for 10 holiday seasons

Incandescent C-9 lights $122.19
LED C-9 lights $17.99
Incandescent Mini-lights $55.62
LED Mini-lights $33.29

*Assumes 50 C-9 bulbs and 200 mini-lights per tree, with electricity at $0.119 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) (AEO 2012 Residential Average). Prices of lights based on quoted prices for low volume purchases from major home improvement retailers. All costs have been discounted at an annual rate of 5.6%. Life span assumed to be three seasons (1,500 hours) for non-LED lights.

via LED Lighting | Department of Energy.

LED Guide by the Department of Energy

With their unique design and performance characteristics—such as directional light emission, compact profile, superior optical control, energy efficiency, breakage resistance, reduced maintenance, and long life—LEDs are well suited to a variety of lighting applications. LED products are most competitive in applications where these performance characteristics outweigh their first-cost disadvantages. Although LED products are finding success in a growing number of applications, a number of factors must be considered when comparing LEDs to conventional lighting.

In the rapidly changing LED marketplace, “do your homework” remains the watchword. While high-quality LED products are now available for many lighting applications, some manufacturers’ claims concerning their LED devices are not borne out in independent laboratory testing by the Department of Energy. Several sources of information are essential to sound buying decisions:

  • Standards facilitate “apples to apples” comparisons of LED products as well as evaluation of LEDs versus other lighting options.
  • A growing number of LED products are now registered with the LED Lighting Facts® program, which allows buyers to compare lighting options based on objective performance measurements.
  • Demonstrations, including those conducted through DOE’S GATEWAY program and Municipal Solid-State Street Lighting Consortium, offer insights on real-world product performance.
  • Buyers also are encouraged to review DOE’s CALiPER test results for LED products to verify performance levels.

Photo of a road at night with streetlights on either side.

Photo from a GATEWAY demonstration of roadway lighting in Portland, Oregon.

With ongoing research and product development, SSL performance has been increasing steadily. Today, many well-designed SSL products can achieve appropriate light distribution in addition to high efficacy and adequate light output. Market segments where LEDs have made the greatest inroads to date include residential recessed downlights, kitchen undercabinet lighting, portable desk/task lighting, and outdoor area lighting. On top of their superior efficacy, SSL products can be more controllable than traditional lighting technologies and their lifetimes are not impacted by frequent on-and-off cycling. Adjusting actual usage to better reflect the application’s needs—for example, with an occupancy sensor—could result in even greater energy savings.

RESOURCES

via Using LEDs | Department of Energy.