Tag: Lighting

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.


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

Con Edison Customers Went Green & Earned Green In 2014

Energy Efficiency Programs Prevent Emissions, Provide Incentive $$$

Con Edison Media Relations
For Immediate Release: March 25, 2015

Nearly 35,000 Con Edison customers who took advantage of the company’s energy efficiency programs in 2014 helped keep New York’s air clean and earned a record amount of incentives while doing so.

The customers’ projects — which included lighting, HVAC equipment, building management systems and other improvements — will keep more than 87,000 tons of carbon out of the air annually.

That’s the equivalent of taking 14,500 cars off the road.

“Technology is bringing us new ways to help our customers save energy, and keep New York clean,” said Rebecca Craft, Con Edison’s director of Energy Efficiency and Demand Management. “And our customers benefit financially with incentives for energy-saving improvements and lower bills.”

Con Edison customers earned almost $60 million in incentives in 2014 for their energy efficiency upgrades.

The company’s small business program proved to be particularly attractive last year, as the number of customers who got incentives for electricity-saving upgrades rose 61 percent to 9,523. Those customers earned $35.1 million in incentives.

Since 2009, which is when Con Edison began its energy efficiency programs, more than 220,000 customers have helped to prevent 330,000 tons of carbon emissions and received $190 million in incentives.

Con Edison has energy-efficiency programs for every type of customer. To learn more, go to http://www.coned.com/energyefficiency/.

The company offers residential customers rebates of up to $1,000 to replace old cooling and heating systems and rebates up to $50 for appliance upgrades. Small business customers can get free energy surveys and free or subsidized upgrades to help them use less electricity in certain neighborhoods.

Customers with multifamily buildings of five to 75 units can get free energy surveys and rebates for energy-efficient electric and gas equipment in common areas. Commercial and industrial customers can save up to 50 percent on an energy efficiency survey and receive incentives for upgrading equipment.

Con Edison also has a Demand Response program that pays customers to curtail their electrical usage when demand for electricity is high. The enrollment deadline is April 1 for customers who want to being receiving benefits in May. Get more information here:http://coned.com/energyefficiency/demand_response.asp.

The company also increased its Demand Management incentives for owners and managers of large buildings who take advantage of technologies like battery storage, thermal storage, and LED lighting to reduce usage at peak times. Get information here:http://coned.com/energyefficiency/demand_management_incentives.asp

Con Edison is a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc. (NYSE: ED), one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies, with approximately $13 billion in annual revenues and $44 billion in assets. The utility provides electric, gas and steam service to more than three million customers in New York City and Westchester County, N.Y. For more financial, operations and customer service information, visit www.conEd.com, learn energy tips at,www.coned.com/waystosave, or find us on Facebook at Con Edison.

via Con Edison: newsroom – Con Edison Customers Went Green & Earned Green In 2014.

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.


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


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.


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.


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 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.


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.


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 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.


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.


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.


via Using LEDs | Department of Energy.

The History of the Light Bulb

More than 150 years ago, inventors began working on a bright idea that would have a dramatic impact on how we use energy in our homes and offices. This invention changed the way we design buildings, increased the length of the average workday and jumpstarted new businesses. It also led to new energy breakthroughs — from power plants and electric transmission lines to home appliances and electric motors.

Like all great inventions, the light bulb can’t be credited to one inventor. It was a series of small improvements on the ideas of previous inventors that have led to the light bulbs we use in our homes today (Check out a timeline here).


Long before Thomas Edison patented — first in 1879 and then a year later in 1880 — and began commercializing his incandescent light bulb, British inventors were demonstrating that electric light was possible with the arc lamp. In 1835, the first constant electric light was demonstrated, and for the next 40 years, scientists around the world worked on the incandescent lamp, tinkering with the filament (the part of the bulb that produces light when heated by an electrical current) and the bulb’s atmosphere (whether air is vacuumed out of the bulb or it is filled with an inert gas to prevent the filament from oxidizing and burning out). These early bulbs had extremely short lifespans, were too expensive to produce or used too much energy.

When Edison and his researchers at Menlo Park came onto the lighting scene, they focused on improving the filament — first testing carbon, then platinum, before finally returning to a carbon filament. By October 1879, Edison’s team had produced a light bulb with a carbonized filament of uncoated cotton thread that could last for 14.5 hours. They continued to experiment with the filament until settling on one made from bamboo that gave Edison’s lamps a lifetime of up to 1,200 hours – this filament became the standard for the Edison bulb for the next 10 years. Edison also made other improvements to the light bulb, including creating a better vacuum pump to fully remove the air from the bulb and developing the Edison screw (what is now the standard socket fittings for light bulbs).

(Historical footnote: One can’t talk about the history of the light bulb without mentioning William Sawyer and Albon Man, who received a U.S. patent for the incandescent lamp, and Joseph Swan, who patented his light bulb in England. There was debate on whether Edison’s light bulb patents infringed on these other inventors’ patents. Eventually Edison’s U.S. lighting company merged with the Thomson-Houston Electric Company — the company making incandescent bulbs under the Sawyer-Man patent — to form General Electric, and Edison’s English lighting company merged with Joseph Swan’s company to form Ediswan in England.)

What makes Edison’s contribution to electric lighting so extraordinary is that he didn’t stop with improving the bulb — he developed a whole suite of inventions that made the use of light bulbs practical. Edison modeled his lighting technology on the existing gas lighting system. In 1882 with the Holborn Viaduct in London, he demonstrated that electricity could be distributed from a centrally located generator through a series of wires and tubes (also called conduits). Simultaneously, he focused on improving the generation of electricity, developing the first commercial power utility called the Pearl Street Station in lower Manhattan. And to track how much electricity each customer was using, Edison developed the first electric meter.

While Edison was working on the whole lighting system, other inventors were continuing to make small advances, improving the filament manufacturing process and the efficiency of the bulb. The next big change in the incandescent bulb came with the invention of the tungsten filament by European inventors in 1904. These new tungsten filament bulbs lasted longer and had a brighter light compared to the carbon filament bulbs. In 1913, Irving Langmuir figured out that placing an inert gas like nitrogen inside the bulb doubled its efficiency. Scientists continued to make improvements over the next 40 years that reduced the cost and increased the efficiency of the incandescent bulb. But by the 1950s, researchers still had only figured out how to convert about 10 percent of the energy the incandescent bulb used into light and began to focus their energy on other lighting solutions.


In the 19th century, two Germans — glassblower Heinrich Geissler and physician Julius Plücker — discovered that they could produce light by removing almost all of the air from a long glass tube and passing an electrical current through it, an invention that became known as the Geissler tube. A type of discharge lamp, these lights didn’t gain popularity until the early 20th century when researchers began looking for a way to improve lighting efficiency. Discharge lamps became the basis of many lighting technologies, including neon lights, low-pressure sodium lamps (the type used in outdoor lighting such as streetlamps) and fluorescent lights.

Both Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla experimented with fluorescent lamps in the 1890s, but neither ever commercially produced them. Instead, it was Peter Cooper Hewitt’s breakthrough in the early 1900s that became one of the precursors to the fluorescent lamp. Hewitt created a blue-green light by passing an electric current through mercury vapor and incorporating a ballast (a device connected to the light bulb that regulates the flow of current through the tube). While the Cooper Hewitt lamps were more efficient than incandescent bulbs, they had few suitable uses because of the color of the light.

By the late 1920s and early 1930s, European researchers were doing experiments with neon tubes coated with phosphors (a material that absorbs ultraviolet light and converts the invisible light into useful white light). These findings sparked fluorescent lamp research programs in the U.S., and by the mid and late 1930s, American lighting companies were demonstrating fluorescent lights to the U.S. Navy and at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. These lights lasted longer and were about three times more efficient than incandescent bulbs. The need for energy-efficient lighting American war plants led to the rapid adoption of fluorescents, and by 1951, more light in the U.S. was being produced by linear fluorescent lamps.

It was another energy shortage — the 1973 oil crisis — that caused lighting engineers to develop a fluorescent bulb that could be used in residential applications. In 1974, researchers at Sylvania started investigating how they could miniaturize the ballast and tuck it into the lamp. While they developed a patent for their bulb, they couldn’t find a way to produce it feasibly. Two years later in 1976, Edward Hammer at General Electric figured out how to bend the fluorescent tube into a spiral shape, creating the first compact fluorescent light (CFL). Like Sylvania, General Electric shelved this design because the new machinery needed to mass-produce these lights was too expensive.

Early CFLs hit the market in the mid-1980s at retail prices of $25-35, but prices could vary widely by region because of the different promotions carried out by utility companies. Consumers pointed to the high price as their number one obstacle in purchasing CFLs. There were other problems — many CFLs of 1990 were big and bulky, they didn’t fit well into fixtures, and they had low light output and inconsistent performance. Since the 1990s, improvements in CFL performance, price, efficiency (they use about 75 percent less energy than incandescents) and lifetime (they last about 10 times longer) have made them a viable option for both renters and homeowners. Nearly 30 years after CFLs were first introduced on the market, an ENERGY STAR® CFL costs as little as $1.74 per bulb when purchased in a four-pack.


One of the fastest developing lighting technologies today is the light-emitting diode (or LED). A type of solid-state lighting, LEDs use a semiconductor to convert electricity into light, are often small in area (less than 1 square millimeter) and emit light in a specific direction, reducing the need for reflectors and diffusers that can trap light.

They are also the most efficient lights on the market. Also called luminous efficacy, a light bulb’s efficiency is a measure of emitted light (lumens) divided by power it draws (watts). A bulb that is 100 percent efficient at converting energy into light would have an efficacy of 683 lm/W. To put this in context, a 60- to 100-watt incandescent bulb has an efficacy of 15 lm/W, an equivalent CFL has an efficacy of 73 lm/W, and current LED-based replacement bulbs on the market range from 70-120 lm/W with an average efficacy of 85 lm/W.

In 1962 while working for General Electric, Nick Holonyak, Jr., invented the first visible-spectrum LED in the form of red diodes. Pale yellow and green diodes were invented next. As companies continued to improve red diodes and their manufacturing, they began appearing as indicator lights and calculator displays in the 1970s. The invention of the blue diode in the 1990s quickly led to the discovery of white LEDs — researchers simply coated the blue diodes with a phosphor to make it appear white. Shortly thereafter, researchers demonstrated white light using red, green and blue LEDs. These breakthroughs led to LEDs being used in a variety of applications including traffic lights, flashlights and TVs.

To make LEDs an option for general lighting, researchers next had to focus on improving the efficiency of LEDs — which in the beginning were no more efficient than incandescent bulbs. In 2000, the Energy Department partnered with private industry to push white LED technology forward by creating a high-efficiency device that packaged LEDs together.

When the Department announced the L Prize competition in 2008 (a competition designed to spur the development of ultra-efficient solid-state lighting products to replace common lighting technologies), there were just a few LED bulbs on the market that could serve as a replacement for incandescents, and most were 25-40 watt equivalents. In late 2009, Philips Lighting North America entered its LED bulb in the L Prize 60-watt replacement category. (Why focus on this type of bulb? In 2010, the Department estimated there were approximately 971 million 60-watt incandescent bulbs in use.) After a rigorous evaluation process, including testing by independent laboratories and field assessments, the Energy Department announced that Philips Lighting North America won the first L Prize in 2011. The ability to hit the tough L Prize performance targets showed it could be done and drove others in the market to strive higher.

Lighting companies continued to make improvements to both the quality of light and the energy efficiency of LEDs while cutting their costs. Since 2008, the cost of LED bulbs has fallen more than 85 percent, and most recently, a number of retailers announced that they will sell LEDs at $10 or less. Today’s LED bulbs are also six to seven times more energy efficientthan conventional incandescent lights, cut energy use by more than 80 percent and can last more than 25 times longer. Taken together, these advancements have led to rapid deployment in the past of couple years in both commercial and residential applications. In 2012 alone, more than 49 million LEDs were installed in the U.S. — saving about $675 million in annual energy costs — and as prices continue to drop, LEDs are expected to become a common feature in homes across the country.

Incandescents and existing lighting fixtures use designs that date back to Edison’s days. Replacing the old bulbs with LEDs is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to saving energy on lighting. LED lighting systems designed to take full advantage of LED’s strengths have even greater energy-savings potential than forcing LEDs into 19th century fixtures.

It’s hard to tell where lighting technology will go in the future, but one thing is clear: it won’t be your grandfather’s light bulb.

To learn how the Energy Department is working to accelerate the efficiency and quality of LEDs, visit the Solid-State Lighting Program’s website.

via The History of the Light Bulb | Department of Energy.

Let There Be Daylight by Green Light NY

Let There Be Daylight is Green Light New York’s first research report. It evolved into the Living Lab proof of concept project..

This report advocates for advanced daylighting systems to become a standard feature of New York City office spaces. It follows a careful analysis of the technical, practical, and energy savings potential that advanced daylighting systems can provide to NYC buildings.

New York City has the largest market for office space in the country. These offices are condensed into a proportionately small number of buildings and are managed and owned by a smaller number of people than in other urban office markets, making a transition to advanced daylighting systems more easily attainable. Furthermore, many of the City’s older non-residential buildings are already designed to capitalize on the benefits of daylight, as they were built when electric lights were just beginning to be implemented. The onset of more stringent energy codes requires an increased number of lighting retrofits in existing buildings. Let There Be Daylight explores these unique conditions in NYC that present opportunity to drive substantial demand for advanced daylighting systems.


Our analysis finds that 114 million square feet of New York City office space can easily accommodate comprehensive daylighting control retrofits to achieve electric peak demand reduction equivalent to 160 megawatts, as well as 340 gigawatt hours of electricity savings. Deployment of daylighting systems is an opportunity for New York City building owners and tenants to benefit from $70 million in energy cost savings each year.

“Peak demand” is the time during the day when the most energy is being used. It is also when energy costs the most to produce. Coincidentally, peak demand hours coincide with the times of day when sunlight is most readily available. Therefore, daylighting systems not only have the potential to save energy, but to also cut back on the dirtiest, least efficient energy being produced.


Let There Be Daylight explores the potential of advanced daylighting systems for New York City and the barriers and strategies for implementation. The report is a collaborative work of Yetsuh Frank and Richard Yancey of Green Light New York and Adam Hinge of Sustainable Energy Partnerships published in 2012.

Click HERE for the full report

As of 2014, Green Light New York is now known as the Building Energy Exchange.

via Building Energy Exchange.

It looks like the sun… but it isn’t.

Discover Magazine

By Carl Engelking | February 17, 2015 12:12 pm

CoeLux’s artificial light will allow people to turn every day into a sunny day. (Credit: CoeLux)

Sunlight is a key factor architects take into account in their designs, but in most cases, they’re pretty much at the mercy of Mother Nature to provide it. However a new innovation may be set to change that.

An Italian company called CoeLux has developed an LED light that impeccably recreates the appearance of sunlight — so well that both human brains and cameras can’t tell the difference. Designers captured the color temperature and intensity of sunlight by recreating the same natural conditions that exist in Earth’s atmosphere, but on a nano scale.

Skylights for Any Room

When we step outside on a sunny day, the light that reaches us is actually filtered through the carbon dioxide, oxygen and nitrogen molecules that make up the atmosphere. The excited molecules scatter the blue light — the smallest wavelength — more intensely than colors with larger wavelengths. This effect, known as Rayleigh scattering, is the reason the sky is blue.

Using nanoparticles, CoeLux designers essentially compressed six miles of Earth’s atmosphere into a few millimeters to artificially recreate Rayleigh scattering. And rather than a gas, CoeLux’s light source passes through a solid layer.

The light itself is an LED projector that emits white light in a spectrum that mimics the sun’s output. A “sophisticated optical system” (but with few details provided) creates the sensation of the distance between the sky and the sun.

What results is stunningly close to looking at the sun through a real skylight (CoeLux even makes a point to assert its website photos aren’t doctored in any way). Buyers can even choose from one of three different types of sunlight: tropical, Mediterranean and Nordic. Each setting is a different color temperature, and the sun shines through at a different angle.

A Bright Idea

Access to natural light has been shown to have myriad health benefits. If CoeLux’s design is convincing enough, it could be not just a beautiful addition to a room but a highly practical one too.

CoeLux envisions its lights appearing in hospitals, windowless offices and basements hundreds of feet below ground. The lights are also useful for photographers that are looking to shoot in-studio photos with natural light. The only downside for these lights, right now at least, is their price: roughly $61,000 plus $7,000 for installation.

As with any technological innovation, the price will surely come down as production is more streamlined. In future versions of the their skylight, CoeLux will allow you to toggle the position of the sun and adjust its color temperature, rather than just choosing a preset flavor of sunlight.

So, after the apocalypse, when all of humanity is forced to live in underground dwellings, take heart: There may still be sunlight to bask in.

via LED Skylight Authentically Recreates the Sun’s Rays – D-brief.