Lighting design and lighting consultation
lighting
design
lighting schemes
wiring layouts
moods
atmospheres
scenes
Designer lighting
lighting
products
contemporary
classical
functional
decorative
Home automation lighting audio and video control
home
automation
lighting
audio
video
telephony
security
Lighting advice
advice
choosing
using
buying
Contact
contact
phone
email
address
Lighting design services
Lighting advice
advice
choosing
using
buying

SOME IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS FOR LOW ENERGY LIGHTING
by Bill Noble (lighting designer)

There are several good reasons to think low energy when choosing light fittings and lamps, not least because the building regulations tell us we have to! But being forced to use low energy lamps is no bad thing because it is, in the long term, good for our pockets as well. Low energy lamps save on running costs with lower electricity bills and lower maintenance costs (with low energy lamps lasting anywhere between 10 and 50 times as long as traditional filament lamps).

LED OR FLUORESCENT?

When choosing low energy lamps the first thing to consider is LED or fluorescent? Compact fluorescent lamps can have disadvantages in a domestic environment so you should always, budget permitting, prefer LEDs to fluorescents. Disadvantages of fluorescents in domestic environments include:

  • They take a long time to warm up to full brightness (even longer in colder rooms)
  • Most are not dimmable
  • They must be disposed of carefully (because of the toxic materials they contain they cannot simply be thrown away)
  • Some people are adversely affected by the EMF radiation emitted by fluorescent lamps
  • They have shorter lives compared to LEDs

Fortunately most fluorescent lamps now have LED versions.

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING LED LAMPS

When choosing LED lamps there are a number of things you need to consider to ensure you get something that is suitable for your needs.

  • Colour temperature - To get a colour of light similar in warmth to a filament lamp you will need a colour temperature of 2700K. Many LED lamps have a colour temperature of 3000K or more and will appear colder, perhaps even bluer, in colour. The larger the number the colder the light. Daylight has a colour temperature of around 5500K.
  • Colour rendering (CRI) -This is a measure of how accurately a lamp will render the colour of an object. Filament lamps have a colour rendering index of 100%. If the lamp is to be used in a location where the true colour of objects is important (for example when lighting pictures) then you should choose as high a CRI as possible. LED lamps typically have CRIs of between 70 and 90.
  • Light output - If you are replacing a filament lamp with an LED alternative, or you are just wanting something of a similar brightness, you need to take note of the light output of the LED lamp. Unfortunately you cannot simply rely on the manufacturer's statement that their lamp is equivalent to an x watt filament lamp as some manufacturers use misleading ways to calculate this. What is really of interest is the total amount of light emitted by the lamp, but some manufacturers instead compare the light hitting a section of the horizontal plane immediately beneath the lamp. If possible find the lumen output of the filament lamp being replaced and compare it with the lumen output of the LED lamp. Warning…just because a manufacturer says their GU10 LED is equivalent to a 50W traditional GU10 lamp it does not necessarily mean that it produces the same amount of light! It may just mean that there is the same amount of light underneath the lamp but not, perhaps, around the edge.
  • Dimming - Compatibility of dimmable LED lamps with dimmer switches is currently a nightmare. It varies hugely from manufacturer to manufacturer. The only way to be sure is to check with the manufacturer of the LED lamp that the particular dimmer switch you want to use is compatible.

By and large you get what you pay for with LED lamps. The more expensive lamps generally have a better combination of colour temperature and light output.

If you have found this article useful, do use one of the social buttons at the side of this page to spread the word!

comments powered by Disqus Google+ Profile

home | lighting design | lighting products | home automation | lighting control | audio/video distribution | lighting advice | portfolio of work | contact details

info@wowlighting.co.uk -- [+44] (0)1934 712226

www.wowlighting.co.uk

lighting design stand and home automation