Daylighting and LED Lighting Go Together

Daylighting is the practice of using natural sunlight as much as possible to provide internal building lighting. The intent is to save on electricity for lighting and heating a building. Windows, skylights, and light-colored ceilings work together to allow sunlight into a room and disperse it as evenly as possible.

The windows are either south or north facing to avoid the extreme glare of the rising and setting sun. Reflective surfaces and daylight redirection devices take sunlight beams that would otherwise cause glare, and redirect them to the ceiling where the light is reflected and uniformly spread out in the room.

Because sunlight availability changes throughout the day, daylighting is integrated with artificial lighting so that as the interior natural sunlight increases, the interior artificial lighting dims to keep the overall brightness constant. Likewise, when the sunlight decreases, the artificial lighting brightens. This is accomplished by using light sensors and dimming/brightening controls.

LED lighting works best for daylighting because it puts out a white light that closely resembles sunlight (without the UV light). When the sunlight dims, the LEDs do a good job of preserving the room’s sunlit ambiance. Like natural sunlight, LED lighting acts as a stimulant to the human circadian system. This increases alertness, concentration, and focus, all of which increase worker productivity. The lighting also increases sales in retail environments because colors are more vivid, which enhances the attractiveness of goods and foods.

Finally, LEDs are among the most energy-efficient light sources available, and it only makes sense to use these to maximize the energy savings possible with daylighting. The LEDs are dimmed or even turned off when natural sunlight is sufficient illumination for the room and thus save power. Even when they’re brightened to compensate for dim sunlight, the LEDs consume minimal energy.

Why LEDs Are Ideal for Manufacturing Lighting

Not all manufacturing environments are the same. Some are less forgiving than others. In fact, some are extremely unforgiving. Cement production plants are one example. There are limestone crushing operations, milling machines, and a gigantic hot kiln that rotates. Cement powder is blown through pipes under pressure, and sometimes they leak and spray cement dust into the air. In short, the plants are noisy, full of vibration, hot (in some areas), and sometimes dusty with highly abrasive cement powder. While such an environment can be hard on workers, it’s very hard on the machines themselves.

Good lighting in such a place and in other similarly difficult manufacturing environments is critical to worker productivity and especially to their safety. Unfortunately, old technology lighting such as incandescent and fluorescent lights is innately fragile. Simply put, they are based on a filament or gas encased in a glass bulb or tube. Yes, you can place them out of “harm’s way” such as on high ceilings, but they’re not out of the reach of the intense vibration of these plants, which penetrate the walls and ceilings.

In the case of incandescent lights, most of the electricity they consume turns into heat, which makes an uncomfortable environment even more uncomfortable. In addition, these aren’t the best lights from a worker safety standpoint because they are relatively dim for the energy consumed.

If you’re the plant manager of such a facility, doesn’t it make sense to install rugged lighting that can take the heat, vibration, and other abuses? LED lighting is innately rugged because it’s solid state. It’s essentially a solid diode that emits light. There’s no glass bulbs, shells, or other fragile components. Another benefit is they last substantially longer than other types of lighting.

Unlike incandescent bulbs, LED lights aren’t primarily heat-producing devices that put out a little bit of light. Most of the electricity they consume produces light. This means you have a brightly lit facility that consumes less power for its lighting. It means a safer environment for your hard-working employees.

There are many types of LED lights. Not only can you place them high overhead, you can place smaller lights on the machines or even in the machines. Solid state LEDs resist vibration. Less heat production makes them more desirable from a fire hazard point of view.

Two Important Benefits of LED Parking Garage Lighting

Many people consider parking garages as ugly, dark, and dangerous places. This reputation is due in large part to poor upkeep and poor lighting. It doesn’t help that commonly used lights in parking garages produce an eerie off-white color that disorients the customer. However, this can be changed by using clean reflective surfaces on the ceiling and walls and by using LED lighting. Here is how you benefit from this change:

More Attractive to Your Customers

Bright lighting elevates the mood of your customers and makes them feel safer. The feeling of safety that people experience in daylight is both real and psychological. This feeling is reproduced in parking garages brightly lit with LEDs. LED lights closely resemble daylight and therefore produce similar psychological feelings. The improved lighting also makes the area more attractive and upscale. Customers are then more inclined to come back and do repeat business.

Improves Your Customer’s Safety

Bright lighting and surveillance cameras reduce crime. The improved lighting also allows customers to see slippery areas, irregular surfaces, curbs, wheel stops, and other features that might cause slip or trip-and-fall accidents. Reduced crime and falls decreases your risk of customer lawsuits arising from crime victimization and fall injuries. Poor lighting is a common reason property owners are required to pay damages in these lawsuits.

The above benefits are further enhanced by clean, white reflective wall and ceiling surfaces. This disperses light and increases the overall illumination. The right choice of paint or surface treatment will also repel dirt and soot buildup, which diminish the garage illumination over time.

Two other benefits you’ll enjoy from LED parking garage lighting are lower energy bills from the high energy efficiency of LEDs, and reduced maintenance costs from the long operating life of LEDs.

Three Benefits of Warehouse Lighting with LEDs

Warehouse operation can make or break a business. For many companies, it’s the bottleneck that slows down their customer fulfillment process. Therefore the warehouse manager should exploit every opportunity to improve warehouse productivity. One such opportunity is LED lighting. Here are three reasons to change your warehouse lighting to LEDs:

Emits a Fuller Spectrum of Light

LED lighting is similar to daylight except that it doesn’t have the harmful UV levels of sunlight. LED light is white and brighter per watt consumed than other commonly used lighting. This is particularly important in a warehouse environment because product picking errors are costly in terms of customer returns and lost business. A well illuminated warehouse is important for avoiding injuries where forklifts and workers on foot work side by side.

Increases Worker Productivity

LED lighting contains a blue light component that improves mental alertness in the same way as exposure to natural sunlight. This is an important consideration if you wish to boost the productivity of night shifts. The body’s circadian rhythm is cued by the presence or absence of the blue component of sunlight. Blue light signals the body that it’s daytime and triggers wakefulness, while its absence signals nighttime and triggers drowsiness. This effect of LEDs can potentially reduce night shift accidents.

Easily Used In “Smart Lighting”

LEDs are easily used with motion sensors and timers that can dim or turn them off in warehouse areas not being used. Unlike many other types of lighting, LEDs are readily dimmed, brightened, and turned on or off without their damage or reducing their operational life. They don’t require warm up periods, which means they turn on instantly. When combined with the low energy consumption of LEDs, smart lighting substantially lowers your warehouse lighting costs.

Environmental Sustainability: Why LED Lighting Is a Step in the Right Direction

Economic sustainability requires that business activity not cause environmental deterioration or depletion of natural resources. For the most part, this hasn’t been the case for the last 150 years. Energy inefficient technologies accelerate the use of non-renewable fossil fuels that spew carbon dioxide and other pollutants into the atmosphere. However, more recent technologies are reversing this trend. These include LED lighting, which is having a positive effect on reaching environmental sustainability in a number of ways. Here are four of them:

LEDs Put Out More Light with Less Power

Lighting can account for a third or more of the energy consumption in buildings. This hefty energy consumption is due to huge inefficiencies in old lighting technology such as incandescent and fluorescent lighting. LEDs are far more efficient than either of these two lighting technologies.

From a sustainability point of view, LEDs reduce fossil fuel consumption and place a smaller energy load on renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power. This makes renewable energy sources and their reliance on battery storage technology more economically viable. Technological improvements in renewable energy, batteries, and LED lighting will only make renewable energy still more competitive in the years to come.

LEDs Have a Greater Service Life Than Other Forms of Lighting

LEDs have a substantially greater service life than either incandescent or fluorescent lighting. This reduces LED light replacement, which reduces the environmental impact of their manufacture since fewer lights are required. The resource and energy consumption of their manufacture and packaging, as well as the fuel consumption of transporting raw material and finished products are reduced.

The greater service life of LEDs also reduce their disposal into landfills. LEDs don’t contain environmentally damaging substances such as the mercury used in fluorescent lights.

LEDs Produce Less Heat

The extensive lighting of buildings place a heavy heat load on air conditioning systems during warm weather. Because LEDs put out substantially less heat, air conditioning systems do less work and therefore consume less energy.

LED Light Output Is Easily Controlled by Sensors

LED lights are easily dimmed and switched on and off by sensing technology such as motion sensors. These prevent unnecessary lighting in unoccupied areas of buildings, which further reduces energy consumption.

Quality Lighting to Keep a Workplace Safe

Quality lighting solutions are a necessity when it comes to keeping a commercial office space, retail center, warehouse, or mercantile occupancy safe for their employees and a building’s means of egress well-lit. Severe weather, fires, and threats by an intruder can all contribute to the need for quality lighting to be present and maintained at a workplace. Relumination can provide services and quality products that will keep a business during an unforeseen catastrophe.

Escape Routes

The proper interior lighting can provide illumination to an escape route for employees or customers during a crisis. Relumination is able to provide energy-efficient lights that are in good working order. It is important for companies and building owners to be ready for any type of evacuation situation, such as a fire or tornado. Clearly marked and well-lit escape routes are important to all of the occupants of a structure.

According to the Health and Safety Authority, “All workplaces must have clearly identified means of escape in the event of fire.”

Employee Safety

Employees working in a building want to fill safe at their job. Good lighting and emergency exit signs go a long way in offering assistance to workers during unplanned events that require immediate evacuation and the need to find an exit door quickly. Keeping a means of egress marked and illuminated may also contribute to less slips, trips, or falls in the workplace. This is good for the general well-being of all employees, and also for keeping worker’s compensation losses to a minimum.

Smart Interior Lighting

With the exception of kitchens, interior lighting is too often an afterthought in our homes. Besides ambient lighting, such as recessed overhead fixtures, we also need low-level accent lighting to create a mood, navigate through areas we’re not using to get to a room we are using, and so forth. And of course, we need plenty of task lighting for food prep, grooming, reading in bed, indulging in hobbies, and working in our home offices. Besides being functional, we also want our lighting to add to the beauty of our homes through our choice of lamps, fixtures and placement. To that end, let’s explore some of the smart, functional and beautiful ways we can use interior lighting throughout our homes …

Ambient Lighting

This is the type of light you’re most likely to flip a switch for as you enter a room. It usually comes from overhead and can include chandeliers, pendants, sconces and architectural lighting such as cove, soffit or recessed lights.

Task Lighting

Task lighting is designed to illuminate a specific function. It’s important to choose task lighting based on what you do that requires a focused light, because everybody’s task lighting needs are different. Do you need more light for reading in bed? For doing paperwork in your home office? For food preparation? Make a list of the places you’re likely to need good task lighting before you buy.

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting is used to highlight a particular area, a piece of art or a special feature in a room, or to set a mood or provide atmosphere indoors and out. It’s a powerful and creative design-enhancing tool too often overlooked.

Embracing Energy-Efficient and Economical Solutions to University Lighting

Universities across the country are homes to millions of students, many of which can be found “burning the midnight oil” while studying for exams on campus. One way or another, proper university lighting is essential. Now, more than ever, colleges are finding ways to make their lighting energy-efficient and economical.

Northern Arizona University (NAU) has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Interior Lighting Campaign, winning awards in the categories Best Use of Lighting Controls in a Single Building as well as Exemplary Higher Education Sector Site. By switching the lighting in the Student and Academic Service’s Building to LED technology, NAU has significantly cut unnecessary energy usage, saving both energy and expenses.

Meanwhile, Boston University has been going across campus and replacing its usual metal halide bulbs, which have been prominent in its outdoor lighting, with LED bulbs. Over fourteen different lighting retrofitting projects have been completed at Boston University since 2008, when the sustainability initiative began. In the new Center for Student Services alone, the implementation of LED lighting has decreased energy consumption by fifty-three percent.

Tufts University has embraced both LED lighting and motion sensors. The first college to sign the EPA Green Lights pledge (an agreement to improve the lighting in ninety percent of their floor space), Tufts has achieved this and more. By investing in LED lighting and motion sensors to shut lights off in empty spaces, the university has saved approximately $91,930 and 876,024 in kilowatt-hours.

By embracing sustainable forms of university lighting, colleges can become more energy-efficient and save expenses.

Improve the Mood of Your Hospital by Upgrading the Lighting

You can improve the mood and health of the patients and staff in you hospital by upgrading the lighting. Hospital lighting has a great effect on anyone who spends a lot of time in the hospital. Below you will find five benefits to upgrading your lighting.

1. Increased productivity: with brighter lighting, employees will feel better, and produce higher quality work.

2. Better sleep for your patience: everyone needs a certain amount of light for their body to function well. If the light is lacking, people have trouble sleeping.

3. Improved mood: increased lighting can boost the moods of your patients and staff. Low lighting produces fatigue and total mood disturbance.

4. Quicker healing: when your patients are exposed to brighter lights, it reduces the time that it takes for their body to heal.

5. Improved moral: when the hospital is lit properly, everyone is functioning at their best. This helps to improve the mood of everyone that spends any time at the hospital.

The above reasons to upgrade your lighting are just a few. With better lighting in your hospital, everyone will feel the difference and be happier. The best source of light is the sun, but for the patients that have to be in the hospital, the brighter lighting will be better for them than the traditional low lighting of a hospital.

Six Advantages of LED Lighting over Fluorescent Bulbs

Incandescent lights produce so much heat, they can burn your skin when touched. They were even used to heat toy ovens sold in the 1960s. That they’re energy inefficient is beyond dispute. On the other hand, fluorescent lights are considered an energy-efficient alternative to incandescent lights. But how do they stack up against LED lighting? Here are six comparisons:

  • Fluorescent bulbs emit omnidirectional light while that of LEDs is directional. Fluorescent bulbs radiate light 360 degrees around the tube’s circumference. Only a small percentage of this light is directed to the area directly below (such as at a desk in an office). The rest radiates in less useful directions unless the bulbs are installed inside reflectors, which still scatter some of the light. On the other hand, LED lights are directional in that most of their light radiates in a 110 degree arc. They don’t require the bulky reflectors of fluorescent tubes.
  • LED lighting is more energy-efficient than fluorescent bulbs. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a 12 watt LED light puts out the same lighting as a 15 watt fluorescent light. In other words, LEDs use 20% less power.
  • Fluorescent bulbs emit UV light. Fluorescent bulbs emit some UV light, which is hard on the eyes and causes color fading in fabrics. This is wasted energy. LED lighting does not emit UV light. In fact, its light emission lies entirely in the visible light range.
  • LED lights last longer than fluorescent bulbs. LED lights last up to 13 times longer than fluorescent bulbs. This means a big savings in maintenance costs.
  • LED lights are more rugged than fluorescent lights. LEDs are solid state lights, which are more damage resistant than the fragile tubes of fluorescent lights. Breaking fluorescent bulbs also exposes one to mercury.
  • LEDs do not flicker near the end of their life. Fluorescent lights go through a period of flickering before burning out. However, the usefulness of the light ends when the flickering starts.

Finally, fluorescent bulbs contain mercury, and may therefore present waste disposal issues.