Month: February 2016

Product Monday: FloatPlane Suspended Luminaire by Philips Ledalite

Philips Ledalite’s FloatPlane linear suspended LED luminaires operate at up to 129 lumens/W with a low-profile design of 1.2 in. H x 8 in. W. The luminaire’s output and distribution…

floatplane_edge_white_end_viewPhilips Ledalite’s FloatPlane linear suspended LED luminaires operate at up to 129 lumens/W with a low-profile design of 1.2 in. H x 8 in. W. The luminaire’s output and distribution promises wide row spacing with fewer luminaires. Wall-mount version also available.

Click here to learn more.

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Update on OLED

The LED revolution is really the solid-state lighting revolution, with more than one choice on the menu. The emergence of OLED technology will create new possibilities for lighting design. If…

The LED revolution is really the solid-state lighting revolution, with more than one choice on the menu. The emergence of OLED technology will create new possibilities for lighting design. If successful, OLEDs will become part of the transformation of the built environment and the lighting industry.

Click here to read my December 2015 column for ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR, which takes a look at current OLED development and its possibilities for general lighting.

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International Dark Sky Week 2016

The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) has announced International Dark Sky Week, Monday, April 4 through Sunday, April 10. The IDA is an organization that advocates clear night skies achieved through…

dark sky weekThe International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) has announced International Dark Sky Week, Monday, April 4 through Sunday, April 10. The IDA is an organization that advocates clear night skies achieved through minimization of skyglow caused by nighttime lighting.

During International Dark Sky Week, people are encouraged to review their outdoor lighting, document skyglow in their area, submit photos and more.

Click here to learn more.

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Howard Brandston Student Lighting Design Education Grant Open for Submissions

The Brandston grant was established to encourage and recognize students who have demonstrated exceptional professional promise through the presentation of an original and ingenious solution to a supplied design problem….

The Brandston grant was established to encourage and recognize students who have demonstrated exceptional professional promise through the presentation of an original and ingenious solution to a supplied design problem.

The deadline for design projects is May 23, 2016. Applicants must be a full time student.

Click here to learn more.

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Architects Reveal Residential Design Trends

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) conducted a survey of 500 architects to ask them about residential design trends that will impact homes in the future. The 10th Annual AIA…

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) conducted a survey of 500 architects to ask them about residential design trends that will impact homes in the future. The 10th Annual AIA Home Design Trends Survey specifically identified the top 10 trends that will impact homes over the next 10 years. Six are particularly interesting from a lighting perspective.

1. Architects expect technology integration to become increasingly common. This includes home automation that provides temperature, security and lighting control.

2. Energy efficiency and sustainable design will grow in importance.

3. Aging-in-place and universal design elements (e.g., wider hallways, added handrails) will increase as the senior population increases. Seniors have special lighting needs, requiring good lighting that satisfies their vision requirements.

4. The kitchen will continue to grow in importance as the focal point of the home, supported by open concepts. Good lighting is essential to ensure the variety of uses are properly illuminated.

5. Outdoor living spaces are expected to grow in importance, requiring effective and responsible nighttime lighting.

6. Changing work patterns will promote home offices, which require good lighting conducive to this environment and its tasks.

Other trends include increased consumer preference for environmentally healthy materials, disaster-resistant designs, infill development promoting smaller and better-designed homes, and strong preference of urban lifestyle characteristics.

Click here to learn more about the survey and its findings.

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Product Monday: Knife LED Indirect/Direct Wall-Mount by Litecontrol

Litecontro’s wall-mounted Knife LED indirect/direct luminaire features independently adjustable up and down light levels. The windowless design provides for a continuous lens with no breaks. Click here to learn more.

Litecontro’s wall-mounted Knife LED indirect/direct luminaire features independently adjustable up and down light levels. The windowless design provides for a continuous lens with no breaks.

Click here to learn more.

litecontrol

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LED Suspended Lighting

This article is my contribution to the January 2016 issue of tED Magazine, published by the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED). Reprinted with permission. The ubiquitous troffer is the…

This article is my contribution to the January 2016 issue of tED Magazine, published by the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED). Reprinted with permission.

The ubiquitous troffer is the most common luminaire serving commercial building general lighting applications. A sizable minority of luminaires, however, are mounted suspended from the ceiling. Over the past five years, the LED source has captured significant market share in this category, offering the benefits of energy savings and longevity plus greater control and design flexibility.

“Five years ago, we would have said that suspended lighting was a stable to shrinking market,” says Jerry Mix, CEO, Finelite, Inc. “Today, it is absolutely expanding. LEDs are the enabling technology that is making this growth possible.”

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Suspended luminaires may be architectural linear suspended or decorative pendants. Decorative pendants are used to make a particular aesthetic statement. Linear suspended luminaires (the focus of this article) are more geared to function, but well suited to spaces with higher ceilings and where the owner is looking for an upscale appearance and feel.

“As we continue to work with leading architects, we see a shift toward open ceiling concepts,” says Sam Grebe, Director Strategic Accounts-Commercial and Hospitality, GE Lighting. “Open ceilings enable more creativity for designers and an inviting atmosphere to tenants. Particularly in the Class A office in major metropolitans, the percentage of open environments enabling suspended luminaires is now more of the norm than the exception.”

“Outside of all the typical LED ‘value-prop’ benefits, suspended luminaires provide a great way for clients to add value to their workspace and their brand above and beyond a space illuminated with recessed troffers or downlights,” says Brad Garrett, Director of Marketing-Architectural Products Group, Eaton. “Continuous linear applications take luminaire brightness and evenly distribute along a continuous row, eliminating any concentrated glare that you may get with recessed downlights, high-bays and troffers. The value is in the look and feel of the space—walls and ceilings are luminous, and spaces visually feel larger.”

Feb-2015_TED-LED-suspended_lighting-DiLouie-2

These luminaires typically emit light both up toward the ceiling and down toward the task. In retail spaces, the uplight portion may be quite small, as retailers want light on products. In office and other spaces, the portion of uplight may be much greater to emphasize the ceiling plane and create a softer distribution of light in the space for visual comfort.

“With the advent of solid-state technology in this category, the split of ‘indirect’ versus ‘direct’ has been mostly downlight and the balance uplight, Garrett says. “However, LED components have become more affordable, and product designers are now able to switch the industry back to accommodating a greater array of uplight and downlight variations, which is preferred.”

Five years ago, Mix says, the category was “stuck in neutral.” Fluorescent offered energy efficiency and good lighting quality and not much more. Luminaire design had matured. Applications were repetitive. The emergence of the LED source produced a shakeup that is breathing new life into product design and stimulating fresh demand.

“LED technology lets luminaires be tailored to the architecture of the building,” Mix points out. “For today’s projects, you can choose the watts, lumen output, color temperature, lengths to 1/16 of an inch and configurations to meet architectural needs. Well-designed LED luminaires let the lighting system be part of the building structure with an expected lifetime of 30 to 50 years. When architects understand this is possible, they want to use these luminaires on every job.”

Mix says LED suspended luminaires can deliver up to 120 lumens per watt compared to the best available fluorescent operating at 80-100 lumens per watt. According to GE and Eaton, depending on the product and design, energy cost savings can reach 50 percent compared to fluorescent.

Tim Miller, Senior Product Manager-Indoor LED, GE Lighting, adds that LED suspended luminaires can improve luminaire aesthetics over base fluorescent units in retrofits and the white goods segment of the market.

“In the white goods segment, users can actually improve the look of a ceiling by using LED suspended luminaires,” he notes. “In the specification segment, there are many options for uplight/downlight as well as the use of sensors and controls.”

Image courtesy of Eaton.

Image courtesy of Eaton.

According to manufacturers, top product trends in this category include:

• dramatically reduced design boundaries—luminaires can be specified in any length, light output and with a variety of color temperatures;
• multiple configurations, including squares, pentagons, luminaires running through walls;
• white-tunable lighting;
• very slim profiles;
• high color rendering, including high R9 (red) values;
• features promoting quicker installation;
• relatively low glare with a cleaner, non-pixelated light appearance; and
• integration with sensors and wireless lighting controls.

“The year-over-year efficiency and cost improvements in mid-power LED devices have had and continue to have a large impact on luminaire design and cost,” says Matthew Bugenske, Technology Manager-Indoor Fixtures, GE Lighting. “More-efficient LEDs have allowed for lower-cost thermal management systems, higher use of more economical PCB substrates and a lower need for exotic optical solutions. These changes have allowed luminaire efficiency and cost to reach a tipping point where LED luminaires are not only a logical choice for new building construction but also provide attractive paybacks for replacing or retrofitting traditional lighting fixtures.”

Mix sees the retrofit market for suspended luminaires as a significant opportunity, with LED options providing a 30-50 percent improvement in energy efficiency with greater control, flexibility and longer life.

“The reasons to light spaces with LED suspended luminaires have never been more compelling,” he sums it all up. “Today, you can have it all. You get energy-efficient, high-quality light that is affordable, ships in 10 working days, and is tailored to your requirements.”

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Juno’s Scott Roos on Tunable-White Lighting

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Scott Roos, VP of Product Design, Juno Lighting Group, on the topic of tunable-white lighting. I’m happy to share his responses with you…

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Scott Roos, VP of Product Design, Juno Lighting Group, on the topic of tunable-white lighting. I’m happy to share his responses with you here. The interview informed an article I wrote for the May 2016 issue of tED.

DiLouie: Looking at LED sources and controls, what are the different technological methods used to produce tunable-white light in commercial luminaires?

Roos: RGB color mixing is a long-standing method, but this model has poor color rendering and many technical and performance limitations, so it is seldom used outside of creating theatrical, colored lighting effects. There are multi-channel drivers that allow varying the intensity of two to three different color temperature, phosphor-converted white LEDs. And then there are hybrid multi-channel systems that combine nominally white phosphor-converted LEDs with one or more monochromatic colors to achieve a higher quality and greater range of tunable white lighting effects.

There are many control protocols that can be used with tunable white lighting, but each system is designed to be compatible with a specific one. At one extreme, there exists the conventional, economical and easy-to-commission phase and 0-10V dimming. At the other extreme, DMX and DALI systems provide more capabilities but are more costly and require a greater degree of commissioning. And then there is the emerging field of using smart devices to wirelessly commission and control fixtures using protocols that include Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

DiLouie: What are the different effects that can be created, such as color stability/consistency, dim-to-warm, CCT selection?

Roos: Warm-to-dim is the easiest effect to employ and understand. What’s required is simply connecting the luminaire to a compatible dimmer and it behaves like an incandescent or halogen lamp to create warmth and intimacy in settings such as homes, restaurants, hotel rooms, bars, etc. where this shift in ambiance is expected and appreciated.

CCT selection allows the color temperature to be changed post-installation independent of dimming. This can be a static selection to set the CCT to exactly complement a given interior décor, or it can be dynamic where scenes are set or automatic color temperature changes are programmed into a lighting control system. Dynamic tunable white systems enable users to change the appearance of the space from warm to cool depending on time of day or activity.

More sophisticated multi-channel hybrid LED systems with phosphor-converted white plus color settings allow spectral tuning of the luminaire beyond CCT. The multiple color channels can fill in missing or deficient spectrum of the phosphor-converted white LED to create exceptionally high color rendering and color fidelity. The color point can be moved off the Planckian locus – the reference for what humans perceive to be natural white light – to enhance interior finishes, art and store merchandise. Additionally, the spectrum can be optimally tuned to support circadian health and productivity. And these more sophisticated systems typically employ thermal and optical sensing and feedback systems to help tightly manage out-of-box color consistency and color stability over the service life of the luminaire.

DiLouie: What markets and applications do different tunable-white lighting effects serve? What’s the low-hanging fruit?

Roos: Applications for warm-to-dim in residential and hospitality settings are the low-hanging fruit, as they are essentially replicating the expected and appreciated effects of long-standing incandescent and halogen technology. The technology can be relatively inexpensive and requires no additional design or commissioning time or expense, so there are really no barriers to widespread adoption.

Tunable white lighting, on the other hand, is opening up an entirely new frontier in lighting design and human health and productivity. For aesthetic-driven applications, there are many low-hanging fruit opportunities – with the limiting factors being education, willingness for an end user to pay for the incremental cost of the luminaires, controls and commissioning. High-end retail, hospitality, art and museum lighting stand out as examples of early adopter applications that can realize the most compelling benefits from this technology.

Tunable white lighting for human health and productivity is on the cusp of pioneering applications coming online in healthcare, education, performance sports and 24/7 work environments. As with any new frontier, a few end users have jumped right in to install beta sites or small scale applications because the benefits of improved quality of life and/or increased performance hold so much promise. Others are taking a ‘wait and see’ attitude, sitting on the sidelines until well documented case studies that quantitatively substantiate claims and IES recommended practices are published; at such time, they will have the confidence to move forward and avoid potential liability.

DiLouie: How would you characterize demand for tunable-white lighting?

Roos: It is in the very early adopter stage with tremendous opportunity for growth. Even the most basic warm-to-dim technology is at the early stages of what is sure to be exponentially growing demand.

DiLouie: Color temperature has been linked to circadian lighting. What is the link, what research supports it, and how should distributors be selling it?

Roos: It is not actually color temperature, per se, but the spectral content of the light that is linked to our circadian response. Exposure to short wave blue light centering on 480 nanometers has been shown to suppress melatonin and stimulate the production of neurochemicals that promote alertness and health during the day and cause sleep disruption and negative health effects at night. While there is a correlation between color temperature and spectral content, it is important to understand that traditional lighting metrics developed around the human visual response system such as CCT, lumens and footcandles are not accurate predictors of a circadian response. New metrics, such as melanopic lux, are being developed and proposed to support the design and application of circadian lighting.

In regards to selling circadian lighting, distributors should stick to educating customers on the basic facts without making specific health claims and take extra care to do no harm. For example, warm-to-dim LEDs used at home will certainly support better circadian health than static white LEDs, and a cooler 5000K or 6500K CCT luminaire for 100 percent daytime application will likely promote improved alertness, productivity and mood. When looking at applying more sophisticated spectrally tuned luminaires and controls to optimize the lighting for a hospital, extended care facility, school or 24/7 work environment, for example, distributors and end-users need to work with a professional who has done their homework and has access to the research and researchers that can be found in organizations such as the Human Centric Lighting Committee or the Light and Health Alliance at the Lighting Research Institute. Informed members of these groups can help guide their efforts to ensure the desired results and provide safeguards such that the spectrally tunable lighting system cannot be misapplied and cause harm.

DiLouie: If you could tell the entire electrical industry just one thing about LED tunable-white lighting, what would it be?

Roos: While I can’t predict how quickly tunable white technology will see wider adoption, I can confidently state it is only a matter of time until it does. This is a unique opportunity for industry professionals to invest in education on this topic to position themselves as the experts who will be the ones to advance this emerging field in lighting. It holds great promise to improve the quality of our interior environments and positively impact human health, well-being and productivity.

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LG Display Partners with Korea’s Fursys Group

LG Display recently announced that it will supply OLED panels to ilroom, a specialized home furniture brand of the Fursys Group, a leading office furniture company in Korea. The desk…

LG Display recently announced that it will supply OLED panels to ilroom, a specialized home furniture brand of the Fursys Group, a leading office furniture company in Korea.

The desk light uses OLED light panels as the light source and provides a prominent example of how OLED lighting can be integrated with furniture. The new OLED desk light is separately attached to the desk shelf.

The product is designed with two 213mm x 113mm OLED panels located horizontally. As a diffuse area light source, it covers a large area with minimum shadowing and operates without flicker.

ilroom’s “OLED desk light” offers convenient control with a touch button and has adjustable brightness with three settings. The OLED desk light is only 6mm thick even with its aluminum casing. The company was able to achieve this design by using a super slim 0.88mm OLED light panel.

LG Display’s OLED lighting business will build on this collaboration with ilroom to expand its furniture convergence applications.

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DOE Evaluates White-Tunable LED Lighting

Below is a short article I contributed to the January 2016 issue of tED Magazine, published by the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED). Reprinted with permission. The U.S. Department…

Below is a short article I contributed to the January 2016 issue of tED Magazine, published by the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED). Reprinted with permission.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s CALiPER program has released Report 23: Photometric Testing of White-Tunable LED Luminaires, the first in a planned series on this nascent product category.

Color-tunable LED products include dim-to-warm, white-tunable and full-color-tunable products. Dim-to-warm products automatically reduce correlated color temperature (CCT) to achieve a warmer color appearance. White-tunable products, which may include a dim-to-warm feature, can be adjusted over a range of white-light CCT values. Full-color-tunable products can be adjusted both in terms of white-light CCT as well as a spectrum of saturated colors.

DOE decided to focus its efforts on white-tunable products. These products at a minimum mix warm- and cool-white phosphor-coated LEDs, with a linear CCT range achievable between these two primaries. Other colors may be added to increase flexibility of adjustment and produce non-linear relationship that follows the blackbody locus, enhancing color accuracy. The LEDs are generally controlled using 0-10V, DMX, DALI or proprietary protocols.

The study’s first primary goal was to understand the amount of testing required to characterize a white-tunable luminaire. Just as LED lighting challenged testing standards optimized around conventional lighting, color-tunable lighting challenges the new photometric standard designed to accommodate solid-state lighting. A single photometric test in accordance with IES-LM-79-08 isn’t enough to characterize the performance of a color-tunable product.

DOE tested eight white-tunable luminaires at dozens of points covering the range of color tuning (correlated color temperature, or CCT) as well as dimming (luminous intensity). DOE concluded a minimum of five to seven test points would be required to reasonably characterize a white-tunable LED luminaire. The methods and data produced in this initial investigation will inform future testing and analysis of the category. Ultimately, it may lead to a new standard method for manufacturers to express performance of color-tunable products.

The second primary role was to test and profile the performance of a sampling of white-tunable products. Eight white-tunable 2×2 troffers, surface-mounted luminaires and downlights were tested. The report focuses on the full-intensity measurements, typically taken at 11 color points covering a range of CCTs.

The results show substantial variation in input power, light output, efficacy (lumens/W) and Duv over the color-tuning range for many of the products. It is possible for manufacturers to maintain input power or light output, and some of the tested products did just that. Significant changes in efficacy at lower CCT values may result in a product that does not comply with thresholds for ENERGY STAR and DesignLights Consortium Qualified Products List criteria across at least some of the tuning range.

Additionally, white-tuning products with a linear relationship between two primaries tend to have greater efficacy and are less complicated, but they produce a range of Duv values as CCT is adjusted, which may produce a pinkish or greenish hue at various points and may not be acceptable to users. Further, some products exhibited noticeable color shift depending on dimming (luminous intensity).

Examples of linear and nonlinear white-light tuning. While the curve may vary across products, the main difference is linear products produce a range of chromaticities directly between two primaries, while nonlinear products add other primaries allowing mixes that approximately follow the black body locus. Image courtesy of U.S. Department of Energy.

Examples of linear and nonlinear white-light tuning. While the curve may vary across products, the main difference is linear products produce a range of chromaticities directly between two primaries, while nonlinear products add other primaries allowing mixes that approximately follow the black body locus. Image courtesy of U.S. Department of Energy.

The CALiPER report concludes: “White-tuning luminaires are still in their infancy, with plenty of room to mature. While the linear-tuning troffers offered high-enough efficacy to at least be considered against fixed-color products, they are still at a modest disadvantage versus the best competitors, and it remains to be seen if linear color tuning is accepted by the market place.”

Regarding downlights, the report adds: “On the other hand, the white-tuning downlights—linear and nonlinear tuning alike—are at a severe energy-efficiency disadvantage compared to fixed-color products, not even reaching the minimum criterion for ENERGY STAR qualification.”

DOE noted that engineering improvements could change this balance in the future, however, and that the competitiveness of these products is based on non-energy benefits that may be difficult to quantify.

To download the report, click here.

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