Lighting is one of the most critical – and most visceral – qualities of an indoor space. The difference between good and bad lighting can make or break comfort, mood and overall happiness in your place. Lighting has a substantial impact on the environment, accounting for up to 40% of electricity used in non-residential buildings. Major energy savings can be achieved. Examples from the field have shown that between 30% to 50% of electricity used for lighting could be saved by investing in energy-efficient lighting systems. In most cases, these investments are not only profitable but they also maintain or improve lighting quality. The cost of these measures are repaid by the associated savings and lighting quality
The world of lighting systems serves a wide variety of situations and categories. A typical installation will include many lamp types including HID, low and high pressure sodium, mercury vapor, metal halide, halogen, and fluorescent lamps. There are many lighting vendors, but only a few specialize in efficient lamping
Light output is measured in lumens. A light source has both a color temperature, those color tones which the light amplifies (cool, warm, etc.) and a color rendering index (CRI) or the ability to display color properly in a given color temperature (compared to a full spectrum light source).
Considering all of this, its frustrating that the building industry for the past 50 years has been primarily concerned with the energy element of artificial lighting, rather than human health concerns. However, we consider lighting to be a hugely important element of sustainable building design. We consider "sustainable design" to include consideration of ergonomics, human health and comfort in addition to energy consumption. Because of this, we would like to expand on the LED lighting criteria and explain how you can find the most sustainable, beautiful and healthy lighting options for your needs.
How we light up the places we live and work makes a big impact on how we feel. It also makes a big impact on the environment. The kind of bulbs, the kind of fixtures, the kind of power, and the habits we keep can all add up to a very significant greening. Start with the fact that a conventional incandescent bulb turns only around five to ten percent of its consumed energy into light, the rest goes out as heat. From there, there's no limit to how green your lighting can be.
A LED (Light Emitting Diode) is a semi conductor which converts electricity into light. Led lighting has been around since the 1960's but is now more affordable and freely available. LED devices that emit photons when an electrical charge is applied to them, are more efficient and last longer than incandescent light bulbs. By varying the composition of the semiconductor LEDs, materials scientists can coax the devices into emitting different colors. At the minimum, producing white light requires combining red, blue, and green, but so far, only red- and blue-light-emitting diodes are well developed. To produce green light, LED manufacturers typically apply one or more phosphor materials to blue LEDs. The phosphors convert high energy blue spectrum light into lower-energy light through a process that reduces overall luminosity by approximately 20 percent.
To eliminate this loss of efficiency, researchers have tried to develop efficient green LEDs that don't require phosphors. But a major stumbling block is that the different known semiconductor materials that can be combined to emit green light, typically gallium nitride, have different-sized crystal lattice structures. For semiconductors to work efficiently, each layer of the device has to have a similarly sized lattice structure as the layer above or below it. As technology has moved forward white led's have become available in a single diode rather than mixing red, green and blue (RGB).
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